Want A US-legal R34 GT-R RIGHT NOW? Got More Money Than God?
|Photo credits: Craig Seidel
Before I went on hiatus I discussed how there's currently only one method to bring in a fully street-legal R34 Skyline GT-R into the United States: making use of the DOT Show or Display exemption to import either a 1999 Midnight Purple 2 V-spec or a 2002 M-spec Nur. If you happened to miss those articles and want to sponge up that knowledge here are some helpful links:
More Than We Can Afford, Pal
In that first article you'll notice I talked about how Rivsu Imports was planning on bringing in at least three MP2 R34s into the country by getting them complied with Federal emissions regulations. That article was dated from July of 2016. Unfortunately, two years later Rivsu had yet to finish the importation process and instead the owners supposedly made off with money they had received for those cars as well as numerous deposits for various other JDM's still in the Land of the Rising Sun. If you missed that news about Rivsu which all went down while I was on hiatus I plan on doing a future article summarizing the demise of yet another promising Skyline importer - a story eerily similar to the Motorex fiasco of 2006.
One of the victims of the Rivsu debacle was a guy named Craig Seidel. He had talked to Rivsu about buying into the business as a partner. The arrangement was supposedly for him to loan the owners of Rivsu, Steve and Emily McCarty, $335,ooo which was to be used to refund the deposits for the three R34s. Apparently the buyers for the cars wanted their money back so Seidel would extend the loan to refund the three $100K deposits, get equal one-third ownership of Rivsu, and have the three R34s as collateral. Simples.
Except that Rivsu's finances were in tatters. Their warehouse in Florida got flooded by Hurricane Irma but rather than rebuild Rivsu went dark and untold numbers of customers who'd paid them deposits were left adrift. Word spread that the McCarty's house was up for sale and they had skipped town.
This left Seidel to pursue legal action to at least take custody of the three R34s that were stuck at JK Technologies (the registered importer doing the EPA compliance work) which he eventually did. After a considerable time the cars did finish the legalization process and were released to him late last year. And now he's selling one of them:
Before you try and sell all your earthly belongings in order to own one of only a handful of fully-legal R34 GT-Rs in the US of A, let me tell you about the catch. Or should I say, catchES - which there are more of than a deal with the devil arranged by a Scott Tucker-owned payday loan service.
|Screenshot of Craig Seidel's FB ad sent to me by a friend. Note that it incorrectly identifies the car as a V-spec II.
First is the price - a cool 275,000 greenbacks. That's dollars, boy, not yen so we're WAY beyond "More than you can afford" territory here. If you're a big-time druglord and really want another toy funded by your criminal empire I'll let you go now to negotiate your purchase. (Please don't tell Craig I sent you!)
Second is the mileage (or kilometrage, I guess, if that's even a word) which rings in at just under 264 THOUSAND. Yep, it's got 164 thousand miles under its belt. Even for a car built at the height of Nissan's engineering powers that is a LOT of miles. This baby is as fresh as your thrice-divorced Aunt Mildred.
But wait! It's got a Nismo Fine Spec motor in it so the engine is much newer! The for sale ad doesn't mention how many kilometers ago the new mill was installed but photos show there's a plate on the car dating from April of 2009 when the second run of Fine Specs was made. That was 7 whole years before the car left the land of Nippon so would you be willing to bet only a few miles were put on in that time?
In case you're wondering by the way why this Fine Spec motor is red instead of grey like the one my R32 has, it's because this one was part of the second batch made in 2009. They were painted black for R32-33 motors while R34 versions came in this eye-catching red. My Fine Spec was part of the Final Edition batch made in 2012, all of which came in that subtle gray.
And then there's the little bugaboo of the paint, which is not in as great shape as the fancy professional photos would have you believe. Additional photos show swirl marks in the paint, creases in the rear bumper that seem to indicate it's seen some action, as well as an ugly gouge in the wing.
Seidel posted in his ad that he's willing to give the buyer credit towards new paint. I hope he's willing to give a big, sweaty chunk of credit because Midnight Purple 2 paint is NOT cheap. To give you an idea, a gallon of the stuff costs a thousand dollars from a specialty paint supplier. A THOUSAND BUCKS just for one gallon of paint, before you factor in labor - which will be substantial since some of those spots will need ample prep before any painting. Once all is said and done this car will likely need ten to fifteen grand for a new paint job. The key charm point of a Midnight Purple 2 R34 is that gorgeous paint so the shabby state of it on this car really reduces its sex appeal. Sort of like that hot girl at the bar in the tight black club dress you were eyeing from behind, who turned out to have buck teeth and is named Jerome.
And maybe you've noticed the missing front splitter, which seems to have gone AWOL in the past couple of years since the car was imported.
Oh, and then there's the little matter of any potential buyer having to get permission from El Queso Supremo Senor Trump to take over ownership since it's a Show or Display car, and then have to live with the 2500 mile a year driving limit afterwards.
But if all that wasn't enough to dampen your enthusiasm for this car, then this will probably be your much-needed cold shower - in less than a year's time all the effort and expense taken to get this car to pass the EPA emissions requirement WON'T EVEN MATTER. Why? Because an imported car over 21 years old gets a free pass on that requirement. Being a 1999, this car will get that status next year so any buyer will get to revel in exclusivity for less than a year before other MP2 cars start coming into the country more easily. I know of at least three just waiting for 2020 to roll in. If you can find an MP2 V-spec in Japan right now you'd expect to pay 90 to 120 grand before import costs so that's way below what this car is asking.
TL:DR - this car is WAY overpriced for what it is and the condition it's in. As a fellow import fan I sympathize with Craig Seidel over the crappy hand he got from Rivsu but that doesn't change the fact that the price on this car is too damn high.
If your personal wealth doesn't quite reach the point where even Zeus and Odin are jelly then it's worth considering that Toprank Motorworks (formerly known as International Vehicle Importers) also have an MP2 R34 for sale at a cool $125K discount over Craig's car:
Not only does their car look like a cleaner example, Toprank is owned by Sean Morris, who pioneered Skyline importation through Show or Display with the Nismo R32, and who worked with Motorex to bring their cars in back in the day.
But if you ARE super-loaded, rolling all baller like Rama, and have 275 large just lying around that you need to launder...err, I mean, spend anyway then don't let me stop you from fulfilling your dreams of stateside R34 ownership! The ad was first posted a month ago so better hurry! More info here c/o Mark from GT-R Registry:
Stealing from Jalopnik, let me know in the comments if you think this car is Nice Price or Crack Pipe!