In summary, the Nissan Skyline GT-R is prohibited from being imported into the US since it does not adhere to the 1988 Imported Vehicle Safety Compliance Act. The Skyline was not designed with the necessary safety elements to abide by the applicable traffic safety regulations.
A vehicle is exempt from these rules once it reaches the age of 25, at which point it is allowed to be imported and used on American roads.
With California being likely the most noteworthy exception in terms of particular states where you would have difficulties importing due to tougher emissions control legislation, this means that vehicles like the R32 GTR (the original “Godzilla”) can be imported into the USA.
By 2024, you should be able to start importing the R34 GTR. The oldest versions of the R33 GTR are also starting to become legal for import and compliance (provided there are no additional changes to legislation by then, or further tightening of emissions and environmental rules which is always a risk in the current climate).
To be on the safe side, there are no laws that prevent you from importing a Nissan Skyline as a “show piece” that isn’t allowed to be driven on the road but instead sits in your garage. However, we have heard stories of people looking to buy and store Nissan Skylines with a view to registering and complying them once they turn 25 years old in the hopes of increasing value. While it is likely not a bad idea, there is always a chance that the government could modify import regulations, leaving you with a depreciating burden rather than an asset that depreciates over time. Although it’s unlikely, it’s nevertheless important to remark.
We would be interested in hearing from you if you are aware of any other legitimate ways to buy a Skyline GTR in the United States. Please comment down below!
Why is the Nissan Skyline prohibited in the US?
You can use this page to click on a specific area of this text, or scroll down to read about how to import a Nissan Skyline into the US in its entirety.
Numerous Skyline guides have already been released, and we’ve seen that there is a lot of misunderstanding regarding their present legal standing in America.
Our supporters have constantly questioned us about the situation, seeking the truth and explanation.
We’ve chosen to produce a comprehensive guide explaining all the fascinating details and responding to the all-too-common query, “Why are Nissan Skylines illegal in the US?” as a result.
Since the F&F brand surely contributed to the Skyline’s rise to become a cult icon in the US, we first brought up the matter and provided some clarity in our Paul Walker Skyline article.
The Fast and the Furious star was without a doubt one of the biggest R34 GT-R aficionados in the US and was also fortunate to have owned and driven several of them in Japan, including the illustrious Mine’s R34 GT-R.
But what if you don’t want to travel to Japan to satisfy your Godzilla craving? What’s holding you back from bringing your own in and becoming a renowned figure in your community on the track or in the streets?
We have some happy news for you! Any vehicle older than 25 years can avoid the absurd US legal system.
This implies that, except for California, where there are some additional obstacles, it is totally legal to import and own a Nissan Skyline R31 or R32 GT-R in the US at the moment.
You can also lawfully import any Nissan Skyline R33 GT-R that was registered before 1995 as of the time this page went online.
However, you’ll have to wait a bit longer if you want to import a Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R, as we’ll discuss in more detail below.
Examining the Automotive Gray Market in More Detail
Nissan did not create their Skylines with the US market in mind. The creator of the Skylines, Naganori Ito, was imitating his instructor Shinichiro Sakurai. His task was to design a vehicle that would compete favorably with Porsche in the Japan Grand Prix.
The Skylines’ literal father was this Nissan 2000 GT. It was therefore predicted that when the 2000 GT showed its teeth at the track, everybody would be looking at the 2000 GT’s offspring.
Everyone wanted one after seeing how well it worked. The gray market became relevant at this point.
The gray market first gained popularity during World War II when soldiers fell in love with European automobiles and discovered that importing and maintaining the vehicles to meet US regulations was less expensive than purchasing the automobiles in the US.
People were able to import automobiles from the 1960s to the 1980s as long as they complied with US safety regulations. Gray market importers initially performed a fantastic job of importing cars and modifying them to meet the necessary American standards.
While the majority of gray market importers were legitimate, some discovered legal loopholes and began casually breaking the rules. At that time, illicit exotic vehicles, including the Skyline, were all over the streets.
In spite of the fact that they complied with US safety and pollution regulations, this is what encouraged automakers to pressure Congress into passing the legislation that forbade the import of automobiles from the gray market.
In short, the Skyline became unlawful since it didn’t adhere to the safety standards and laws that the Motor Vehicle Safety Compliance Act of 1988 established.
It’s interesting to note that the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) gave amnesty for imported vehicles older than 25 years after the statute was passed. This means that the R32 and R33 Skylines can be lawfully imported, but not the R34 until 2024.
Why is GTR prohibited?
One of Nissan’s masterpieces is the Skyline GT-R. We shouldn’t be shocked that it has developed a cult following all over the world given its unparalleled power, handling, and design. The Skyline GT-R is regarded as one of the all-time greatest drifting vehicles and has won numerous awards.
