According to reports by auto manufacturers, U.S. customs will now ensure that all European hatchbacks entering at American ports will be equipped with ‘necessary’ plastic cladding and a 3″ lift. Customs says this measure is not meant to upset enthusiasts, but to, “Ensure the survival of hatchbacks entering the United States”.
We visited Port Elizabeth in New Jersey to get the news first hand from the dock staff. We arrived on a rainy day to see several port employees wandering about imported vehicles, checking for their ‘Passports’.
“All we’re saying is, that Citroen Cactus better be a Jeep Cherokee by the time we see it, capiche?”
The man looked off into the distance and did a double take. “Oh! What the fuck is this? It’s an Impreza!”
We followed him over to the Subaru wrapped in plastic. He removed some of the covering with a box cutter.
“Look at this shit! What is Subaru thinkin’? Sending this boy over here without his papers.”
The man’s boss then approached and corrected him.
“Paulie! Moron, that’s a Crosstrek.”
Paulie looked at his boss, and then back at the Subaru, confused.
“Whats the difference between this and the Impreza? Fuckin’ looks like an Impreza to me.”
His boss slipped his hand between the tire and the top of the wheel well.
“You can fit your fucking head in here Paulie.”
He removed more of the vehicles wrapper to reveal black plastic cladding around the wheel arches.
“That’s the only difference Paulie. Get your head screwed on right, will ya’?”
Paulie raised both his hands in a surrendering gesture.
“I had no fuckin’ idea. Sorry boss.”
The man walked away as Paulie lit a cigarette and continued to speak with us. He gestured with his cigarette as he spoke.
“You see were not trying to leave anybody out in the cold here. We just want these hatchbacks to survive. If that means a little plastic here, little extra coil spring there, so be it.”
“We’re just givin’ them a fightin’ chance is how I see it.”