Defining The Niche: The Liberty Walk GT-R
Widening wide

Is Liberty Walk taking over the internet? Has the Nagoya-based company declared war on the SEMA Show? It sure seems like it if the number of cars we’ve seen wearing the company’s signature wide body conversions is anything to go by. If Kato-san was attempting to get our attention, it’s safe to say he definitely has! After taking a closer look at his Ferrari 458 last week, it’s now time to move onto his second SEMA project…

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… the LB☆WORKS Nissan GT-R.

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If you cast your minds back a few months, you might recall that Kato-san allowed Speedhunters to unveil the first rendering of the GT-R

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_Liberty_Walk_Nissan_GTR_R35-4

… a CG image that Miura-san at TRA Kyoto – the man that Kato-san has entrusted to design and produce his aero kits – later showed in a variety of body colors and angles. So like the 458, we all had a pretty good idea of what the car would look like in its finished form. However, as was the case with the Ferrari, seeing 3D images on the internet can never prepare you for the full impact of witnessing the completed car.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_Liberty_Walk_Nissan_GTR_R35-5

If there’s one car out there that probably doesn’t need its fenders blistered it’s the R35 GT-R. The big Nissan – successor to the Skyline GT-R – boasts a pretty robust stance to start off with: big Aeroblade (in Nissan talk) front fenders joining a chunky, bulbous rear end that makes it one of the most imposing cars on the streets today. But who the hell said aggression has limits?

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Kato-san certainly didn’t, so when he asked TRA Kyoto to make those works-style overfenders as “in your face” as possible…

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… Miura listened, and delivered. The bolted-on look is once again used, exposed screws…

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… showing each mounting point onto the cut stock fender below it. The FRP addition follows the primary crease line of the GT-R’s wheel arch…

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… extending downwards along the side air outlet, then all the way down to the main skirt line.

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Making the LB☆WORKS aero stand out as much as possible, while sticking to the company’s recognizable design ethos, was all part of the plan.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_Liberty_Walk_Nissan_GTR_R35-11

Color is always important – especially for a show car – and the OEM dark metal grey makes every line of the GT-R’s exterior pop under the sun’s rays.

Stance redefined
Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_Liberty_Walk_Nissan_GTR_R35-6

The GT-R has been captivating the minds of the worldwide tuning industry since it was first revealed back in 2007, and it’s quite cool to see that Liberty Walk decided to do something with a domestic car instead of the usual imports and exotics it tends to concentrate on.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_Liberty_Walk_Nissan_GTR_R35-7

Will this car appeal to everyone? Of course it won’t – it’s not meant to. Like all the cars that bear the LB☆WORKS name, it’s aimed at a very unique individual – one that just isn’t content sitting at the wheel of a car that everyone can own.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_Liberty_Walk_Nissan_GTR_R35-8

So it seems that this sort of aero package is born out of exclusivity; the need to satisfy a very small niche…

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_Liberty_Walk_Nissan_GTR_R35-16

… and judging by its rump – the sheer need to shock! Miura may as well have come up with the biggest works-style overfenders ever created for a car – the massive rear pieces extending from underneath where the door ends and arching all the way around and touching the high hip line. Over the top touches like this were sort of a necessity, you don’t try to make a statement with a car like the GT-R and not go full out.

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Take how the overfenders end abruptly once they pass the bumper line…

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… and tuck in, quickly merging into the original dimensions of the car. Miura here gave a nod to aerodynamics, the recess behind any fender helping the extraction of air from the wheelarch and some of the flow form the underside of the car, which if you recall is completely flat on the R35 to smooth air passing underneath it. While this detail may or may not add a functional aero effect, the fact that you end up seeing more of the rear tires is a big bonus in the looks department, that aggressive offset of the rear wheels making quite the statement.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_Liberty_Walk_Nissan_GTR_R35-14

Does it all seem a little exaggerated? Yes, but that was the obvious intention, having been given carte blanche there was little if no conformity to what he was sculpting away at.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_Liberty_Walk_Nissan_GTR_R35-17

Take the rear wing for example; Miura keeps up with the times, he gets his inspiration from a variety of styles, is always paying attention to how things change in the vastness of the car world and it was motorsports that provided the idea for the spoiler. As we have seen, with the introduction of DTM regulations in Super GT most GT500 teams are adopting the swan neck wing stays which literally hangs the wing from the top side over the car. Here it’s purely a style driven addition of course, but one that brings a touch of race spirit to the road. I’m sure we will be seeing more of these type of wing stays in the aftermarket during the course of 2014.

