Why is the Nissan Skyline GT-R illegal in USA?

Recently  United States Customs Enforcement made news for seizing yet another illegally imported Nissan R33 Skyline GT-R. Prompting everyone from forum users to actual news publications to invent wild stories as to why the Skyline is illegal to import into the US. 

Some of the most popular internet theories are that the GT-R is so fast that US Police cars can't catch it so it was banned, others claim it is because it is right-hand-drive, while others, talk about US muscle car makers lobbying to ban it because it would embarrass the Camaro and Mustang. While all of these are entertaining, none of them are true, the Skyline GT-R has not been singled out to be banned by the US Government. 

So what is the real story? For that, we turned to Sean Morris of International Vehicle Importers one of the leading importers of cars from Japan to the US and someone who has written countless articles on the subject. According to Sean, the real story starts in the 1980's when Mercedez-Benz got tired of importers taking advantage of the exchange rate and importing cars to the US. It was a big business with over 50,000 cars being privately imported in 1984 alone as reported in TIME Magazine

With so many cars being brought in by consumers and importers US dealerships began to suffer and Mercedes-Benz decided to push for a ban on the importation of cars newer than 25 years old. Spending 1-million dollars on congressional lobbying resulted in the Motor Vehicle Safety Compliance Act of 1988, effectively ending the importation of late model cars with few exceptions. 

So that is the answer, in order to protect dealerships and auto companies sales in the USA, congress made importing cars newer than 25 years old illegal. It has nothing to do with smog, crashworthiness, how fast a car is, or right-hand-drive. 

Now if you do have a car that is 25 year old there might be additional state restrictions you have to deal with for more info on that I suggest you check out Sean's site http://www.importavehicle.info/ or if you want to shop for cars already imported to the USA check out Top Rank International Vehicle Importers for their current inventory.