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The grass is always greener on the other side, they say and in our case, horses are faster and louder. As you already know, cars that weren’t originally sold in the United States have to reach 25 years of age to be legally imported, registered and used on the road.

Given that the global automotive market isn’t really global, each year unlocks a number of cars, from ordinary commuters to some extraordinary machinery. For 2021, the magic year is 1996 and here are some of the coolest cars that debuted on the international markets.

1. Lotus Elise

Lotus Elise S1 front three quarter view

Via: Lotus

The definitive lightweight British sports cars got to the US shores only in 2005 as the 111R and the reason for that was its noncompliance with United States’ safety regulations. But, as the Elise got introduced in 1996, the original Rover-powered S1 can now be legally imported stateside.

Even though it was powered by a measly 118 horsepower Rover K-Series engine which turned out to be prone to a few issues, the S1 Elise was altogether an amazing great car, being only 1,598 lb in weight and designed specifically for extracting surgically precise handling. The introduction of the Elise was a pivotal point in Lotus’ history, making the original iteration a valuable modern classic. On the other hand, should one want it for its driving abilities, it’s also the lightest foundation for any further modifications.

Price range: $20,000 – $40,000

2. Renault Sport Spider

1996 Renault Sport Spider

Via: Motor1

One of the greatest injustices out there is that Renault made it to the US only as a forgettable LeCar, leaving all the fun to its native European continent. Fortunately, the majority of heated up R5s have long turned 25, the Clio Williams is available for import too and for 2021, there’s another amazing Renault joining the list of cars you could and should bring to this side of the Atlantic, especially if you believe the before mentioned Elise isn’t focused enough.

The birthplace of the Renault Sport Spider is in Dieppe, the same place where Renault developed its racing programme under the Renault Sport division. Given that Renault won five out of six F1 constructors titles between 1992 and 1997 as an engine supplier for Williams, it’s safe to say that the Renault Sport Spider came during the brand’s golden era in motorsports.

This trackday-friendly 2000 lb open top was built around a lightweight aluminum chassis and was powered by a mid-mounted 16-valve 2.0-liter F7R inline four from the famed Clio WIlliams hot hatch, pushing 150 horsepower to the rear wheels. The composite body is unlike any other sports car from the era, with a go-kart-meets-concept-car design, butterfly doors, tiny wind deflector as standard and an optional windshield starting from 1997. Originally, the Sport Spider was built for one-make racing, but in the end, around 1800 were made for track and street use.

Price range: $40,000 – $60,000

3. Nissan Skyline R33 GT-R LM Limited

Nissan Skyline R33 GT-R LM Limited Rear Side View

Via: Twitter

The iconic R33-generation Skyline could be imported to the US

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By: Djordje Sugaris
Title: Incredible Cars Turning 25 This Year (Ripe for Importation to the USA!)
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Published Date: Fri, 10 Sep 2021 18:20:47 +0000




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1970 CHEVROLET CHEVELLE LS5 SS: An Icon Roars to Life at the 2024 Palm Beach Auction

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1970 CHEVROLET CHEVELLE LS5 SS: An Icon Roars to Life at the 2024 Palm Beach Auction

Written by Nicole Ellan James


Born during the golden age of American muscle, Chevrolet’s 1970 Chevelle, produced from 1968 to 1972, defines the second generation of the model. This legendary machine embodies the essence of cool in the realm of muscle cars; its very mention conjures images of clean lines, thunderous engines and the open road beckoning for adventure.

One of the defining aspects of the 1970 Chevelle was its range of potent engine options, including the monstrous 454ci V8, bearing the legendary monikers LS5 and LS6. With its powerful engines and robust chassis, the 1970 Chevelle was capable of impressive acceleration and top speeds, making it a favorite among drag racers and street racers alike.

