Yet another shady importer: Soho Imports

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VandrelSOUSA
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Re: Yet another shady importer: Soho Imports

Postby VandrelSOUSA » Wed Jan 01, 2014 10:53 am

tyndago wrote:
You said, they told you they were going to seize it. You were about crying asking for advice. Its ok. I will always try and help you little Stevie, but if you don't listen, then you get the short end of the stick.
Nope, never said that once, but I see you have defaulted to making things up as you've run our of things to say in this pointless internet conversation which you've initiated.


Cheers
Last edited by VandrelSOUSA on Wed Jan 01, 2014 10:58 am, edited 1 time in total.


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tyndago
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Re: Yet another shady importer: Soho Imports

Postby tyndago » Wed Jan 01, 2014 10:58 am

VandrelSOUSA wrote:
tyndago wrote:
You said, they told you they were going to seize it. You were about crying asking for advice. Its ok. I will always try and help you little Stevie, but if you don't listen, then you get the short end of the stick.
Nope, never said that once, but I see you have defaulted to making things up as you've run our of things to say in this pointless internet conversation which you've initiated.


Cheers

You still haven't thanked me yet.

Maybe you will put it in your will.

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AZhitman
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Re: Yet another shady importer: Soho Imports

Postby AZhitman » Wed Jan 01, 2014 6:51 pm

VandrelSOUSA wrote: Greg, sorry to fuel the fire on your forum here, I know you'd rather run a drama-free ship here but Sean can't seem to help himself from throwing low blows to market competitors.
No loyalties here - That's the beauty of my position, I can afford to remain 100% independent.

Who's running Soho? This isn't the first we've heard of their backdoor deals, and if you'll notice, I started this thread - Sean's just taken it to the next level with his insight.

Remember this - as an Investigator (state gov't), I spend 8 hours a day weeding out BS from truth. Dishonesty, regardless of whose mouth it comes from, WILL be pointed out. I have zero tolerance for anything that would get someone hosed, so if anyone out there is doing stuff they don't want the world to see, they'd better pack up their s*** and move overseas.

We've got a metal chair, a bright light and a phone book for 'em otherwise. :)

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Re: Yet another shady importer: Soho Imports

Postby VandrelSOUSA » Wed Jan 01, 2014 10:53 pm

AZhitman wrote:No loyalties here - That's the beauty of my position, I can afford to remain 100% independent.

The Switzerland approach :)
AZhitman wrote: Who's running Soho? This isn't the first we've heard of their backdoor deals, and if you'll notice, I started this thread - Sean's just taken it to the next level with his insight.
I have a lot of their customers coming to me telling me about the shady stuff they do there and their cars. They are down towards Miami so it's a bit far from here but I'm sure they will venture this way around the time of Nopi Nationals in March.

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Re: Yet another shady importer: Soho Imports

Postby AZhitman » Wed Jan 01, 2014 11:19 pm

We'll be there. First round is on me, if you find your way down to ATL. :)

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Re: Yet another shady importer: Soho Imports

Postby VandrelSOUSA » Wed Jan 01, 2014 11:35 pm

AZhitman wrote:We'll be there. First round is on me, if you find your way down to ATL. :)
I have not been to a ATL Nopi since 2003 but I do plan to be there this year. Got a invite from them while at Hot Import Nights in December here in Jacksonville FL. Always had fun at those shows. If you got the first round then I'll get the second and third :)

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Re: Yet another shady importer: Soho Imports

Postby AZhitman » Wed Jan 01, 2014 11:48 pm

Sounds good. We're back to doing NICOfest at NOPI... we took a hiatus for a few years, but we had a great turnout last year. Should be a good time with lots of Nissan folks.

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Re: Yet another shady importer: Soho Imports

Postby EZcheese15 » Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:47 am

I'm in for the beer. :inout:


.....Oh, and to call out shady s*** I see while we're in Atlanta. Be warned though, when it comes to importing cars, the only people I trust are Sean, Greg, and myself. And also, as a general rule of thumb, I don't trust anyone from FL about importing cars, except for maybe Rex Birkmire. He probably owns the only truly legal R33 GTR in the state LOL.

