Hindsight is 2020.
While you were listening to Jagged Little Pill for the umpteenth time, Alanis’s infamous 1995 album marched ever closer to its silver jubilee. That’s right, 2020 marks 25 years since we turned our calendars over from 1994 to 1995, which means all those new-for-1995 cars sold across the pond are finally eligible for import into the United States.
Thank (or blame) the U.S. government for this, which states that, “a person may not permanently import into the [country] a motor vehicle manufactured after the date that an applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) takes effect unless the vehicle complies with the standard and is so certified by its original manufacturer. This prohibition applies to both new and used motor vehicles, but does not apply to motor vehicles that are at least 25 years old (based on the month and year of manufacture).”
Read that last sentence carefully, because it’s not the model year of the vehicle you’re importing that decides its legality, but the car’s month and year it was manufactured.
Still, the fact of the matter is that the prohibition of foreign, new-for-1995 vehicles will come to an end in 2020. Whether the car you want is legal to import on January 1, 2020 or December 31, 2020 is dependant on the specific date and month it left the factory.
Click through to see some of the formerly forbidden vehicles that we’re most eager to see legally driven on American roads.