Lamborghini is unquestionably one of the most fascinating car manufacturers around, with a brand identity unlike any other. You’d be hard pressed to come across someone who hasn’t heard of them or who couldn’t do a crude drawing of their favorite Lambo, yet very few people will ever actually own one. Their reputation therefore is based almost entirely on hearsay and the strength of their design. Strangely, the same could largely be said of Japan’s now-famous bull tuner, Liberty Walk.
Yes, Liberty Walk is a name as synonymous with the JDM scene today as companies like Mugen, Nismo and TRD, yet almost nobody owns a single part from them. Of course some of the reason is that the starting price for one of their LB Performance kits is around $25k, but even if you could afford the kit, you’ve got to own a Lambo to bolt it to first.
Even a few years ago, saying “Liberty Walk” out loud would just sound like some engrish jibberish, but today it will conjure images of wild exotics with even wilder body kits. So how is it then, that a such an obscure product of Japan could go from an underground tuning brand to a worldwide phenomenon in such a short amount of time?
In reality there are probably a myriad of acceptable answers, but I’d like to think that, aside from a large helping hand from our very own Dino, it was the strength in their design that brought their rise to popularity. It’s one thing to make a very extreme looking car appear even crazier, but it’s another thing entirely to do it with style and class.
Right about now, I know some of the naysayers will be thinking “oh yea, a metallic vinyl wrap, really classy” but hear me out. Obviously the outlandish exterior finish was done to draw as much attention to their product as possible when it was debuted at Tokyo Auto Salon. They took the same formula applied to their SEMA Murcielago, which proved hugely popular, and applied it to Lamborghini’s latest offering.
What they didn’t do was go over-the-top-typical-in-your-face-tacky like you’d normally associate with a modified Lamborghini. For example there’s no tri-tone pleather interior reupholstery or five entertainment screens popping up from everywhere. Likewise the out-of-round-color-matched-ultra-low-performance-24″-wheels are also missing.
In fact, if you really get down to brass tacks, the LB Performance brand has really made a name for itself by not really modifying Lambos. I’ve often heard people criticize that their cars “barely have anything done to them” or that they’re simply “a Lambo with a body kit and wheels,” both of which are very true statements.
Yet to the contrary, I’ve also heard many folks tell me “come on man, it’s a Lambo, it’s already a badass car stock” or “it really doesn’t need much.” Again I can whole-heartedly agree with both of those statements as well. Hell if I had the cash to afford an Aventador, I don’t think I’d really want to do much more than what LB Performance has to offer, if I’m honest.
But considering I could barely afford the tune-up bill for such a vehicle, that’s fortunately a problem I don’t need to spend much time contemplating! That’s right, sadly I too fall into the latter category of people who will likely never own a Lamborghini, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy them.
And one cold winter night last month, enjoy a Lamborghini I did. After spending an entire action-packed afternoon with Dino, which included hitting Tsukuba Circuit and doing some Touge driving, this Aventador would complete the triple-crown of the day. The plans were simple; we’d intercept the beast in downtown Tokyo as it left Auto Salon en route to its home in Owariashi.
At some point before midnight, the exact time I cannot recall, the car finally appeared and was unloaded from the trailer. Dino had the perfect spot all sourced out and I have to credit him largely for the success of the set. Once we finally got the car in place all I could do was stand there staring while pinching myself.
It was yet another of those moments in my Speedhunting life where everything seemed surreal. A Lamborghini in what appeared to be an abandoned Tokyo… this surely was a dream. Eventually the bitter cold would snap me out of it and once I came back down to earth I realized that we weren’t really alone either. In fact, as I was taking this shot there were four other car photo shoots happening simultaneously in the square!
Having spent much of my career working around obstacles, sharing such a location was a very easy problem to solve as I simply picked views that would alleviate the congestion. For example, if you move the camera lower to the ground you can use the car to block out the Land Rover J-Lug Magazine photoshoot that’s happening on the other side.
Eventually we decided to leave the square to make room for others and headed towards an equally interesting back alley, but even here we weren’t safe. It was in this corridor that we met a very excited M6 enthusiast who couldn’t have been happier to have made our, and the Aventador’s, acquaintance!
The man excitedly popped out of his car and asked if he could take a couple of photos. Just seeing the joy that the car created by simply existing was profound. This guy would spend the next ten minutes frantically circling the car taking photos from all different angles before doubling back again for another pass. He told us that he was going to put them on his Minkara page, which is basically a JDM car domain.
