The Anatomy Of The Kaido Racer

The Kaido Racer and zokusha are the epitome of Japanese car culture, or at least an obscure slice of it. It’s incredible that these sort of cars still exist and continue to be built, but even more so that younger generations are now getting into this sort of style. It’s not often that you come across these creations, but seeing the Nagoya Exciting Car Showdown usually attracts the local bozo clubs, well let’s just say I was more than ready to snap away at whatever turned up. I thought the best way to approach these rides would be a quick spotlight-o-rama…

… highlighting the main points that make these cars different from anything else you see on the streets of Japan. Starting off with this GX61 MarkII which boasts a shark-nose look created by extending the hood and fenders outwards and in this case dumping the stock headlights for a pair of S13 Silvia units fixed at an angle for extra effect. The deppa – or bucktooth/chin spoiler – is usually a must on these sort of rides, as is the externally mounted oil cooler. Owners take a great deal of inspiration from the old Silhouette racers of the late seventies and early to mid eighties…

… imitating their exaggerated detailing. So while this particular car isn’t that extreme, it did have overfenders that attempted to contain…

… the aggressive offset of the Watanabe rims and the wildly stretched rubber they were shod in.

The milder look and very clean execution really made it stand out. Pink Lobster FTW!

Here is the other extreme!

This particular car, running on “ichi-en-dama” (1-yen coin) wheels – aka SSR MK1s – boasts it all, starting off with that massively extended chin, plenty of fins running across the hood…

… including some non-functional scoops…

… and ending up with curiously shaped lights integrated into the massive rear spoiler. And when I say massive I really mean a good meter plus of length.

The takeyari, or long obliquely-cut exhausts, are the cherry on the cake!

Within the scene styles vary quite a lot, but this particular MarkII had most people confused thanks to its minimalistic beaten-up front look with exposed everything, including the must-have air horns, which in most cases play the Godfather theme song.

It definitely had a very evident home-built feel about it…

… especially around the rear end!

The takeyari exhaust extensions were also pretty uniquely shaped…

… helping tie everything in together!

The owner of this first-gen Toyota Chaser had just began the conversion over to Kaido Racer so the exterior was not quite complete yet. The main details like the bolted-on fender flares were already in place however…

… and the interior was already sporting the must-have wooden steering wheel, in this case a vintage Nardi item…

… and the decorative shift knob, sitting on an extended lever.

The period correct “Safety Drive” logo I thought was a cool addition!

No takeyari to be seen around the back, not necessarily a detail that everyone goes for.

And as a final car I selected this Crown Royal Saloon as it served as the perfect example to show how simple you can keep your ride…

… yet still managing to pull off the bozo shakotan look.

Once again we find a set of SSR MK1s with massive lip…

… barely fitting under the extended arches.

Much like VIP there’s a variety of levels of extreme (or crazy) that fit under the general Kaido Racer style.  There’s no point in attempting to make sense out of it all, rather one should just accept it for what it is – a fun and extremely Japanese way of having fun with one’s car.

Nagoya Exciting Car Showdown 2013 coverage on Speedhunters

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Instagram: speedhunters_dino



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I'm not too big a fan of going "over the top" so my favorites were definitely the first Mark II and the Crown Royal. And I've seen some pretty cool boso exhausts but they're all small, more on the 1-2 foot long side, but none the less pretty cool looking.


lmao my dad doesn't quite get the history of this kind of auto styling. I'm not gonna try explaining it. he's a stubborn one.


luminesc same here. not sure i like it.


LA is not seeing anything past this "clean" "hellaflush" stuff, most of the kids think it's rice unfortunately


That's a really good link for anyone!


Google them, it's not hard to find them. I know a part of the word bosozoku means gang


They're classics also so I think they're more for the Sunday cruise


this article came out 3 years ago and I still love coming back to look it over time and time again