Here’s a Tour of a USA-Legal R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R

Nissan’s R34 Skyline GT-R is one of the most iconic Japanese cars of all time. For many it is the most desirable Nissan model ever built, however getting one in the USA can be quite a task. Doug DeMuro reviews a R34 GT-R in this video, which is one of a handful of R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R models legally in the United States.

Why is the R34 GT-R illegal ?

Essentially, all of the Nissan GT-R’s from the R32 to the R34 are illegal in the United States, however the older GT-R’s can be imported under the 25-year rule. No R32, R33 or R34 GT-R’s where sold new in the US.

Any car sold in the US has to meet a long list of Federal compliance specs from minimum safety requirements to emissions. Crash safety compliance requires the manufacturer to hand over a number of production samples to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Manufacturers cannot just supply test results from somewhere else; they have to supply actual cars to be crash tested.

Nissan Chose not to undergo the expensive of testing and certification for the Skyline, as they do not intend to sell the car in the US market. Some of the reasons for this as they did not see it would be profitable and they would have to make a left hand drive version, which would add manufacturing cost.

Importers have managed to bypass these restrictions by importing parts of the car and then reassembling it. They then register the car as a show car.

Nissan R34 GT-R

Nissan’s R34 GT-R is one of the most iconic Japanese cars of all time along with the Toyota Supra, Honda NSX and Mazda RX7. The Nissan GTR dynasty stretches all the way back to the late 60’s, encompassing some of the best cars to come out of Japan. The R34 GTR was a late comer to the nineties, launching in 1999 and finishing production in 2002. As one of the most iconic Japanese cars of all time, the R34 certainly has a lot to live up to, and it delivers that in spades.

With a Twin-turbocharged 2.6 L I6 engine and a 6-speed transmission, the R34 was bound to be fast. Due to Japanese car industry norms at the time, the R34 was advertised as having 276 hp but in reality it had well over 330 hp. Not only was it a power car from the factory, when tuners got their hands on these they produced some real screamers, with some reaching 1000 hp.


  • Ben

    From his early days playing the original Gran Turismo and with his Hot Wheels car set, Ben has had a long interest in all things automotive. His first foray into the world of automotive journalism was way back in 2009 and since then he has only grown more interested in the industry. Ben also runs and heads up the video production side of Garage Dreams, focusing on small informative documentaries about some of the world's most legendary cars.

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