Wednesday, April 17, 2013

PAS Magazine Interview About the Show or Display Nissan Skyline GT-R

Nissan Skyline GT-R Key

A few months back I did a photo shoot and interview with Jacob Leveton for PAS Magazine about the NISMO R32 Nissan Skyline GT-R's I imported under Show or Display.

One small error. You don't need to bring in every car though a Registered Importer, just any car not over 25 years, or not under Show or Display. If the car is newer than 21 years, and coming in under Show or Display, you need an ICI.

You’ve become a bit of a guru on getting a car imported legally. In general, what does it take to bring a car into the U.S.?

You’ll need to bring any car in through a Registered Importer, which can bring it up to current Federal standards, but there are a several agencies you will need to be aware of, as each has its own requirements. 
NISMO Optional Parts Catalog

How does the Show or Display exemption work?
If you can convince the NHTSA the car you're trying to import is historically- or technologically-significant and it agrees, you can bring it in for “show or display” purposes, drive it on public roads for up to 2,500 miles per year, etc. There are many rules around it too; production numbers typically have to be fewer than 500 produced. It’s basically referred to as a Bill Gates / Paul Allen rule. Those guys pushed the law through to make the Porsche 959 legal for import. If you want to get a law like this changed, you may need Bill Gates and Paul Allen money.
Other cars on the “Show or Display” exemption list include: the McLaren F1, Bugatti EB110, Ford RS200, BMW Z1, Mercedes CLK-GTR Roadster and Lamborghini Diablo GT. Each had to be requested by someone who wanted to bring the car into the US, and get it approved. If it’s less than 21 years old, still needs to meet emissions regulations, so it needs to be brought in by an ICI (Independent Commercial Importer) who will have to bring the car up to emissions specs.
NISMO Nissan Skyline GT-R Brochure

Head over to PAS Magazine for the full article and interview. forum for discussion about importing vehicles over 25 years old to the US.



Your signed application must include, at a minimum:
1. Your name, address, phone number, and FAX number.
2. Vehicle identification – make, model, model year, VIN or chassis number,
engine number, date of manufacture and mileage.
3. Location where you will store the vehicle in the United States.
4. Statement describing use on the public roads, if intended. If on-road use is requested, identify the Independent Commercial Importer (ICI) that will modify the vehicle to bring it into conformity with the requirements of the Environmental Protection Agency.
5. Basis for the application.
6. Attachments:
1. Photographs – ¾ frontal, ¾ rear, interior, odometer reading and special features (if appropriate).
2. Document from manufacturer or recognized historical source, identifying total production (production verification).
3. Proof of insurance conditioned on limited on-road use (not more than 2,500 miles accumulated in any 12-month period).
4. Identification of vehicle’s:
1. Technological significance – You must identify (be specific) the technology, engineering, and construction features of the vehicle that are advanced and of an unusual nature not commonly found in motor vehicles manufactured in the same time period; or
2. Historical significance – You must identify the historical significance of the vehicle. If a person of historical significance owned the vehicle, you must submit proof that this person owned the vehicle. If the vehicle was the first or last vehicle of a particular model, you must establish this through the manufacturer’s documentation or, if this is not available, through a recognized historical source. If the vehicle was "one of a kind," you must establish this also.
Items of significance must be numerically listed followed by the reason why the item is of significance.
You may then mail the application to:

Import and Certification Division
Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance (NVS-223)
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Room W45-205
Washington, DC 20590


A vehicle eligible for Show or Display may receive NHTSA approval to be driven on the highway. The odometer must not register more than 2,500 miles in a 12-month period. NHTSA approval of limited on-road use is to allow the vehicle to be driven to and from nearby displays of similar automobiles. Another reason permission is granted is to maintain the vehicle’s engine, braking, lighting, and other dynamic systems in good working order. The vehicle is still required to meet EPA requirements. If the original engine in the vehicle will be replaced with a non-original engine to meet EPA requirements, it must be identified in your application since it may impact on the technological or historical significance of the vehicle. Email me if you need help importing vehicles.