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Old 03-03-2011, 03:57 PM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default Feds Launch New Crackdown Against Nissan Skyline Owners

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The owner of one of the nation's largest forums for Nissan Skyline fans got a call three weeks ago from his wife, telling him that Homeland Security agents were on their doorstep looking to seize his Skylines. Their goal?

"To get them off the road."



Since Nissan never legally sold the Skyline in the United States, those that are in the country had to pass a maze of federal standards for emissions and safety, including crash tests. Thanks to the failure of an importer who didn't perform the proper test, only a small run of Skylines from 1996 to 1998 can be legally brought to the United States, and many that were originally OK'd for import later had their papers pulled. Those cars are contraband as far as the U.S. government cares even if they were considered legal when their current owners bought them and there's nothing current owners can do to make them legal.

The proprietor of the SkylineOwners USA says he was expecting the worst when he got home on Feb. 11, but found just two Immigrations and Customs agents. What was more confusing was the agent's info:
It was evident that someone somewhere had passed on some bum scoop, that I was running a business with the sole intent of trafficking illegal non-conforming vehicles into the U.S. by the dozens. In addition they were under the assumption that I possessed a warehouse where I kept all of the vehicles and also did all my automotive repair and modification work at.
The owner, known as Vandrel, had just two Skylines; one that's old enough to be exempt from vehicle import rules, and another for which he had extensive paperwork. After their visit, the customs agents called Vandrel back to say his second Skyline had been deemed illicit, and they would return to seize it on Tuesday.

But when they came back, Vandrel had a surprise for them:
I made it very clear that my intent was to retain ownership for the time being and export the vehicle from the country, and that I had already made arrangements for a sale to be conducted as well as export of the vehicle, which of course shocked them completely since all past Skylines seized were not owned by someone who carried the ability to execute an export on the spot. With no car and no material items left in my possession that would cause me to worry about being questioned or investigated by the federal government any further, I now have nothing to lose by challenging them and I intend to do so to the fullest of my abilities and resources.
The move has motivated the Skyline community, but also raised the eternal question of whether such pursuits are the best use of government resources. We've left a message with Homeland Security, but the answer to why agents are tracking down every last Skyline may be the ages-old one: Because they can.
http://jalopnik.com/#!5775509/feds-launch-new-crackdown-against-nissan-skyline-owners
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Old 03-03-2011, 04:05 PM   #2
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what a waste of time, first for the people who originally imported the cars, and now for HLS.

shouldn't they be doing nude scans in airports or something?
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Old 03-03-2011, 05:10 PM   #3
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I'm gonna piss a lot of people off but f* this countries government
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Old 03-03-2011, 06:40 PM   #4
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Those cars are contraband as far as the U.S. government cares — even if they were considered legal when their current owners bought them — and there's nothing current owners can do to make them legal.
I'm not a lawyer (but I play one on TV..kidding) but having taken some basic law classes in college, to me this is ridiculous and a prime example of an ex-post facto law which largely are ruled as unconstitutional. I concur with everyone else in this thread aren't there better things to be spending homeland security money on? Hell even if you make it so the cars aren't street legal but their owners can keep them and use them on tracks.

It amazes me sometimes how government can be so focused on the letter of the law and not the spirit of the law.

Last edited by Cardiff Giant; 03-03-2011 at 06:46 PM.
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Old 03-03-2011, 07:54 PM   #5
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I was under the assumption that the cars that "were legal but then not legal" had their exemptions pulled because it was proven that the Motorex cars were never modified by Motorex to be legal in the first place. These were the ONLY cars that were supposed to have been allowed to be imported.

Still, stupid waste of government resources.
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Old 03-04-2011, 10:59 AM   #6
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The bigger you allow government to grow the more authority they assume they have over you. When you have 25000 people standing around doing nothing, you quickly invent jobs for them to do, or else lose your funding. This is a prime example. This serves absolutely NO purpose at all to benefit the people of this country. NONE. But think about how much this costs.
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Old 03-04-2011, 12:02 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Cardiff Giant View Post
I'm not a lawyer (but I play one on TV..kidding) but having taken some basic law classes in college, to me this is ridiculous and a prime example of an ex-post facto law which largely are ruled as unconstitutional. I concur with everyone else in this thread aren't there better things to be spending homeland security money on? Hell even if you make it so the cars aren't street legal but their owners can keep them and use them on tracks.

It amazes me sometimes how government can be so focused on the letter of the law and not the spirit of the law.
It's a way of certain govt deparmental ppl to keep their jobs and do an easy but meaningless task, rather than do something of more importance, but much more difficult.

Basically laziness and selfishness.

