The history of the Nissan Skyline in the United States is a dark one, filled with tales of black market activity and government intervention. The latest bit of controversy involves the “Big Bird” R33 that was featured in the original The Fast and the Furious movie.
A couple years ago after the car’s registration was improperly handled in the state of Wisconsin, the state’s DMV caught wind and seized the car, along with another imported GT-R. Despite numerous attempts by the car’s owner to straighten out the situation, both Skylines are due to be crushed today.
We don’t like to get political, but it’s a shame to see the government putting so much effort into ridding the country of a couple imported Nissans when there are so many bigger, actually important issues out there.
We’ll miss you, Big Bird.
Come to Florida. No one cares about smog testing or where the car came from. They're only concerned with speeding, parking meters and the HOV lane lol and did you know the "pizza boy" was actually the director of the movie? Thought that was funny.
man governments all over cracking down on the import tuner generation, over here in nz they crushd there first c33 laurel cuz it hookd a few O's in public.
sad to see any turbo nissan go
So they couldn't just kill the registration and say don't drive it on the street? What the point in destroying a work of art? It should go in a movie museum or something. Who is calling the shots at Wisconsin's DMV? Hitler???
I guess the owner will have to *puts on sunglasses* find another way home...
. . . talk about misplaced priorities. Not surprising though, as Governor Walker has the state of Wisconsin in such a mess that he is facing a recall vote!
What a waste. They should have just deported them back to where they came from. (Or sent them to Canada.)
That's so sad in two points. In one point it's sad that the USA cares about stuff like this when there is big shit going on in their country. In another point it's sad because this car is somehow a kind of legend :(
Thank you thank you thank you everyone! For not letting this fall apart into a stupid debate of any sort. I enjoyed everyone's comments, I agree big bird will be missed, and I do hope the laws change for the future. Granted 25 years will be up for the first r32 in a few years :D.
R.I.P. (rust in piece) Big Bird... makes me sad to see it go, but on a positive note, every scrapped or thrashed GTR make mine go up in value! Plenty of GTR's/Skyline's here in Australia. The laws around modifying here are a pain, but overall at least we can get our hands on good JDM stuff.
Motorex is proof that bureaucracy does not prevent crime, it causes corruption.
Motorex was a Registered Importer. One of a very few companies, authorized to import and modify cars to meet US standards. After the cost of the car, the shipping, the fees, the taxes, and all the paperwork, a Registered Importer gets an additional $5,000+ for the task of installing bumper beams, an airbag, LHD headlamps, a MPH speedometer, and scribing the passenger side view mirror with the phrase "cars in mirror may be farther than they appear".
Any car enthusiast who knows how to hold a wrench, works on his own cars, and wants to import a vehicle, is qualified to perform these simple tasks, and more motivated to do the job correctly, probably with a level of detail and excellence that surpasses the original factory assembly. Some minimum wage slave at a RI is motivated to crank through as many jobs as fast as possible, and cares next to nothing about the car, the money invested in the car, or the safety of the occupants of the car.
And surprise of surprises, they caught Motorex faking the documents and sending out cars without US spec bumpers, airbags, headlamps, speedometers, mirrors, etc.
Instead of creating a system of authorized RIs, the government should have trained a group of inspectors who would examine and verify that the work was done by the vehicle owner, or whoever the vehicle owner hired to do the work.
But that wouldn't have been expensive or complicated enough, and wouldn't have provided steady income from RI license renewal fees.
Its a shame this car will be crushed, I went to motorex 10 years ago and saw this car in the back corner of the warehouse in pieces and boxes on top of it. I always wondered what happen to the car. This sucks!!!
Civics Lesson: The Legislative branch writes the laws, but the Executive branch is responsible for enforcing those laws, and more importantly choosing which laws they don't want to enforce.
Insideline.Com says the car was seized in 2010. The same time that our current Executive Officer brought us Cash-for-Clunkers, did away with Hummer and Pontiac, and decided we were all going to be driving around in battery powered golf carts.
