So You Want to Import an E30 Touring, Part I: The RulesS

Jungs,

I've been living abroad in Deutschland for sometime now, and my father expressed interest in wanting to own an E30 Touring. I'm sure you're all familiar with the 25 year rule, and at this moment '88s are good to go! Only a few more years until the R32 GT-Rs, but I digress...

So You Want to Import an E30 Touring, Part I: The RulesS

In my short time here I've found it is relatively simple to export cars out of Germany. It's very similar to how the DMV operates back in the States, and even a bit easier in some cases.

So You Want to Import an E30 Touring, Part I: The RulesS

Easiest: The car is currently registered and insured. Upon purchase of the vehicle, you fill out a 5 page contract that allows you, the new owner to drive the car under the previous owner's insurance back from whence you came for a period of 5 days or so.

So You Want to Import an E30 Touring, Part I: The Rules

Slightly more Difficult: The car is unregistered and uninsured. Buy "Kurzzeitkennzeichen" (temporary plates) insurance from the local ADAC, it's a temporary insurance for up to 2 weeks and currently costs 41 EUR. Bring the number to the local DMV Equivalent and register for the Kurzzeitkennzeichen plates. They are yellow. You can then affix this to the car and drive it similarly to the easier case.

So You Want to Import an E30 Touring, Part I: The Rules

Both of these have the same second step. Bring the car back to the ADAC, and repeat the steps for Kurzzeitkennzeichen, only for Ausfuhrkennzeichen (Export Plates) insurance. They are red. This costs 160 EUR/29 days for up to 6 months. These plates are red. The numbers represent when your insurance period ends. Before it goes, you may drive the vehicle as much as you'd like and eventually meander towards the port where you will ship it from before that date.

So You Want to Import an E30 Touring, Part I: The Rules

Handling shipping is another issue, but I'll keep this short and get to the pictures y'all are likely waiting for.

So You Want to Import an E30 Touring, Part I: The RulesS

The car of choice ended up being a 1988 BMW 320i with approximately 130k on it. It's got a great sport cloth interior I've never seen stateside (but don't quote me), and some other minor modifications from the previous owner(s).

So You Want to Import an E30 Touring, Part I: The RulesS

The exhaust is aftermarket. The 1-piece Style 5 wheels are in great shape and even have all center caps!

So You Want to Import an E30 Touring, Part I: The RulesS

The front lights are projector with angel-eyes, and the turn signals have been converted clear. The 2.0L 6 cylinder pulls nicely with a downshift, and handled sustained 160kph (100mph) on the unrestricted autobahn section like a champ.

So You Want to Import an E30 Touring, Part I: The RulesS

As an aside, for all the bitching this blog does trying to discredit the Bahn with "traffic" and "speed limits", it has become clear to me that they've never driven it. I'm not sure about you, but having traveled for 30 min straight at 100mph I'd say I'm pretty satisfied. Having to slow down to 120kph every once in a while is a small price to pay, if you're into bitching for the sake of it that is.

If there's enough interest, I will post up follow-up images when I get my DSLR out to make myself some backgrounds.