It's like picking on a defenseless kid who bothers no one vs taking on a bully who can fight back.
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Old 03-06-2011, 12:27 AM   #8
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We've got to protect our phoney baloney jobs, gentlemen! Harumph!
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Old 03-06-2011, 12:32 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by boney7 View Post
I'm gonna piss a lot of people off but f* this countries government
No the only people you will piss off by saying that are those that like socialistic reins over their shoulders.

so x2 to your post.
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Old 03-06-2011, 01:25 AM   #10
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i agree with everything said in this thread so far. what do vehicles from another country have to do with homeland security? there are much better things the departments involved can be doing. why not instead of creating a bull**** job for them to do, devote more man hours to things that are actually a threat to the country. illegal immigrants get into the country every day... false identities are easy to come by, this is a serious problem but i guess skylines are more dangerous. to clarify my stance on what i just said, im not one of those "learn our language or get out" morons.. there are some people that flee to our country to try to better themselves in a respectable way. it goes without saying however that there are very bad people that get into the country and have more rights than legal citizens, and it would be just as easy for a "terrorist" to get in as well. im starting to think the whole terrorist thing is the US form of middle eastern/communist country's "anti america" propaganda. basically the citizens of this country have little to no rights, and there is nothing we can do about it, and no one we can call for help.... we are just as much trapped by our corrupted government as the countries "we" are against.
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Old 03-06-2011, 03:16 PM   #11
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Why don't we take all these resources that we're devoting to fighting the big bad, evil grey car market and put them to work protecting something more important?

Like I don't know, making sure no WMDs are imported into the country? You know, trivial little crap like that.
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Old 03-06-2011, 06:58 PM   #12
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if the skylines stay, the terrorists win...
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Old 03-06-2011, 08:45 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by WRX_FTW View Post
i agree with everything said in this thread so far. what do vehicles from another country have to do with homeland security?
The enforcement action here was done by ICE (formerly U.S. Customs service). Their job is to collect import tariffs and protect the U.S. economy from smuggling and illegal goods. Just like any customs service in any country in the world. Pretty standard stuff.

During the big post-9/11 re-org, Customs/ICE became administratively a part of the DHS (Homeland Security). They still have the same job, though.

It's not like there are guys seizing Skylines who otherwise would be out hunting terrorists. Nope, the ICE agents doing this are doing exactly what Customs enforcement officials are supposed to be doing and what they've always done.

And boo-hoo to the people who bought an illegally imported product and now have to pay the consequences. They get no pity from me, aside from the fact that maybe they were stupid to use an importer that was playing fast and loose with the LAW.
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Old 03-06-2011, 08:50 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by FaastLegacy View Post
Why don't we take all these resources that we're devoting to fighting the big bad, evil grey car market and put them to work protecting something more important?

Like I don't know, making sure no WMDs are imported into the country? You know, trivial little crap like that.
I love the relativity argument.

Hey, while we're at it why don't we take all local police, all mall security guards, all meter-maids, all FDA regulators, all building code inspectors, all financial market regulators, and every other law-enforcement-related job in this country....give them all some guns and send them off looking for terrorists?

Because after all, all those resources we're devoting to fighting the big, bad illegal right turns, evil shoplifters, unsanitary food, and shoddily-built skyscrapers could all be doing somethign more important, right?

Is your job one that is absolutely vital to keeping the country secure from terrorists or WMDs? If not, I guess we should say you're just as worthless as the government seizing illegal Skylines, by your logic....


and btw..."all these resources" that we're using fighting the gray market on cars is probably a grand total of about a half-dozen analysts and 2 or 3 field agents who specialize in automotive smuggling. It's not like it's a giant agency doing nothing but seizing skylines.

Last edited by irish44j; 03-06-2011 at 08:57 PM.
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Old 03-06-2011, 09:00 PM   #15
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Is your job one that is absolutely vital to keeping the country secure from terrorists or WMDs? If not, I guess we should say you're just as worthless as the government seizing illegal Skylines, by your logic....
Struck a nerve did I? Someone work for the federal government?

Dear irish44j, I don't work for the federal government nor am I paid with tax payer derived dollars that could be better spent via other avenues while defending our borders. That isn't my logic whatsoever, you're completely missing the point.

The fact that we're pissing away tax dollars by harassing a handful of guys with quasi illegal automobiles when we could be using those resources for real and much more important problems is pathetic, but not unexpected. If you don't see the logic in that, well, you certainly sound like a government employee.
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Old 03-06-2011, 09:31 PM   #16
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Struck a nerve did I? Someone work for the federal government?

Dear irish44j, I don't work for the federal government nor am I paid with tax payer derived dollars that could be better spent via other avenues while defending our borders. That isn't my logic whatsoever, you're completely missing the point.

The fact that we're pissing away tax dollars by harassing a handful of guys with quasi illegal automobiles when we could be using those resources for real and much more important problems is pathetic, but not unexpected. If you don't see the logic in that, well, you certainly sound like a government employee.

lol....Yep, I do work for the government. But luckily for you, I actually do work specifically in the fields that you think that these customs inspectors should be working in (you know, catching/fighting our "actual" enemies).

