I've been off-line during the Thanksgiving Holiday, so I'm late in
contributing to this thread, which I've found most interesting reading. I
normally don't see much PI talk on the lists, so it's a pleasure to have
such an active discussion taking place!
I'll like to put my 2-cents/2-pence worth forward.
I own a 1970 PI TR6 that was imported from Australia. At the time my car
was being brought into the States, I wasn't aware of any 25-year exemption.
At that time, all cars had to meet U.S. requirements at the time of
manufacture. In my case, I would have had to meet any U.S. regulations in
effect in 1970. Obviously my car was not up to that challenge as it was
completely broken down. Even if it was running, it would have to have
different lights, braking system, hazard lights, etc. Now, from
experience, depending upon the custom agent you are assign, importing a car
can be easy or a real hassle. The bureaucratic mentality is a most
formidable force. Anticipating such a rather unpleasant experience, I had
the "car" listed as "parts" - no title. To make the customs people feel
like they were doing thier jobs, I was importing another car - 1922 Model
T - at the same time. Not much could be checked on that one - no EPA in
22! - so it was whisked through customs.
Re the emission questions. My research has indicated the meeting pollution
requirements was not the major factor in deciding to not import PI into
America. Others have sighted valid comparison to the muscle cars produced
here during the same time being able to meet emission requirements and
testimony that mechanical injection systems are reliable, once correct set,
and do not require a lot of maintenance, especially compared to carbs. One
factor that was alluded to previously was that U.S. dealers were
shy/reluctant to accept new technology from Standard, e.g. IRS. The same
was reaction was anticipated if dealers had to deal with a new product line
(TR6) and a new engine technology (PI) at the same time. The latter would
involve large investments in new tools and training! To make the TR6 more
palatable to US dealers, carbs were chosen over PI.
My car is exempt for CA smog checks, so I've never had to go through that
drill - thank God!
The car does run rich at idle but that is expected as it uses only
mechanical advance. It leans out quite nicely once the rpms increase.
'David J. Stauffacher
1970 TR6 CP51649