Wheels make the car
Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_Liberty_Walk_Nissan_GTR_R35-18

Race car touches don’t end there of course, the Liberty Walk GT-R sports a GT-3 inspired extended front lip spoiler to help slice through the air and actively boost downforce while at the rear Miura has extended the centre section of the diffuser and bolted additional winglets onto each corner, for an additional visual impact.

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_Liberty_Walk_Nissan_GTR_R35-15

The LB☆WORKS treatment has created a one-of-a-kind GT-R that’s just as aggressive as the BenSopra R35, but in a totally different way.

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No show car is ever complete with out a well chosen set of rims, and serving as a dark contrast to the silver-bronze body, Liberty Walk went for a set of Forgiato Maglia wheels…

Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_Liberty_Walk_Nissan_GTR_R35-22

… custom painted in satin black and measuring 20×11-inch up front and 20×12-inch at the rear. The LB☆WORKS GT-R runs Toyo Proxes tires, 285/35ZR20 at the front and rather large 315/30ZR20s on the rears, boosting grip levels considerably.

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Providing the unmissable stance element and dropping the car right to the ground is the CSD Platinum VIP adjustable suspension…

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… featuring air cups at each corner that allow the R35 to go from normal-ish low ride height…

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… all the way down to show car mode at the push of a button. See what I mean with the tucked in rear over fenders? Can you see how much of the rear tires you can actually see? Yes we like!

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The Japanese phrase Jiyū ni aruku underneath the Liberty Walk logo on the rear bumper roughly translates as ‘walk freely’, and it’s somewhat of a motto for Kato-san. It’s an emphasis on the way in which he approaches his cars and his products, and to some extent, his life – doing his own thing and striving to reach his goals in his own unique way.

Performance meets style
Larry_Chen_Speedhunters_Liberty_Walk_Nissan_GTR_R35-28

While under the knife, the GT-R also gained some extra performance courtesy of a complete Trust exhaust system and a full hard piping kit which gets rid of the cheap looking stock items with lots of polished aluminum goodness. Trust Gracer Airinx filters have been positioned right behind the front grille so they are not only in the best position possible to suck in cool air, but also away from engine bay heat. Trust blow-off valves dump unneeded intake charge when backing off the throttle and also supply that must-have whooshing sounds many R35 owners dream of. An ECU remap takes full advantage of these upgrades, helping to obtain a slight bump in horsepower and a more responsive set up. However as the car was just completed the day before SEMA, no power measurements have been made.

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The interior has been given a little custom touch too…

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… thanks to a two-tone quilted leather seat re-trim courtesy of Newing…

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… which also stretches to those tiny seats in the back!

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If you are a purist and insist that any modification made to a car must be functional and bettering performance even in the slightest of ways, then the LB☆WORKS GT-R will probably make you angry. But if, on the other hand, you are more like Kato-san and are happy to enjoy the more aesthetic approach to car customization, then I think this R35 will be doing it for you. No matter what camp you may belong in though, the Liberty Walk GT-R has done its job – it has awakened some emotion within. Love it, or love to hate it as they say…

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131 comments
Steve
Steve

This GT-R is awesome!!! They didn't screw it up by adding some fugly front bumper. they nailed it. 

Sharif2012gtr
Sharif2012gtr

Reason for my plan:

1. I messed up the front lip and bumper ($4500)

2. I curb checked all 4 of my rims. ($1500-$2000)

3. All 4 tires are almost bald by now. ($2200)

So since I have to change all this stuff anyways I though I would just invest in a Liberty Walk body kit. It makes me feel better about blowing $20,000 on the kit and $10,000

On tires and rims.

Plan.

1. LB kit with tires and rims to match.

2. And 700-750 hp engine so it doesn't cost so much because when you have to redo the engine and transmission is when you get theta 20k to 60k jump in price.

