Monday, December 12, 2011

Nissan Skyline GT-R Nismo Show or Display Application

Over the last twelve or so years I have been working with Nissan Skyline GT-Rs and I have been a fan of the car for even longer. Last year, the 1989 Nissan Skyline GT-R turned 21 years old, I even made it a video about it. This is significant in regards to importing to the US, as a car that is 21 years old is exempt from Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) standards. However, as with many things run by the government, the National Highway Transport Safety Administration (NHTSA) requires vehicles to be over 25 years old to be exempt. Its one of those things that makes no sense, but just accept that is the way that it is. Questioning it does no good, but giving you a headache.

1990 Nismo GT-R
The Nismo R32 GT-R was sold as a homologation special for racing starting February 22,1990. 560 total cars were produced, only 500 were sold to the public. This meant that the car was going to be 21 years old, February 22, 2011. The 500 total cars, and the fact that it was meant as a base for the race cars meant that it was a perfect candidate for the Show or Display exemption. Show or Display was a rule that allowed for certain historically or technologically significant vehicles to be imported to the US on a permanent basis without meeting federal motor vehicle safety standards. The rules allow for the cars to be driven up to 2500 miles per year, but they still need to meet EPA standards. 

Now that the Nismo R32 is over 21 years old, it seemed like a good time to put in an application for Show or Display. Recently I had someone pick me up a copy of the FIA Homologation paperwork for the R32 GT-R. The paperwork contained lots of interesting pictures and information, and also part of my basis for my application for Show or Display.

So with the 21st birthday of the Nismo R32 come and gone, I wrote up a cover letter, put it together with some pictures, the FIA homologation paperwork on the car, and sent it to the NHTSA in Washington, DC. I gave it about a month and called the NHTSA to check the progress of the application, left a voicemail. Nothing. About a week later, called again left another voicemail, nothing.

This is to be expected. As with any government agency, you can hardly expect them to call you back, to give you an update on a project. Even if you leave them your phone number, email address, and call several times over a several week time frame. Another month goes by. Call a few more times, leave some more voicemails. Maybe, they might think, that I will give up. I have other things to do, but I am just doing this to prove a point.

The NHTSA has already set a precedent with the Nissan Skyline GT-R and Show or Display. They approved a 1999 Nissan Skyline GT-R Vspec "early version". Interesting, I consider myself to be pretty well versed in the Nissan GT-R, and especially the R34, and I have never heard of that car. The report from the NHTSA was that no R34 had ever been imported under that rule, as they can not meet EPA requirements. The last time I spoke with them, back in July 2009, I had a 20 minute conversation about all things imported, and Nissan Skyline, I knew then that the "Nissan Skyline" was a bad word at the NHTSA.

In all these years, it seems a lot of people on forums, and in the world, just don't understand that the Nissan Skyline is a dirty word, its a target for people at all levels of government. The more that people want it, like illegal drugs, the more people that try and import it, and the more people that will break the law doing it. So to go over that again:

Nissan Skyline = Dirty Word

However, that just makes it more of a challenge. If it were easy, everyone could do it.

So back to the NHTSA. Its June 2011, and I decided to give them a call again. This time, my call just went to the general mail box, and I left a voicemail. June 7th, someone called me back. I explained the situation, and they patched me though to the right guy- Dick Merritt.

It was a weird conversation, as I was expecting most of the same topics to come up. It was the same things I have been talking about over the years. Things I try to explain to people. He really didn't want to have anything to do with the Skyline. Dick Merritt has mentioned to me several times that "I have no idea why anyone would want one of those things." He also mentioned to me that they are "rocketships." Our conversation went around and around, but in the end we talked about how to identify the individual cars, we went over a few things in the petition, and talked about the Show or Display process. At the end of the conversation he told me to "not hold my breath".


Technological Significance of the 1990 Nissan Nismo Skyline GT-R

The 1990 Nissan Nismo Skyline GT-R “Nismo” should be eligible for Show or Display based on its technological significance and low production figures. The Nismo was launched on February 22, 1990 as a base model for Nissan's Group A and N1 racing cars.

Out of a  total of 560 cars1 produced, only 500 cars were sold to the public, 60 cars were held back by Nissan for racing. Even though there were more than 500 total cars produced, this car is of exceptional significance because of its race history and following world wide.   The Nismo has a unique chassis code, making them immediately identifiable. BNR32-100000 though BNR32-100560. 2

The Nismo has several unique differences from the normal Nissan Skyline GT-R that were done so the car could be homolgated for Group A and N1 racing . These differences distinguish it from the normal Nissan Skyline GT-R’s.


1 Dennis Gorodji, Nissan GT-R Supercar Born to Race (Dorset, Veloce,2009) 37
    2 GT-R Magazine, Kotsu Times Sha Co. LTD 2011/March , Issue 97 136

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Don't give up man!! Annoy the shit out of this guy. They can't ignore you forever, if the car qualifies then they have to let you import!!

Chad Boulden said...

Keep up the good work! I'll be calling them today, and I'll let you know how it goes. Like you said, just getting an answer, any answer, would let you know what direction to go in.

Cali_34 said...
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