According to an affidavit provided for the seizure warrant, the car was imported on Feb. 17, 2001, on a one-year bond to have mechanical work done. While the car was never sold in the United States, the founder and owner of Cizeta, Claudio Zampolli, lives in California. Last month, the agency learned that the Cizeta V16T was still in the country, stored in a warehouse in Fountain Valley, Calif. Operating on a tip from an investigator at the California Air Resources Board, ICE agents found the car at a classic car showroom in nearby San Juan Capistrano, where, on Monday, they seized the car.
“Make no mistake, the illegal importation of gray market vehicles like this is not just a technical violation,” Miguel Unzueta, a special agent in charge of the Los Angeles office, said in a statement. “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.”