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Thread: Red Mountain Rovers

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    near Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    87

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    If the car was federal DOT legal and will still pass emissions for the year of manufacture, you are allowed to modify your car as you see fit (it does still have to pass local inspection codes though). Bringing in a vehicle that was never built to be US DOT certified is illegal unless it is over 25 years old.

    What Red Mountain has apparently done (with at least one of their Defenders) is to have a new VIN issued by the State of NY as either a replacement for a missing VIN (which, if they removed the original VIN, means up to 5 years in prison, 10 if they did it and sell it) or as a VIN for a kit car (which is lying to the state, opens them up for more time behind bars). Just because a state issued a title does NOT mean the vehicle is street legal - a title is for proving ownership only, not for determining the fitness of a vehicle for service. I did not see a sticker showing that the Defender (I only looked at the '98) had been Federalized by a Registered Importer (nearly impossible to do, as it falls outside the acceptable year range for Defenders), and usually that sticker would have been on the door pillar close to the VIN tag. Therefore, it CANNOT be legally registered and driven on the road in the US.

    AFAIK, ECR is modifying NAS Defenders that were brought in and sold by Land Rover. It's perfectly legal to modify your DOT certified truck however you see fit, as long as the parts you put on it (mainly windows, seat belts, motor, tires and the like) meet DOT specs. OR ECR is a federally recognized Registered Importer and are allowed to modify '94-'97 non-NAS Defenders to bring them up to US DOT specs. I'm not sure, I've never asked them.

    The laws are pretty strict. If anyone could buy a new car abroad, take it apart there, ship it over here in pieces and reassemble it THEN legally drive it on the road here, we'd have been flooded with cheap Chinese Cherries and the like YEARS ago. What's to stop a foreign manufacturer from shipping junky cr@p here in CKD and pawning it off on the public, if not our DOT and import laws? We're all MUCH safer as a result, believe me. I know I don't want plate glass windows in MY car, for instance.

    If I were out driving and got hit by someone in one of these non-DOT legal trucks, I'd sue them 'til they bled out their eyes. Then I'd sue their insurance company for insuring it, whomever sold it to them, whomever inspected it, and so on back to the source. And I'd win. The law would be on my side. If you're in doubt, ring up your insurance agent and ask what would happen in that event.

    ATV's are titled these days, too, and you can't drive one of THEM on the road either.

    Mech


    ***Sorry for the diatribe, but this is a touchy subject for me. I hate seeing dishonest con artists selling unsafe cars to unsuspecting people, especially when there are plenty of honest people out there doing it right. Burns me up...
    1960 SII 88 NADA HT w/OD and HEAT!!

    former pro Series mechanic

  2. #22

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    ECR frequently imports/buys all the parts builds a completely new vehicle and then put the vin of a NAS vehicle on it (in most cases) Sometimes they will even sell off the complete hulk sans vin/paperwork. This is, according to their own website, illegal . . . They may call it something else in an attempt to make it sound legalish, but thats essentially what goes on. It can also be illegal to install an engine in a US spec vehicle with a different type which is not covered by an EPA certificate. Assembling your own vehicle is legal in many states but is often federally illegal. Swapping VINs is illegal in every state AFAIK. Chances are, if you have a land rover model newer than 25 years old that wasnt imported in its current form by LRNA, there is probably something sketchy about it that could be construed as illegal. If that bothers you, I wouldnt buy one.

    If I were out driving and got hit by someone in one of these non-DOT legal trucks, I'd sue them 'til they bled out their eyes. Then I'd sue their insurance company for insuring it, whomever sold it to them, whomever inspected it, and so on back to the source. And I'd win. The law would be on my side. If you're in doubt, ring up your insurance agent and ask what would happen in that event.

    ATV's are titled these days, too, and you can't drive one of THEM on the road either.

    ***Sorry for the diatribe, but this is a touchy subject for me. I hate seeing dishonest con artists selling unsafe cars to unsuspecting people, especially when there are plenty of honest people out there doing it right. Burns me up...
    1) Thats a lot of suing, and not for the right reasons. You sound like the guy who sues Nair after trying to remove his eyelashes.
    2) ATVs are street legal in some states
    3)non dot compliant does not mean unsafe. similarly dot compliant does not make a vehicle "safe" These importation laws were not put in place to protect consumers, they were put in place to protect car companies from additional competition.
    4) who is "honestly" selling late model non NAS defenders?

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    near Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    87

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    Word, leafsprung. Elegantly put.

    Mech

    *Edit: 1) Hmm, I don't agree. Registering, insuring and driving an illegally registered vehicle (non-DOT I mean) is essentially perpetrating fraud. SOMEONE lied to the state to register it, they lied to the insurance company to insure it, they lied to get it inspected (if they didn't pay off the mechanic, another fraud), and they knowingly put me in danger by driving a vehicle that does not meet US standards. Lying by omission is still lying. It is legal for a non-DOT vehicle to visit this country, but not to stay, and they are required to be insured properly while here. I have to side with ol' Ralph Nader on this one. And I've had the state try to get me with a random inspection test vehicle.

    2) Really? Last I heard, there was a furor over allowing mini trucks on the road in Oklahoma, much less ATV's anywhere else. They're not up to DOT standards, but the farmers there want to drive them like cars instead of like farm equipment.

