Tuner Shop Busted For Illegally Importing An R33 GT-R

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All JDM Motors, a Japanese tuner and import car parts store in North Charleston, SC, was accused of smuggling illegal cars into the United States after authorities discovered a 1996 Nissan R33 GT-R hidden in a shipping container.

Inspectors with Customs and Border Protection opened a container and found a bubble-wrapped R33 GT-R on top of two rows of used engines, transmissions and other parts, reports The Post and Courier (which incorrectly identifies the R33 GT-R as the car in 2 Fast 2 Furious. It was actually the R34 GT-R).


In federal court, All JDM Motors has been accused of smuggling goods, underreporting the value of car parts and failing to report others all together in order to avoid fees.

The R33 was described as a “used breakdown car” and worth only $810 on its shipping documents, according to the search warrant, writes The Post and Courier. Speaking with a federal import specialist, the paper determined that the car was actually worth around $51,000. After finding the key, authorities were able to start the car, no problem.


The investigation is ongoing. From the story:

Investigators this month served a search warrant on All JDM Motors, seizing a desktop computer, a laptop computer and miscellaneous documents to determine whether other illegal vehicles have been smuggled into the country by the North Charleston business.

“It appears JDM may have smuggled and not declared another whole or half vehicle in an earlier container,” according to court documents that show a photo of another car posted on All JDM Motors’ Facebook page in December.

All told, the North Charleston business has imported 18 cargo boxes through the Port of Charleston since December 2014, most of them from the same supplier in Japan.


According to The Post and Courier, smuggling charges carry a maximum prison sentence of 20 years, while the other charges can lead to two-year prison sentences and fines.


The R33 GT-R is banned in the U.S. because of our very stupid 25-year import rule that says it doesn’t meet our safety or emissions standards. This rule has been the source of much headache and grief among the automotive community. In its story, The Post and Courier included these two sentences (emphasis mine):

Car collectors say speed is the main reason the Skyline is banned. The vehicle, featured in the film “2 Fast 2 Furious,” can reach speeds topping 150 mph.


Both statements are not true. At all. Don’t walk around believing that.

(h/t to Paulo!)