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HELP: E30 M3 Import Question (archive)

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Posted by R Simpson on January 13, 2000 at 18:20:00:


I would like some serious advice. I have found what seems to be an incredible M3. But, it is located in GUATEMALA. I live in Georgia, therefore I would have to import the car into the U.S and ship it by sea, or land. I am not wild about the idea to begin with. But, the 1990 E30 M3 is a white with perfect black leather, and get this, it has only 26,600 miles! Apparently, the car was owned by a collector who bought the car new in Atlanta. He got tired of it and sold it to a businessman there in Guatemala. The guy has used it as a daily driver for about a year now. He swears that it is in mint condition, but I have not personally seen the car. He's asking $17,500 US.
I'll get to my point, what kind of costs and restrictions would be involved with importing the car into the U.S (taxes, etc.)? Also, any idea of what costs would be involved with shipping the car by sea? by land?

Also, two things bother me about the car (keeping in mind that I have not seen the car in 1st person). First, the car is apparently a 1990, which from my experience with BMW's means that the car should have an airbag. THIS one does not. What does this mean? Was it an option?
Next, the car's VIN does not show a REPORT available from However, it DOES show a report for carfax's "free lemon check" that reinforces the fact that it IS a 1990 E30 M3. Why is this?
By the way, did the speedo on the 1990 model register to 160mph?

Thanks very much for your time, and I would appreciate ANY information you could provide me with concerning this subject.

Thanks again,

Ross Simpson
BMWCCA Peachtree

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