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10 Cool Classic Cars You Can’t Buy in the United States

There are a lot of choices in America if you want to own a classic car or truck. There are also classics that will never be seen in the United States. That’s because they are outlawed, too expensive to import or plain unavailable for one reason or another.

Here are 10 cool classic cars and trucks that you cannot buy in the United States.

1970-72 Ford Capri Perana V8

When it comes to South African muscle cars, the Ford Capri Perana has become a legend. It may resemble a Mustang, but it certainly isn’t. The Perana has a Windsor 302 V8 mills under the hood and was driven by a TopLoader transmission and BorgWarner differential similar to the Mustangs during that time.

These little muscle machines were pretty quick with a 0-60moh time of 6.7 seconds. They were extremely fast too with a top-end speed of 228mph! They were created by Basil Green. Many consider him to be the Carroll Shelby of Cape Town.

1985 Citroën 2CV Dolly

The Citroën 2CV was produced from 1948 until 1990, but the Citroën 2CV Dolly was created in 1985 and targeted strictly for a female audience. Citroën realized that 40% of 2CV owners were female leading them to make a special model just for the ladies and it was a smashing success.

You won’t see one of these in a gal’s garage her in the USA however as the vehicle couldn’t meet the NHTSA requirements back then, or today.

1971-78 Chrysler Charger

This Charger might look awfully familiar, but don’t confuse it with the Dodge Charger.  This is the Chrysler Charger that was the ruler of muscle cars in the 70’s Australia.

It had the Chrysler nameplate as Dodge had not yet made its way inside the Australia borders. And technically it isn’t a Charger that we know, but rather a Valiant minus the famous 426 Hemi. Instead, it was fitted with either Chrysler’s Hemi-6 or a V8 but this muscle from down under never made its way to the States.

1990 BMW M3 Sport Evolution III

The BMW M3 has always been a coveted collectable, but you won’t see this one cruising Main Street, USA. For starters, only 600 were ever made.  And while the stock option only put out 200hp, but the competition trim could hammer out 300 horses.

While you may have seen one in the magazines as a kid, they were never allowed in America due to being banned by the NHTSA for being too powerful amongst other reasons. We did see on that sold on Bring A Trailer for $256K, so that means one of the 600 made its way to the good ol’ USA.

1978-80 Ford 3000 Leisure Bakkie

America is the land of trucks, and it might be hard to believe that Ford kept one off our shores. The Ford 3000 Leisure Bakkie was possibly too small for the American market? After all, it was based on the European Ford Escort and the Ford Cortina and was limited to South Africa.

What looks like a cross between an El Camino and an Isuzu Brat, the Bakkie was completely made in South Africa which gave it a budget friendly price for South Africans. It was powered by a V6 engine and fitted with a four-speed manual transmission. Kind of wish they could send a few over to us. It’s a cool looking mini truck.

1991 Nissan Figaro

The Nissan Figaro did very well in Japan when first introduced to buyers. We can see why. While it certainly isn’t a muscle machine, we can see how people might be drawn to its vintage styling. The Figaro had a small 1.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine mated to a three-speed automatic transmission which only produced 76 hp.

There were only 20,000 initially introduced to the Japanese market and all of those were released to buyers through a lottery system. After it did well in Japan, Nissan made its way to Canada, but never found its way across the border due to it being blocked by the NHTSA.

1990-95 Toyota Sera

This little hatchback has an incredibly unique design with its butterfly doors and glass roof. We think it would have sold well in the U.S market, but Toyota had different plans. They had no intentions on distributing it overseas.

Instead, it was only available for purchase in Toyota Corolla stores across Japan. This little compact cruiser was equipped with a 1.5-liter inline four-cylinder engine and produced 104hp. Another reason it never made it here was due to safety concerns with its design.

1990-95 Eunos Cosmo

It is a real shame that this beauty didn’t get its day to shine in the USA. It reminds us of the Nissan Skyline GTR with its sleek lines. Mazda suited this luxury two-seater with the largest rotary engine they ever built.

The Eunos Cosmo had a high-revving 295-horsepower twin-turbo 2.0-liter triple-rotor. This vehicle also gave the world its first ever GPS system. Mazda only produced and sold 8,875 of them. Each one was sold exclusively in the Japanese market.

1994 Toyota Supra

Many Supra enthusiasts feel we as Americans were robbed of the 1994 Supra. The NHTSA banned this one for multiple reasons including “reliability issues.”  The 1993 version was a huge hit in the states and world-wide.

While you might be able to get your hands on one if you search hard enough, we are just happy that Toyota released the new version of the Toyota Supra for the 2019 Toyota USA Lineup.

1990s Ford Escort RS Cosworth

What might look like a Subaru at first glance is actually a Ford legend amongst foreign street racing enthusiasts. It looks like a rally ride straight off the factory line and packed quite a punch. Under the hood was an incarnation of the Ford Pinto’s T-88 Metric engine whipping out a whopping 224 horses.

While the vehicle was never technically marketed in the USA, we do know they have made it to our shores through the grey market.

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