Nick, I wish you luck!
The engine is out because that is the only way to (somewhat) easily import non-legal cars like that...somehow if the engine is sitting next to the car in the same container it's alright by the EPA and Customs...but if the engine happens to be sitting IN the car...well!
There is no easy way to do this, especially as you live in Cali, home of the 1-state smog regs and the smog witches known as CARB. However, there are non-legal cars running around, registered. It can be done, but I have no idea how. You may find some secret email some day in your box, but no one is going to post here in the public how they did it. It basically involves swapping VINs and other such trickery. If people can get a turbo'd RS to pass, that part of it shouldn't present a big problem.
Again, good luck...and swing by Ventura if you ever get that thing going. If not, you could probably buy the car and part it out and double your money back. Seats...Al control arms...ahhh...