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1995 - 1997 Fiat Barchetta - any idea if theyre California compliant?
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Thread: 1995 - 1997 Fiat Barchetta - any idea if theyre California compliant?

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    1995 - 1997 Fiat Barchetta - any idea if theyre California compliant?

    I know that we can now import the 1995-97 model years to the U.S., but California has some very strict emissions rules which often take $10k and months of delay to have the vehicle converted (Nissan Figaro and Skyline owners know what thats all about).
    Ive been searching for the Fiat Barchetta on a list, but cant find a thing whether they too need costly, Ca. compliance retrofitting.
    Anyone know from experience, or where to find the info?
    Thanks
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    Moderato map's Avatar
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    You might want to call CARB's number. A friend was retiring to San Fran and thought they'd have to sell their classic car. IIRC, it was a 1983 import licensed in Oregon but said they thought it might have to go thru a certification lab. I stopped taking the vanpool, so didn't hear what they finally decided.

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    Older vintage cars, don’t need to be Compliant. To import a older one. There is a 25 year limitation import period. There nothing to covert on vintage cars. My good friend lives in Redondo Beach California. He imported a Toyota 800 sport. A left hand version. There was a lot of red tape paper work.
    He had issue with th California DMV, licensing it.
    Last edited by smark; 04-10-2022 at 06:50 PM.

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    Amministratore Fiat500USA's Avatar
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    A suggestion is to contact the powers that be and see what the deal is from the horses mouth. One caution is, what one state employee tells you can easily be contradicted by another and they can really screw you up. Incompetence is everywhere. Once you hear what they say, check with an experienced importer and see how that jibes with what they say. See if they'd guarantee getting the car registered.

    In the 1980s I and a friend (an Italian diplomats son with connections) looked into starting an auto importing business. We got all the EPA and DOT standards, rules and legal requirements together. He was already bringing cars over because he had diplomatic immunity and really didn't care. That was not my case and I really liked not being in jail or watching my cars get confiscated and crushed, so I passed on the business. Customs, DOT and EPA do not have a sense of humor. For those thinking of bringing a car in, I would let an importer take the aggravation from dealing with them.

    As for the Barchetta, there isn't a comparable Fiat engine sold here during that time period that you, or a shop, could rob the emission controls off of to help make your Barchetta CARB compliant, so that really complicates things. Complications mean expense, so I would think you would be in the same boat as everyone else having to spend big bucks.

    I think the takeaway is you really have to like the car for it to be worth all the expensive hassles and CA doesn't want you to bring anything there that wasn't CARB certified.

    https://www.importavehicle.info/2013...-or-newer.html

    https://ww2.arb.ca.gov/california-ce...motor-vehicles

    https://ww2.arb.ca.gov/california-ce...ertified-motor

    https://ww2.arb.ca.gov/sites/default.../udi-lab_R.pdf

    https://ww2.arb.ca.gov/sites/default...udi-labq_R.pdf

    Let us know what you find out!
    Last edited by Fiat500USA; 04-10-2022 at 11:21 PM. Reason: added some more info
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    Moderato map's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fiat500USA View Post
    A suggestion is to contact the powers that be and see what the deal is from the horses mouth. One caution is, what one state employee tells you can easily be contradicted by another and they can really screw you up. Incompetence is everywhere.
    Very true. From 78 and later, CARB has different rules than older cars in the state. There are usually 4+ Fiat Barchetta's for sale on Hemmings (most licensed in FL for some reason) at a given time and the prices seem to be around $15K. From what I understand, these have to be mod'd to meet EPA rules. CA has their own rules and must be certified before being licensed there.

    There are a few "license dealers" who can certify in CA. One I looked at said that the certification lab charges $7500 to $15K... paid up front before they add on their own charges. (That seems to be on direct foreign imports?) It might be cheaper to buy a house out of state. <g>

    I'd suggest trying to find one for sale already licensed in CA. There aren't many, but worth a try. CA has a lot of red tape and seems to be trying their best to eliminate any car not of this century. Considering CA has more gas hogs than any other state, it seems they are worried about the 1% of cars... but there you go.

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    Fiat500USA (04-11-2022), tvmaster (04-11-2022)

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    In Dec 2021, CARB voted to ban the sale of new gasoline powered lawnmowers and leaf blowers as of 2024. They are now chasing the small stuff.
    Good luck with an import

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    Fiat500USA (04-11-2022)

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    You can apply for antique motor license plates, vehicles over 35 years old.

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    Amministratore Fiat500USA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by luckymoi View Post
    In Dec 2021, CARB voted to ban the sale of new gasoline powered lawnmowers and leaf blowers as of 2024. They are now chasing the small stuff.
    Good luck with an import
    Yep. Hand writing is on the wall. Not a good time to be an auto enthusiast. At least a traditional one.
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