Rule Keeping Cool Cars out of US Just Killed a Land Rover

George Kennedy

A perfectly good Land Rover Defender was destroyed, to the horror of off-road enthusiasts everywhere, when it was deemed illegal by US customs agents. Currently, for a car not sold in America to be imported (aka “gray market”), it needs to be older than 25 years. Documents suggested that the car was 25 years old, but was determined to be newer.

The report from the Baltimore Sun also states that the Land Rover, which was seized at the Port of Baltimore earlier this year, did not meet safety requirements, as it did not have airbags. We should take a moment to point out that people know what they are getting into when they purchase a Defender- it is a bare-bones, go-anywhere SUV– probably one of the few vehicles on the planet that can get more places than a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon.

01-Land Rover

They don’t go that fast, and are among the most coveted 4×4’s in the world– especially in America. While the Defender sells for $25,000 overseas, one can sell for as much as $150,000 in the US. There are plenty of other Europe-only vehicles that get turned away- or destroyed. Oh, and they are using Homeland Security Funds to carry out the automotive carnage.

So, just to be clear, you paid to have a perfectly good (and useful) Land Rover destroyed. A petition recently failed that would lower the age of a gray market car to 15 years to be allowed in the US. How do you feel about your tax dollars being used to carry this out, and would you favor the 15 year petition? Tell us in the comments below.

PHOTOS: See more of the 2012 Land Rover Defender