The stance movement is a curious one. We all know the Japanese are masters of making cars sit just right, expressing this style in a variety of ways, some more extreme than others, some challenging the borderline between functional and not so functional. And with the first ever Stance Nation show in Japan just having passed, I thought now would be the perfect time to keep that style in mind. And what better way than to ruffle a few feathers than to introduce another cool project from Bee Dragon…
… a VIP shop out in the Gifu countryside that we know very well here at Speedhunters. Call it one of the extreme interpretations of ‘stance'; bippu does come in a lot of flavors but what Imamura-san has created with his interpretation of it all, has really helped push the boundaries of what is accepted over the last couple of years.
One of his last creations has been built for a rather demanding customer that requested his S150 Crown Majesta be given the complete treatment, including a custom color which they mixed up especially for this project and aptly named Yankee Brown. But while for a lot of us making a car sit just right simply takes a subtle lowering of the suspension and an accompanying selection of wheels with the right sort of offset, for Imamura-san at Bee Dragon, it represents a slightly bigger challenge. First of all he needs to know just how extreme the customer wants his car to sit, which decides the relationship between the rim, the tire and the fender throughout the whole range of damper compression. Tayazuri is what this particular customer demanded…
… and that pretty much means to go the whole way. Bee Dragon’s interpretation of tayazuri, or when the sidewall of the tire sits flush with the fender, is what has set them apart from other VIP shops, fusing the sporty look of blistered fenders with a healthy dose of negative camber.
Fender-pumping is done the old fashioned way here. There are no FRP add-ons, there is no corner-cutting; the front and rear fenders are cut and bashed into shape and onto them a metal extension welded on. From there more work follows with a good old hammer, shaping the flares into a constant radius curvature that ends up meeting with the custom flaring on the bumpers and side skirts.
Dare I say the finished job makes it look like it’s an easy task to undertake but there is lot to be taken into consideration before even starting. Wheel size and offset need to be fixed as does tire size and side-wall-stretch. Ride height and negative camber also need to be considered, all to guarantee that everything sits just right…
… not only when the car is stationary, but also when it’s being driven. Tolerances are pretty tight – they have to be – much like a RWB Porsche, the car needs to be driven around and there must be very little to no rubbing.Bee Dragon-certified
With the fenders finished up, it’s on to the aero and for this metallic brown Majesta it was decided to stick to the tried and tested K-Break complete package, which includes the front and rear bumpers as well as the vented side skirts.
To get the squat looking precisely right, the Majesta rides on K-Break adjustable suspension which has been mated to Bee Dragon adjustable arms all around allowing for the must-have onikyan.
Tayazuri at its best right there! The rear 275/35ZR18 Toyo Proxes are stretched over custom-painted 13×18″ Veilside Andrew Dish rims sporting a +4 offset and fitted onto a 40mm hub extension. The suspension is obviously set close to rock-hard but the little compression that occurs over bumps allows the wheel/tire combo to swing into the fender well with no rubbing whatsoever. The 10-inch wide front wheels obviously have a bit more work to do, so not to create an uncomfortable steering feel negative camber is set a little flatter and only a 15 mm spacer used, allowing the 225/40ZR18 Toyo plenty of space to move around in.
Pumping guards requires a corresponding widening across the whole fender and of course the rear doors too. See what I mean? This takes some time to get right!
While the 1UZ that powers the car has been left in its stock configuration – after all VIP has never been about the power – its acoustics have been spiced up with an Aimgain exhaust system and a few straight sections that turn the smooth creamy V8…
… into quite the menacing screamer! So with looks and an intimidating VIP-like sound, it was the interior that needed some much needed yankee-ness injected into it.Shocking pink
Nothing the custom pink and purple upholstering couldn’t take care of!
With the whole idea about creating an extreme bippu car centered around shocking and making people look, the owner wanted to extend these qualities to the Crown’s comfortable cabin. Every plastic surface, the dash, the center console…
… the door cards – they have all been clad in a pink suede, highlighted with purple inserts here and there to serve as an equally retina-challenging contrast.
Spicing things up further is the substantial amount of audio and visual equipment that has been fitted, starting off with a main large LCD panel for the navigation and DVD monitor and moving onto a series of tiny little LCD screens on the passenger side of the dashboard, the sun visors…
… and no fewer than 22 screens on the parcel shelf. If getting some attention was the goal here, it’s safe to say it’s been thoroughly achieved! An array of Alpine speakers and subs followed to complete the install.
No matter what scene you may be into, a Speedhunters sticker is always a must!
Seeing the Majesta rolling around on the streets of Gifu is an experience all its own. Pedestrians and those inside passing cars look and stare at the loud luxury sedan a couple of centimeters off the ground, zigzagging left and right to avoid road imperfection that wouldn’t even be noticeable if driven over with any other type of car. VIP might not be everyone’s cup of tea but for some Japanese, it’s a way of life. ‘Form over function’ is a debate they really couldn’t care about – they just do what they like and don’t care what anyone thinks – and I’m sure most of the people that were at the Stance Nation event at Fuji Speedway feel exactly the same way!