Photo credit: Raphael Orlove/Jalopnik

While at the New York Auto Show yesterday, we had the incredible honor of actually just getting to sit in an R33 Nissan Skyline GT-R. But while poking around in it, we found a very strange mystery.

Under the center console, we found a red switch. It wasn’t labeled at all, and we don’t think it was the sort of thing that would normally come standard in such a machine. But what did it do? And what was its original purpose? And who put it there?

AsLongAsThereIsBeerOrWomenImThere had the answer:

Ah, but of course!

In case you haven’t caught on by now, cars in the United States, and cars in other parts of the world, have different VINs. In Japan, they’re a lot shorter, and it’s one of the tools American regulators use to determine whether a car is here illegally. When an R33 GT-R isn’t supposed to be here, which tends to be the case from time to time, they end up getting crushed.


It’s a good thing this example’s got the switch there.

Congratulations, AsLongAsThereIsBeerOrWomenImThere, on your COTD win. May all your cars forever be legal.