So no nerve struck here. If you knew what I did, you'd have no problem with your tax money paying me (and yes this is the internet so I could just be BS'ing.....you can either take my word for it, or not. It doesn't really matter to me). I agree with you about certain gov't workers and agencies wasting money, though...trust me.

I however, do not consider enforcing the LAW to be "pissing away tax dollars." Keep in mind that these ICE guys who are stopping illegally-imported cars are the same guys that, while enforcing some mundane/lame law, are going to find the suitcase nuke that someone is trying to smuggle into the country in the trunk of an imported car, or imported piece of furniture, or some other "who cares" item. This is how it happens. Our enemies don't ship nasty stuff in via UPS or FedEx. Gotta enforce the lame laws just like the important ones. Or take them off the books (preferable).

NOW.....

Do I disagree with the car importation regulations? ABSO-FREAKING-LUTELY. I lived in Italy for 3 years and owned a Lancia Delta Integrale Evo (look it up if you've never heard of it) and a Peugeot 405 MI16. I would love nothing more than to import both of those into this country. Seriously. But the laws don't allow it, so I don't try to smuggle them in as an Alfa Milano (which would be legal to import). I sit and wait until the cars are 25 years old, and then will import them legally using vintage car laws. The legal way.

Just because we don't agree with a law, doesn't mean that we should get pissed when that law is enforced. If you want to work to change the law about car imports, just tell me where to sign up - I'll jump aboard in 2 seconds.

Same thing for Cuban cigars. Because I really enjoy Cubans when I'm overseas

But to say that the government is wasting money by enforcing the laws that our ELECTED officials enacted.....well, that's ridiculous. The government is here to enforce the laws - whether it be stopping a terrorist from bringing WMDs into the country, or stopping illegal bananas being shipped from Brazil or something....
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Old 03-06-2011, 09:32 PM   #17
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and if you knew how alot of your (and my) tax dollars are being spent, you'd think this "crusade" against Skylines is pretty worthwhile in comparison, lol....

This country spends more money per year regulating what kind of trees you can plant in your front yard than it does on enforcing automotive importation laws. True story.
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Old 03-06-2011, 09:40 PM   #18
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You haven't convinced me that enforcing these laws isn't a giant waste of time and money, you have however further cemented my assessment that the US Government is too stupid and wasteful to be of any service to the average citizen.
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Old 03-06-2011, 09:47 PM   #19
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You haven't convinced me that enforcing these laws isn't a giant waste of time and money, you have however further cemented my assessment that the US Government is too stupid and wasteful to be of any service to the average citizen.
If you think the USG is of no service to you, you could always go to a place like Somalia. There's no government there at all. You could import all the Skylines you want to, and life would be just great!



Also, if you think the USG is stupid and wasteful alot of the time, you'll get no argument from me. That said, you should try living in Europe or Japan for a while, and pay 3x the taxes to get 10% of the services. Then you'll know the true definition of tax burden and government waste.
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Old 03-06-2011, 11:05 PM   #20
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Brain teaser of the day:

If your tax dollars provide %100 of the salary of a Government employee, do they (the Government employee) bear the burden of income tax, or does the Public get taxed twice?

However, I agree with 44. Regardless - the vehicles are here illegally. If someone were to get in an accident with one of these vehicles and cause a fatility and the good ol' Government knew the vehicle was not compliant and didn't do anything about it - the attorneys would go for the deep pockets (Uncle Sam).
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Old 03-06-2011, 11:44 PM   #21
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What round of "nation wide skyline sweep" are we on? 3,4 5?
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Old 03-06-2011, 11:53 PM   #22
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Brain teaser of the day:

If your tax dollars provide %100 of the salary of a Government employee, do they (the Government employee) bear the burden of income tax, or does the Public get taxed twice?
lol....the real brain teaser is why you put the "%" ahead of the number and not behind it

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However, I agree with 44. Regardless - the vehicles are here illegally. If someone were to get in an accident with one of these vehicles and cause a fatility and the good ol' Government knew the vehicle was not compliant and didn't do anything about it - the attorneys would go for the deep pockets (Uncle Sam).
ironic, isn't it? And if the gov't has to pay out a $10 million lawsuit ruling for such a situation.....that's $10 million in taxpayers' money....and probably more than they spent confiscating a few crappy old Skylines anyhow.

ANyhow, I bet all these people wouldn't be screaming about the government if they were seizing a handful of illegally-imported Fiat Uno's...
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Old 03-06-2011, 11:53 PM   #23
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If you think the USG is of no service to you, you could always go to a place like Somalia. There's no government there at all. You could import all the Skylines you want to, and life would be just great!
Hearing such brilliant reasoning from a government employee makes me wish Scott Walker was the President.
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Old 03-07-2011, 03:51 AM   #24
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wow... that's pretty F'ed up.
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Old 03-07-2011, 08:10 AM   #25
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Can't they just cut these cars up and ressemble them as kit cars? I mean I can build a kit car and name it whatever i want w/o having any of these issues. RIGHT?
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