Ready for the drop of the gavel at the 2024 Palm Beach Auction, April 18-20 at the South Florida Fairgrounds, where it will be selling with No Reserve, this 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle LS5 SS 454 stands as a beacon of muscle car history. With a 454ci LS5 engine delivering a commanding 360 horsepower under the hood, paired with a period-correct Turbo 400 3-speed automatic transmission, this powerhouse of a car is sure to offer an exhilarating ride, whether it’s around town or across the country.

After a professional rebuild, this Chevelle’s engine now features a new crankshaft, roller lifters and roller rockers for enhanced performance. The car’s exhaust system boasts 2-inch stainless-steel long-tube headers paired with 3-inch stainless-steel pipes, exuding both power and authenticity with original-looking tips. A 12-bolt posi-traction rear end sporting 3.73 gears provides formidable traction and acceleration, while power front disc and rear drum brakes supply reliable stopping power. Rolling on iconic 15-inch SS wheels wrapped in BFGoodrich radial T/A tires, this example of American muscle offers both style and substance on the road.

Exuding an aura of boldness and aggression, the 1970 Chevelle embraced the quintessential design elements of its muscle-car era. Characterized by a lengthy hood and a compact deck profile, it features classic proportions synonymous with the era’s automotive prowess. Its wide stance and flowing lines contributed to its formidable and muscular aesthetic, commanding attention wherever it roared. Adorned in a vibrant red basecoat/clearcoat finish accented by bold black SS stripes and a sleek black vinyl top, this Chevelle’s striking exterior showcases a factory cowl induction hood secured with hood pins, hinting at the power lurking beneath the surface.

Inside the cabin, black vinyl bucket seats offer both comfort and style. The center console features a distinctive horseshoe shifter, while an AM/FM radio provides entertainment on the road. Restored to its former glory, the factory air-conditioning system now utilizes R134 refrigerant for optimal cooling performance. Power steering ensures effortless maneuverability and control behind the wheel.

Enhancing this Chevelle’s appeal is that it’s been driven less than 2,000 miles since its recent engine and transmission rebuild, and has clocked a mere 51,018 actual miles in its lifetime. Register to bid today for an opportunity to get behind this iconic American muscle car’s wheel and answer the call of the open road.

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By: Barrett-Jackson
Title: 1970 CHEVROLET CHEVELLE LS5 SS: An Icon Roars to Life at the 2024 Palm Beach Auction
Sourced From:
Published Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2024 19:46:03 +0000

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Best 600cc-ish Sportbikes of 2024


Substantial upgrades for 2024 have made Kawasaki’s ZX-6R a powerful and comfortable companion either on the street or racetrack.
Substantial upgrades for 2024 have made Kawasaki’s ZX-6R a powerful and comfortable companion either on the street or racetrack. (Kawasaki/)

Has the death of 600cc supersports been greatly exaggerated? A couple of years ago it sure seemed like the class was going belly-up, but recent upgrades and new motorcycle model launches have rekindled consumer interest in the sportbike group, and 2023/2024′s crop of track-ready middleweights are still well-positioned to carve a local apex near you. Of course, some of the bikes here haven’t changed with the times or are better equipped for street rides, but they’re still formidable weapons on a circuit. We’ve narrowed our choices to a few perennial (if aging) standard-bearers, some newer crossover models, and bikes with commensurate performance, price, and otherwise race-ready attributes.

Did we miss one? Drop it in the comments below.

Light weight, livable ergonomics, and a 659cc parallel-twin engine good for nearly 90 hp makes Aprilia’s RS 660 a top pick.
Light weight, livable ergonomics, and a 659cc parallel-twin engine good for nearly 90 hp makes Aprilia’s RS 660 a top pick. (Aprilia/)