What do you guys think? I just am nervous I will

Lose a lot of money in the resale when I want to sell it. I'm not rich I just know how to save and love the GTR.

typeracing
typeracing

There's really no need for the rice apology in the last paragraph.


This GTR pro baby makes about 600 horsepower and comes stock with a very proficient drivetrain and suspension. It has enough performance ability to make soft sticky tires, a giant wing, splitter, diffuser and some drag alleviating venting less than pretentious. I mean, besides the drag the huge fender flares would make the kit is only going to improve aerodynamics and grip..

djtang88
djtang88

I see a Shakotan style influence in this GTR, especially the works fenders, and the copper colored vents. Love the LB Shakotan cars and I love that the style is leaking over to the GTR.

MalikGermain
MalikGermain

Seriously wondering if these conversion kits are street legal in the US.


Can we expect to see something done with the Audi R8 anytime soon?

CollinMckinney
CollinMckinney

I like this build, but it really looks like they took what they did with the Murcielago SV and 458 Italia and apply it to the GTR. I guess this kind of aero styling doesn't work with every single car LB Performance can get their hands on. I like it and it definitely grabs attention, but it just doesn't have that striking presence that the Murcielago and 458 has to me.  

datsunsss
datsunsss

If I owned an R35... I would do anything in my power to get it to look like this... Just mental! Love it!!

ioncelfals
ioncelfals

this one just looks like it was made with an axe. no elegance, no flow. makes tha car look short and chubby. but teenagers will love it, because it` s from japan.

please, move on. evolve

rkd350z
rkd350z

they were/are cool, but little too much hype.

AwesomnesPrime
AwesomnesPrime

Too one-trick-pony for me. I don't like the same bolted-on bubble fenders, but hey to each their own. Just seems like a way to save money.

fauzijurdi69
fauzijurdi69

my god i love this car i hope in some near future need for speed puts it in a game that way i can drive it like in my dreams tonight this car is absolute madness love the imagination those Japanese guys got. respect from Texas.

koknyol
koknyol

Oh God, not this bolted fenders again..

koko san
koko san

I don't like how the fenders flow in to the door, they look too chunky.

Nick
Nick

I like the front, but the rear fenders dont work for me.

Onecton
Onecton

YEAH ! Bolt on overfenders! Such aggression! I like that. Makes old people faint if you drive around the corner! 
But i don't digg that Spoiler stuff, i know it it's DTM inspired, and it works.... but doesn't logic say that the spoiler need to push the car down? 
For my two cents it's more logical that the spoiler is on top of the mount and not hanging down from it.
Again, i know that this works, but it looks like crap....

RC000E
RC000E

@Onecton Logic doesn't mean the spoiler is more effective mounted underneath....misguided logic does.  Laminar flow over an aircrafts wing is required for a wing to create lift...that is, the speed of the air over the wing is faster than below the wing...this creates higher pressure beneath the wing, than above it...hence the wing rises into the air.  Anything that disturbs the air on top of the wing, will reduce the aircrafts lift, so the tops of the wing are clean.  If you want a wing to push down, you flip an airplane wing over.  In that sense, the side which requires air to flow at an increased speed is underneath, this will create negative pressure and the wing will want to go down.  By having struts mounted underneath (the top surface in an airplane), you interrupt laminar flow and lose efficiency (i.e. lift).  So removing the struts from beneath a car spoiler makes the wing more efficient by giving it more surface area of laminar flow.  Got it...?

Onecton
Onecton

@RC000E @Onecton 

Whoa?! Nice thanks RC000E, i never thought that i would get such an detailed explanation. But now it makes sense to me. Thanks bro! Appreciate it. I get it now :) but I still like the look of the older style wings more XD

RC000E
RC000E

@Onecton @RC000E No problem...I always like to take a chance to share knowledge to further educate another because plenty have done it for me.  I get what you mean on the aesthetics of the traditional wing...the simplicity is attractive...but I try to look beyond my personal tastes and enjoy what we gain through development.  I very much feel function is fashion, in that racing design never goes out of style...it sets the trends of tomorrow.   If something works better, then by rule...through obligation... I force myself to like it and adjust to it, even if my eye rejects it initially.  Anytime I see a new design or technology, I get excited at the opportunity to research it and understand it.  There's so many cool things in F1 and racing in general that relates to the aftermarket later.  Good luck man...

