Well, we leave in 6 days and it appears everything is falling in place nicely… Funds for the purchase price were wired to the seller this week, and as luck would have it — surely the result of clean living — I caught the Euro at a 10 month low, around 1.36 per dollar. US Bank charges $50 for an overseas wire transfer but due to a screw-up on their part they waived the charge. They initially wired the amount requested as dollars instead of Euros thus requiring an additional transfer.
The purchase price of the car will include temporary registration plates and insurance for 5 days. There are two types of temporary plates but it will likely be the Kurzzeitkennzeichen with the yellow stripe since I only need 5 days. See a brief explanation of the different types of German license plates here, look for the 4th post down: http://www.toytowngermany.com/lofi/index.php/t51600.html
The shipping arrangements for the car have been confirmed with the Wallenius Wilhelmsen http://www.2wglobal.com/www/WEP/index.jsp representative at the port of Zeebrugge, Belgium. He has been incredibly helpful. The cost is now appreciably higher than when I first shipped a comparably sized car in 2007. At that time it was around 750 Euro, this go around it is 996 Euro. That does not include any nickel and diming at the US port or any broker’s fees. Marine and port insurance is separate and optional costing an additional 60 Euro. The car is scheduled to be on the 4/18 sailing of the Faust, arriving Baltimore on 4/30.
In regards to regulations surrounding importation: Vehicles older older than 25 years since the date of first registration are exempt from both EPA and DOT regulations. This means you can import the car as is, beautifully preserved with no changes or modifications to the engine or the rest of the car. Keep those well-proportioned euro bumpers the car was designed to wear, the superior headlamps with the functional city lights, the lack of tacked-on DOT side markers, original km/h speedo and so on.
Although clearing customs is not a complex task and can be handled by individuals, I will be using a broker this time due to the sequential logistics involved. Since I’m driving the car back from Baltimore to Milwaukee it needs to be registered. I can’t register the car until I have the import paperwork on hand so I will need the broker to do that for me, overnight me the paperwork which I will then present to WI DMV to obtain a temporary tag on the spot and then fly out to retrieve the car. In addition, the risk always exists that Customs may want to actually inspect the vehicle once you present it for clearance, introducing several days of delay which makes it impossible for someone flying in or driving a long distance to retrieve the car during the same trip. If someone can think of a better way to this, please let me know!
I have added 4 pictures http://picasaweb.google.com/citroenami61/BMWNeueKlasse1800Turf?feat=directlink of the original Kraftfahrzeugbrief, or KFZ brief which every German vehicle has. This is akin to the certificate of title in the US. The KFZ brief stays with the vehicle throughout its life and documents each owner. Note that page 4 has the vehicle specification including the all-important, to the Autobahn storming Germans, top speed. Only 160 Km/h for the 1800, but hey, that was fast in 1966!