The 5 Weirdest Cars From Japan
|Top 5 weirdest cars in Japan|
Japan has a reputation for making some of the most impressive sports cars from the likes of Toyota and Nissan, and some of the most luxurious and well-priced sedans from the like of Lexus. Japan is also home to the world's biggest car modification scene, with parts available to turn your every day car into something from the Fast and Furious.
However, it's not all Tokyo Drift, as some modifications here leave the mind scrambled and the jaw on the floor as some things that are done to the cars in Japan really make you question what it means to truly customize a vehicle. Below are some of the weirdest JDM modifying trends.
List of top 5 weirdest cars from Japan
2. Huge Tailpipes
Detailed information on top 5 weirdest cars from Japan
Bōsōzoku (暴走族, literally "running-out-of-control (as of a vehicle) tribe") is a Japanese youth subculture associated with customized motorcycles. The first appearance of these types of biker gangs was in the 1950s. Popularity climbed throughout the 1980s and 1990s, peaking at an estimated 42,510 members in 1982. Their numbers dropped dramatically in the 2000s with a reported number of under 7,297 members in 2012.
Bōsōzoku style traditionally involves boilersuits similar to those of manual laborers or leather military jackets with baggy pants, and tall boots. This uniform became known as the tokkō-fuku (特攻服, "special attack clothing") and is often adorned with kanji slogans. Typical accessories to this uniform are hachimaki, surgical masks, and patches displaying the Japanese Imperial Flag. Bōsōzoku members are known for taking a Japanese Road Bike and adding modifications such as over-sized fairings, lifted handle bars shifted inwards, large seat backs, extravagant paint jobs, and modified mufflers. Bōsōzoku styles take inspiration from choppers and greasers.
Bōsōzoku first started as groups of returning World War II veterans. Many veterans were having a hard time readjusting to society after the panic of the war, and the most extreme turned to alternative methods to fuel their excitement. Many turned to custom car making and gang-like activities on city streets to gain an adrenaline fix. They gained many inspirations from American greaser culture and imported western films. This would explain the many similarities between old American biker culture and the bōsōzoku characteristics. Many younger individuals began to see this style of life as very appealing, especially marginalized individuals looking for change. Eventually, these youngsters took over the identity, becoming the foundation for the modern bōsōzoku.
Much like anywhere, this kind of style – a combination of extreme bippu and the ever popular Kei tuning culture – is always gong to raise eyebrows. That’s understandable too, because it doesn’t have a purpose except for looks and its shock factor. It might not be accepted by all, but this little group of cars had a constant crowd of people about them all event long. I’m pretty sure they were trying to figure out how these guys are getting 25 degrees of negative camber at the rear!
This Mira was wearing a simple set of aero additions and the necessary highlight parts – like this protruding exhaust to give it even more character.
There are a variety of techniques used here to get the desired amount of camber, and these involve the use of hydraulics and even airbags. Large amounts of camber are common amongst car modders, but nothing like what's shown here. You really have to feel for the tires with this mod.
A brief look into past Fast and Furious films are some earlier Need For Speed titles will give you a little insight to the world of neon lights. These are often added to inexpensive cars which are typically heavily customized. However, in Japan, this is of course done to the extreme.
Strangely, they are often added to Lamborghini's over in Japan, making for some insane additions to an already insane looking car. If an area can be covered in neon lights, you can almost guarantee they will be. Absolutely nothing is off limits here, and even the richest partake in some heavy customization of their cars, despite being valued in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
2. Huge Tailpipes
Takeyari is about as obscure as the Shinto Kanamara Matsuri or "Festival of the Steel Phallus" in the sense that some people know about it, but the details are shrouded in mystery. It's less about having the extra performance and more about being over-the-top and having fun with customizations.
Usually, the pies come out the back or the side of the car and shoot straight up. Most owners agree that it's best to have them welded, not bent because it makes them point-looking, just like the lines of the classic cars. The tops are cut obliquely, which earned the nickname "bamboo spears" for obvious reasons.
Pretty soon though, people were adding exhaust pipes wherever they could, sometimes tens of them fanning out.
Nobody actually knows where the idea started, and some of the guys putting takeyari exhausts on their cars do it as a joke, sometimes taken as far as making the shape of… man genitals. In most cases, the pipes come off when the owner doesn't want attention, leaving behind the pimpin' Japanese cars.
Some have suggested the strictly enforced driving regulations in Japan have forced drivers to become more creative with their cars' cosmetic side instead of adding performance. To understand just how crazy the Bosozoku scene is, we suggest you watch this 2011 clip called "Japanese Ricer VIP Convention!" which has been dubbed the weirdest car convention on the planet.
Shakotan cars are not modded modern or current cars. Rather, they are built on classic models and, as such, probably fall under the flag of "zokusha".
It can be argued that the word zokusha is likely a combination of "zoku" (tribe or clan) and "kyusha" (modded old car). Therefore, zokusha basically means a tribe or clan of modified classic cars.
Most people may frown at the idea of modifying classic cars but in Japan, they have a broader appreciation of classic cars in the sense that they are not focused only on rare or expensive cars. Any old car is a classic and there are people who are huge fans of them.
So, in a sense, it is less of a crime to modify a Toyota Corolla KE30 to death than it is to put an angle grinder to a box Skyline.
Among the Japanese classic car scene, modding is really a key component of the culture and within that vocabulary, slamming the car or lowering the ride height is among the most popular expressions of the community.
In fact, reducing the ride height is a popular component of any car modding movement because this is one of the most fundamental steps taken when a factory built car is modified for racing.
However, as you can imagine, reducing a car's ideal height for racing is a lot more difficult than slamming your ride for looks.
When engineers reduce the ride height of a car, they are trying to lower the car's centre of gravity to improve its driveability but lowering a car also does all sorts of weird things to the suspension geometry. That itself requires some understanding of real engineering to fix.
When slamming a car for looks and just for looks, all you need is an angle grinder to cut a loop or two from the coil spring and it will make the car drive as pleasurable as talking to a politician but that's not the point.
Throughout the years, the lowered car look has taken on a less practical tangent and is enjoying lavish attention among the more artistically inclined modifiers.
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