Illegal imports are taken very seriously in the United States, as the importer of a Land Rover Defender recently found out.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials crushed a Defender that had been seized in April in the Port of Baltimore, as the UK off-roader doesn’t comply with American safety and emissions standards. However, the law allows for Defenders (and other gray-market cars) that are more than 25 years old to be brought to the country.
This is why some people try to smuggle cars by using fake VINs, hoping that they fool authorities into thinking that the vehicles are of legal age. Obviously, it didn’t work for those who tried to do the trick with this particular Defender.
Estimated to be worth $25,000 (€18,700) in Europe but as much as “$150,000 (€112,200) in the United States”, or at least that’s what the Baltimore Sun reported (the highest price we found on eBay for a Defender was around $70,000 for a 1993 model), the off-roader was considered “illegal and unsafe” by officials, who added that dozens of similar Defenders have been seized in recent months at ports around the country.
It’s always a shame when a perfectly good car is destroyed, so the following video will definitely sadden those who love cars, especially Land Rovers.
By Dan Mihalascu