robzor
robzor

i hated all the liberty walk stuff at first, but the more cars i see the more i get it. I'd never own one, but you can bet i'd turn my head on the street, or walk around one a few times at a show. i think this is probably the car most suited to the liberty walk style though, because i don't find them particularly attractive bone stock, so the change makes it a much more interesting car to me.

malcolm h
malcolm h

the only thing I cant really dig is the front fenders. imo they're just big and bland. I know its like a whole package to appreciate but I almost feel like as far as the GTR goes Muira-san couldn't top the bensopra front fenders.

malcolm h
malcolm h

and are there no Varis widebody GTR's at sema

Johny
Johny

The only thing that I like about this whole thing is the wing mounts/design approach. But that's just me.

JakWhite
JakWhite

If I had a stupid amount of money, i would buy one of these, i'd paint it pennzoil colours too.

Seeking Perfection
Seeking Perfection

@wheatgod I thought we had democracy and everyone can express his/her opinion as they fit. The only troll that tries to persuade everyone to embrace his opinion is you. How many comments do you have in this post? The majority rules. The majority decides we are sick of builds with poor execution, common application of bolt-on overfenders to every single car and tacky leather interior re-trim.

SEMA is full of respectable builders showcasing stellar builds. Bisimoto, Ring Brothers etc. I truly think that the Mobsteel FedEx freight delivery truck is much more radical and interesting than any car with a widely used TRA Kyoto bodykit. #searchingforagamechanger #dontpromoteyourhomeboys

Seeking Perfection
Seeking Perfection

@Hotcakes @wheatgod JDMized is straight boss and has reached legend status at SH.

It is interesting to note that I still believe that the Ben Sopra 380SX deserves to win the SH car of the year award. I guess that makes me a JDM fanboy.

Seeking Perfection
Seeking Perfection

@Hotcakes @wheatgod  

JDMized is straight boss and has reached legendary status at SH.

 It is interesting to note that I still believe that the Ben Sopra 380SX deserves to win the SH car of the year award. I guess that makes me a JDM fanboy too.

Hotcakes
Hotcakes

@Seeking Perfection @Hotcakes @wheatgod 


Don't get me wrong, I actually agree with a lot of the things JDMized says. It's just the WAY he says it that comes across a bit...confrontational haha.

Hotcakes
Hotcakes

@wheatgod @Hotcakes 


The fact you constantly call everyone else trolls and fanboys, despite you being the absolute definition of a troll and fanboy, says all I really need to know. Plus the fact you believe you have a right to an opinion, but everyone else should keep theirs to themselves.


I'm done arguing with a brick wall. Peace out.

Simply P
Simply P

@wheatgod I support your right to troll the trolls, but sometimes people just flat out don't like stuff, and that's cool too.  I'm not saying I don't like it, and a lot of these other comments aren't saying that either.  We're just expressing OUR opinion that Miura needs to work harder or he'll be forgotten as quickly as he rose.  Let's not forget that his rise to prominence came on the backs of a couple kits that he made for 240sx's.  

It was "shocking" and "revolutionary" when he chopped up Lambos and GTR's for the original Liberty Walk/BenSopra kits.  But now it's just like; "Meh.". 

JDMized
JDMized

@Hotcakes @wheatgod That's because I gave up reading SH.

If you look back before SH was created most of the folks that worked at SH (and left SH there after) and some of them that are still around, haven't really done much for the industry 

(I'm waiting to see who's the first one to say, "Hey JDMized, what have YOU done for the industry?" Me? Nothing.....but I don't put myself in the spot light, I don't go out of my way to create the buzz and hire photographers that use automotive-journalist).

Anyway, most of these folks are mild-enthusiast AT BEST. How so? Does ANY of you ever seen Rod Chong project cars? Me neither. 

