Skyline GTR R34 – A Love Story

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The Skyline GT-R was never manufactured outside Japan, and the only export markets were Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. Production of the fifth generation of the GTR, the R34 was from 1999-2002. The R34 is a 2-door, front engine, all-wheel drive coupe. Under the hood (stock) you will find a 2.6 Liter RB26DETT twin-turbo inline six, an engine manufactured by Nissan and used in the 1989-2002 Skyline models (Nissan Skyline R34 Manual).

New features included different painted valve covers; red instead of black, a new 5.8″ LCD multifunction display which gave the driver different read outs from the engine like oil/water temperature, boost, intake/exhaust temperature, and voltage just to name a few. Also the over length of the vehicle was shortened by 75 mm (almost 3 inches).

In the year 2000, Nissan released the V-Spec II model which is the car you see in the video above. The V-spec II replaced the v-spec I with increased stiffness to the suspension and introduced larger brake rotors for better stopping power. Nissan also wanted the car to be lighter and with that they replaced the heavier aluminum hood with a carbon fiber hood equipped with a NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics) duct to help with better air flow for the engine. The V-spec II version did not stop there; the center console was colored iridium and Nissan added aluminum pedals. The seats were then changed to black cloth instead of gray which was used in the previous R34 models and the amber turn lenses were replaced with white versions.

Despite the fact the R34 is not legally allowed into the United States, it has become an iconic sports car. As seen in many video games from Gran Turismo 5 to Forza and even in iconic automotive movies like 2 Fast and 2 Furious the R34 has become a car on many car enthusiasts wish list.

Unfortunately, the R34 cannot be legally imported into the US until the year 2023 depending on year of production (25+ years after the manufacturing date because it can be considered a historic car). This was caused by the motor vehicle safety compliance act 1988 which ceased the import of “grey-market” vehicles into the United States. A grey market vehicle is; “A vehicle that is manufactured outside of the United States and is not originally built to meet U.S. safety and emissions standards. The vehicle may need to be modified after it is imported. The vehicle must be approved by the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Federal Department of Transportation (DOT) and before it can be registered” (DMV, 2015).

Though there have been petitions and articles to reverse or lessen the years a person would need to wait to import a grey market car none have been successful. There are however some other ways to import a vehicle like the R34. One way would be to take the car a part into pieces and then rebuild it. Unfortunately you still cannot register the vehicle because it would still be considered illegal. Another option would be to import the car as a “Show Car Only” this vehicle would be used only to showcase a company or garage and would not be used as a car driven on the streets.

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