Buying a car abroad — The Carmudgeon Show — Ep. 21

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It sounds daunting, but buying a car abroad is not difficult. Long before they even knew each other, both Jason and Derek had each turned a summer European vacation into a car-buying extravaganza. Importing a 25-year-old car into the U.S. isn’t difficult at all, and duty isn’t expensive.
[NOTE: This episode was recorded in early March 2020 before the Coronavirus Social Distancing measures went into effect. We're glad to help stave off boredom while you #ShelterInPlace — anything to keep you home and keep you safe. Stay well, all of you. Love and distant kisses from all of us at ISSIMI.]
In discussing what cars are on their personal To Buy lists, Derek and Jason realized that most of the cars they want were never sold in the U.S. — things like the Honda Beat, Autozam AZ-1, Suzuki Cappuccino, Daihatsu Copen, and other Japanese-market Kei Cars. On the opposite end of the spectrum are Derek’s Mercedes 450 SEL 6.9 and Range Rover 2-door fetishes — and where the boys’ tastes overlap: at the Lotus Carlton.
Built as a special-edition Opel / Vauxhall Omega, the Carlton was a 177-mph family sedan that infuriated everyone at the time for being socially unconscionable. But with a turbocharged straight-six, rear-wheel drive, and a manual transmission, it’s right up the Radwood-era enthusiast’s alley.
The first-generation Honda Insight isn’t, even though Jason wants one. He also wants an original Honda S600 or S800 — but not an S2000. You’ll have to watch to find out why (hint: steering and gearing.)
And you’ll hear the outrageous story of the R107 380SL Jason shipped to his dad, which got destroyed by the DEA at the port, thinking it was filled with drugs. So even though shipping a car across the globe is relatively inexpensive, it’s not without its risks.
The Carmudgeon Show is a comedic, information-filled conversation with Jason Cammisa and Derek Tam-Scott, two car enthusiasts who are curmudgeonly beyond their years. Proving you don’t have to be old to be grumpy, they spend each episode talking about what’s wrong with various parts of the automotive universe. Despite their best efforts to keep it negative, they usually wind up laughing, happy, and extolling their love for cars. Which just makes them angrier and more bitter.
Jason Cammisa is an automotive journalist, social-media figure, and TV host with over 250 million views on YouTube alone. Jason’s deeply technical understanding, made possible by a lifelong obsession with cars, allows him to fully digest what’s going on within an automobile — and then put it into simple terms for others to understand. Also, a Master’s Degree in Law trained him to be impossible to argue with.
Derek Tam-Scott still tries. He’s a young automotive expert with old-man taste in cars, and a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering — which means he knows how to be civil to Jason. Or at least he tries. With a decade and a half’s experience buying, selling, driving and brokering classic and exotic cars, he’s experienced the world’s most iconic cars. And hated most of them.
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