It’s understandable that most non-JNCers would recognize Liberty Walk as the purveyor of trendy widebody kits for Ferraris, GT-Rs and other assorted supercars. In his heart of hearts, though, founder Wataru Kato is an old school bosozoku.
After years of growing LB Performance into the biggest name in international exotic car tuning, when it came to this year’s Auto Salon, he returned to his roots with an incredible S30 Z. Flanked by crimson Italians of his own creation, Kato-san’s G-nose took center stage at the Liberty Walk booth and hogged all the attention, despite being surrounded by the most extreme Lamborghinis and Maseratis on Earth.
With livery taken from the works Hakosuka GT-R race car of Kunimitsu Takahashi and a an aero kit inspired by (but more extreme) than Haruhito Yanagida’s works 240Z, it is a jaw-dropping tribute of Japanese racing and street tuning tradition.
Achingly cool details from the zokusha heyday abound, from the molded ducktail spoiler to the Pantera hatch to Skyline taillights. The license plate — flipped up to evade police detection, naturally — reads 6666. Pure evil.
The Japanese characters along the rear flanks read “Prince Nagoya,” a reference to the PMC-designed Skylines that raced as Nissans after the two companies merged, as well as Kato-san’s hometown in central Japan. Prince Nagoya is still a chain of Nissan dealers in the region today.
These days, Kato-san is busy running a tuning empire that spans the globe and has a staff of dozens to craft his zokusha Lamborghinis. For the Fairlady Z, though, Kato-san built it on his own. And as it happens today is Kato-san’s 49th birthday, and we often the best present is the one you can give yourself. Clearly, the Z id very dear to his soul. And after seeing its breathtaking magnificence, it’s dear to ours as well.