The R33-series Nissan Skyline is not considered street-legal in the U.S.
A 32-year old Wisconsin man named Justin Beno landed in hot water after he tried selling two R33-series Nissan Skyline GT-Rs on eBay in 2010.
Nissan never offered that specific Skyline model in the United States and it is not certified as street legal so the two listings grabbed the attention of an investigator working for the United States Department of Transportation.
Posing as a potential buyer, the DOT investigator contacted Beno via email and asked if the Skylines came with a title. Beno responded that they could be issued a Florida title which could then be transferred to Wisconsin.
The response was seen as an attempt to get around the law and to commit fraud so both cars were seized. To make matters worse, police investigators working on the case noticed that the Skylines were missing their VIN plates. A Wisconsin court charged Beno with two felonies and two misdemeanors.
Beno has been in and out of court since his Skylines were seized and he has done everything within his power to keep them in one piece. He even proposed to sell the two cars overseas and donate the roughly $100,000 that would have been generated by the sale to a charity in the United States.
The court rejected that plan and offered Beno a plea deal: Send the cars to the crusher and lose the felony charges, or keep them and risk going on a state-sponsored holiday.
Beno picked the first option with immense regret as he spent countless hours and cash fully restoring the cars.
"Both cars had been stripped down to shell and wheels -- no motor, no drive train, missing interior parts -- literally shells on wheels," Beno explained.
To add insult to injury, in just a few years the Skylines would have been exempt from safety and emissions regulations due to their age. This would have made it possible to legally and easily title them in any state in the United States.
"I thought the punishment was appropriate," said Dana Johnson, the Deputy District Attorney of Wisconsin's Brown County. "I guess [Beno] doesn't think it was fair. I thought it was very fair."
The Skylines are scheduled to be crushed this week.
Photo taken by Justin Beno.