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Re: Yet another shady importer: Soho Imports

Postby tyndago » Thu Jan 02, 2014 3:55 pm

EZcheese15 wrote:I'm in for the beer. :inout:


.....Oh, and to call out shady s*** I see while we're in Atlanta. Be warned though, when it comes to importing cars, the only people I trust are Sean, Greg, and myself. And also, as a general rule of thumb, I don't trust anyone from FL about importing cars, except for maybe Rex Birkmire. He probably owns the only truly legal R33 GTR in the state LOL.
Rex's car did come from Motorex originally. Too bad people want to twist that story around.

Even things like the NHTSA saying that no way to tell if a 1995 car had dual airbags. Well of course there is.

http://www.gtrusablog.com/2013/06/lets- ... ck-on.html

Unlike other guys that just ride on other peoples coat tails. I move things forward. I think outside the box. I get things done.

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Re: Yet another shady importer: Soho Imports

Postby EZcheese15 » Thu Jan 02, 2014 5:14 pm

tyndago wrote:
EZcheese15 wrote:I'm in for the beer. :inout:


.....Oh, and to call out shady s*** I see while we're in Atlanta. Be warned though, when it comes to importing cars, the only people I trust are Sean, Greg, and myself. And also, as a general rule of thumb, I don't trust anyone from FL about importing cars, except for maybe Rex Birkmire. He probably owns the only truly legal R33 GTR in the state LOL.
Rex's car did come from Motorex originally. Too bad people want to twist that story around.

Even things like the NHTSA saying that no way to tell if a 1995 car had dual airbags. Well of course there is.

http://www.gtrusablog.com/2013/06/lets- ... ck-on.html

Unlike other guys that just ride on other peoples coat tails. I move things forward. I think outside the box. I get things done.
Yeah, Rex had his GTR before illegally importing GTR's was even a thing. He told me once that as far as he knows, he was Motorex's 7th customer. I rode with him once soon after he got it, and I remember we pulled up at a Taco Bell and a gazillion people pulled up to ask is about it. Took us like 2 hours before we could get away to walk inside to eat. Now days, 99% of the Skylines I see, I think to myself "there's another sucker that thinks his car is legal."

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Re: Yet another shady importer: Soho Imports

Postby tyndago » Thu Jan 02, 2014 6:48 pm

EZcheese15 wrote: Yeah, Rex had his GTR before illegally importing GTR's was even a thing. He told me once that as far as he knows, he was Motorex's 7th customer. I rode with him once soon after he got it, and I remember we pulled up at a Taco Bell and a gazillion people pulled up to ask is about it. Took us like 2 hours before we could get away to walk inside to eat. Now days, 99% of the Skylines I see, I think to myself "there's another sucker that thinks his car is legal."
Rex was very early. I remember him talking about this "NICO" thing.

So, I am with a friend in an R33, headed to Buttonwillow. We stop at McDonalds for a breakfast at like 6 am. Park, get out walking into the place, some guys come out like "woah, Skyline, wow"

They ask me "whos is it?"

I am in front of my friend, so I turn, point at him, say "its his", and walk into McDonalds.

Not sure if he ever got breakfast.

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Re: Yet another shady importer: Soho Imports

Postby themadscientist » Fri Jan 03, 2014 2:26 am

That;s F-ed up. :rotflmao

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Re: Yet another shady importer: Soho Imports

Postby Skydrive » Fri Jan 31, 2014 6:24 pm

So in theory, if one were to have owned said state titled skyline for an extended period of time, how does the NHTSA typically go about going after these grey area cars?

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Re: Yet another shady importer: Soho Imports

Postby AZhitman » Fri Jan 31, 2014 6:36 pm

Anything from a simple tow truck recovery to a full-on Federal raid and seizure.

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Re: Yet another shady importer: Soho Imports

Postby Skydrive » Fri Jan 31, 2014 6:41 pm

Perhaps I should specify: what is there process for determining that the vehicle needs to be siezed? I mean if the vehicle has already gone through the whole process of being titled and registered and whatnot why does it not get noticed in that process and why would they randomly just go after the vehicle after the fact?

