Legally importing in a Nissan Skyline from Japan has always been tricky. There was a time when companies claimed to specialize in the process of importing Skylines, and while it was legal in some states, it was mostly done improperly.
Case in point is this R33 Nissan Skyline GT-R that once starred in the movie Fast and the Furious. Owner Justin Breno possessed two GT-Rs in the state of Wisconsin, that has a law preventing the ownership of a vehicle that doesn’t have a valid VIN. When the Skylines were imported several years ago, the DMV at the time couldn’t handle registration correctly, revoking the title of both of Breno’s Skylines.
So Breno decided to post both of them for sale, and that’s when things got ugly for him. An investigator with the DOT spotted them and contacted Breno with an interest in ‘purchasing’ them. Unfortunately, all the investigator was interested in was how Breno was planning on selling the vehicles and what he planned on doing to get rid of them.
Breno responded to the investigator telling him that the vehicle could be registered in the state of Florida and the title could then be transferred back to Wisconsin, but state officials in Wisconsin weren’t too happy about “thinking outside the box” in order to keep the car legally in the state. Even though that wasn’t Breno’s intention – he was just trying to give a potential buyer an idea on how to keep it legal in Wisconsin – the state charged him with felony counts of conspiracy to commit fraud and possessing vehicles without a valid VIN.
Breno was suddenly facing felony jail time, but instead of going to jail he handed over both vehicles to the state as part of a plea bargain. Breno even tried to work with the state to have them auctioned off for charity but that failed since Wisconsin couldn’t determine where the car could be legally exported.
Now the ‘Big Bird’ Skyline GT-R is scheduled to be crushed on May 30th, 2012 and an enthusiast is trying to do his best to stop it. He’s hoping at the very least, the car could be sold for export only. There probably isn’t much of a chance he can succeed, but he has raised over $2,000 towards his $5,000 for legal defense. It’s just a shame that laws that hardly impact society are getting in the way of keeping an iconic car in America – even if it was just used for display purposes only.
[Source: Inside Line]