Same thing with Dino, posting a feature of the R34 and his new red TE37...WOW, that's ground breaking. Much like a Tomei turbo-kit..something that has never been done before....LOL

Linbergh, same shit......

The list goes on and on. The bottom line is, those folks came into the scene to create the buzz and generate traffic for the video game. Most of these folks don't wrench on their car......how on earth they gained credibility solely based on pretty pictures is beyond me.

So, I grew jaded of all the bullshit that I read on this site, and I hardly check it these days. Eventually people that WANT to learn something about fast cars and not slammed shit will look into other informative blogs and mags that provide hard-solid facts, not opinions.

Hotcakes
Hotcakes

@wheatgod 


The thing is,  essentially your opinion is that other people shouldn't be allowed to have an opinion. Constructive criticism shouldn't be stifled. It should be allowed, even promoted. It's through constructive criticism that positive progress can be made.


There's actually been very little "negative for the sake of negative" JDMized-style posts in this thread. You're the one that's trolling and can't handle other people's viewpoints.

Simply P
Simply P

@JDMized Dino is a legend in the game son.  He's been puttin' in work for YEARS.  There was a time when pretty much ALL the JDM shit in magazines was coming through Dino.  Just know I'm backhanding you telepathically as I'm saying this, Alex :)

You want technical features?  Go to MotoIQ.  I came to Speedhunters from Mike Garrett's old blog, and from the beginning I've never known SH to be a technical oriented website.  Antonio was a scenester who sucked.  He's gone.  Linhbergh was an emo crybaby and he sucked.  He's gone.  Good riddance.  I think this site has come a LONG way from '08.  

Speedhunters is about cars and photography.  They do those things very well.  The journalism could use some polish, and sure, maybe they could take a little time out to explain to these young'ns how some of this stuff actually WORKS, but this is the internet.  There's a shit ton of places for that stuff.  Speedhunters is about cars and photography.  

Just let them do what they do.

getwell
getwell

@Simply P   If you are offended and or dislike the quality of material based on its substance (and i am not here to defend JDMized in anyway as i dont agree with his approach at all) and or quality of material, that is youre right; but to refer to someone as a scenester who sucked and or an emo crybaby who sucked doesnt really provide any solid proof as to their irrelevance or lack of talent as a contributor. calling names  just makes it look like you lack basic tact, and possess questionable character.  On a side note, i too am a fan of this sight, and enjoy what the product they provide.

Simply P
Simply P

@getwell @Simply P Unfortunately, this is the internet, and the anonymity it affords me allows me to call people whatever names I wish (it gets me too sometimes, but hey, that's the game).  Fact of the matter is, Antonio was a total scenester who only cared about "Offset" and name dropping, and otherwise didn't really have much to offer the site.  How's Motormavens doing, anyway?  Linhbergh is a talented, talented photographer, but his writing contains so much emotion it seems forced.  I enjoy prose and verse as much as the next man, but not EVERY goddamn post.  Sometimes less is more.

You're a random guy (or chick, or is that you, Antonio?) on the internet.  All of you are.  I don't know any of you, and as such I don't really care how my character appears to you.  My opinion of you is that your grammar sucks, and you're rife with misspellings.  Do you care?  You shouldn't.  I'm just some random guy on the internet.

JDMized
JDMized

@FunctionFirst @JDMized @Hotcakes @wheatgod I LOVE how they are arguing about the stuff I put up and Larry took it down because it offended him.....LOL

"JDMized, make sure to say only nice things to people, otherwise they'll get irritated and take it down!"

JDMized
JDMized

@Simply P @JDMized Keep believing the hype "son'!

Hey watch your language! Larry Chen is a good friend with Linbergh, and so is Antonio (and many other photographers in the industry). They all know each other for years. I'm pretty sure if you say something bad about those folks, you'll be automatically put onto the black list like me!

"Speedhunters is about cars and photography"? LOL, SH is about generating revenue thru video games and put up pretty pictures with DSLR's. Look around and see how the camera-hobby exploded in the past few years in the car-scene. IT'S RIDICULOUS!!!! I went to SpoCom few months back, there were MORE people with pretty DSLR than cars!!!!

