Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Forbidden Fruit

An MGF with Minnesota Plates
SABCC club president and road race fan Richard Cunningham and I recently attended The Mitty at Road Atlanta. Originally known as the Walter Mitty Challenge, this event is the annual party thrown by Historic Sportscar Racing Ltd for the enjoyment of its members. This is the place to be to check out loads of racing machinery from the pedestrian to the exotic. I'll write up an entry about the weekend soon, but I wanted to share some photos of a car I spotted in the special interest car corral.

This is an MGF. This MGF is in the US of A. According to the rules, should not be here but here it is all in its mid-engine glory. It's a 75th Anniversary edition with special badging and other unique trim. I understand that these cars were available in the silver shown here or a in color called mulberry.

Left hand drive & MPH speedo
The laws say that cars not complying with American safety and emissions standards are not eligible for importation in to the US. The MGF (and the later MG TF) were supposedly engineered to meet American standards but they were never certified. No certification - no importation. However, the law is written so that a non-complying vehicle that is 25 years old or older may be imported. That's how I got my hands on my 1973 Mini. Our Canadian neighbors are permitted to import non-complying vehicles that only 15 years old or older. 

I didn't get a chance to chat with the owner but a Facebook acquaintance did and he reports that the state of Minnesota allowed him to register the MGF but gave him a hard time because the VIN didn't check out with their database of numbers. 

What the owner may not know, is that the Federal government has been known to send US Marshals with seizure orders to collect  -and eventually crush- non-complying cars. I certainly hope that won't be the case here, but it seems mighty risky to to me.

I wish you the best of luck, Mr. MGF owner.     

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