QotW: What Japanese car would you build a lowrider with?

We’ve always had a fascination for the way Japan blends a deeply studied foreign automotive style with its own. Earlier this year, a Toyota Century limousine lowrider took the Grand Prix in the sedan category at the Tokyo Auto Salon. We’ve also discussed itasha, which seems like a modern incarnation of car-as-art, and lowriders are definitely an art form. Big sedans like Centurys and Presidents might seem like the natural choice, but everything from Suzuki Samurais to Nissan Maximas have made their mark on the lowrider scene.

What Japanese car would you build a lowrider with?

The best comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What are your thoughts on itasha?

While itasha literally means painful, most respondents felt that if it got more people to enjoy car culture, it’s a good thing. You probably won’t see me rocking Sailor Moon on my FJ60 any time soon, but even I can concede that the more car enthusiasts we have in the current automotive climate, the better. Of all the commenters, Kevin H. captured that spirit the best with his tale of making a Corvette itasha owner feel welcomed at a car show:

I love Itasha cars, especially domestics. No I don’t plan on styling my car(s) with the anime I love but I understand the need to individualize, stand out, and seek attention…. My car shoots fire out of the tailpipe so who am I to judge.
In February of 2020, days before the pandemic hit Houston, I showed my wagon at Radwood Austin. A lot of really impressive cars showed up but what parked next to me was a C4 Vette in a clean but driven aqua green, oh and yeah a giant Waifu decal across the hood and anime down the sides and rear window. Everyone’s face looked as if a skunk was walking by and it made me literally laugh out loud. When the young owner, maybe 20 at most, parked he parked next to me. I immediately stopped what I was doing and went over to him as he was getting out of his itasha C4 Vette and praised him for his originality and bravery. He grinned from ear to ear and told me how he gets nothing but hate for his car, but “loves how it angers people.” Elitist are always going to hate on originality and individualism. I deal with it quite a bit due to my modifications and vehicle choices, but I get way more love because I do what I want to do to MY car. BTW the itasha waifu C4 Corvette was a manual, bonus props there!

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14 Responses to QotW: What Japanese car would you build a lowrider with?

  1. Nigel says:

    Skyline Japan four door or GX61 MkII ..

  2. speedie says:

    Its been done already but I think the Subaru SVX makes a an excellent lowrider. It looks like it was designed to be sucked to the pavement.

  3. Bryan Kitsune says:

    Suzuki Cappuccino. I might be able to sneak it on a go-kart track if its almost scraping the ground.

  4. Hector says:

    The UCF10/11 Lexus LS400 is the Japanese 64 Impalla.

  5. Lee L says:

    Literally any Kei Van.

  6. fuel10922 says:

    Toyota Cressida….MX32 or MX63. The boxy design just looks right when lowered. Seems I remember the 80’s Nissan Sentra’s were a huge hit with the lowriders when they were new.

  7. Negishi no Keibajo says:

    1980’s Cressida Station Wagon.

  8. エーイダン says:

    1973 Nissan Cedric Wagon. All I’d need is an obese relative in the back to make it a lowrider while I cruise about. Might need a V8 swap though to exceed walking pace.

  9. Jonathan P. says:

    I have said this before, and I shall say it again. I have rolled it around in my head to make a Shakotan out of a V20 Camry and give it a kaido racer livery. I got this idea after I looked at some other Shakotans, Zokusha, and Kaido racers, and thought the body’s boxiness would work nicely for a Shakotan while simultaneously being a car that not a lot of people would think of for such a purpose (and perhaps being a cheaper option than the more sought-after cars).

  10. Alan says:

    1GZ-FE swapped GX71 hardtop. Air ride, gold-plated Longchamps with spinners and Daytons, navy blue crushed velvet, pearl white paint with colorful inlaid airbrushed panels depicting geisha, koi, Yakuza tattoo stuff like that.

  11. Alan says:

    Ahh, damnit! Daytons are not tires. My next-door neighbor literally builds world-class magazine cover lowriders and I have no excuse for the slip. This is what I meant to say:

    “1GZ-FE swapped GX71 hardtop. Air ride, gold-plated Longchamps with spinners and whitewall gold line VOGUES, navy blue crushed velvet, pearl white paint with colorful inlaid airbrushed panels depicting geisha, koi, Yakuza tattoo stuff like that.”

  12. RX626 says:

    X70 Mark II van.
    Being Japanese and having spent my childhood in the 90’s, this car was one of the Japanese based lowriders that I was familiar with, just like the Jimny and Escudo.

    But back then, I used to mock this car as a “fake lowrider”, a car for poor people who couldn’t afford an Impala or Cadillac.
    Now, as an adult, I no longer make fun of this car. It evokes nostalgia and feels like one of those lowriders that is more Japanese than any other car.

  13. Ian G. says:

    Old school Nissan Hardbody Truck. It would be sweet. Add that hoppy suspension and it would be awesome.

  14. f31roger says:

    I think any 70s/80s pickup truck will absolutely work.

    Bias/nonbias… I thought about this way too often.

    I’ll have my “race style F31” with Project Leopard
    I’ll have my “VIP style f31” with my blue M30.
    I’ll have a “kaido racer style” when I get the parts from Japan (future build).

    I was thinking about my M30 convertible. Make it a summer cruiser.

    But an M30 convertible I feel looks GREAT as a lowrider. Particularly because it is a long coupe and top down…
    My friend Chet did one back in the days (and recently got another m30 for the same purpose).


    Here was something I wrote up for F31club a few years back.

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