A startrescue.co.uk story...

America has some big fans of Britain’s classic Mini Cooper – but US Customs isn't one of them.

One such Mini was recently scrapped by authorities in Plumsted, New Jersey, after it was shipped from the UK to a US buyer.

Classic Minis such as the one seized do not meet US safety or emissions standards and are therefore destroyed when or if they are discovered by customs officials.

Cars more than 25 years old are exempt from the USA's strict safety and emissions laws.

Classic Minis are highly sought after in the US and can often fetch more than $20,000 (£12,750). That's despite the difficulty owners have in getting spare parts – not to mention the challenges facing US breakdown cover providers if they have to deal with such strange British engineering!

An initiative called Operation Atlantic was set up by the UK and US governments with a view to stopping the trade in such cars between the two countries.

The Mini was shipped to Newark seaport from the UK where it was seized by US authorities. NJ.com reported that the Mini was probably built in 2000 but had its Vehicle Identification Number altered so it seemed as if it was built in 1988 – which would make the car exempt from US safety and emissions rules.

Speaking to Yahoo, Nancy Lewis, associate administrator at the U.S. Department of Transportation, said: "Foreign sellers were defrauding American consumers who thought they were purchasing a vintage car, when in fact they were purchasing a potentially unsafe car."