I had heard that Auto Legends gets a pretty epic turnout of Kaido Racers on the Sunday of the show, but what I was confronted with the other weekend really blew me away. Much like when I head down to Nagoya every April for the Exciting Car Showdown, the parking lot literally turned into its own separate show…
… as Kaido Racers…
… as well as more conservatively tuned Japanese classics of every sort, rolled in for a ‘little’ get together.
This continues to be an area of Japanese car culture that in simple words boggles the mind…
… especially when viewed through the eyes of a foreigner. Much like dekotora, those elaborately decorated trucks that Mike showed us earlier this year, the kaido racer thing is an impossibly Japanese take on cars; an attempt to follow the old style of trying to turn your street ride into a race car, fused with a need to show off and get reactions.
This is the result.
None of these cars are of course road legal – most owners keep them in their back yards and move them around for meets using ‘slash plates’, in the same sort of way a lot of drifters move their track weapons to and from circuits.
It’s the only way they can, sort of legally, cruise the streets for a few hours without attracting too much attention from the police.
Aside from making lots of revving sounds through their vertical takeyari exhaust pipes they are out to have a bit of fun with their friends, just like everyone else.
It does create quite the spectacle though.A few small touches
This is one area the Japanese really can’t be touched.
What these guys do to their old modern day classics can only be commended. It’s all about keeping alive a slice of car culture that in most other countries…
… would be forgotten as is perfectly demonstrated by this clean group of Soarers I came across.
As you can see, you don’t need to go wild: slammed suspension and choice rims does the job…
… the same sort of recipe able to be applied to all cars in this genre.
A step up from this would be adding blistered fenders and more exaggerated aero additions as we can see on this Gold Rush Corona Mark II sitting ever so beautifully on a set of Techno Phantoms.
This Soarer is another good example.
I’ve never seen a Bluebird of this generation look quite so attractive before!
Aside from the signature, slant-cut pipes…
… popular additions to create a link to those seventies race cars are of course the externally mounted oil coolers and countless takes on the deppa front bucktooth spoiler which can range from a barely visible addition…
… to something with a little more protrusion.It’s all about the mix
I can definitely say I have never seen a Crown of this generation at these sort of meets, showing that the scene is expanding and that people want to make themselves seen more.
The surprising thing however was seeing one of these stepped grille Crowns with a chopped roof and done up with proper yankee flavor!
Pink Soarer FTW!
The whole race car look is something that people approach in different ways…
… some preferring not to go for the caricature look but keeping things more authentic with team liveries and an easier to live with set of mods.
This Celica XX is one of the cars I remember most from the show, a perfect mix of clean lines…
… finished up with a rear deck conversion that is often done on hatchbacks. Check out the extended exhaust pipes and bent license plate – little rebel touches to complete the car.
You would assume the guys that are into this sort of style to be unapproachable but like in all areas of Japanese automotive culture, they are easygoing and always up for a chat. They find it surprising that someone outside of Japan would be interested in this sort of stuff…
… much like all of the bosozoku bikes that show up too.Skyline hunt
There were a ton of cool Skylines present in the parking lot…
… which is what makes these sort of gatherings all the more cool. Among all the mayhem of the colorful and wild kaido racers and slammed rides you know you will always find…
… plenty of clean collector pieces.
See what I mean?
Strangely there was an abundance of Kenmeris…
… not to mention lots of other generations of Skylines.
I was a little surprised at the grille that Toyota had slapped on the new generation of the Crown. Until I saw this car. Is it just me or does it suit the in-your-face look of a VIP car rather well?
Badass all the way round I’d say!
This guy was just proving he likes to do things the opposite to everyone else!
On the far side of the lot, cars just kept rolling in, little groups of friends creating their own little line-ups.
In the few hours that these guys gathered out in the Port Messe parking area I was once again reminded just how electrifyingly diverse the car scene is in this small island.
There really is something for everyone out there…
… variety being the key word to describe it all.
Should show the barricades stopping these cars from running. Most Japanese are so very law-abiding, that this kind of misbehaving is really over the top. These cars were designed SPECIFICALLY to break the rules - To tempt cops to pull them over, so they can "run like wind". Videos on YouTube show the shenanigans.
Awesomeness overload! I love this articles to death :D I'm also really starting to like this new layout and the chapter format, makes the stories even more story-like!
What is a slash plate? I seriously dont know what that is, its not what they put on the bottom of rc cars? or is it that big bill on the end of a shakotan car?
I absolutely love kaido racers! I don't know exactly what it is (besides the fact that the super wide wantabes and SSR Mk1 look good on everything) that has me looking for more stuff on them all the time on SH. It makes me want to live in Japan even more! Keep up the good stuff!
Can anyone tell me anything at all about how to obtain the almost mandatory duckbill chin spoilers seen on most of these beasts?
@autounion I think most of the bodywork on these is fabricated. I don't think I've ever seen any really extreme pieces like that on Yahoo Auctions or even in tours of shops or anything.
@autounion search for チンスポ on Yahoo japan auctions
@nepias LOL that's what this whole new site is all about right :)
that black rx3 is amazing! i have to give the kaido racers an A+ for style and creativity but something like that would never be done here in aus thats for sure!
@envyxf250 Just remember it's all for fun and a laugh and they sort of make sense
Loving the new site, don't change a thing!
Dino, could you do a feature on some of the mad interiors and stickers that go along with these rides?
@DominicBurnett Dominic, thanks! Yes, I can, that's a very cool idea. Next time I run across a meet like this I'll get detail-spotting :)
I am absolutely loving the fact that every photo is wallpaper size.
Kaido racers are so awesome too.
@LouisSoon Hehe :)
Frankly I'm surprised not to see more RX-7's done in that "Kaido racer" style. I recall a Super Silhouette RX-7 from waaay back in the day that kinda had those cartoonish proportions these things have. Would make for an interesting change of pace.
Seriously, that RX-3...
@Simply P Everyone likes the RX-3 uh
I almost fell out of my seat when I saw a pair of R30's. Very cool stuff! And that Landcruiser will definitely feel at home here in our country. Plenty of floods during rainy season. haha!
Dino (or anyone, haha), are R30 and R31 Skylines fairly common in Japan? In comparison to other pre-90's JDM cars? I keep seeing more and more of them pop up these days, which is great. Very underrated car for me.
@MidshipR They are rare but becoming quite the collector and project car item
@Ninks Hehe had to throw it in there
@rdskos No way....I quite like this "chapter" style, and the white text on black backround was horrendously hard to read, it made my eyes sting!
Great coverage, love the wild style and that RX3 is mint!
2014 will be the year boso finally hits the states. I've already seen quite a few in various shows. About time!
@Fearedisx For real?
@Fearedisx I wonder how far people will take it? I think it's an interesting scene because of how much it divides opinions. Really 'love it or hate it'.
But yeah, external oil coolers and vertical, long exhausts are going to become huge I think. Already happening a bit.
@JoeWhaler I got stabbed by one in my back lol
@FAISSAL from "France" Surprised nobody commented more on it, I loved that thing!!!
Werent we talking about variety the other day, Dino?
You nailed it again, as always...
And, hows the quest to find the japanese off-roaders? Trophy trucks and whatnot? Not the 1st time that you guys show us a slice of japanese off-road culture , we must find where they hide!
@mbretschneider I know where they go...I will be hunting them next chance I go. Although they tend to be of the smaller variety...Jimnys and so on
@speedhunters_dino You know, smaller packages tend to have concentrated contents!
Cant wait for it!