What 25-Year-Old Car Would You Import Right Now?

Cars built in early 1997 are now legal to import to the U.S. What's got your eye?

We may earn a commission from links on this page.
Image for article titled What 25-Year-Old Car Would You Import Right Now?
Photo: crash71100, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

The date is May 26, in an alternate 2022 — much like our own, but just a little off. The U.S. still reels from the Gas Mishap of 2021, when a rogue Oiloco employee mixed Orange Bull energy drink into every single barrel of crude oil bound for American shores. The concoction, despite somehow tasting better than the original energy drink, destroyed each and every car in the United States — fuel tanks, injectors, carburetors, all trashed.

No cars are left in the U.S., but you still need to get to work. You have to track down something overseas, but the 25-year import ban still applies — it needs to have been built on or before May 26, 1997. So, what are you buying?

Image for article titled What 25-Year-Old Car Would You Import Right Now?
Photo: dave_7, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Advertisement

The rules are simple: You can buy any car, so long as you’re bringing it in from another country. The only catch is that you’re the one buying it — I’m not going to go digging through your tax returns, but try to pick something that’s at least close to your real-world budget.

You can bring cars in from Japan, Europe, South America, even Canada or Mexico. So long as it wasn’t in the United States in 2021, on that fateful day when the acrid energy-drink-and-gasoline cocktail ate through the guts of each and every vehicle in the country, it’s fair game.

Advertisement
Image for article titled What 25-Year-Old Car Would You Import Right Now?
Photo: TTTNIS, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Personally, I’d go with the DC2 Honda Integra Type R. They’re surprisingly affordable overseas, and I think I could get used to driving on the wrong side of the car — particularly if I’ve got those red Recaros holding me. I have no need for functional rear seats, but I do have a need for a super-high redline and a stiffened chassis.

Advertisement

That’s my pick. What’s yours? Would you bring in a kei car like the Subaru Sambar for your morning commute, or a Euro-spec E36 M3 for weekend canyon carving? Leave your ideas in the comments, and we’ll collect our favorites tomorrow.