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Rare Cizeta V16 sports car, worth $700,000, seized by federal agents in Orange County

Fancy car

A  $700,000 Italian sports car that originally was brought into the United States in 2001 for maintenance was seized today in Orange County as part of a federal investigation into violations of environmental and transportation safety regulations.

Agents with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement found the 1994 Cizeta V16 sports car at the Family Classic Cars showroom in San Juan Capistrano, eight years after an agreement specified that the car would be sent back to where it came following repairs.

The car is one of fewer than a dozen such vehicles produced by automotive engineer Claudio Zampoli in a joint venture with music composer Giorgio Moroder, said Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Virginia Kice.

The government alleges that Zampoli and his agent violated U.S. customs and environmental laws, Kice said They allegedly claimed the vehicle was worth $125,000, even though the car originally sold new for approximately $600,000.

In addition, Zampoli and his representative failed to export the vehicle within a reasonable period of time, according to the allegation.

“Make no mistake, the illegal importation of gray market vehicles like this is not just a technical violation,” said Miguel Unzueta, special agent in charge for the customs agency's Office of Investigations in Los Angeles. “Cars that don’t meet U.S. standards are outlawed for a reason.  These vehicles can pose a real threat to public health and safety.”

The car was loaded onto a flatbed truck and taken to a secure government storage facility, Kice said.

The Cizeta will remain in storage while authorities seek to have it forfeited to the federal government.   If the vehicle is forfeited, it will be offered for sale at a public auction.  Since the vehicle does not meet U.S. environmental and safety standards, any domestic buyer would have to export the car following its purchase.

-- Andrew Blankstein

Photo: ICE

Comments () | Archives (35)

Obama retarts..."yes we can!"

Thats fucked. Like the Joe Gish guy below me said:

"The only reason the Feds swooped in to seize this valuable asset is because they can make a buck off of it."

Is this what our Govt. is resorting to? Theft? This crap will continue to get worse unless the people stand up for themselves. Its worse that most people know...

This car is complex if it takes a few years to repair thats what it takes , It take a year to overhall a Lamborghini. But ICE wouldnt know that would they? On top of that the US Gov tryed to take this car before but a US Judge Ruled and gave it back to the his shop which when in the hands of our US Goverment was damaged the car and repairs had to be made all over again. Now here comes the US goverment again damaging it a second time. I wounder if these guys a supid or are they picking on the guy. I think with storage fees and court cost the taxe payers will only lose $1.7 million on this screw up. I know our roads will be safer All those home made KIT CARS and RAT RODS are built much SAFER!

The Trust Is It isnt More Unhealthy to California Roads as a Tractor Trailer.
They did it because if you know it has the engines mounted 90 degrees
Watch the Movie the Thirty Nine Steps by Hitchcock! The Ending Explains the reason they took it
So what if the car is here and is in a show room; its not harming anyone
Government should stay out of the lives of people.
I do agree he may have broken an agreement which he must follow through on.
Sell it to an american to be driven on the American Roads!!!

Laughable... meanwhile murdering Mexican gangs running wild a couple miles away... but what you expect from their Chief Nepalitano who turned Arizona into a 3rd world banana republic

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Orange County California find and seize an illegal car, but they seemed to have missed all the illegal Mexicans.

The car has to go, but the Mexicans can stay.

What a waste. 7 of these cars were built, and they tell me that it is evviromentally harmfull? And they can sieze this when it is Ok for corporations to dump toxic crap all over the place? Leave this car alone- it won't hurt anybody. A fricken dodge ram is more dangerous than this. That, and just so you know folks, this is not a ripped off lambo. it came before the Diablo, but it was over shadowed since lambo had more "heritage". Leave supercars alone. They are too low volume to hurt the enviroment any more than Humongous pick-up trucks and suvs that the most work they'll ever do is go to the mall. We need more auto enthusiasts in government. That, and ones that use their heads instead off their rule books. Like this. Ford had to stop making the GT in 2006 or 2007 because their headlights were 1 quarter inch too low and did not comply with regulations blah blah blah. The fact that it could brake, corner, and drive better than 99.999 % of cars on the road meant nothing to them.

I too have been raped by our beautiful government. I was found guilty of a crime but it was not worth the stealing of my car. A state cop took me out of it for a state charge and then asked the DEA to come seize it. Like the nice man the government is, he obliged the cop. I have searched for the car but cannot find it in no public auction database (the place you are supposed to look to see all the new toys the FEDS have bullied us out of) so I figure now a Greensboro North Carolina cop from the UNCG department is riding around in my 1974 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible. Hey, it was what I deserved. Our government is never wrong.

So much for American Dream. ~_~

Put that on the list for "Most Outrageous Laws Ever Implanted".

With regards to:
"Growing up as a kid who plastered every square inch of my bedroom with Lamborghinis , I can assure anyone looking at this car understands nothing but a trumped up Lambo that was "supped" up and made it look ridiculous at a lot of dumb investors expenses."

Actually, it's the other way around.

Marcello Gandini designed this car as one of the concepts for the Diablo, but when he showed the design to Lamborghini, they turned around and modified it left and right.

Gandini didn't appreciate this and understandably sold the design to Cizeta instead, seeing as they had plans to proceed with the design unmodified.

So if either the V16T or the Diablo is original and the other trumped up, the V16T would certainly be the former.

Comments welcome.

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