    3) I disagree. The laws were put into place to protect the consumers, mainly, via the EPA and crash test standards. It was Ralph Nader's book "Unsafe At Any Speed" that really got that ball rolling. Believe me, if the manufacturers here didn't HAVE to put in parts like platinum-coated catalytic converters and airbags with gold coated contacts, or to meet federal CAFE standards, they wouldn't spend the money. Their cars would be cheaper, and they'd both sell more and make a higher per unit profit. They just (wisely) decided to make safety a selling feature in their advertising, to make the higher costs more palatable to buyers. And DOT compliance means that the car is guaranteed not to be made of or in a manner that is dangerous, i.e. with a single circuit master cylinder. I do not mean to imply that non-DOT vehicles are unsafe, but they do NOT meet the standards set by our government for safety. That's enough for me.

    4) Apparently Red Mountain Rovers, for one. Nowhere on their ad for the '98 did it say the truck was not US street legal. To me, that's an attempt to pass it off as legal. And it's dishonest, but the average car-buying citizen would never think to ask if everything was copacetic in that regard.
    Last edited by mechman; 12-31-2008 at 12:53 AM.
    1960 SII 88 NADA HT w/OD and HEAT!!

    former pro Series mechanic

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Norman, Oklahoma
    Posts
    110

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    Here's my take on this thread:

    1. Leafsprung is right! Sueing is part of our social problem - You want to be part of the solution - right? That means getting involved in something constructive like proposing/creating/influencing new legislation.

    2. I live in Oklahoma - mini-trucks (Toy,Nissan,etc.) have always been legal - don't have a clue where that came from... True enough, there has been talk about allowing ATV's on farm roads earlier this summer ($4.00+ gas) - but now that we're back down to $1.40/gal. everyone started driving their Hummers, F350 duallies, my 109, etc again!

    3. Ralph Nader is an idiot! Always has been... The DOT is there for itself - ONLY! Don't even kid yourself into thinking that the Fed's are there for you and your well being. Case in point - The USA lived with DOT lighting laws that were passed in the early 1940's until just about 10 years ago. Our automobile lighting systems were 50 years behind the European laws. The DOT provides income for people who would otherwise be unemployable. (Yeah, it's harsh!)

    4. Looks like a Duck, sounds like a duck, walks like... well? If you 'think' something funny's going on - probably is.

    With that - Happy New Year to Everyone!!

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    North MS
    Posts
    908

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    +1 Pretender.

    Mech,
    You state in your last post that the average citizen probably would be dupped into thinking that the vehicle was legal, yet you still say that you would sue him till he bled out his eyes? Why, he probably wasn't the one who swapped the VIN in the first place? Nobody would drive the vehicle that they swapped the VIN on... Even Red Mountain Rovers isn't willing to take that risk (assuming these are VIN swapped vehicles). They are passing the risk on, yet you would sue the victim of their crime. Not good.

    The DOT are a bunch of ball-washing-bastards, who live to make it more difficult for me to register my vehicles. This is a case where government should be working for me, not against me.
    66 IIA 109" Pickup (WIP)
    67 IIA 109" NADA Wagon (sold)
    88, 2.5TD 110 RHD non-hicap pickup

    -I used to know everything there was to know about Land Rovers; then I joined the RN Bulletin Board.

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bertha
    I'snt that what ECR does-take d90's and 110's and convert them to 110's and 130's with different motors and equipment?
    I don't get the impression Mike is doing that anymore. He used to, for sure. But most of his recent builds have been on proper 90's and 110's. Of course the cost probably prohibits too many people from hiring him to do this with any frequency though.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric W S
    I don't get the impression Mike is doing that anymore. He used to, for sure. But most of his recent builds have been on proper 90's and 110's. Of course the cost probably prohibits too many people from hiring him to do this with any frequency though.
    We still do it all the time.
    That is how the Beach Runners and such are built. NAS 90s that are built up as 110s. We have a 90 to 130 BR coming up this Spring,a s well as a 90 to 110 BR next month.

    As far as DOT... everything you want to do is illegal basically. Us building a 90 into a 110 is technically illegal as according to the DOT and Maine law if you change the frame you must now apply for a new VIN and meet 2008 regulations. So according to them every Series IIA with a new galv frame is illegal. Also if you restore a 110 to the level we do that is illegal too, as we change the frame and a good percentage of the body and mechanical parts. According to the DOT this is too many changes and is considered a new vehicle and would need to meet all new DOT regs. As the poster before said, in some cases of really crap donor cars we end up virtually tossing the entire body shell in favor of new parts and that restoration was illegal as we changed too much (according to the DOT). Same thing if you restore a 1969 Camaro with a new Dynacorp body. New crate motor, new suspension and all... that is illegal too. Most of the Series trucks we ever restored are illegal too, as they had new frames, engines, gearboxes, body panels, etc etc.
    Its all illegal if you dig deep enough. You could likely find a law against anything you ever wanted to do if you dig deep enough.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    11

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    In regards to the truck in question. It came up on the D90 site and the seller says it has a valid US Government title. So that means maybe ti was seized and then put back on the road, or was imported for the government or something. It appears though that the US knows what it is and gave it a title. So everything is illegal unless you are the US Government.

  9. #29

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    Kudos to Mike I've butted heads with him in the past on this. Refreshing to hear that. All these vehicles in question are illegal to some extent (some more than others).

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    11

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    Yup, put a new galv. frame in your SIIA... you are now illegal... along with most everyone else who does stuff that is fun.
    Import a 300 Tdi engine... that is illegal. Its all illegal.

    I drove over the speed limit on my way home last night too.

    Ike is so squeeky clean he never does anything illegal. He just likes to find others that do and bash them on it.

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