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Re: Yet another shady importer: Soho Imports

Postby AZhitman » Fri Jan 31, 2014 6:51 pm

It doesn't get noticed earlier in the process because Day employees aren't terribly sharp (or the State has lax procedural practices), like TX and FL.

As far as what bring it to their attention, there are tons of ways.

The importation and legality discussion is probably best left to the other threads, but suffice it to say that there's a real good reason someone like me doesn't have a state-titled GT-R.

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Re: Yet another shady importer: Soho Imports

Postby tyndago » Fri Jan 31, 2014 7:36 pm

Normally they start to go after the cars, when they catch that "one" guy.

They find a link between that "one" guy and other cars. Then they go hunting for all the cars. Its easy once they have records and proof.

Again, the guys that catch the short end of the stick, are the 3rd or 4th owners. They think the car is fine, they are wrong.

http://vehicleimport.blogspot.com/2008/ ... texas.html
"I just had homeland security come to my house (after owning the car for about a week, (agents said it was just bad timing on my part nothing triggered it i just owned the car at the time)) in Houston, TX and tell me that my gtr was illegally imported and needs to be seized. They said that they are cracking down on all "illegal" skylines in the country and it was part of some big skyline investigation or some crap. I have the seizure warrant if anyone wants proof.

By "illegal" they mean r32's and 34s without DOT bond releases. There is NO WAY for me to get it back as a race car, show car, offroad, etc. The car is not technically significant, prepped for track, etc to qualify for those sections, so i am being forced to export it. Lets not get into the debate about legal versus not legal in this thread. I was just another one of those guys who thought that titled, registered meant legal, but now i know after talking with many head honchos at DOT."

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Re: Yet another shady importer: Soho Imports

Postby AZhitman » Fri Jan 31, 2014 9:53 pm

...which is exactly why we do what we do here.

This thread is a perfect example. I don't give a damn about the importers, but I *DO* care about the community.

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Re: Yet another shady importer: Soho Imports

Postby Skydrive » Sat Feb 01, 2014 12:38 pm

Good to know. No need to go into specifics. If one were to question the legality of their imported skyline what would be the best course of action to determine that? I apologize if I'm in the wrong thread for a question like this, but as you two seem to be experts with this and I have your attention I might as well ask it.

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Re: Yet another shady importer: Soho Imports

Postby tyndago » Sat Feb 01, 2014 2:28 pm

Skydrive wrote:Good to know. No need to go into specifics. If one were to question the legality of their imported skyline what would be the best course of action to determine that? I apologize if I'm in the wrong thread for a question like this, but as you two seem to be experts with this and I have your attention I might as well ask it.
I wrote a whole guide to check.

http://vehicleimport.blogspot.com/2011/ ... legal.html

What kind of paperwork are you looking for on a legally imported car?

I will try and arm you with some information, and questions to ask, and some paperwork to look for. Is the vehicle on the vehicle import eligibility list? If its not on the list, how is someone claiming that the car is legal? Is the car over 25 years old? If it is, then it is exempt if imported correctly, and in original configuration. Has it been imported under the Show or Display exemption? Then it is DOT/NHTSA exempt, but must meet EPA requirements.


The first thing you are looking for, is what is called a Bond Release. The Bond Release doesn't really say much, but it releases the vehicle that was legally imported by a Registered Importer. Here is a copy of a letter you can obtain from the DOT, NHTSA, OVSC. That is Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Office of Vehicle Safety and Compliance. They can be reached at (202)366-5291. I still have that number memorized after 12 years.

If the vehicle is over 25 years old, then it will not have a bond release, but you want to have a copy of the HS7 (NHTSA import form, stamped by US Customs), and the 3520-1 (EPA import form, stamped by US Customs). These pieces of paper are very important, and required by some states to register vehicles. They show the cars entered the country correctly. As always, buyer beware. Do your homework. Legitimate sellers will have paperwork.

The bond release does not actually say the car is legal, rather that the bond that is paid to ensure compliance is released. This is as close as you get to the NHTSA saying an imported car is legal.

My copy of Code of Federal Regulations. Its seen some use.