Everyone is a photographer these days :)

RodChong
RodChong moderator

I agree with JDMized a lot of the time too. He's got a very exacting philosophy.

RodChong
RodChong moderator

Tx for the note. We've been growing up in front of you guys and have been striving to make the project an ever increasingly professional setup.

It takes time.

I think a key here is bringing in our new Editor In Chief, Bryn Musselwhite to scrub things up and take Speedhunters to the next level.

Simply P
Simply P

@JDMized @Simply P Video games about cars.  "Pretty pictures with DSLR's" = Photography.

Cars and Photography.

Alex, I know you're not the average SH commenter.  You actually know what you're talking about (sometimes).  That's why, in my opinion, you are SH's resident King Troll.  But the fact remains that the website, content, and writing have improved over the years, not declined (as your posts often imply).

RodChong
RodChong moderator

Hmm. I don't agree. JDMed really knows his subject very well. I don't think he's a troll.

I appreciate the criticisms as it keeps us on our toes.

RodChong
RodChong moderator

I'd agree here too. We have instilled sub-editing publishing controls this year which had seen the quality of our writing vastly improve.

Hotcakes
Hotcakes

While I normally don't like form-oriented builds, I admit I can appreciate them when they're individual and done well.


But I can't stand this copy and paste approach. Literally three of the most recent LW builds are exactly the same - grey, bolt on arches, stance, done. The rest (like the M3) aren't that different either. 


And unfortunately Liberty Walk aren't the only one to do it. BenSopra, TRA Kyoto and RWB are all the same, but they're given absolutely MASSIVE exposure on here. Sure, other builds and styles are shown, but (and maybe it's just me), it seems these particular companies are given more than their fair share. All aboard the hype train!


For what it's worth, I'm not sure if the "it's to get a reaction" angle taken with most of the Liberty Walk articles is necessarily a good one either. Attention seeking for attention's sake isn't something to be congratulated in my opinion.


I probably sound like a "hater", but I genuinely do enjoy 90% of the content on Speedhunters. Maybe I'm just having a bad day, and I've bottled up most of these opinions for a while. :p

Option13
Option13

@wheatgod @Hotcakes If American Hot Rods got the kind of coverage that LB, RWB, etc received, you bet I'd be complaining about featuring 3 identically modified cars. But literally no other country gets the kind of worship on here that Japan does.

gbaby2089
gbaby2089

@wheatgod @Option13 @Hotcakes 

By the way, I'm not a Euro/US car fanboi, furthest thing from it; just someone who enjoys well executed cars, things that used to be commonplace from Japan.

gbaby2089
gbaby2089

@wheatgod @Option13 @Hotcakes Why? 

The bay of that LW GTR is filthy, its not a track car so it can't wear that like a badge of honor.  The wheels suck, with the tires being no wider than can easily be run on a stock body R35, WITHOUT EVEN RUBBING.  The aero is nearly identical to that of the 458, the Murcielago, etc., there's no originality what so ever.  

I know you're going to say that about American hot rods too, however even as a non-enthusiasts of hot rods, I can tell you there's more variation between two '32 Fords competing for the Ridler than there are between any of the LW cars aesthetically.

gbaby2089
gbaby2089

@wheatgod @Option13 @Hotcakes 

Those cars are very similar, yes; however TRA Kyota/Rocket Bunny/whatever, Liberty Walk, etc., are each building the same aero for every single car, regardless of what lines actually work on the car.  

Give me a super clean American hotrod over cookie cutter, made to impress 19 year old men on the internet Japanese-modified car any day.

Great cookie-cutter Hotrod > Over-done cookie-cutter ugly thing.

Brett Allen
Brett Allen

 @wheatgod No my problem is you blindly defending one form of modifying without giving reason for it. Smacks of Fanboyism. 

Brett Allen
Brett Allen

@wheatgod You're saying you don't care about what people like or dislike but you're calling everyone on here who dislikes this car a Euro or Domestic fanboy. Riiiight.

Brett Allen
Brett Allen

@wheatgod Ok then Mr Wheatgod, can you please explain why bolting the same plastic fenders on the side of every car under the sun is more relevant than the rodding scene? Tell us how it's revolutionary and so minty fresh. 

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