US Customs seizes 1996 Nissan Skyline GT-R in South Carolina

Someone’s JDM dreams are about to be crushed. All JDM Motors, a company specializing in imported parts from Japan, attempted to smuggle a 1996 Nissan R33 Skyline GT-R into the U.S. with a container full of various other Nissan parts. But, the plan went awry during a random search of the shipping container by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents in South Carolina, according to The Post and Courier.

The R33 Skyline GT-R was covered in bubble wrap and sat atop a mound of engines and transmissions. All JDM Motors stated the Nissan Skyline was a “used breakdown car,” but Customs agents easily turned the engine over after charging the battery. A broken down Skyline this was not.

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The wrongdoing isn’t in attempting to bring over the 1996 Skyline GT-R, but it’s the fact All JDM Motors undervalued its cargo by $ 107,000. The company declared the Skyline was worth $ 810 on shipping documents, but the feds value the running GT-R at $ 51,355 and some change. Not only the car, but the company also failed to declare a Nissan 180SX front end and 56 used transmissions. That’s a big no-no. Technically, there’s no harm in bringing a vehicle like the R33 Skyline GT-R to the U.S. Registering it and making it legal to drive is a very different story.

That’s where the good ol’ “25 year rule” comes into play. Vehicles at least 25 years old are exempt from all kinds of red tape and legalities. It’s the reason why more and more R32 Skyline GT-Rs are cropping up in America. The rule puts vehicles as new as 1992 eligible for registration here in the U.S. Come 2021, the R33 Skyline GT-R will finally be eligible, too.


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