So you want to buy a Skyline in the US....

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AZhitman
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Re: So you want to buy a Skyline in the US....

Postby AZhitman » Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:27 pm

GTRPower wrote:That's as valid as a Camaro vs Corvette comparo. It may be just as quick with some mods but it is no Corvette.
Not sure why that matters, but ok. The track doesn't care.
GTRPower wrote:Outperforming a GT-R does not make it better. A GT-R can outperform a Ferrari 360 but that doesn't make it better either. Performance is just one measure of a car.
Sure. There's always "street-cred" and the "chick magnet" effect - Neither of which carry any weight with me. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I'm a big fan of seeing a home-built, reliable, uncommon chassis that's well-engineered enough to spank so-called "supercars". Again, eye of the beholder.

Let's not mistake my presentation of an alternate viewpoint as "Godzilla-bashing." I've been doing this long enough to know better - as have you.
GTRPower wrote:Will that happen here? Maybe,
Already has. Cars like yours and Sean's and Vandrel's and Rex's are the exception, not the norm. They're exceptionally nice, and the price reflects that.

You made my point perfectly - Most (statistically-speaking) of the grey-market cars coming into the US are tired and worn - whether through Canada or ports in FL - requiring expensive parts sourced from Japan to be made "right". No disagreement there.
GTRPower wrote:I personally hope the F&F craze is passé and the children buy some used BRZ/FT86 or Scion things.
I don't share your dismissive attitude, nor your characterization of these enthusiasts as "children". We all started somewhere. I'm just glad my peers were supportive of my early endeavors.

Speaking of the BRZ/FR-S, those cars are capable performers, and for the $50K+ price of admission to the R34 game, someone could build a Toyobaru twin that just might surprise an unsuspecting GTR owner.


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Re: So you want to buy a Skyline in the US....

Postby Tofubadguy » Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:46 am

AZhitman wrote: Speaking of the BRZ/FR-S, those cars are capable performers, and for the $50K+ price of admission to the R34 game, someone could build a Toyobaru twin that just might surprise an unsuspecting GTR owner.
We'll find out soon to some extent too. This years "Modified Magazine Tuner Shootout" at Firebird on March 16th will be showcasing 3 FRS/BRZ entrants out of the 15 cars; JDL Auto Design turbo FR-S, Crawford Performance turbo BRZ, and Innovate Motorsports supercharged FR-S.

Among the teams there will also be Full Race's AWD RB26 R14, as well as my RB25 powered RHD S13 Silvia, an E36 M3, a WRX, a couple EVOs, some Civics, two Mazdas, and a V8 powered Starion! From what I've seen, the FRS/BRZ platform isn't a slouch... just pricey as you pretty much have to go buy a new car as of now to play that game.

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Re: So you want to buy a Skyline in the US....

Postby AZhitman » Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:35 pm

Eager to see how it goes. We'll be pulling for you!

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Re: So you want to buy a Skyline in the US....

Postby Lnkysean » Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:14 pm

I've been doing my research for a few months now so I think I have a decent idea of how to import a Skyline. I have my little heart set on an R34, which won't be legal to import until at least 2024 if I plan on waiting for the 25 year import exemption. I don't really want to wait that long so I was looking at the Show or Display exemption.

According to the NHTSA three variations of R34 can be imported under the S&D exemption; the 1999 GTR R34 V-Spec, the 1999 GT-T and the 2001 25GT-T. I've found a 1999 GT-T in New Zealand for a reasonable price and I had some questions that I was hoping someone could help clear up the details. It's my understanding that you need to apply with the NHTSA in writing BEFORE you import the car and you need to be able to show a reason why the car is either Historic or Technologically important. Any idea what would qualify the GT-T as historic or technologically important? Do I even need to prove this if the car is already listed as “previously determined eligible”? Also, does the car need to be imported from Japan since it was originally from there? Like I said I found the car in New Zealand currently.

Also, since the car was made less than 21 years ago it doesn't qualify for the EPA exemption and won’t until at least 2020. I do plan on driving the car on the highway so it’ll need to pass emissions in New Jersey. Does anyone know if the GT-T will pass? If not what would need to be done (and the cost) to bring it up to code?

Lastly; how do you go about insuring an S&D car? I would call my insurance company but they are closed for the day and I’m not sure they’ll even offer coverage.

I’d appreciate any other tips or advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Re: So you want to buy a Skyline in the US....

Postby AZhitman » Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:30 pm

All these topics are answered in this thread.

Won't pass emissions in NJ, because it has no emissions equipment. It's also not OBD2, so there's an issue.