After shooting that night I had a new appreciation for both the power of a supercar and the Japanese people’s enthusiasm for all things automotive. On one hand, there is no way that such a creation could have come from any country other than Japan, but on the other, it probably wouldn’t be so openly appreciated anywhere else either.
As we drove up and down the main strip in Roppongi, I couldn’t help but be reminded of something I heard once on an episode of Top Gear (I think). It was a quote I surely can’t recite verbatim, but in a nutshell the idea was that cars like this are like works of art and that they shouldn’t be locked away in a garage, but rather placed in the street where the public can appreciate them as much as possible. After seeing and feeling the affect of just such a scenario I’d have to agree – even if you can’t afford one, just being in the presence of a Lamborghini is a moment you’ll never forget.
LB☆PERFORMANCE Lamborghini LP700-4 Aventador
Naturally aspirated 6.5L V12; J-Wolf exhaust system w/ electronic valves
SUSPENSION / CHASSIS
Liberty Walk low-down suspension
WHEELS / TIRES
20×9″ +25 (f) / 21×13″ +59 (r) iForged wheels; 255/30-20(f) / 355/25-21 (r) Pirelli P-Zero Rosso tires
LB☆PERFORMANCE Aventador body kit (includes front and rear bumper, front canards, side skirts, rear diffuser, rear wing)
I like the new Speedhunters design. Am I the only one seeing it?
The car is Ahhhhmazing!
Alright, alright... since everyone kept asking for it, I've added the last image as a desktop.
sean klingelhoefer It looks actually quite good, imperfect shots can be quite perfect in capturing the moment.
sean klingelhoefer Thank you!!! I had the top down view as my desktop before you added it. Great photo's of a great car. Simple, beautiful, already powerful enough in it's own respect.
Jesus. I dont know how you guys do it, but I swear, every week I'm finding something on Speedhunters that sets the bar just a little bit higher, and pushes my love of cars that much further. I'm looking through this article slack jawed and just muttering foul words to myself. You guys rock so much.
SVT_Bryan Thanks for the kind words, we're constantly trying to find cool stuff to share with you guys!
sean klingelhoefer You're welcome! And your guys hard work always shows, I've been flowing this site for about 2 years now, and I havent seen you guys let up once. Hold Stumpt indeed.
The best car pictures I've ever seen truly amazing. Its such a futuristic looking shoot too like something from blade runner lol
DomoKun Totally! the cool lighting and the tokyo streets really gives it that Cyberpunk feel. I love it.
ToniZettl Yes, me too please!! is it shot out of "your" M6!? That would be really badass ;)
maxproof ToniZettl It's really not a very good photo guys, in large it's almost un-viewable IMO.
sean klingelhoefer maxproof ToniZettl Thanks man! This is one very cool shot - might not be a sharp as the others and a little bit noisy but who cares!
I think I would have been next in line to take photos after that guy from Minkara, just look at it!!! Its different in terms that it caters to a select few, or less than.
In the overhead shot there are two people in the car, but they aren't asleep lol.
As much as I think I get it, Liberty Walk just doesn't work for me. I'm glad they're in business (anyone making an honest living from customizing Lambos should be celebrated); but I'll take mine stock, in a dark matte blue. With Matt Monro on the stereo.
stuffed_tomato It's interesting seeing both sides, for many this "isn't modified enough" whereas for others it's "too modified."
I propose to start a Supercar Lottery, everybody buys tickets and the winner gets to drive the week's car for an entire day.
You guys couldn't have picked better locations for the shots, all the gray tones and that chrome wrap with a little bit of color here and there.Is it possible to have a desktop of the display?
i really like that bull.. but i think without the rear wing its fine anyway WHAT A CAR! OHHH YEH!
SuperDante In all honesty it's pretty soft and noisy, which is why I didn't offer it as a desktop... you really wouldn't want to see it much larger, trust me.
K's Ya the wrap is sort of a love/hate component, but I understand why they do it... it definitely grabs a lot of attention.
sean klingelhoefer K's yes very much attention lol, its something you cant help but look at for sure
Curlytop It's kinda hard to take a bad photo on the streets at night in Tokyo, such a cool looking place.
I like how the car stereo appears to be listening to "Yes sir I can boogie" by Baccara. 70's disco awesomeness to back up that Lambo name.