Showing Up At A Stranger’s House In Miami
Party At Ralph’s

Reflecting on 2018, my trip to Miami, Florida was one of the most enjoyable stops along the way. Looking back through my hard drive, though, I realized there were still a couple stories left to be told; things I continually told myself I’d do next week until they fell completely between the cracks.

With a variety of time-sensitive trips following my visit to Miami, I hope you can excuse the tardiness of this content. It isn’t really a conventional story, either, as I won’t be focusing on a specific car or any sanctioned event. This is a bit more like kebabhunting — Google it if you aren’t familiar  — in the sense that I told a friend I’d like to stop by their place, and they told a friend, who told a friend, and so on…

Ralph’s house was the final stop on my Florida trip, and I figured one or two guys might show. I wasn’t really planning to shoot, but instead wanted to connect Ralph with a couple other friends I brought along. I thought I’d leave it at that, but things often don’t go as planned.

Sometimes they go even better.


Ralph started us out in his garage space, a fitting environment for any enthusiasts to break the ice. Stunning Porsche 930 Turbo aside, the car I was most interested in hearing the story behind was Ralph’s RWB 993.


As one of the first RWB cars built in Florida, Ralph hopped on the wide-body Porsche bandwagon before there really was one, a choice that time has shown has been the right one to make. But regardless of what other people might think of his build — which features a number of other subtle upgrades alongside a not-so-subtle supercharger — Ralph clearly enjoys it, which is all that really matters at the end of the day.


I’d actually ran into Ralph for the first time myself just a few days earlier as I cruised around downtown Miami at night with a group of entirely new friends.


Reminiscing on this trip and, particularly, on Ralph opening up his door to me and my friends, it just goes to show how trusting car people are. While it didn’t quite hit me in the moment, car culture really is a particularly special niche with some of the very best people, a fact I don’t appreciate often enough. Seeing the 993 here at Ralph’s home also spoke a lot as to how and why he built the car the way he did, and it’s always nice to get a bit of personal context.


Of course, one doesn’t simply ignore a pristine Turbo either, and having never driven one Ralph insisted I at least give it the beans to feel the old school revs emanating out the back end. You don’t say no to something like that, do you?

Taking a moment off from cars, at least directly, Ralph showed us into the kitchen to enjoy a spread of Cuban snacks. Any guesses to the topic of conversation?


Yeah, more car stuff, and as we made our way back out front a couple new arrivals had showed up in our absence.


Two additional Porsches, one air-cooled and wearing Fifteen52 wheels with a child’s seat in the back, the other coming from the water-cooled era, missing a roof, but boasting an ‘S’ badge and a proper gearbox. But why stop at a handful of Porsches?


Quickly, the low-key visit amped up, with a handful of guys and girls from Trap Team rolling in.


You’ll notice a certain right-hand drive theme here, and if you aren’t already familiar with the Trap Team workshop you might recall their names from a couple previous stories I’ve had published here.


More on that in a minute because, finally, another pair of cars showed up. At this point the front driveway was at capacity, and what was meant to be a quick visit with two or three cars turned out to be an awesome afternoon with a dozen or so builds ending up at Ralph’s. Out of context, I got off an airplane one day, met a friend of a friend at a car collector’s shop, and the following day he invited me over to his house to hang out with a bunch of strangers.

In what other world would this happen, especially considering I enjoyed every minute of it? It just wouldn’t.

Enter Trap Team

Right, Trap Team. Does this car look familiar?


Or maybe this one? Both are owned by the Trap Team workshop and, best of all, both get driven around Miami to Cars & Coffee and other local automotive events. Keep your eyes out and you’ll probably come across them in the wild.


In the Spoon NSX story a couple of you mentioned the R34 GT-R photobombing going on, so here we are.


First up, the ex-Omori Factory demo car, used for development and testing of Nismo upgrades. Today a household name in enthusiast circles, Nismo itself came about in 1984 due to Nissan’s desire to merge Oppama Works and Omori Works to improve their racing presence.


As this car was a precursor to the Clubman Race Spec, which Dino looked at four years back, instead of the R2 you might expect you’ll find one of the eight Fsport-R engines ever built. Using the GT500 RRR RB28 block and sharing a majority of its parts with the powerplants from the later Z-tune editions, the setup is good for 500 metric horsepower.


Featuring a catalog-worth of Nismo-only factory goodies both inside and out this is definitely a special car.


Parked next to the Omori Factory R34 was another interesting Nür-spec GT-R.


This is the ex-HKS Kansai Service (now simply Kansai Service) demo car, a Nissan that lived a very similar life to its brother at Omori. Both recently in from Japan, they deserve a better look at a future date.