2024 Aprilia RS 660 | 401 lb. | 89.16 hp (as tested) | $11,499

The RS 660′s 659cc parallel-twin engine makes it one of the punchiest and most powerful bikes here, and that 270-degree crank gives it a sound unlike any of the others. Not quite a designated supersport, the bike is nevertheless supremely flickable, comes equipped with excellent components, and is less intimidating than some inline-four supersports while still offering a sporty experience. During our track test, we said it offered “engaging engine performance, nimble handling, a relatively low seat height, and roomy ergonomics,” and to keep things in check, the RS 660′s top-shelf electronics include the Aprilia Performance Ride Control (APRC) suite, which is accessed via a full-color TFT display. These IMU-based traction control, wheelie control, engine-brake, and ABS settings are offered in five preset riding modes, and while suspension adjustment is limited to spring preload and rebound damping fore and aft, the standard electronic quickshifter is bidirectional. Throw in the approachable ergonomics, and it adds up to a versatile machine that’s appropriate for day-to-day as well as track riding for seasoned veterans and beginners alike.

Honda’s CBR inline-four has ruled this list for many moons now, and it’s still a competent performer on both track or street.
Honda’s CBR inline-four has ruled this list for many moons now, and it’s still a competent performer on both track or street. (Honda/)

2024 Honda CBR600RR ABS | 434 lb. | 97.7 hp (as tested) | $13,199

Although Honda just brought a substantially revamped CBR600RR to the European market for 2024, there’s no such luck for the US. In its infinite wisdom, Big Red decided to give us the same CBR sportbike we’ve had for 11 years now, so we’ll focus on that older-gen model’s good points. For one, the CBR600RR’s 599cc inline-four is still good for a healthy 100 hp in stock trim at the rear wheel, and we took note of the “well-calibrated throttle response that is neither too sluggish nor too sensitive…” which was “peppy for a 600, especially off the bottom and through the midrange.” Furthermore, the bike has well-calibrated Showa suspension components with three-way adjustability fore and aft, and dual radial-mounted floating 310mm discs with four-piston calipers offer powerful stops. The Honda remains an agile yet sure-footed steed, but hopefully we’ll see the upgraded model come Stateside as well, because more power and a quickshifter would really be welcome. Although it’s one of the pricier bikes here, Big Red’s offering is still an effective sport riding tool on the track as well as the street.

Related: 2024 Honda CBR600RR Preview

Major upgrades with potent power keep the new ZX-6R at the top of the trackday list.Read More


By: Andrew Cherney
Title: Best 600cc-ish Sportbikes of 2024
Sourced From:
Published Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2024 11:00:01 +0000

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Super-tracker: A custom Sportster 1200 with supermoto steeze

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Custom Sportster 1200 with supermoto style
The traditional definition of a street tracker is a motorcycle that has all the trappings of a flat tracker, with the addition of lights, street-biased tires, and a front brake. But what if you took the concept a step further, and sprinkled some supermoto ingredients into the mix? You’d probably end up with something like this spicy custom Sportster 1200.

The bike belongs to and was built by Xavi Garcia—a Barcelona-based enthusiast who loves café racers, streetfighters, and supermotos in equal measure. With a couple of custom builds already under his belt and a KTM 990 SMR in the garage, the desire to create a street tracker with supermoto underpinnings began to buzz around in Xavi’s head. So when he stumbled across a 2003-model Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 in good nick, he figured that it would be the perfect bike to do it with.

Custom Sportster 1200 with supermoto style

“When I bought my first big bike, a BMW R65, I customized it into a café racer,” Xavi tells us, “but deep down I wanted to do it with a Sportster, to replicate the Harley-Davidson XLCR 1000. Since then, I’ve always had a certain love for the Sportster.”

With help from his good friend, Franc, Xavi tore into his recently-acquired Sportster 1200 until all that remained was its rigid-mount engine, frame, and swingarm. The guys then built it back up with a laundry list of well-judged mods and parts.

Custom Sportster 1200 with supermoto styleRead More


By: Wesley Reyneke
Title: Super-tracker: A custom Sportster 1200 with supermoto steeze
Sourced From:
Published Date: Tue, 27 Feb 2024 22:22:24 +0000

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