The owner says he had no idea his imported R33 Nissan Skyline wasn’t legal in the U.S. The Feds crushed it anyway. [UPDATE]

SpeedSociety has a full article on the death of this sweet 1995 Nissan, completely forbidden fruit in the United States because of our horrible ban on importing any car that’s under 25 years old and doesn’t comply to America’s particular safety and emissions standards.

The owner, Billy Crider, reportedly bought the car four months ago. It had been illegally imported into Florida (where many of these illegal imports happen, as our own legal-Skyline-owning Doug DeMuro explained).

Crider never had any issues after it illegally came into the United States. He got it registered as a Nissan Skyline, he got it insured as a Nissan Skyline, and he got it license plates as a Nissan Skyline. State government had no problem with this car.

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The federal government was less pleased. When Crider got into a fender bender, his insurance adjuster saw his 11-digit VIN. Cars sold in the US are supposed to have 17-digit VINS, so Crider’s insurance flagged the car and a week later it was seized and crushed.

Here’s how Crider described the whole thing himself, detailed in the YouTube video description. Our buddies Brakim Racing, of Rally Lamborghini and airborne M3 fame, put this video out, as they’re friends with Crider.

Remember our local real estate agent friend Billy Crider who bought our very rare RHD Skyline?

We’ll he bought another as well but the feds took it and crushed it. Heres the story!

“I bought the car in ft Lauderdale at a dealership. Flew down to Florida and drove it all the way back to Ohio, titled it with its original 11 digit vin as a 1995 Nissan skyline, passed the out of state inspection, got full coverage insurance on it through State Farm, and dailied it until May, when it got into a fender bender. Insurance adjuster saw it wasn’t federally legal, they flagged it, sent an undercover guy to look at it, then a few days later they showed up at my door and seized it. No charges because there was no fraud or vin swapping done, the Feds couldn’t figure out how I got it titled the way I did lol but that’s the real legit story lol”

The Feds seem obsessed with this shit.

Crider’s car is gone, just like the $20,000 he spent on it.

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Why the government spends so much time and effort destroying these cars I do not know, and why American car enthusiasts don’t yet know all American auto import laws back to front is beyond me.

UPDATE: I got in touch with Billy Crider and he explained that yes, he knew his car could be seized and he bought it anyway. Read the full story on the why and the how of that right here.


Contact the author at raphael@jalopnik.com.