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Discussion Starter #1
Hello Forum members. I would like to introduce myself. I am 35 and live in Atlanta, GA. I am a former 1978 Toyota Land Cruiser owner who through a combination of poor planning, mistrust, and extremely unfortunate circumstances I am without my FJ but a series of new and old parts. I have been shopping for a replacement but am now looking in another direction. Specifically East to Italy for an import.

There are 4 key factors that have me looking to import a Defender:

  1. Change to import laws making it easier to import 25yr old cars.
  2. Depressed Euro currency valuation vs USD.
  3. A good friend stationed in Rammstein that can help with shipping them on the cheap.
  4. MOST Importantly, Defenders kick-ass!
I will admit I have done about 10% of the research I would feel I need and really it's only been shopping for rigs via autoscout24.

My concerns are two-fold:
1) Purchase and importation
  • How do I know upon purchase whether US Customs will consider it original enough.
  • Will I be able to identify a quality purchase, what to look for? Where do they rust? Where do they leak?
  • What options or Model Years are most desirable for a European Market Defender?
2) Maintenance
  • How difficult will it be getting parts and maintaining the variety of Diesel motors that were
    never sold in the US.
  • What are the other differences to be mindful of?
  • How strong are the online resources (like this forum) for performing my own maintenance.
First off, thank you for reading this far. I would prefer a Left Hand Drive vehicle and understand miles (kilometers) on a european vehicle are vastly different than what would be expected on a US car. Also we are talking about a 25yr old car so nothing will be new either way. This will not be a Daily Driver but just another thing to wrench on.

I would appreciate any direction toward resources I should be reading and if you know of another resource to be searching within other than autoscout24.com. I plan to make a european vacation out of this and want to investigate any potential purchase in person.

Here are my potential candidates thus far:

The Money Saver
My First Love (She's been on the market for almost a year now)
Depends on her Motor

Looks like Italians prefer White, and I'm OK with that.

Regards many Thanks,
-MD
 

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Discussion Starter #2

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Being new to Defenders, and the whole importation process I suggest you buy one here and already imported - there are a number of reputable, good blokes, right here on this forum who import quality vehicles with all known issues documented. You will be in a world of hurt relying on some unknown person on the other side of the pond, who may/may not know anything and may/may not have your best interests at heart.

One VERY IMPORTANT factor you left out - is budget. Budget for the purchase, PLUS, and don't underestimate, budget for once you receive it - you will need to replace or repair stuff. If you are realistic you will look at $20K as a minimum start, weather you import a vehicle for $9K landed cost - then have to spend $10K on it - or buy one already in country for $20K.

Dont underestimate the fact you WILL spend $20K minimum to get one.

EDIT: DON'T buy on eBay without checking on here first....this forum is by far the best place to go for information on imported trucks - and those who import them. :)
 

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Buy Kent's 85 110! It needs a home!
 

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Being new to Defenders, and the whole importation process I suggest you buy one here and already imported - there are a number of reputable, good blokes, right here on this forum who import quality vehicles with all known issues documented. You will be in a world of hurt relying on some unknown person on the other side of the pond, who may/may not know anything and may/may not have your best interests at heart.

One VERY IMPORTANT factor you left out - is budget. Budget for the purchase, PLUS, and don't underestimate, budget for once you receive it - you will need to replace or repair stuff. If you are realistic you will look at $20K as a minimum start, weather you import a vehicle for $9K landed cost - then have to spend $10K on it - or buy one already in country for $20K.

Dont underestimate the fact you WILL spend $20K minimum to get one.

EDIT: DON'T buy on eBay without checking on here first....this forum is by far the best place to go for information on imported trucks - and those who import them. :)
^^^what he said^^^
 

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Just check kijiji.ca. Check each province for a LHD. You can rent a trailer and drive across the border and pick it up yourself. Canadian dollar sucks right now so you could probably buy three right now with your strong dollar. :mad
 

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Hello Forum members. I would like to introduce myself. I am 35 and live in Atlanta, GA. I am a former 1978 Toyota Land Cruiser owner who through a combination of poor planning, mistrust, and extremely unfortunate circumstances I am without my FJ but a series of new and old parts. I have been shopping for a replacement but am now looking in another direction. Specifically East to Italy for an import.

There are 4 key factors that have me looking to import a Defender:

  1. Change to import laws making it easier to import 25yr old cars.
  2. Depressed Euro currency valuation vs USD.
  3. A good friend stationed in Rammstein that can help with shipping them on the cheap.
  4. MOST Importantly, Defenders kick-ass!
I will admit I have done about 10% of the research I would feel I need and really it's only been shopping for rigs via autoscout24.

My concerns are two-fold:
1) Purchase and importation
  • How do I know upon purchase whether US Customs will consider it original enough.
  • Will I be able to identify a quality purchase, what to look for? Where do they rust? Where do they leak?
  • What options or Model Years are most desirable for a European Market Defender?
2) Maintenance
  • How difficult will it be getting parts and maintaining the variety of Diesel motors that were
    never sold in the US.
  • What are the other differences to be mindful of?
  • How strong are the online resources (like this forum) for performing my own maintenance.
First off, thank you for reading this far. I would prefer a Left Hand Drive vehicle and understand miles (kilometers) on a european vehicle are vastly different than what would be expected on a US car. Also we are talking about a 25yr old car so nothing will be new either way. This will not be a Daily Driver but just another thing to wrench on.

I would appreciate any direction toward resources I should be reading and if you know of another resource to be searching within other than autoscout24.com. I plan to make a european vacation out of this and want to investigate any potential purchase in person.

Here are my potential candidates thus far:

The Money Saver
My First Love (She's been on the market for almost a year now)
Depends on her Motor

Looks like Italians prefer White, and I'm OK with that.

Regards many Thanks,
-MD
I was where you are a year and a half ago. Every question you're asking has already been covered in other threads on this website 100X. I also live in Atlanta.

The biggest mistake I made was importing when there are so many here for sale. The 110 I imported was a total P.O.S. and I paid a lot of money for it. I've spent the last year doing a full restoration. It's almost back together.

I see great trucks on Ebay all the time. If you ever want to check mine out just drop a line.
 

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Welcome. Go hang out with the Solaros guys and learn what type of Defender will work best for you.

Sometimes I wish we had a sticky saying "I'm new, I've falling in love with the Tough safari image and want to import a Defender"

And merge all these threads.....
 

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I have three 110's here on consignment and also know a little about shipment and importation having done 600 or so.
Budget and body configuration and engine type desired ?

------ Follow up post added August 27th, 2015 08:37 AM ------

Specifically East to Italy for an import.

There are 4 key factors that have me looking to import a Defender:

  1. Change to import laws making it easier to import 25yr old cars.

  2. How do I know upon purchase whether US Customs will consider it original enough.

    -MD


  1. ???To my knowledge absolutely nothing has changed since the current law was enacted in 1988.
 
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