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The federal government, under the jurisdiction of Homeland Security, started investigating the importation of grey-market Nissan Skylines, tracking down their owners and even seizing the cars.
According to import laws, only a select few R33 Skylines from 1996 to 1998 can be legally brought to U.S. shores. The rest came by an importer that failed to import cars with spectacularly disastrous results; the cars weren’t DOT-certified, failed to meet crash and emissions standards, and the importer went out of business. As a result, the owners are faced with “contraband” cars.
One such owner has two Skylines, both with extensive paperwork and one that was old enough to be exempt from vehicle importation laws. The other, however, was deemed illegal and was to be seized—but when federal agents arrived, the owner had a surprise: “I made it very clear that my intent was to retain ownership for the time being and export the vehicle from the country,” he said on a forum post, “and that I had already made arrangements for a sale to be conducted as well as export of the vehicle.”
With the sale of his illicit Skyline, the owner now seeks to challenge these convoluted import laws, many of which were changed after the owners imported their cars.
The Skyline community will not be taking this lying down, either, and have already reached out to get the Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA) involved. After all, how many people in America own Skylines—a handful? Enough to fill a Nissan Elgrand or two? Let’s hope they aren’t a strong enough threat to national stability that would get the Department of Homeland Security involved in their fight against JDM motoring.
With the R35 Nissan GT-R always in the headlines, it’s easy to forget about the previous-generation model. It’s hard to miss a car we never got, but you have to admit that the R34 GT-R is making fewer and fewer appearances on the Internet. But it’s refreshing to see that legends truly never fade and that passionate enthusiasts and shops are looking out for aspiring R34 GT-R owners, collectors and spenders.
Back in 2004, Nissan released a very limited edition run of 20 on the Z-Tune Skyline R34 GT-R. Packed with NISMO goodies, the very rare R34 GT-R also sported exclusive silver paint with a code of KY0. After all these years, spotting one of these in person is next to impossible, never mind having the opportunity to purchase one.
But that’s all about to change thanks to JAPO Motorsport. Based out of Essen, Germany, JAPO Motorsport picked themselves up a 1999 Skyline R34 GT-R and stripped it down to its bare bones for the ambitious three and a half month rebuild. The result is simply stunning; a mint condition R34 GT-R that looks identical to a limited edition vehicle and restored to perfection.
In addition to the Z-Tune components, NISMO wheels and Toyo Tires, JAPO Motorsport also freshened up the interior with leather and Alcantara, multifunctional display and a speedo that tops out at 199 mph. Under the hood though, JAPO Motorsport didn’t keep things tame. New GT RS turbos, intercooler, intake, injectors and spark plugs help boosts power output of the RB26DETT to 516-hp and 440 ft-lbs of torque. Quite a beefy increase from the factory 327-hp / 289 ft-lbs of torque and even more than the Z-Tune’s 493-hp and 398 ft-lbs.
Miscellaneous performance upgrades include an HKS clutch, ARC strut bar and StopTech brakes. The beauty is for sale for $116,960, which isn’t cheap, but for something this original it’s hard to argue with the price.
Gallery: JAPO Motorsport Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R
Official press release available after the break.
Luxury SUV get powerful 3.7-liter V6, expected to make its way into future Infiniti EX model in North America
Nissan has just announced the release of the Skyline Crossover in Japan, but it’s not what you might expect. Yes, it’s all-wheel drive, but noticeably absent are two turbochargers strapped to the vehicle’s V6 engine. That is because this is actually a Japanese version of the Infiniti EX.
The Infiniti brand name does not exist in Japan and so the EX gets a Nissan badge in the automaker’s home market. As for the Skyline name, well, it is used for the Infiniti G cars in Japan and as the EX is based on the G’s platform, the name carries over –even if it is a stretch to refer to a crossover as a Skyline.
One interesting bit of news from the unveiling is that the Skyline Crossover is powered by the 3.7-liter V6 found in the current G37. It also gets the coupe/sedan’s new seven-speed automatic gearbox. Currently the North American EX uses the older 3.5-liter V6 and five-speed automatic from the G35, but Nissan representatives said to expect the newer powertrain in the near future.
Thieves have made off with that oh so sexy Nissan GT-R from the most recent Fast & Furious film. The car was being stored, along with several other vehicles, at a facility in Sun Valley, Los Angeles. The thieves were no doubt aware that the vehicle was inside the facility when they broke through the metal door and drove off with the car, paying no attention to the other vehicles inside. The thieves did, however, damage both a Porsche Boxster and a classic Studebaker in the process.
While looking like every SpoCom fan’s wet dream, the blue R34 GT-R is actually a GT-S model that was transformed by pro driver Chris Milano over two years. Fast & Furious lead Paul Walker drove the car in the movie.
The car is estimated to be worth roughly $75,000 (” More than you can afford pal”), however, it was not insured as it was only being used for promotional purposes.
There is no word on if the police have any leads on who stole the car, but we think they should check the garage of Nicolas Cage, Mr. Gone in 60 Seconds himself. Either that, or it’s currently being chopped up and sold to other Skyline owners as “overnight parts from Japan.”