We can all pray that this time, those of you who voted for Hope and Change, will realize that the Change part included doing away with gasoline powered automobiles, and Nissan Skylines.
Terrible our tax dollars are being put too use to destroy these awesome vehicles!
Well buy a gun and hope that our Government doesn't get any more ideas of taking our freedoms!!!!!
Yeah but the drunk assholes down my street who have sideswiped both me and my friends prjoect cars havent been imprisoned yet.... Lets worry about thuings that matter. Not what people drive. This is a shame.
We have our own lobby. Make a point to join the SEMA Action Network to get informed. They only way to beat politicians is to buy them or out spend them.
WHY!!!!!!??? That was my favorite car! UGH! this is stupid! how can they do that!? wow poor r32. these are the reasons why the government wonders why people...
I don't understand has the owner done something wrong why cant they just keep it unregistered and track it? God damn government
@ResGoEasy Same way, the company that was importing them is at fault. Charged people thousands due to cost of registration and never did
I don't understand how they can crush it? If it's kept on private property and not driven on public roads, who's the victim?
There's hardly anything political about it, when you think about it. This has more to do with the greed of Mercedes Benz and them wanting to sell Americans their entry level scrap back in the '80s. They didn't like people gray marketing the new faster cars they were selling in Europe, so they lobbied congress, giving us the overboard 25 year rule that we have today.
@Jelffy N yes it is as long as it is between95 96 or 96-97 something like that i cant remember it's been so long since ive looked into importing them.
@Jelffy N No skyline less than 25 years old is legal. If it is at least 25 years it is allowed and labeled as a "classic car" if I'm not mistaken.
@Dekro Good luck trying to move to Japan. Because they want to control overpopulation, unless you have Japanese ancestry, you won't even be considered as an applicant to the homeland.
That sounds a whole lot like the rules in Norway too, impossible to get a RHD car registered now and the few skylines that are registered cost a fortune. If you want to import ant kind of car they charge you atleast twice the cars price to even get it registered. It is just easier to get money out of it instead of using money to care of the problem.
as much as i hate "pass the buck" guilt assignment, you are right. the Fools at Motorex F'd it up for all Skyline R32-R34 lovers, but it probably would not have gotten so out of hand and been such a big cluster if the US GOV didn't have such ridiculous regulations and mile deep bureaucracy.
if it wasn't for the idiots at Motorex trying to scam their owners by filing a false police report over the 5 cars they stole from the shop themselves, they would have just went out of business and nobody but those who gave them money would be the wiser.
another thing that contributes to the US GOV acting like we as citizens can't even breath without the help of GOV regulation, is the fact that everyone in the US is so F'ing litigation happy! we sue over EVERYTHING, and most of the time it was our own stupidity that caused the problem in the 1st place.
Why should owners have to do any "work" on their vehicles so "inspectors" will approve it. Why is it anybodys business including the governments what bumpers, airbags, speedometer, and mirror you have?
And in case you weren't aware, "US spec" SUCKS. You are worsening the car by converting it to US spec.
@ILoveDrifting19 It's your favorite car? Yet you say it's an R32? Bro. This guy.
i agree with the fact that US spec sucks but unfortunately there are emission laws as well as safety regulations and while those little fixes are true, the gtr also needed strengthening because the roof would crumple in if you rolled it and a completely new exhaust to meet "smog" laws ... still no excuse for the exorbitant price or the beaurocratic bull**** though
Also ... i just don't get why the car couldn't be donated to nissan or holywood for that matter ... it's stupid ass politicians that focus on small bullshit because some person in their town (who probably worked hard to earn it) drove around with a loud exhaust and they decided that was "evil" ... it's in the same category as exhaust noise regulations (which we have here in NY) ... excuse me now, i need to go cry in the corner for the loss of this incredible specimen of art and engineering
@ResGoEasy this was known long time. The company that used to import them was shut down because they were frauds.
@ResGoEasy no, don't think so. Just the cars because 1. They were over a certain age and 2. They were not built to US safety standards
@PampaLayLay Oh, but do u have to go thru the same registration & processes if you're importing just an engine that was never sold in USA ?