Monday, March 07, 2011

Because terrorists are hard to catch...

...and The Fast and the Furious fanbois are less likely to shout "Allahu akhbar!" and blow you to kingdom come when you try and arrest them, the Department of Homeland Security is busy launching a crackdown to keep the homeland secure from gray-market Nissan Skyline GT-Rs.

I'll sleep safer in my bed tonight, secure in the knowledge that rough men stand watch in the night, protecting me from cars that haven't had the full battery of NHTSA frontal offset barrier impact tests.

(Incidentally, I first became aware of the Skyline GT-R back in the early '90s when, in a "10 Best Cars You Can't Get Here" piece, Car & Driver described it as "...the only car, howling through the rain-soaked mountains near Nikko, to make our passenger throw up. Twice." I've had a low-level jones for one ever since.)

(H/T to Unc.)


genedunn said...

I don't understand how they can seize the property in the first place. I totally get how they could revoke the registration and tags and make it so the car could not be driven on public roads legally, but how can they seize it? What makes it illegal just to OWN the thing?

Bram said...

I think the link might be out of date. The point is valid - there is an incredible disconnect between the Administration and the actual problems we face:
1. Government spending / borrowing
2. Islam
3. Mexican border

Instead, let’s chase down hot rods and talk about racism…

Anonymous said...

Gosh, you'd almost think they might be working for Government Motors sales department.

After all, if they can force you to buy health insurance, certainly they can make you buy their cars.


perlhaqr said...

I keep looking at the "front half" and "rear half" Skyline bits on ebay (roughly $7k for engine, transmission, suspension bits, computers, etc) and this '71 240z I have kicking around that's short an engine and transmission... Because the only thing that could make a Skyline cooler is to be totally smog exempt and 2/3rds the weight. :D

perlhaqr said...

God damn the first commenter at that link is a dick.!5775509/feds-launch-new-crackdown-against-nissan-skyline-owners?comment=37418520:37418520

"Derp, the car's here illegally, so it's fine that the government is abrogating the property rights of the owners, derp!"

It's a goddamn car. Fuck that, it's any piece of machinery. As long as it's not hurting anyone else, the gov't (theoretically) has no authority to say shit about it. It's not like it's a fucking Trabant, which causes groundwater pollution when parked, the thing's supposedly illegal because... what? It's slightly less safe than it should be for the era in which it was built, which only makes it a hundred times safer than my '72 Satellite?

(I know I'm preaching at the choir here, but AAAAARGH!)

*spits on the DOT*

Tam said...

FWIW, I heartily approve of the way "derp" has inserted itself into the lexicon so quickly.

Jim said...

This would be bad even if there weren't better things to do with their time and effort.


w/v: phings. Phings are getting out of control, and phomeone is going to get hurt.

Gudis said...

"Those cars are contraband as far as the U.S. government cares — even if they were considered legal when their current owners bought them — and there's nothing current owners can do to make them legal"

Wow, that sounds familiar. I find this just as detestable as the "sporting purpose" bullshit that the ATF pulls.

og said...

"Derp, the car's here illegally"

Only evil smog producing oppressor-internal combustion engines can be illegal. Green, air breathing diverse-nationed peoples deserve to be here, consuming the wealth of the oppressor-rich.

It's a car. Dumbasses. If we can have high speed rail, which will consume money, power and resources, and produce nothing we don't have already, why can't we have high speed individual transit devices?

Wait, that's it! We just need to rebrand the damned things.

Brad K. said...

OK. Confiscating.

The government decided way back that they had to swipe ill-gotten gains. So when they make a drug bust, you would have to prove, later, that any cash found lying about - or stashed, or in someone's wallet - was not related to drugs. They might let you argue.

That expanded to whatever you might have bought with drug money. House, boat, car, etc. Sheriffs an federal and local governments auction off seized goods and properties all the time - often, if drugs were found, the confiscation goes through even if there is no conviction.