In addition to the DOT/NHTSA, you also have the EPA, or Environmental Protection agency to satisfy. When the vehicle was imported, a 3520-1 should have been completed. You should at least try and get a copy of the EPA paperwork. Underneath the hood, you should be looking for an EPA compliance sticker, with information on the company that did the compliance. At 21 years old, in its original configuration, a car is legal to import and exempt from EPA requirements. This means that 1989, to 1992 Nissan Skyline GT-R's are EPA exempt.



If you are in California, there will be an additional label, a BAR label. California is an entire blog post, an entire book of its own. It has its own requirements, its own testing. Its not impossible, but its very difficult. Read difficult as time consuming and expensive. So its not likely that a car has a BAR label. Most people are very proud of the label, I know I am.


People try and import cars everyday. Most are not even aware that they are doing something wrong. Lots of cars make it though customs though subterfuge, and others just fall though the cracks. Many of them get seized.

Anyone trying to sell a legal car will have all this paperwork at their fingertips. If they don't then something is wrong, and don't buy the car unless you want to take the risk of possible seizure.

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Re: Yet another shady importer: Soho Imports

Postby Godfoot » Mon Feb 03, 2014 11:47 am

This sort of stuff just kills me. What is it gonna take to get an importer to do things right, and not be some shady punk trying to scam people out of their hard earned money. I'm about to start doing this right my damn self if it means at least one trustworthy importer. Ugh... I hope nobody gets seriously screwed by these people. That is something nobody should ever have to go through.

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Re: Yet another shady importer: Soho Imports

Postby EZcheese15 » Mon Feb 03, 2014 12:01 pm

Godfoot wrote:This sort of stuff just kills me. What is it gonna take to get an importer to do things right, and not be some shady punk trying to scam people out of their hard earned money. I'm about to start doing this right my damn self if it means at least one trustworthy importer. Ugh... I hope nobody gets seriously screwed by these people. That is something nobody should ever have to go through.
There are some companies that do things legally, it's just that they get overshadowed by all the shady a** ones.

International Vehicle Importers is a good company to go with if you're looking for a legal import.

Sean...is that your company or do you just work for them? I see you do a lot of cross posting on Facebook with their page.

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Re: Yet another shady importer: Soho Imports

Postby AZhitman » Mon Feb 03, 2014 10:19 pm

There are several other legit importers as well... but here's the thing you've got to understand: Importation is a BIG business. Skylines are a tiny blip on the radar. In fact, very, very few people in the car enthusiast community know even 1% of what we know about Skylines or their importation - it's just not an issue.

You should see the importation of Falcon Interceptors (Mad Max car) from AU, or the massive importation of Euro-market M-B, Jags, and BMWs... or the movement of VW's from S. Africa.

We tend to think we're the only ones in the game, when the reality is, there's WAY more money to be made shipping a bunch of USDM 280ZX to the UAE or Kuwait, or shipping a container of Falcons from AU to the US, or a handful of VW microbuses to France. Bringing in Skylines isn't profitable enough for the hassle, in a lot of cases.

(Not to mention, how many Skyline fanbois have $30k cash - not financing - to buy a nice, clean, legal car?)

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Re: Yet another shady importer: Soho Imports

Postby AZhitman » Mon Feb 03, 2014 10:25 pm

tyndago wrote:Normally they start to go after the cars, when they catch that "one" guy.

They find a link between that "one" guy and other cars. Then they go hunting for all the cars. Its easy once they have records and proof.

Again, the guys that catch the short end of the stick, are the 3rd or 4th owners. They think the car is fine, they are wrong.
OR, there's "that guy" who can't seem to avoid being an a$$.

Maybe he rips someone off on some parts, or maybe he acts like a tool at a local meet, or starts talking s*** because he's got a grey market car.

Usually, they're into other shady stuff anyway - it seems to be a certain personality type that gravitates toward the business.

It's always a little bit tempting to shoot a text message over to one of our contacts with an address - and sit back and watch the comedy.

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Re: Yet another shady importer: Soho Imports

Postby JTR32gtst » Wed Feb 05, 2014 6:38 am

Alright, I will bite....

