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You Can Now Legally Import an R32 Nissan Skyline GT-R

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R32 Nissan Skyline GT-R

Photo: Miki Yoshihito via Flickr

The current Nissan GT-R that’s sold in the US is an impressive machine, but it’s decended from a long line of older Nissan Skyline GT-Rs that were sold in Japan at various times since the 1960s. One of the most popular generations was the R32 Skyline GT-R, but Nissan didn’t sell them in the US and enthusiasts couldn’t legally import them for 25 years.

Last year, the wait was over. The first production year of the Skyline GT-R was 1989, so wealthy enthusiasts are starting to import them to the US.

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The R32 is so popular because it offers a 276-horsepower twin-turbocharged V6 engine, a 5-speed manual transmission, and all-wheel drive. That combination in a lightweight sports car makes the R32 a seriously fast car from the factory, and with a few modifications, a beast at the track as well. Since they were sold in Japan, they are right-hand drive.

Due to NHTSA regulations, which are slightly stricter than the UN regulations that nearly the entire rest of the world uses, vehicles must comply with specific safety laws to be legally registered in the US. The NHTSA, however, grants cars that are 25 years old or older an exemption to these regulations. So if there’s a car that you want that isn’t sold in the US right now, you’re going to have to wait a while.

If you don’t want to wait for an R32, you might want to consider just buying a brand new GT-R, as you’ll probably spend about the same money buying the R32 in Japan, filling out all the proper paperwork, shipping it over to the States, and getting it registered. What grey market car would you want to import? Let us know in the comments.

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  • The picture you used is of a 4 door Skyline GTS-T, which is not 4WD, twin turbo, or a 2 door coupe like a GT-R. The R32-34 GT-Rs also use a straight six, not a V6.