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Thursday, January 7, 2016

Nissan Skyline Gets Crushed : Illegal VIN Swap

We get these questions all the time, "how do they have that car?" Normally people are asking us about cars that are less than 25 years old, normally R33 and R34 Nissan Skylines.  There are a few ways to have cars here legally, VCP-32, that was put into place though MotoRex. There are also cars that are over 25 years old. There are legitimate race cars.  There are also cars that are imported temporarily, but must be exported.

The supposed story on this car, was it was imported to the US, and had a VIN swap. What's a VIN swap?  You take the vehicle identification number from one car, normally a salvaged or wrecked car, and you put it on another car. Its a favorite of thieves, and other unscrupulous people.  In this case, they say a Nissan 240SX VIN was put on this R33 Nissan Skyline.

"THE REAL STORY FROM THE ACTUAL OWNER THAT WAS TAKEN FROM !!!! THIS SKYLINE WAS VIN SWAP !  And ya of course, basically I tracked it back to the guy that brought it in, he was from Texas, it's been in the states for 6 to 10 years passing through different owners. Last January I bought it from Bullet Motorsports in Ft Lauderdale, I drove it back up to Ohio, had it inspected, and titled and insured as a 1995 Nissan skyline gtst. I daily drove it for about 5 and a half months when my buddy backed into the front of the car. Insurance flagged the vin, and I got a warning from State Farm it was flagged so I put it up for sale to get rid of it, the Feds sent an undercover buyer to look at the vin, they saw it wasn't a 96-98, and they picked it up the day of the sale to the undercover guy. I didn't get into any legal trouble at all because I didn't commit vin fraud or insurance fraud. They were actually shocked I titled and insured it the way I did lol. Anyways moral of the story is stay away from gray market."

This isn't a grey market car. This is a black market car. A car with a VIN swap, was never, and will never be legal in the US. Tampering with VIN's is a federal offense, and what normally happens, is what is shown in the pictures above. The cars are crushed. Since they say there is no way to determine if the car was stolen, or what the car is, they make an example.  There were 40 Range Rovers that were seized, a few were crushed, many ended back with the owners last year as a result of VIN tampering.

This is not the first, nor will be the last time we ever hear of this happening. So all you guys out there, with questionable cars, you will want to be on the look out.  We see them listed for sale everyday, from Facebook to eBay.  If you have any questions on a car, first check our guide - Is My Imported Car Legal? 

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This car was not vin swapped. It was titled insured and plate using the Japanese vin number.

Unknown said...

Hmm... Seems like the feds wouldn't have noticed or really cared if the VIN wasn't swapped and it was a 1996 model year.
On another note, there's a company in Philadelphia named JapStarz that imports 25-year old imports and newer. They claim in their FAQs that all of their imports, including their newer imports are legal and won't be seized by the government. What a joke... I just don't understand how companies like JapStarz and Blacked Out Motorsports are getting away with this. The funny part is JapStarz only list their 25 year old imports on their website; one would have to make arrangements for the newer ones.
Also noticed there's a guy on eBay who's selling his R33. Claims he brought it in under "military PCS" and that it's been in the country for the past 10 years with no problem. Just gets weirder by the day...

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