Moving into the back shop, it was immediately apparent that these guys know a thing or two about Nissans; I could have spent all night poking around their projects and stock of rare parts, but that’s for a different time.


Regardless of who you are or where you’re from, the one thing that unites us all is our love for cars. American, Japanese, German, French, whatever, it doesn’t matter where your car was built or how you modify it; if it has four wheels and a motor you can trust that we’ll get along.


I think, all too much, this is a phenomenon that we take for granted. I know I do, at least, but the reason we love going to meets, shows, and other events — or turn up at someone’s house who needs help or to check out their new project — is because of the human element. We’re guaranteed to make friends out of strangers and to bond over these machines, and I think that’s absolutely extraordinary.

On that note, I’ll be back in Miami soon for the 2019 Das Renn Treffen event, Florida’s largest gathering of a certain German marque. I’m sure you can guess which brand it features, but I’d also be interested in hearing if you have anything you think I should check out during my next visit to Southern Florida. My email is below, or drop a line in the comments.

I promise I won’t spend more than four hours at your house. Maybe…

Trevor Yale Ryan
Instagram: tyrphoto



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Me: *knocks on the door*
Stranger: *opens door* Hi
Me: Hi
Stranger: Why are you at my house?
Me: I just want to see that R34 you got


Yeah, that's about right


Miami brings me back to the days of 2Fast 2Furious


Is that the same RWB Porsche that showed up for sale recently? Can't find the link but I think that asking price was around 130-160k


The blue omori car is just perfect.
Bythe way, are these R34s all legal imports? The midnight purple car could fit the show and display rule, but what about the other ones?


It's likely that they're illegal imports.


Short answer? No. None of those GTRs(except the MNPII and M-SPec) are legal imports and never will be, even after being 25 years old. Once imported illegally, they will never be fully legal. Meaning, if the federal gov't gets wind of these beautiful cars, they will come and seize them and crush them, as they have done on numerous occasions. Anyone who knowingly puts cars like this in the line of fire like that willfully, is to me, toxic. The "eh, f**k it attitude seemingly now adopted by a lot of car "enthusiasts" is one of the reasons how we got here. I don't at all feel bad for the "owners", I feel bad deeply for the cars. All it takes is someone dropping a line to the feds and I know people who have openly admitted to doing that. These people are taking a gamble with amazing cars, I cannot abide that.

I am suspicious of "Trap Team" and how they even get some of these cars in the first place. It's the same shady BS that's happened in Miami for years now, making Florida essentially the Wild West of cars. To the Florida DMV, you could register/plate a brick if it had a VIN, they don't care. At the end of the day, "state legal, bro" != federally legal.


BaronOBeefdip - you are incorrect in the statement saying that once a car is imported "illegally" it will always be illegal, even after 25 years old. the "Short" answer to that statement is that it is true if nothing is done with the cars after 25 years old it doesnt magically make it legal.. but do you think we don't have the funds to export the cars and reimport them once 25 years old to have the proper paperwork people want? This has been done with PLENTY of R32 GTR's that have been here prior to legalization and there is no consequence in doing so.


Plus, not to mention..."do you think" the state doesn't keep records on who registers what car with a particular VIN and plate number? "Do you think" once you go to try and federally register or even register one at all after reverse-importing that they won't comb databases and state records? You are incredibly naive if you think that won't happen. These cars have gotten SO much attention exactly because of the shady people and practices associated with getting them here. Way to contribute to the problem and ruin it for people like me trying to get one legitimately.


They don't. As he said before there have been plenty of R32's that have already done this prior to being legally here. I also know of a couple cars that did this and its as he said, no issues..

there is no "federal" databases for registered vehicles also ... there is no such thing as "federally" registering a vehicle.. maybe you should go back to dreaming about owning cars one day and concern your self with your own life and how you will make your dream come true.

As for "messing it up for people like me"... the cars will continue to exist when they are 25 years old in Japan and you are welcome to buy one then so not sure what you are on about. :)


You are hilariously misinformed, bud. They absolutely have records of federally legalised imports and there's a small group of people that review these applications, especially for individual cars under SnD. As for your "dreaming" comment, that's funny you even say that since you have no idea who I am or my financial background, but keep assuming anyways. Messing it up for people like me is in reference to the people like myself trying to appease to the feds to get non-SnD cars here by legal means. But unfortunately that costs an assload of money and influence BECAUSE of shit like TrapTeam and others who skirt around the rules.

