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Is a Pagani Zonda street legal in the US?

I get asked fairly often about the legality of owning some very rare cars in the United States. One that comes up most often is the Pagani Zonda. The Zonda is a very rare supercar made in Italy that was released in 1999 and built until 2011. The car has come in several versions – the C12, C12 S, F, Roadster, Club Sport, R, Cinque, and a few special editions. They have used different versions of a 7.3 liter V12 sourced from Mercedes. Between 200-300 of the cars were produced in total.

The cars are absolutely spectacular. The craftsmanship, the materials, and the design are absolutely phenomenal. They are very usable and have been extremely reliable for most owners.

The answer to the question is really no. You cannot legally drive a Pagani Zonda in the US. There are several (approximately 10) in the US that get driven periodically. Most are here under “Show and Display” titles granted by the EPA and DOT. This permits them to be driven up to 2,500 miles per year. They cannot be sold in the US with a Show and Display title. Recently, a silver C12 was sold out of a collection in the Northeast but it had to be exported after the sale. You can own the cars here but driving them is limited. The only other options would be to get it titled as a self constructed vehicle in California under the SEMA law, drive it on a dealer plate, or swap the VIN from another car. None of those methods are technically legal but those are the methods that have been used. Show and Display is your best bet.

The replacement car is called the Huayra and it is fully legal for sale in the US. The coupes are now all sold out but they are taking orders for the roadsters. There will always be something special about the Zonda, though. Brilliant car.

Tomorrow, we will talk about another elusive hypercar – the mighty Koenigsegg. Can you get a Koenigsegg into the US? 

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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Pingback: Is a Pagani Zonda street legal in the US? | Ed Bolian | Total GT

  2. Nick

    June 12, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    Hmmm… Are you sure the Huayra will be legal? It was banned for use in the US because of some safety precautions. but I don’t think they ever changed it….

    • Ed

      June 19, 2012 at 10:58 am

      Yes. There are several dealers with pre-sold cars. Deliveries should start soon.

  3. Tayden

    July 23, 2012 at 1:08 am

    Can I buy a Zonda in Europe and bring it to Canada and drive it legally??? What zonda cars are legal to drive on the streets???? Please I really Wanna know!!!!!

    • Ed

      August 7, 2012 at 2:03 pm

      The laws in Canada are different than the US. I am not sure if you have anything comparable to Show and Display but it should be possible. It might be easier to get it titled in the US and taken into Canada.

      • Willets

        July 17, 2015 at 11:49 pm

        Can you legally drive a replica Pagani Zonda in the United States?

        • Ed Bolian

          July 19, 2015 at 2:27 pm

          Yes. Replica cars are either titled as self constructed vehicles or as the donor car that the vehicle is built on.

  4. Tyler

    August 31, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    How many Zonda F’s where made?

  5. Matthew Adams

    September 8, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    I really feel that this is kind of silly. If the Zonda was good enough to pass the EU certification (the EU has more stringent safety/emissions requirements than the U.S.), than it should be legal here too. Especially when you consider that there would be all of 50 or so in the entire U.S.

    BTW, I think the Zonda is one of the ugliest cars I’ve ever seen, the quad tailpipes are particularly nasty. The new Pagani is OK, except for, again, the tailpipes.

  6. Cam

    April 2, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    Do they put a black box in your car or is it checked yearly?

    • admin

      April 3, 2013 at 4:47 pm

      Pretty much just an honor system

      • Ivan Akinfiev

        July 19, 2014 at 6:16 am

        What do you mean by honour system? If I wanted to get the british ‘GB’ Porsche 911 2014 edition of which there are… if memory serves me right 150, and import it into the US; could I use it as a car that I could drive daily to pick up open-minded women? I know that the FBI can check, but you as admin – I assume you own a Show or Display car. Do you have any connections that could help get a car approved? Could you please contact me at my email (AkinfievIvan@gmail.com) or call me at +447831369310? Thanks

  7. Richard

    April 8, 2013 at 4:45 am

    Do you know why it isn’t legal to drive in the U.S. like what regulations it fails? Also, would it be possible to say have it licensed in like Canada and then driven into the U.S. so that you don’t really have to go through DOT and EPA if the Canadian regulations are like Europes which allow Zondas to drive around freely?

    • Michael

      October 19, 2015 at 5:43 pm

      I can’t remember exactly, but I think that when the Zonda was created, they didn’t ever do a crash safety test in the USA, so thus it was never fully legal in the states. Don’t quote me on this, but I am pretty sure I read this somewhere.

      -Michael

  8. dylan

    August 12, 2015 at 5:24 am

    wheres is the pagani zonda legal

    • Ed Bolian

      August 13, 2015 at 10:57 am

      Pretty much all of Europe and the Middle East.

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