• Oct 3, 2009
The importation of the Nissan Skyline GT-R to the United States has been a Hollywood-sized epic spanning ten years. For a while, the only game in town was to go through Motorex for a crash-tested, USDOT and EPA-approved Godzilla. Unfortunately, the company owner let his fondness of Japanese hostess clubs take precedence over delivering cars. Since Motorex shut its doors in 2005, enthusiasts have been scouring each and every loophole in US Customs laws to keep the supplies flowing. In 2006 ,a company called Kaizo began taking orders. Their model, vastly different from Motorex's expensive methods, involved the importation of specialty-constructed Nissan Skyline GT-R bodies from Japan to be mated with customer-supplied powertrains upon delivery to the United States, thus creating a kit car (to put it simply).

Following the tradition that is the GT-R saga, Kaizo's actions have recently been called into question by pretty much every acronymed authority -- DOT, EPA, ICE, CARB, DOJ and FBI. Charges against Kaizo have yet to be filed, but along with a raid on company headquarters, various customers have been delivered letters suggesting exportation and some have even lost their rides. To date, five R34s and one R32 GT-R have been seized by kevlar-clad armed officers. Exasperated customers have banded together in an attempt to find some salvation in this mess, and it isn't only hardcore enthusiasts left out in the cold by the scandal either. Recently, rather high-profile operation utilized Kaizo resources to create a valuable franchise, and if the drama keeps up at this rate, perhaps the Nissan Skyline GT-R story could be their next project.

[Source: GTR USA Blog]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 76 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Still one of the most beautiful cars ever created.
      • 5 Years Ago
      FBI? really guys, REALLY?
      JDM Life
      • 5 Years Ago
      Are they serious....


      Im sure there a killer or rapist on the lose somewhere.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Its stupid... whats the problem with them... so there right hand drive, but they are safe there... so wouldnt that mean they are safer here with our crash test regulations... not 3 months ago, i saw a r32 skyline at a drift event, in the parking lot. and a 19 year old was driving it, it sounded like an rb engine, so if that onel slipped why is a big problem now...
        • 5 Years Ago
        daleam, you sir are a douche and that is all that matters. You aren't even worth my time explaining to you why I completely disagree. You also have a stupid name.
        • 5 Years Ago
        When a car is US spec at the time it is built, it is grandfathered in as legal regardless of how the laws are changed later. When a car is brought to the US from another country it must be brought up to the current US specs. That is the law and that is all that matters.
        • 5 Years Ago
        and I might be slightly sorry I called you a douche, I apologize, i'm sure you aren't one. There has to be some respect I suppose.... and NOW I'm done.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Daleam, im not saying throw out our standards, or other countries standards, i just dont see the point... as i understand, japan has a higer safety limit then we do cause they dont have big trucks/ suv's like we do, so if its safe there why isnt it safe here... also, the car isn't exactly a mini, its a midsize sports car, to stay light for the four wheel drive, and possible 4 wheel steer, its not like its the size of a microwave...
        • 5 Years Ago
        and another thing! People like you make me so angry! You follow rules just because they are there. NO, that's not it, you SUPPORT them just because they are there! You don't take the time to think about whether or not it's right or should even be there, you just do it cause someone says so! You don't think that we should have the freedom to make our own decisions, at least not in the little "insignificant" things! Well to me every single freedom I DON'T have is significant and I don't appreciate crappy importation laws that my sucky wonderful government hasn't GIVEN me the right or ability to change or fight! We have the big ones, freedom of speech and all, but what about the small ones? Huh? The only reason those importation laws exist is because of MONEY and that is why I HATE THEM! FRICK!@ .... ok, I feel better now, I'm sure you are a nice guy, so I'm sorry.
        • 5 Years Ago
        spacegravity4me, I think it's nap time. Give mommy back the computer...
        • 5 Years Ago
        Irrelevant. If the car doesn't meet our federal standards it isn't legal. Are we supposed to throw out our standards? Do you think other countries would or should throw out theirs?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Every few years some federal standard or another gets bumped up. Should we round up all cars that don't meet the new standard? People who build their own custom or kit cars often do not meet every single new federal safety reg, should we tell people they can only buy brand new cookie-cutter cars?

        Seriously, so what? As long as it meets the basics (lights, mirrors, seat belts, emissions) let the guy drive it! If you want the latest in safety and nanny assistance, then buy a new US market car. If you want something more and are aware (or made aware) that you may be down a few airbags compared to the guy next door I see no harm in it.

        The only issue I see with these cars is that the Japanese drive on the left, so their headlight pattern often has a 'kick up' on the left to better illuminate road signs. On US roads, this would cause a great amount of glare to oncoming drivers, almost like having the brights on.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Here in Canada we can import any car that is at least 15 years old, so there are many R32 GTR in the streets!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Illegal aliens of a different kind!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I still don't get how a 1996 R33 is legal, but a 1995 or 1997 isn't
        • 5 Years Ago
        a power bump that year, or equipment change may have pushed it over the edge from clean to illegal, etc
        • 5 Years Ago
        From what I understand the last company to actually legally import them obtained crash data by crashing an R33 and making it legal then as that was the only hold up.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Modified Nissan Skyline Photo Galleries: http://www.madwhips.com/skyline/
      • 5 Years Ago
      If it's marketed as Kit, a person should be able to purchase the body & frame from any body or any place out there. Engine and drive train is up to the purchaser. Lot's of Kit Car manufacturer's currently doing business using this method. Body kits are coming in from England, Italy and Austrailia every day. Stop releasing the hounds every time something new shows up.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The problem is that Nissan, nor this fellow running this operation, paid Uncle Sam the requisite massive extortion fees to "legalize" these cars. That's big bucks there. Millions.

      You know, that body style is still very attractive... Nissan should just bring it to the US on a G37/Z370 chassis. Make sure it passes crash testing (easy, since it would be using existing, legal cars' guts) and emissions (also easy, for the same reason), and we have a Skyline in the US. I'd bet it'd sell well to non-enthusiasts who recognize it from the Gay and the Transvestite movie that came out earlier this year.

      Of course, I have no idea on the costs to do so, but they don't need any styling work done, and 90% of the engineering can be parts-binned out of the G37/Z370 box. So no more than a minimal investment. Offer it in sedan as well as coupe form, and as a Nissan, so it doesn't compete with the Z and so it has more mainstream appeal. Gotta keep prices low though, or it'll compete vs the G37.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Further proof that there should be global emissions and safety standards to eliminate this BS.
      • 5 Years Ago
      My dream car.
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