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International Rodding?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by gnichols, May 12, 2008.

  1. gnichols
    Joined: Mar 6, 2008
    Posts: 11,019

    from Tampa, FL

    I was wondering... if someone in the US was to build a street rod project with the intent of driving it overseas at some time (on a limited budget), what would be the best approach and / or requirements? Fuel types? Engine size? Saftey requirements? Insurance? Driver's liscense? 'Cetra, etcetra...
    Have any of you done this before? Europe? or say Japan? Australia or New Zealand? Heck, Hawaii even!
    I've been thinking of a small fenderless 32-24 Ford pickup with a 4 or 6 cyl gas (regular leaded? regular unleaded?) or perhaps VW based TDI for power. The idea would be to make the car rock solid durable, easy to maintain / use common "world car / truck" drive train components. I'd like to keep the unloaded weight down to 2K pounds if possible and perhaps pull a small trailer.
    Also, is there an International list of car clubs / rod owners who might be willing to guide me along this path? Like a world-wide Fellow Pages?
    And then there is the shipping problem. Ideally, I'd like to ship the car on the same vessle I travel on, be it a liner or ferry.
    Just wondering, Gary in Brandon.
  2. fc ute
    Joined: Mar 7, 2001
    Posts: 166

    fc ute

    i am planning similar for myself and my wife.
    we intend to take my as yet unfinished T Tudor to the US and drive from one side to the other towing a teardrop camper.
    i am thinking a 350,5 speed, 9 inch setup as that is pretty much universal
    its still 5 years away but the planning has begun
  3. toddc
    Joined: Nov 25, 2007
    Posts: 981


    If you plan on driving it in Sydney, then this is what you will have to contend with.:eek:

    Attached Files:

  4. You would be fine as a tourist in Australia. You can get gas up to 98 octane and any parts you want. Well, the middle of a desert might be a bit tough...

  5. robster
    Joined: Jan 11, 2005
    Posts: 198


    Check out the two UN Conventions on international road and vehicle travel.

    You will need an international drivers licence, but then should be ok to use your vehicle, in country’s signed up to the convention, for a year in each country without adhering to local vehicle compliance rules, provided your car is registered in your home country and complies with your local rules. Hamber bardahl1 bought his car to NZ last year.

    Regarding towing a trailer, consider the additional shipping costs. It costs about US $1700 to ship a car from LA to New Zealand if you have three cars sharing the container. You will also have customs and other admin costs going into each country - for example New Zealand Govt will spray all your vehicle and any contents for bugs etc (at your cost).

    If coming to here or Aust, I would have thought you would want to ship your car ahead and fly down.

    All New Zealand gas is unleaded and to state the obvious, you can get parts for a sbc pretty much anywhere, but the flip side for extensive touring, is gas is $8 a gallon down here (and even more expensive in Europe).
  6. Crafty
    Joined: Jun 26, 2002
    Posts: 240

    from UK

    I think you'd be ok to drive the car in the UK as it'd be a temporary import, so I don't think you'd have to comply to any rules.
    Wherever you go what I'd be looking at is figuring out how to get the car in to the country without paying import duties etc, I am pretty sure you can do it but I'm guessing you have to let the customs & excise people know whats going on before you get to the destination. I think you'd have to export the car back out of the country within a certain time frame (say 6 months or similar).

    As someone above says I'd be more concerned with fixability / spares. If you stuck to common components (say a SBC/MII/9" rear) you'd probably be able to get most parts within a day or two at worst in the UK, can't speak for other countries.
  7. gnichols
    Joined: Mar 6, 2008
    Posts: 11,019

    from Tampa, FL

    Greatly appreciate your inputs. Since I posted my query, I've found quite a few web sites for Euro / World rodding and the Euro NSRA. I should mention that I have traveled in Europe, the far east and Australia while in the Navy, so I'm familiar with the insurance and driver's liscense aspects. I even have 3 years experience in Japan driving on the wrong side of the road, so I think I'm ready for anything. A little, light rod, a small trailer and a list of camping / RV sites is about all I'll need. I would be great to travel with my new rod and meet rodders from all over the place / attend overseas events. Perhaps someone should start a Yahoo group on it so we could share our experiences / preparations? I know the bike riders have been doing this for years.

    Mostly I was worried about mechanical things, like traveling in a car with no fenders - if that would be a problem both legally and realistically (or do I have to build this car like a hot rod version of a World Rally Car?). I plan to build my next rod with a small gas / diesel engine and hope to select the engine from the many "World" cars, so simple parts and service would hopefully be available most places.

    Some of the peppy Ford Escort engines, some V-6s, or the VW based TDI I mentioned would probably work. I'd really like to use the Honda 4 banger from their S-2000 sports car, but I can hear the cringes from here and besides it runs on premium. I've also been considering a motorcycle engine. There are some fascinating light-weight cars being with bike motors, along the lines of Lotus 7's but I doubt they'd be good for pulling a trailer. So... leaning towards small, stock motors that give great mileage, as much torque as possible and OEM service abroad.

    Thanx again for your thoughts. Gary
  8. GlenC
    Joined: Mar 21, 2007
    Posts: 757


    Just off the top of my head, and I'm certainly not going to whine if someone corrects me, I'd suggest you at least consider the following 'modifications' to your rod to make it safe to drive, if not completely legal as such....

    1. Cycle fenders on all 4 wheels. They only have to cover 1/3 to 1/2 of the tyre diameter, the top bit is the most important bit, for pedestrian safety and also driving in the wet.

    2. Mufflers. Common sense says you're going to attract unwarranted attention from authorities anywhere in the world with open pipes. An exhaust note is fine, blasting open pipes not so.

    3. Seat belts. They're pretty much essential anywhere.

    4. 4 wheel brakes. (preferably disc on front.)

    5. Engine bay cover. Keeps out the water plus keeps out pedestrian's fingers, hands etc in an accident. Keeps people off hot exhausts as well.

    6. Street legal DOT approved tyres.

    7. Headlights, tail and brake lights, indicators. A head high brake light is a good idea in traffic, helps prevent rear-enders.

    That's about all I can think of, but I'm sure there's more obvious things you'd want to include on a safe long distance driver. I'm sure you can drive an internationally registered car in Australia on an international licence. But I do remember several years ago a couple of blokes brought their US old style Harley choppers downunder, and wanted to ride around Oz. They got as far as South Australia without a hiccup, then the local authorities wouldn't let them ride in the state with the extended front forks.

    Make some phone calls to your local Australian embassy etc.

    Oh, and beware of our beer, it's got a kick to it!

    Cheers, Glen.

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