We have been putting up with that for years. So it is kind of late in the game to say, "Whoa! You didn't tell me that you would confiscate stuff for *that* kind of broken law!" Unintended consequences - that is why stupid laws are so dangerous; the wackoes or corrupt or just plain ambitious ladder climbers will get creative, at some point.

The point here is that, really, the Dept of Homeland Security needs to be retired. It served its purpose - making Bush look effective in 2002. Let's scrap the behemoth before it gets more entrenched and self-serving than it already has.

Tam said...

Brad K.,

"So it is kind of late in the game to say, "Whoa! You didn't tell me that you would confiscate stuff for *that* kind of broken law!""

Congregation's that way, Reverend.

Owen said...

Here's an article detailing the rise and fall of the only importer of Skylines into the country. Some shady stuff went down and the shop got closed down.

theirritablearchitect said...

Same assholes did the exact same thing to the owner and builder of a Cizeta Moroder V16T recently.

The Cizeta portion of the venture put his own car on a boat, shipped it to himself several years ago in LA (I think), attained an import permit for maintenance, or something, and then let it sit in his collection for some time.

Sumdood told some other dood, who happened to be a Customs officer, who then tracked it down and siezed the vehicle, proclaiming it unsafe to drive on the US roads, or some other non-sense.

I'm rather curious as to the specific reason that it would be considered unsafe; is it the speed potential? Nah, stuff sold here now can do whatever it can do and then some. Is it the crashworthiness? Compared to what? I'll take bets on, say, a similar era Geo Storm not making the grade, either, if age is taken into consideration.

Braking? Surely not.

Height? Probably can't make it over speed bumps over here, but I can't see how that's much of a safety issue.

I can't remember when side-impact standards were being implemented, but I'd hazard a guess that it would do too well on that.

Regardless, what's the matter with a car just sitting in someone's fucking garage or private collection. It certainly couldn't be doing any harm on the streets, then.

I can't take any of those arguments seriously.

This is yet another measure of the bullshit overreach that IS this country, now.

Anonymous said...

Plus a Ryder truck, and 5000 pounds of fertilize and fuel won't go for as much as at auction.

Remember A.T.F. Always Think Forfeiture.

Anonymous said...

P.S. The Fast a Furious movie cured most of my low level jonesing for a good number of cars.

Firehand said...

Obviously, if these agencies have that terrorism thing so under control that they have time, money and people to waste on this, they need a budget cut.

Old NFO said...

Just @#&* ridiculous... We've been bringing 'gray market' cars back for years... I smell one hellva lawsuit.

Tam, it you'd been stationed in Japan, you could have (and can) buy one over there... And yes, they ARE a hoot to drive! (And I managed to scare the crap outta myself driving one a 'bit' too fast)...

Nolan said...

I used to own an R33. Yes, I CAN feel your envy.

Anonymous said...

Brought to you by the same government that gave you Cash for Clunkers! (and I wonder how long before that atrocious program becomes it was rumored to be mandatory in one of the stimulus bills)

Justthisguy said...

Oh, to hell with the goddamned yuppy cagers (Uncle, are you reading?)

I miss my Yamaha two-stroke street bikes; my DS-7 and my RD-400! My pastor had an RD-350 in Ulster when he was a kid, which is one of the many ways in which he is cool.

Ringg!-d-dd ding, d-ding!

Two-strokes forever!

Robert said...

Justthisguy: I brought an RD-400D back from Yokohama on an aircraft carrier. I have fond memories of doing wheelies past Tijuana cops who were busy getting bribes and being paced by Federales in the desert. I loved that bike...

Anonymous said...

That seems to be a waste of resources, considering you can buy a U. S. legal one starting at $90k.
See Car and Drive 4/11 for details including sales figures. With only 877 sold here, the gray market is probably not too serious a threat to mom OR apple pie.

Larry said...

GT-550 Suzuki. Three cylinders, two strokes.