You literally have no argument so you go for low-value argumentative targets like that gem. These cars(except possibly two) are here illegally, bar-none. End of story. Good day, sir.


how many cars have you imported mr beandip.. legally? I'll wait... being you mention "applications" for federally legal imports.. that is not something that exists at all.. the only cars with an application is show and display.. other 25 year old cars need to "review" or application by anyone.

As for the rest of your "argument" then how have people exported R32's that were here prior to legal and reimported them legally..?


Yet another person who doesn't know what they're talking about. Yawn. It's funny how the same butthurt fanbois getting triggered and come out of the woodwork to tell you about it.

I'm not even sure why you call me out specifically about how many cars I've imported, as if that somehow matters here(it doesn't) since we're talking about TrapTeam and not me. I AM currently trying to go through the proper channels for R34 variants not on the SnD list with the NHTSA/DOT and JK Technologies, but getting met with a LOT of resistance and sometimes no answer. Gee, it's almost as if people have tried this before me and failed because it's time-consuming and costs a lot of money....

You missed my point and misunderstand me. Clearly you have done no research in this subject if you think you don't have to have federal paperwork for importing cars not on SnD, let alone the ones ON the SnD list. It ALL has to be documented. Once it hits 25 years old, it mostly doesn't matter, but you still have to have some form of importation docs. The only thing that doesn't matter after 25 years is that the car doesn't have to adhere to federal laws to be driven on roads, like NHTSA/DOT/EPA regs. Also, I'm not the type of guy who wants to risk reverse-importing a car that was already here illegally. But please, show me all these R32s you're talking about.

Maybe do some more digging next time before hitting that red Submit button? Wait wait, no, nevermind.....don't even comment at all.


And I would wager that most of the "quality" individuals doing this aren't able to do that nor would they want to go through the hassle. This doesn't change the fact your "club" or whatever it is still has these cars illegally here, now. At this moment. So yeah, I am right. And that's ASIDE from the fact that you're putting this out on the internet and getting coverage from YouTube channels. Way to fly under the radar.


I know where you're coming from, and you can miss the whole point of this story as much as you like, but judging the character of people you don't know says a lot more about yourself than anyone else.


Yeah, so take a hot-button issue for the car community like R34s and how most of them are illegal in the States and this idea of a "great car community" that deals in said illegal cars knowingly going around federal laws and you're gonna paint them in a positive light because they were nice to you one time? Okay, nice job SpeedHunters, way to give blatant illegal activity some press and glorify it.

I didn't "miss the point" of the article at all, because I was never talking about the point of the article in the first place. I was answering someone asking if the cars were legally here. Not that I should even have to explain myself here, but I'm a car nut through and through. I care about....the cars. What do I want to see preserved for others to enjoy? The CARS. What do I NOT want to see get impounded and destroyed? The CARS, especially ANY Skyline. The relationships to other people surrounding these are, to me, ancillary. That goes doubly true for anyone knowingly or willfully putting cars like this in jeopardy because they're too cool to be patient or do things the right way like the rest of us. Giving these guys the platform to show it all off is incredibly shitty and frankly, is extra attention that shouldn't be aimed at these cars. But then, these guys parade them around Florida like it's no big deal.

The idea that you sit there and high-road me about my character while giving a platform for these jackwagons to wave an R34-shaped middle finger to car guys NOT breaking the law with rare valuable cars, is a joke.


All I meant is that you have a really really small slice of the situation.

I see your perspective, but it isn't the only one.


Why does it AT ALL matter how much of the situation I am privy to, commenting on a publically available article about "cool bros" and their illegal import business, while questioning my character, as if I'm in the wrong? I have a dissenting strong opinion based on facts about something YOU published, and I'M the one who's shortsighted in my opinions because I never met the people doing illegal shit?

Please, regale me with these other perspectives I'm missing out on, since I'm so deeply missing them.


So just to understand is it illegal if they imported or just registered? I mean could these sit in a garage till the 25 year rule kicks in unregistered? Or is it simply illegal to bring it in at all?


Registering it has no impact, they are illegal before that step even happens. They are illegal, sitting in a garage, driving on public roads, just being here.


I live in Florida and I have registered cars without paperwork and it's not that easy. In the past you simply filled out a form and had a police officer or somebody with a dealer license check the VIN and sign off on the form. A few years ago they changed that and now you are required to bring the vehicle to the DMV to have the VIN checked, I'm not sure if that's statewide or just in my county but they have tightened up a bit.


Right, but it's still lax comparatively speaking. And none of those processes are going to make these or any Skyline not on the SnD list or non-MRex car, legal.