Insurance? You'll have to be dishonest to a certain degree, because in applying, you certify that the car is i compliance with FVMSS at the time of manufacture - it's not. Some specialty companies might cover it under S&D (Hagerty), but it's a stretch.

People will prattle on and on about "I have full coverage on my GT-R." Yeah. And as an Auditor / Investigator, if I read your contract, I can punch numerous holes in the coverage, all of which absolve the insurance company from giving you one thin dime.

Sean can speak much more to the S&D exemption, but it's not a task for amateurs.

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Re: So you want to buy a Skyline in the US....

Postby Lnkysean » Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:07 pm

AZhitman wrote:All these topics are answered in this thread.
Some specialty companies might cover it under S&D (Hagerty), but it's a stretch.

Sean can speak much more to the S&D exemption, but it's not a task for amateurs.
Ok, so I just (over the last 6 hours) read this entire thread... all 32 pages. My eyes are bleeding but yeah, I've found most of the answers I was looking for. I'm going to look into Hagerty and a few others tomorrow before work, just to see what they have to say.

I think the best bet for getting a Skyline is either waiting for the 25 year exemption or under the S&D exemption. It'll be a lot of work and a lot of cash but as the saying goes "you gotta pay to play".

I also may have come up with a loophole,I'm sure it's a stupid idea but I figured I'd put this out there... feel free to mock me for this:

What if you got a Skyline shell and put in a non-skyline motor? Say a smallblock chevy crate motor... sure it wouldn't be the same and would probably require a fair bit of fabrication but wouldn't that qualify the car as a kit-car? I figure that way you'd still get to drive your skyline around. On it's 25th birthday you can bring over and install a skyline motor.

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Re: So you want to buy a Skyline in the US....

Postby AZhitman » Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:12 pm

That's been addressed too. Quick answer - By definition, a "kit car" can not have been mass-manufactured.

Not a stupid idea, but it's been brought up a ton of times... again, an expensive proposition.

If a drivetrain swap qualified a car as a "kit car", my RB-swapped '72 Z would be one. :)

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Re: So you want to buy a Skyline in the US....

Postby Lnkysean » Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:03 pm

Ahh that makes sense. I didn't think a crate motor/trans would count as a drive train swap. I always assumed a swap was coming from a mass produced car into a different mass produced swap. I don't really get what makes a kit car a kit car and not just a modified car... I mean, the kits are mass produced and you put it together. Isn't that the same as buying a mass produced body without a motor and putting in a motor?

*shrug* oh well, I guess tons of paper work and money are the only way to go.

Last question, and I'm pretty sure I read this but there was so much info in the last 32 pages that I'm sure some of it got mixed up in my head. If you manage to get a car over under the Show and Display exemption then once the car turns 25 you can re-register it and bypass the 2500 mile a year restrictions correct?

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Re: So you want to buy a Skyline in the US....

Postby AZhitman » Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:13 pm

A "kit car" has to have an MSO. Also, by definition, a kit car frame has to be brand new.

A Skyline isn't a kit car, no matter how much you strip it down.

No one cares where the drivetrain came from - a crate, a wrecked car, or piece-by-piece from the Summit catalog... it's still a drivetrain from another car.

I've said this 100 times... If it were that simple, don'tcha think I'd own three? :)

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Re: So you want to buy a Skyline in the US....

Postby Lnkysean » Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:07 pm

Thanks for the help Hitman, apperciate it.

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Re: So you want to buy a Skyline in the US....

Postby AZhitman » Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:38 pm

Not sure how much help I am, but I tend to err on the side of caution. The real experts are the rest of the guys in this thread who have been through the process.

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Re: So you want to buy a Skyline in the US....

Postby MetalGearKyle » Fri Mar 08, 2013 11:15 am

so, and this is in theory mind you, what if anything stops me from going to japan:
1. buying a skyline, preferably an r32, completely disassembling it down to the bare unibody.
2. taking every measurements on it and getting exact specifications.
3. selling it or the parts whatever
4. returning to america
5. building (from nothing as a totally brand new part) unibody, then either acquiring or making skyline specific parts (a cad machine could probably make an rb26)
6. having an r32 "kit car" that i made myself using nothing more then Nissan "blueprints"
why didn't kaizo just do this or atleast say they were in the first place, i mean the cars were stripped in japan right? remove any vin tags or numbers, then put your own companys tags on once it cleared customs. i know thats not how factory5 does it with their kit cars but why wouldn't that be legal (i know it wouldn't be but proving thats what happened is another thing.)

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Re: So you want to buy a Skyline in the US....

Postby AZhitman » Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:26 pm

Because it would take a decade and more money than it would be worth. Stamping steel or aluminum panels? Kind of a special process, and the end result is still a car that'll get waxed by a $20k C5.

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Re: So you want to buy a Skyline in the US....

Postby MetalGearKyle » Sat Mar 09, 2013 2:24 am

AZhitman wrote:Because it would take a decade and more money than it would be worth. Stamping steel or aluminum panels? Kind of a special process, and the end result is still a car that'll get waxed by a $20k C5.
while that is true who wants a c5 over a gtr, mid life crisis or godzilla? what'd you choose :chuckle: all kidding aside, next year when 89s are legal for import whats the deal on them if anyone knows yet? free market bring, em in? or will there be restrictions and safety/emissions? i don't see why there would be there isn't any of that on 25 yr old cars that are already here. to everyone making the argument "well what about rat rods they're not any one car how can they be legal" that's different, they're made predominantly with parts from cars that at one time met all nhtsa and EPA regulations and are "grandfathered" because of it. You build a 32 for kit car with a 5.3 silverado engine and a ford 9 in and who knows what else, its all good because everything's dot legal, it was to begin with, or is now exempt. which leads me to a question, when the rules open up and the 89 is okay to legally import will that be good or bad for people who want skylines? I know the r32is my favorite and id kill to have one but will they be outrageous? same price as most grey market ones are now? cheaper because alot of the hassle is gone? i also wonder if you'll be able to swap newer rbs in or if there'll be fed regulation on that. hell whats wrong with me buying an 89 now from the Canadian market and sitting on it for a year then getting the forms all in order on it to title it and drive it?

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Re: So you want to buy a Skyline in the US....

Postby MetalGearKyle » Sat Mar 09, 2013 2:28 am

sorry double post, this is so i get updates been forgetting to check the box

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Re: So you want to buy a Skyline in the US....

Postby AZhitman » Sun Mar 10, 2013 9:33 pm

MetalGearKyle wrote:while that is true who wants a c5 over a gtr, mid life crisis or godzilla?
Actually, I loved my modded C5. I'd have been more than happy to go play with an R32 on a track.

I'm a fan of performance, I don't care what the badging says.

I don't think we'll know what the market will do this coming year... Personally, I think there will be an influx of shagged R32's, fake GT-R's, and cars that are cobbled together from junk... Once the new owners realize that the fresh coat of paint can't hide the mechanical defects, they'll be disappointed in the prices of parts.

Have fun getting a replacement windshield for your R32 from your insurance company.

The challenge with the Canadian car? Getting it across the border.

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Re: So you want to buy a Skyline in the US....

Postby MetalGearKyle » Sun Mar 10, 2013 10:06 pm

i saw tube chassis mentioned with skyline body panels, is that just more legal hassle over the whole kit car thing? cuz i've made quite a few tube chassis custom deals, what alls done to your c5? and where do you usually run it?

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Re: So you want to buy a Skyline in the US....

Postby AZhitman » Sun Mar 10, 2013 10:22 pm

Not sure on the tube chassis question. Probably someone thinking they'd build one from scratch.

Sold my C5 last year... Full C6 Z06 suspension and rolling stock, headers, Ti catback, intake, tune, minor stuff.

AZ is hurting for tracks right now. The only road course still open is Firebird, and that's a 1.5 hour drive. :(

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Re: So you want to buy a Skyline in the US....

Postby MetalGearKyle » Sun Mar 10, 2013 10:34 pm

i hear ya on the lack of racetracks, all i have is mid ohio and i don't think they're open for the season yet.

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Re: So you want to buy a Skyline in the US....

Postby Tofubadguy » Wed Mar 13, 2013 8:27 am

AZhitman wrote: Personally, I think there will be an influx of shagged R32's, fake GT-R's, and cars that are cobbled together from junk... Once the new owners realize that the fresh coat of paint can't hide the mechanical defects, they'll be disappointed in the prices of parts.
I would love to find a really beat and/or lightly wrecked '89 GTR!
Been looking for a while but seems like most things for sale in Canadia at this time are being sold as nice-ish, and for a complete car that still demands about $8000 and up! Would like to find a dead, but complete one for about $5000. :)

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Re: So you want to buy a Skyline in the US....

Postby AZhitman » Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:59 pm

Yep. Same here.

Let's stay in touch on that. :)

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Re: So you want to buy a Skyline in the US....

Postby MetalGearKyle » Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:43 pm

Tofubadguy wrote:
AZhitman wrote: Personally, I think there will be an influx of shagged R32's, fake GT-R's, and cars that are cobbled together from junk... Once the new owners realize that the fresh coat of paint can't hide the mechanical defects, they'll be disappointed in the prices of parts.
I would love to find a really beat and/or lightly wrecked '89 GTR!
Been looking for a while but seems like most things for sale in Canadia at this time are being sold as nice-ish, and for a complete car that still demands about $8000 and up! Would like to find a dead, but complete one for about $5000. :)
AZhitman wrote:Yep. Same here.

Let's stay in touch on that. :)
this too is my plan, now I'm a fairly competent mechanic even if i am new to nissans, and i'm no rockefeller so I'll hardly be buying a pristine 89 gtr :werd: sadly, hopefully canada is full of some bad drivers who will quickly scare themselves to death with their gtrs and want to sell them :laugh:

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Re: So you want to buy a Skyline in the US....

Postby AZhitman » Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:01 am

Don't get too excited. Remember, Canada is up north, They have snow and moisture.

How many 1989 Nissans do you see surviving in the northeastern United States?

Even the mighty Godzilla is no match for the dreaded tinworm.

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Re: So you want to buy a Skyline in the US....

Postby MetalGearKyle » Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:46 am

well i live in the northeaster united states and nissans? quite a few actually, nothing desirable aside form a few 240s now how many 89 gtrs do i see? i swear this is a trick question ;)

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Re: So you want to buy a Skyline in the US....

Postby shadyduk1979 » Mon Apr 01, 2013 6:30 pm

Now that i have read this whole thread, my head is spinning. I am considering what appears to be a state legal 91 R32 since as best as i can tell there are no federally legal R32s. Asking price is 20K. If i do decide to go this route i am buying a federally illegal car that could possibly be snatched up at any time by the feds, and i assume since i effectively am lying and saying the car is legal, insurance will not cover any losses. The car also has a damaged windshield which i did find in canada but it is expensive. Parts will also be difficult and expensive to find.

It almost sounds like its more trouble than it is worth to register the car and i would be better off using a repair plate to drive it if i decide to buy it. Did i miss anything?

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Re: So you want to buy a Skyline in the US....

Postby AZhitman » Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:58 pm

Nope - You nailed it.

I'd bet money there's more bad news if you got that car up on a lift and really did some hardcore snooping.

I remember going to a warehouse here in Phoenix back in, I believe, 2003 or 2004. Local shady guy had an importation business. There were multiple cars stripped down to the frame, and a LOT of them were cut into 2 or 3 pieces (front clips, rear 3/4, and a 4-door GTS-T that was severed cleanly at the B-pillar).

They were in the process of being reassembled. :eek: :tisk:

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Re: So you want to buy a Skyline in the US....

Postby shadyduk1979 » Tue Apr 02, 2013 3:02 am

I was afraid i was right. I might still take a look, the economy being what it is. If its nice and i can get it for less then asking price it may be worth it assuming its legal to own if its not registered. Would i be correct in thinking that since the car is 22 years old, in 3 years i won't have to worry about the feds snatching it up? That was always what the BMW theory was, but perhaps these being higher visibility will always be a target?
This may be a really good car if the guy selling it is who i think he is. We had a guy in the BMW community that had a warehouse full of gray market cars that were in very good condition. He said he had no plans on selling anything but this car is in the same area, and lets face it Skylines don't pop up everywhere.

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Re: So you want to buy a Skyline in the US....

Postby GTRPower » Tue Apr 02, 2013 4:35 pm

MotoRex Federally approved GT-Rs are out there for sale. You just have to know the right people. Ask enough of the right ones and you'll find them. NISMO R32 GT-Rs are available too and they are 49 state legal for Show and Display until 2015, then fully DOT/EPA legal thereafter. Don't bother with "state legal" cars, not worth the risk.

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Re: So you want to buy a Skyline in the US....

Postby shadyduk1979 » Tue Apr 02, 2013 4:49 pm

GTRPower wrote:MotoRex Federally approved GT-Rs are out there for sale. You just have to know the right people. Ask enough of the right ones and you'll find them. NISMO R32 GT-Rs are available too and they are 49 state legal for Show and Display until 2015, then fully DOT/EPA legal thereafter. Don't bother with "state legal" cars, not worth the risk.
I'm starting to think that is correct. If i could say with absolute certainty that the car will be legal in 3 years, i would pick it up right away. However, my pockets aren't that deep. If i was to have the car taken from the feds, it would hurt and hurt bad. I do not see my self having repair plates my whole life so i can own AND drive a dream car. As a result i haven't gone and looked at the car yet. I am fearful my heart will override my brain.

Am i correct in my assessment that the legal R32s are more rare than the R33s?

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Re: So you want to buy a Skyline in the US....

Postby MetalGearKyle » Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:43 pm

there are 500 of them


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