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Old 23-06-2017, 05:04 PM
Nickster Nickster is offline
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Importing Vintage US cars with modern Chevrolet Performance Crate engines

Newby here recommended by a member of the Shannons forums - here is my question:

I am looking to import a 1965 Pontiac GTO, or a 61-64 Impala into Australia. Which ever I end up buying I am hoping to add a modern Chevrolet LS or LT engine and a Tremec Transmission, and to have the frame and suspension professionally replaced/upgraded before sending it here. I am from the US so I a thinking of organising something while my next trip home. I have lived in Australia for more than 30 years but find I am pining for a vintage Detroit classic for weekends etc. now that I am coming up to retirement.

I know that Holden recently acquired some LS9s for its late great V8 though I have not seen anything of the LT4s here, which cost about an arm less than the LS9, which are in the arm and leg territory.

Does anyone here know if there are any restrictions on bringing vintage cars with these engines into Australia? Thanks in advance.

This looks like the perfect forum for me BTW.
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  #2  
Old 23-06-2017, 05:18 PM
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cluxford cluxford is offline
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They will want pics before granting import approval. If it's pretty stock and looks stock and your honest good chance it will get in. Once here you'll then to get it engineered before registration. I doubt you'll get an LT4 approved though. Best to speak to customs and to a Vicroads approved engineer. Frame swap mayy be an issue, but if it's just suspension replacement / upgrade should be OK.

I know this is a bit vague, as they are starting to be a bit more picky on what the let in, it's hard to know. Ask someone like the guys at Classic Car Imports in Heildeberg. They bring in a lot they probably have a better idea of what is looked at.
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Old 23-06-2017, 07:46 PM
Geoff 4 Geoff 4 is offline
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I think you would have a much easier time with importing the car if it had the original drive train. Once it is here & registered, THEN do the swap.
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Old 23-06-2017, 08:17 PM
Nickster Nickster is offline
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Originally Posted by cluxford View Post
They will want pics before granting import approval. If it's pretty stock and looks stock and your honest good chance it will get in. Once here you'll then to get it engineered before registration. I doubt you'll get an LT4 approved though. Best to speak to customs and to a Vicroads approved engineer. Frame swap mayy be an issue, but if it's just suspension replacement / upgrade should be OK.

I know this is a bit vague, as they are starting to be a bit more picky on what the let in, it's hard to know. Ask someone like the guys at Classic Car Imports in Heildeberg. They bring in a lot they probably have a better idea of what is looked at.

Thank you Cluxford
i was a little less than confident about the LT4. The only motor I can find available in Australia that is close to what I need is the LS7. Modern efficient power is what I am after for a power cruiser.

I will check with Classic Car Imports before my trip.
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Old 23-06-2017, 08:21 PM
Nickster Nickster is offline
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Originally Posted by Geoff 4 View Post
I think you would have a much easier time with importing the car if it had the original drive train. Once it is here & registered, THEN do the swap.
Thanks Geoff, this was my Plan B, and I am beginning to realise I may not be able to have quite the same car here that I could have built in the USA.
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Old 24-06-2017, 10:55 AM
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Frank351 Frank351 is offline
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Go for a stock looking engine with upgraded internals. You could even use the Holley fuel injection that looks like a carby.
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Old 24-06-2017, 12:48 PM
69JavelinMan 69JavelinMan is offline
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Since the frame swap is reasonably straightforward on these things, you could build the driveline on it's aftermarket frame (assuming that is the plan), then just bring it in separate from the car, which you can leave stock or refit the stock parts to before importing. Bit of extra stuffing around but maybe easier on the papertrail side of things. Just consult with your local engineer to make sure the end product will be acceptable.
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Old 26-06-2017, 03:22 PM
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tex013 tex013 is offline
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just some thoughts .
A heavily modded car - and that can be simply a late motor swap will normally not be accepted for / granted import approval .
An early car with late chassis or aftermarket none stock chassis will have the same issues .
Importing a rolling chassis can have issues ie can be logged as not for road use . As it has no correct title .
This ruling goes back a few years , when $ was parity and they were bringing in heavily modded muscle cars and hotrods .

Tex
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