Long live trapteam


Boy, what a genius response. I'm sure fans of MotoRex, Rivsu Motors, Black Ops Performance, etc., said the same thing. But yeah, sure, yay Goon Squad, or whatever.


Blackops shut down because they stole a car and sold it that they never paid for.
Rivsu shut down because they couldnt afford what they were doing with importing show and display cars and got into many law suits..
MotorEx is the only one out of the three you named that were shut down by the feds ... and how long ago was that?


Thanks for lending credence to my argument? Not sure what your aim is here, but goes:

One of the main plaintiffs in the Rivsu case, Craig Seidel, originally got involved with Rivsu to help them with....a few R34s. It was also alleged that they didn't have a dealer's license while selling cars. This is aside from the questionable business practices and all that.

Black Ops started out fine but then fell into the same crap that others have before. Not delivering cars, breaking EPA laws, etc. There are also several accounts of a few non-SnD R34s being seen at their shop and around Florida with Black Ops logos on them; kinda fishy. Then the stolen car that you're referring to? What car was that? Oh right, you guessed R34. And it wasn't even a legal one. They were also parading that car around shows, telling people they were able to import these cars legally.

MotoRex is self-explanatory.

The feds are/were absolutely involved in all 3 cases, I don't know how you fail to see that. The amount of time that has passed since MotoRex and now makes no difference and I'm not even sure why you think that matters. What's one of the common subjects connecting the dots here? I think it's Skylines.

Oh, and clever post name there. Boy, you sure showed me.


Damn, I kinda expected that answer although I was hoping it wasn‘t true. Such a shame to risk these cars getting crushed. Thanks for the reply though!


Holy smokes! A 993 wide-body RWB? Unbelievable! My favorite Porsche of all time: 993 twin turbo wide body. Wish I could of been there! Other cars were nice too! AIM Performance in New Jersey had several RWBS in for repair last summer. 1st time I've ever seen one in person. Amazing! Saw a yellow CaymanGT4 with Arizona plates yesterday near AIM. Need a feature on AIM.


imported as show vehicles and limited to 2500miles.....


I find it comical how much misinformation is out there about this. If you're referring to the Skylines, none of these besides the M-Spec or the MNPII car are able to be imported under SnD, and I would put a lot of money on not even those two cars in their possession even having the right papers for federal legalization or if they even went through that process, because it's likely that if an organization of this caliber is already in the "business" of acquiring illegal cars, why would they bother doing it right for something that IS legal? Plus it would bring them unwanted attention from the feds. Unless they can prove me wrong. Go ahead though; I'll wait. :)


says the easily replaceable gauge that an electronic rollback I see or are your just afraid to see me?


Since most of thee stunna boyeiiz don't really drive them anyway #"racecar"


I have to say that Trap Team has been so welcoming to me. I have been such a fan of the Spoon NSX that I decided to build my own. The guys at Trap Team saw this and they allowed me to sit in the Spoon NSX.. the video they took of me shows my reaction....... :D can’t thank them enough for their hospitality! So true how the car community is. I have made life long friends with people I med on forums!


That's what it's all about


The midnight purple R34 is great


Awesome bro! must be nice to live in Florida and able to drive these bad ass cars!!


That red 993 with ducktail <3


While I definitely agree that most of the time, a diverse group of well-modded cars and their owners will totally enjoy hanging out, some of the meets in the more rural areas of the US don't exactly welcome "foreign" cars. Props to you for connecting more enthusiasts to each other in real life, since we're all in this together...


it just goes to show how trusting car people are. While it didn’t quite hit me in the moment, car culture really is a particularly special niche with some of the very best people

Agree! The guy I had never met before whom I let drive my car probably agrees as well.
I need to do that with Jordan as well!


Question: if you get to import a car but never get to or even try to register it: A) is there a way for the government to find out that car came in to US soil? B) If there isn't, can you go and register the car in the US once 25 years of it being originally built have passed? I ask this after noticing that there are no tags on these examples. At least no evident ones on these carefully chosen photographs.


To your first question it definitely depends, but mostly no, not really. But if a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it... blah blah. As for B, it'll need to leave the country and come back in once the 25 year mark passes for it to be registered legally. At least as far as I know.

I'm not privy on the details here but I know some are 'Show or Display' and some I've seen on the road are registered in Canada (15 year rule there vs. our 25) but seem to essentially live life in the US. Also, (I think) according to NHTSA guidelines, it’s legal to import an R34 for track use only.

In my opinion the 25 year rule is total crap and far too strict. What automaker's new car sales could possibly be hurt by a ~20 year old car being imported in low numbers? There's a decent article on the topic I read recently here: