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While millions of Americans will ring in the new year by singing “Auld Lang Syne” with goofy glasses on their faces, many car enthusiasts will be shopping for forbidden four-wheeled fruits. The 25-year rule frees up many cars every year for import, and this year is a big one. So, if you’re a Nissan Skyline GT-R fan, you might want to call your bank. 

A blue Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 import car sits in a lot.
R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R | Bluebeat76 via iStock

Every year, the 25-year importation rule allows a new model year of vehicle past import restrictions, per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The rule drops the restrictive Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS), permitting buyers to buy and import previously forbidden models. 

  • Nissan Skyline GT-R (R34)
  • Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR
  • Audi RS4 (B5)
  • Nissan Silvia S15
  • TVR Tuscan Speed Six
  • BMW M Coupe

That’s right, “Fast” franchise fans: you can get your greasy mitts on an R34 Nissan Skyline GTR. The angular rocket from the land of the rising sun meets the 25-year rule for 2024. It’s big news for state-side enthusiasts who have coveted the RB26-powered with not-so-quiet jealousy since it first hit roads abroad in 1999. 

The same can be said for the homologated Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR, a road-going version of the racing model. However, the CLK GTR, unlike several more pedestrian nameplates, is a unicorn. Mercedes-Benz produced just 28 of the striking V12-powered street cars. 

For fans who don’t own several islands already, the 25-year rule freed up several more attainable models. For instance, the B5-generation Audi RS4 and the Nissan Silvia S15 have finally traipsed into import territory. What’s more, the dramatically-styled 1999 TVR Tuscan Speed Six finally evades the FMVSS through the 25-year rule. It’s welcome news for fans of the 360-horsepower British sports car. 

Finally, the BMW faithful have yet another short-wheelbase offering to acquire. The 1999 BMW M Coupe, the hardtop version of the Z3 M Roadster, is up for grabs. Now, this is the European-spec M Coupe, not the state-side E36 model. That means the 321-horsepower S50 inline-six instead of the comparably anemic mill in the US-spec version. Happy days.

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