The classic Japanese street racer look has really taken off in recent years. It’s gotten to the point where even non-Japanese cars are adopting the look of deep-barreled small-diameter wheels, over-fenders with flush fitment, and a tough shakotan stance. It’s a distinctive style, and here are the cars of JCCS that exemplified it best.
Team Wild Cards‘ Roy De Guzman’s Hakosuka Skyline has taken many forms, and the latest is a showcase for the Rocket Bunny Pandem kit. Though some of the company’s extreme body kits have met with some controversy, the Hako is so revered that minimal changes to the original design have taken place. The flares a bit more hard-cut, the front air dam is a bit more angular, but overall it stays pretty faithful to the Skyline’s lines. With a base of pure white, a roundel, and rebarreled Cross Fever rims, it has an undeniable presence.
Patrick Soliman’s Kenmeri is another Team Wild Cards favorite. The turbocharged RB26 is a very clean swap, but almost secondary to what is probably the most bosozoku-style Kenmeri currently on these shores. Though the general look of the car has been set for quite a while — why mess with perfection? — it’s nice to see Patrick trot out a new set of wheels every once in a while. In this case, the Watanabe remake of Kobe Seiko’s so-called “Gotti Mags” found on the works Nissan race cars are a tribute to racing Nissans of yore.
It’s no coincidence that several of the most killer kaido racers belong to Wild Cards members. Mikey Castillo’s Hako sedan, which has also taken many forms. shows off its new purple paint job. Also rocking Watanabe “Gottis” the ever-evolving box Skyline continues to amaze us with each new and stunning iteration.
The Datsun 280ZX is a completely underappreciated platform, and Ian Perri’s brilliant S130 shows that it need not be the case. Though Ian’s trademark S130 — blue with gold accents, Advan A3As, slammed stance — has been floating around for at least half a decade, past iterations have been, shall we say, well used. Dents, rust spots, and patina of varying severity have all graced the car, but now like a butterfly emerging from its cocoon it has been transformed into its most idealized version. You would think the old versions were the “after” pics, but this Benjamin Button Z is truly a work of art.
Over at the Star Road booth, a very purple Mazda RX-3 with Katayama-style fenders and Glow Star wheels set the stage. It stood in sharp contrast to Model Citizen Diecast head honcho and JNC Rallymaster Patrick Strong’s $50 Toyota Van.
Jared Perry’s S30 Z oozed 80s bosozoku style, with molded over-fenders over a G-nose kit, ducktail spoiler, and Advan A3As. Though many Fairlady Zs back in the day, including the famous Muto Z, adopted this look, the modern, single-color take is an incredible addition to the American kaido portfolio.
Joel Tan’s Works-inspired Hakosuka Skyline represented at the Colin Wheels booth, where reproduction Star Sharks. With a livery inspired by Kunimitsu Takahashi’s KPGC10 race car, it’s an amazing tribute to the street cars built by Takahashi’s fans.
And finally, the bosozoku scooter trend has arrived in America, in the form of a pair of Honda Tacts with crushed velvet seating and lowered suspensions. Evan Box’s silver 1986 has been lowered and painted in an original Honda color. Billy Danh’s pink 1985 has had its wheelbase stretched four inches and its rear spring replaced with a solid link. A Jamarcool exhaust gives it that excellent outlaw scooter style.
It’s been absolutely fantastic to see the most traditional of traditional Japanese styles migrate their way to the US over the years. It’s what shows like JCCS and sites like JNC are all about.
To be continued…