PSA: Watch This Video To Remind You Why You Need To Be Sure Your Skyline Is Legal

This video is making the rounds of the internet today but I thought I'd repost it here since it's fully relevant to our subject matter here.

Quick background: The DOT seized this R33 GTS-T because it was subject to VIN fraud and illegal importation. The first owner got it titled in (where else?) Florida as a 240SX which any import fan with half a brain can clearly see it isn't (the lack of an LS swap and "Drift King" decals give it away). Then the next owner bought it later on without knowing and registered it as a Skyline R33 in his home state, insured it as such, then had an accident. The insurance adjuster found the VIN tampering when the owner filed a claim and the Feds were notified, seized the car, and now we end up with 3000ish pounds of swiss cheese. Sadface.

UPDATE (1/24/16): Jalopnik reported earlier this week that the owner of this R33 actually knew he was buying an illegal car - even signing a paper from the dealership that sold it to him confirming he was informed. He supposedly told Jalopnik that he bought it anyway because he never thought the Feds would come after him. Unfortunately as the video proves he thought wrong. This further stresses that buying a black-market Skyline is no joke and the authorities will come after you if they find out.

The VIN tampering part is critical because without it the Feds would have probably resold it at auction to be exported or (highly unlikely, but possibly) even given the owner the chance to resell it to an overseas buyer like with other illegally imported Skylines before.


So as not to end this post on a downer, I offer you this video feature from EVO magazine on the uber-rare Nismo 400R :)


  1. Just another casualty of Mercedes-Benz and their lobbying efforts of the late 1980's. This is what happens when you have a government that is ruled by corporations!

    I could complain all day, but hey, the 25 year rule is better than nothing. Wish we could get it knocked down to 15 like Canada. Or heck, I'd be happy with 20 so we can get the R33 now. Can we all get another White House petition going???

    1. Yeah, we should be thankful the government at least lets us bring in foreign cars even if we have to wait 25 years but it still totally sucks that it has to be such a long interval. I understand why Mercedes pushed for it but why they had to make it 25 years I will never get - 15 years like Canada would have met their aims and still allowed enthusiasts to get cars imported in a reasonable interval.

      Heck, even 10 would have been fine. Who would cross-shop a 10-year old foreign market Mercedes with a brand new one?

    2. 25 years is overkill for sure. 15 years like Canada seems to be the most reasonable. Besides, not one import enthusiast is going to ever be in the market for a brand new German car...

      I wish we could find a way to take political action. Petitioning to the White House and hoping for 100,000 signatures is the only thing I can think of, but even if it does then that won't guarantee that any changes will be done.

    3. Someone tried a petition before but it didn't get the needed signatures. Maybe now it might stand a better chance since people are hopefully more aware of the possibilities with importing their JDM dream car.

      Maybe if we're lucky our next president will be a car nut and throw us a bone lol.


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