The Skyline community is rather small and I do not understand why we cannot all watch each others backs. Some people bent over backwards, lost time, money, feels, whatever to achieve their car. I agree, people who do shady things should get caught. But owners who have one car, one time are not criminals guys. Sean hates state legal cars. I get it, he spent tons of time helping to lagalize them and I was involved in the SOUSA stuff too as I am still an avid member there. s*** happens. When it comes to it, we all have a common goal: Skylines. I agree going after scams and shady people, but the owners who have a car are not criminals. They are not thieves. They are not bad people. So Sean does it one way, Steve does it another. Right now, both are doing legal business, so why the hate? Because s*** went down a while back and Sean tried to help when no help was available? Ok, get over it. It is a small community. It is entirely bs that the govt wastes resources going after these cars as well as others, so why not watch the peoples backs who have owned 1 single car for quite a while, stimulated the U.S. economy with parts/service rather than treat them like dirt. Just throwing that out there...

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Re: Yet another shady importer: Soho Imports

Postby AZhitman » Wed Feb 05, 2014 8:44 am

I don't disagree one bit, JTR. Our policy has always been to make sure anything sold here is represented accurately, and that buyers are aware of the risks (and that sellers are honest).

Here's a good example: While I would love to own a tastefully-modded, pristine R32 or 34, and have the means to do so, there's one problem: I'd always be a target. Every other forum owner that couldn't attain the success we've had, every chump who's ever been banned from the site, every silly fanboi who's ever gotten an attitude check within these pages, every advertiser who's failed to pay their bills... they'd LOOOOVE to see me get popped riding dirty.

My issue has never been with the guys who own and enjoy the cars for what they are... My issue is with the dishonest and shady companies (like this assclown from Soho Imports) who arrogantly commit fraud to make a quick buck. Their trade depends on someone getting screwed, and when those people getting screwed are members of a community I love and care for, then we're gonna have a problem. :)

But to reiterate - Yes, I agree wholeheartedly that our Administration (among their other numerous faults) is idiotic in their waste of resources to pursue this issue... As far as I'm concerned, they're partly to blame for the criminalization of a subset of the community, and that's what you get when you elect a politician. Think about that when you hit the voting booth next time. Better yet, get involved in the SEMA Action Network (as we have) and DO something, instead of feeling helpless.

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Re: Yet another shady importer: Soho Imports

Postby tyndago » Wed Feb 05, 2014 9:23 am

EZcheese15 wrote:
Godfoot wrote:This sort of stuff just kills me. What is it gonna take to get an importer to do things right, and not be some shady punk trying to scam people out of their hard earned money. I'm about to start doing this right my damn self if it means at least one trustworthy importer. Ugh... I hope nobody gets seriously screwed by these people. That is something nobody should ever have to go through.
There are some companies that do things legally, it's just that they get overshadowed by all the shady a** ones.

International Vehicle Importers is a good company to go with if you're looking for a legal import.

Sean...is that your company or do you just work for them? I see you do a lot of cross posting on Facebook with their page.
IVI is me.

For good, bad, or indifferent, since the start of MotoRex, I have tried to do this Skyline import thing legally.

Show or Display on the NISMO, who did that? Still not getting a thank you....

I did not just look for a way around the law, get caught, then change my ways.

So ponder that for a minute.

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Re: Yet another shady importer: Soho Imports

Postby R34GTAREEE » Tue May 16, 2017 12:43 pm

Sorry for bumping a 3 year old thread. Had to redo this account again!Matt here, I miss driving my R34 in Japan while I was stationed out there :/


Just letting everyone know, these guys are still in business. I can't believe how they haven't got scooped up yet. They do not use "Soho Imports" anymore. We can only wonder why. Looks like they use RHD_JDM on instagram, which I don't have one. My buddy showed me through his Instagram account, He also lives in Florida. They continue to
Bring in illegal 33' and 34's, into the United States, "titled and registered". Shady cars, shady forged paperwork, is florida really that easy? Bump people. I don't want someone getting screwed out there!


Matt

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Re: Yet another shady importer: Soho Imports

Postby AZhitman » Tue May 16, 2017 11:32 pm

Yep. Another one got popped yesterday (All JDM Motors) in SC.


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