What's that old saying, "the grass is always greener" is it? That notion rings especially true for enthusiasts of foreign sports cars, where great efforts are often taken to import these supremely rare performance machines. Some of the more difficult cars to import are the right-hand-drive JDM sportscars like the Mazda RX-7 and Acura NSX. Of this assortment of 90's sports car awesomeness, perhaps the most lauded and difficult to import is the RHD Nissan Skyline GT-R, but someone just figured out how.
Our friends up North at Autoblog Canada recently chronicled the adventures of Sean Morris in attempting to import not one, but two R32 Nismo GT-Rs. Morris owns www.showordisplay.com, which brings to light a loophole for vehicles older than 21 years and of "historical or technological significance." We would argue that a Nismo GT-R has both.
According to Morris's site, the Environmental Protection Agency has emissions exemptions for vehicles that are 21 years or older, while the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration exemptions extend to vehicles older than 25 years. He continually followed up with the Department of Transportation, eventually giving up, but in September of this year he received a letter from NHTSA. The letter granted him permission to import any of the 560 (500 homologation production plus 60 racing versions) of the R32 Skyline GT-R.
He found chassis #383 and #500. The former was imported and sold to a buyer in Chicago, while he took ownership of the latter. Living with a vehicle under the Show and Display rules has its limitations. The car will have to meet EPA standards as well as pass California Air Resources Board (CARB) testing if sold in California. Furthermore, a "Show or Display" car can only be driven 2,500 miles per year. Many of these JDM vehicles have passed Japan's more rigorous "Shaken" testing and the mileage limitation is a small price to pay for legally achieving this longtime goal of Morris and others with their minds set on importing a terrific crop of foreign cars.