gray market 1989 80

Huw Powell audi at
Mon Sep 11 20:10:16 EDT 2006

>>Okay, I give up.  What's a gray market car?  One that hasn't been 
>>legally imported into the US?  
> A (usually) legally imported car, imported/sold by someone other than the
> authorized distributor, or a vehicle imported that doesn't have a US
> distributor.  Almost all of the plain Jane (not exotic or particularly
> desirable) grey market cars I've encountered were Canadian models that
> made their way south.

Yes... my old '83 5kt was grey market, supposedly brought in by an AoA 
exec.  The rectangular headlights didn't fit very well, and weren't even 
wired right when I got it - too bad the euros had to be removed to get 
it in.  It had a metric dash speedo/odo.  May very well have been 
Canadian spec (rather than, say, German) since all the knobbies and 
stuff were marked in English.  Hmm, come to think of it, they moslty had 
little pictures, and what few 'words' there were were SU abbreviations, 
not language-specific.

The state of NH wanted to "take a look at it" when I first registered 
it, they added a door jamb sticker with their own artificial VIN 
replacing serial number.

It had the "ZZZ" in place of the three safety system digits in the VIN.

Oh, and I think I had a point to add - since "grey market" cars have 
effectively bypassed whomever has the import contract (AoA in this case, 
I guess), they will not "support" the vehicle.

I went in to the local (good) dealer to try to get the auto trans 
starter lockout installed (to make it not go into D or R unless brake is 
depressed, Prozac optional), and they said they weren't going to do it 
since it "wasn't one of theirs".

Huw Powell

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