Culture > Et Cetera

This Nissan GT-R will transport internal organs in record time

Seized by the police from someone convicted of tax dodging

This used to be a criminal's toy. It now saves lives. PHOTO FROM CORREIO DA MANHÃ

With events at the Bureau of Customs still fresh in our minds, don’t you just stop and wonder if there are other ways of dealing with illegally imported cars rather than just being destroyed? Although a show of force does act as a kind of deterrent for would-be smugglers, the sight of seeing beautiful (and functional) automobiles being unceremoniously flattened by an excavator is quite painful.

This car can expeditiously transport internal organs across Portugal. PHOTO FROM CORREIO DA MANHÃ

The same dilemma was faced by authorities in Portugal after having seized this 2013 Nissan GT-R from an individual convicted of tax evasion. But instead of whisking the car away to a scrapyard, the country’s police force took possession of the vehicle and turned it into something that would protect and serve. This sports car is now under the care of the National Republican Guard, a branch of service in the military responsible for civilian peacekeeping. But instead of chasing a bunch of bad guys in a stolen hatchback, this GT-R is now a lifeline for transplant patients around the nation as a high-speed organ transporter.

Instead of scrapping this car, Portuguese authorities found a noble use for it. PHOTO FROM CORREIO DA MANHÃ

This isn’t the first time that exotic cars were used as tools for public service. You probably already know about the Dubai Police’s stupendously expensive fleet of patrol vehicles. The Japanese police force has a GT-R at its disposal. More recently, Italian cops used a Lamborghini Huracán to quickly transport a donor kidney to a patient 490km away in just two hours. With the GT-R’s turbocharged V6 engine pumping out over 500hp, what was once a plaything for a wealthy crook now has a new lease on life as a medical frontliner.

Sam Surla

Sam is the youngest member of our editorial team. And he is our managing editor (believe it or not). He specializes in photography and videography, but he also happens to like writing about cars a lot.