Unfortunately, the Skyline GT-R cannot be fully appreciated in the American market. For the following reasons, the car is not certified for sale in the US:
- It’s a luxury car on the gray market with features that violate US safety and emissions regulations.
- All of the vehicles are right-hand drive. None are made to US standards.
- Although Skyline GT-R spare parts are unavailable in the US, you might look into the brand-new NISMO Heritage Parts program. As of December 1, 2017, some new GT-R parts are being marketed in Japan.
- It is faster than US police cars due to its speed.
Having said that, bringing a Skyline GT-R into the US is not absolutely difficult. (See the poster we created to celebrate the GT-R.)
What makes the Nissan Silvia forbidden?
A few weeks ago, an Ocean Springs man admitted to importing a Nissan Silvia into the country. He might receive a 20-year prison term and a $250,000 fine as his maximum punishment.
For a car that can be acquired online for less $20,000, it sounds exorbitant (Australian). a few things to think about
What is a Nissan Silvia? The Nissan Silvia range of sports vehicles from the Japanese automaker all have a similar chassis. The closest thing to a Silvia in the US is the Nissan 240sx.
Why this automobile is so unique: Its aerodynamic frame, chrome accents, and turbocharged engine are distinctive. In other words, it moves quickly. Their hoods slope downward, and they have low platforms and rounded upper bodies. The Nissan Silvia S15 has a sleek front appearance with an integrated grill and a low front bumper. One website claims that the combination of lower fog lights and the wide headlights, which slope inward from the sides, gives the driver excellent visibility in poor lighting.
Because it did not adhere to federal safety and environmental regulations and featured a right-hand steering column, like cars in England, this particular vehicle was deemed unlawful in the United States. However, some Silvia vehicles have been registered in the US after being modified to comply with US laws.
First off, only the accused (Kendall Noble) is authorized to explain why he took the risk of transporting the car to the United States. But the Nissan Silvia S15 is popular among auto fans because it excels in local drag racing (street classification), drifting events, and street racing. The S15 has won seven D1 Grand Prix titles in drifting with five different drivers (Nobuteru Taniguchi:2001; Ryuji Miki:2004; Yasuyuki Kazama:2005; Masato Kawabata:2007; Youichi Imamura:2009,2010,2011)
When did GTR become authorized in the US?
Sports car fans all over the world crave the revered R34 Nissan GT-R. Even though we are aware that it is now illegal to own one in the US until at least 2024, when the first R34s will be permitted for import under the 25 Year Rule, aficionados continue to hunt for ways around the law. Any day of the week, it’s especially alluring to purchase one in Canada, which is just across the border.
Can an R34, however, be imported lawfully? Are R34s permissible in the United States? Why was it never sold here to begin with? Would you mind driving one over?
In addition, the solutions are applicable to practically any vehicle that is less than 25 years old and was never purchased brand-new in the US.
Why wasn’t the R32 allowed to race?
In 1993, the technology was outlawed. The R32 Skyline GT-R was unstoppable in Australian touring car racing because to its turbocharged straight-six engine and ingenious all-wheel-drive system. Because of the governing body’s disapproval, turbocharging and all-wheel drive were prohibited, putting an end to the Skyline GT-two-year R’s reign.
Why are Dodge Vipers illegal?
Although there are theories and claims circulating that the Dodge Viper might return in the future, the American supercar is actually about to cease production. We now fully understand why. According to a recent Motor Trend story, the Viper doesn’t comply with the new standards for occupant-ejection airbags. A government safety standard intended to prevent occupant ejection is not being met by the car. Simply said, the Viper’s lack of side-curtain airbags will make it illegal to sell it starting in 2017.
The Viper’s already poor headroom must be reduced in order to accommodate side-curtain airbags, claims Motor Trend. Therefore, the Viper won’t be able to be marketed legally by 2017 since it won’t comply with the federal regulation FMVSS 226—”Ejection Mitigation.” FMVSS 226 was introduced in 2011 with the goal of preventing passengers from being flung from the car during rollover or side-impact collisions. The Viper lacks the larger side-curtain airbags that assist block the car’s window needed to comply with this requirement. Only 75% of automobiles produced between September 2015 and September 2016 must adhere to the standard, and automakers were given time to add “ejection mitigation” technologies.
FMVSS 226 must be met by automobiles created after August 31, 2016, nonetheless. Even though there’s a potential the Viper will return in the future, the car will need to be significantly altered to satisfy these safety requirements and boost sales. Only 676 Viper vehicles were sold in total in the US in 2015, an 11% decline from 2014. It’s unfortunate to see the Viper fail due to a comparatively easy remedy, even though it may not be the best supercar on the road.