Let’s Cut Up Some Supercars:<br /> Inside Liberty Walk
Where The Magic Happens

I recently shared with you guys some impressions from my tour of the Liberty Walk facility in Nagoya, Japan. While my visit to the showroom and dealership was full of cool stuff, that was really just one wing of the Liberty Walk empire you’ll find spread across the Nagoya area. After spending some time browsing around the showroom, we found ourselves in the car heading to Liberty Walk’s large workshop – the place where the real magic happens.

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While this is a semi-private garage, you can’t mistake it for being anything but Liberty Walk. As soon as you pull up you are greeted by an array of modified vehicles – from Lamborghinis to kei cars and yet another Chrysler 300C stretched limo.

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One of the first vehicles we encountered was this Murciélago, which was very clearly in the midst of getting the full LB Performance wide body conversion.

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It’s one thing to see a completed LB Lamborghini, but it’s something else to see one in the throes of being built.

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It really gives you a new sense of appreciation for these builds – or maybe a new sense of shock depending on which side of the custom supercar fence you sit on.

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If there’s one thing for certain, it’s that Kato-san’s business of modifying high end Italian performance cars is going strong. On the evening we stopped by there were several different Lambos in various states of modification.

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Yeah, it’s the same color, but the Murciélago sitting in the paint booth was a different car from the one sitting out front.

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Ah yes, just look at those fenders. Cut and shredded – just like the hearts of commenters all across the internet.

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I was well aware of Liberty Walk’s popularity abroad, but after visiting the workshop it was clear that there’s also a sizable market for this stuff within Japan. The country is, after all, the unofficial home of the customized Lambo.

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It wasn’t just Lamborghinis either. Also hanging around the shop was the white on red LB Works-equipped Ferrari 458. Wow.

Work & Play
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It’s actually hard to put into words the assault of the senses I experienced as I made my way around the shop.

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The atmosphere in the garage was enhanced by the sound of J-Pop hits, which were being at blasted at full volume from this Toyota Prius. Or at least a car that started off as a Prius.

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If you ever wanted a environmentally friendly automobile that can also double as fighter jet and mobile party machine, then this one-off show car is probably just what you’re looking for. It’s so off the wall that you have to dig it.

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No matter which wing of Liberty Walk you are at, one need not look far to be reminded of Wataru Kato’s kyusha roots.

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The array of customized vehicles included a few examples from Kato-san’s personal collection of genuine shakotan machinery. On one side of the rack sat his radical purple Hakosuka Skyline.

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On the other sat his four door C210 Skyline Japan four-door. As they say – never forget your roots.

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All it takes is a single look at one of these classic Japanese street machines to know where the spirit of the Liberty Walk brand originates.

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Not to be left out is the famous shakotan police Yonmeri Skyline. I’d definitely like to see this thing be taken out more often.

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Here’s another vehicle vehicle which should look familiar. It’s the bitchin’ Citroën H Van that Dino spotlighted not long ago.

Kato & The Custom Factory
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While most of the actual customer interactions are handled at the showroom and offices seen in the last post, the workshop also included a lounge type area that was pretty cool in its own right.

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It was certainly cleaner than most of the body shops I’ve visited before, and to me looked more like a bar than a workshop.

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Among the selection of toys and memorabilia on display was this cool Dale Earnhardt Jr. stock car replica, which of course had been slammed to the ground.

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Make no mistake though. While the shop felt a little like a club with the decor and pumping music, there’s a lot of work that gets done here. The agitating paint rack is pretty well stocked.

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And all the other tools required to run a high end custom paint and body shop are present.

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There’s also a vinyl cutting machine which is used to make the graphics and decals for the various Liberty Walk demo cars.

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And speaking of demo cars, sitting in another corner of the shop was Liberty Walk’s white E92 M3, which we subjected to a full feature shoot last year.

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To give you an idea of just how insane this workshop is, a car like this wide body, airbagged R35 GT-R could almost be overlooked.

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With extravagant modified machinery calling to you from every corner, it’s almost too much for the mind to process.

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Even before spending time in Nagoya, I knew Liberty Walk not your typical automotive brand/workshop/car dealer. But after seeing the place where it all happens first-hand, I’m convinced that that Kato-san and company are on a completely different level altogether.

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That’s Liberty Walk. Now let me exhale for a moment…

I’m not quite done with this little journey into Kato-san’s world yet. As part of our special scale modeling theme next week I’m going to be taking a closer look at the boss’s incredible collection of plastic models and other related goodies. In the meantime though, check out some extra images from this workshop visit in the bonus chapter.

Mike Garrett
Instagram: speedhunters_mike

Bonus images
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Wow what a sensory overload! such a cool shop. I cant imagine how he felt the first time cutting into a lambo fender, or 458 for that matter. And that R35 looks amazing in that color and with that spoiler and the white tire lettering, epic. Great post, Thanks. oh and i cant help it.... First!


I'll take the old school skyline over any of those exotic cars.


I'm in Kakegawa Japan for work a few times a year and never realized this is an hour away. Where do I get tickets for the shop tour?

Seeking Perfection

'Bonus images' chapter is a nice cool addition! Little surprises like this, should happen more often. Good stuff Mike!


Can I somehow get a high-res desktop image from the opening shot?  I am a great admirer of your site, many thanks from the Netherlands!!


Thanks for the post Mike. While I'm personally not a fan of the LB Works look on the 458, I do appreciate what Kato-san is doing. It does look good on a Lambo (it's just the type of car that supports bolt-on fenders) and the R35 GT-R.
In the last picture of the stretched Yokohamas on the older Skyline... does stretching your rubber on wider rims always cause that cracking? I just always picture the tread being gone well before the sidewalls start to crack.


Do I really see an entire car masked off so the calipers could be painted in place?!?  Sad panda.




That R35 is the ONLY R35 that has ever looked good to me.


Jon_Volk Haha it looks that way... would you want overspray on your lambo?


That 458 is IMO the best looking car in the shop, theres just something about it that gets me drooling everytime I see it. I really need to start playing the lottery or working a corner lol.


@flushpoke Haha no, however, I would expect if I was paying for Lambo-level work, that the 2 caliper bolts could be removed for proper coating. I would expect though that bleeding the brakes may result in throwing a code that requires $30k dealer software to reset.


@Bill Bob Click 'presentation mode' (the little icon of a computer desktop on the left side of the screen), then right-click and save as


Any chance of doing an evo when I bring it over :p


How many looks inside Liberty Walk are we going to get? It seems like the only two shops you guys ever spotlight are Liberty Walk and Rocket Bunny. Go to Top Secret, go to Spoon, go to Seeker, go to Body Shop Happy, go to Sunline Racing, go to shops that actually tune cars. Not just shops that rivet on flares and half-ass wrap cars and then proceed to toot their own horn at every available opportunity. 

Seriously, you guys take some of the best pictures and write some of the best articles in the business, please just think outside the box. I know this look is the hot trend right now, but if I wanted the hot trends, I'd go to Stance Works.


The colour on that R35...my god that's beautiful.


I was hoping for a better pic of that police skyline but great pics again guys, I love what Liberty do =)

Seeking Perfection

@Jake Laird My man, Jake, you need to revise your attitude. In terms of artistic photography, StanceWorks is on a whole new level. These guys are manipulating light, they are not just taking random snapshots and call it a day. Give them credit for what they are good at (photography) and remember that no one impedes you to visit other websites apart from SH. 
As a consequence, please stop complaining and move on. You are acting like SH is the only source of automotive content. You are a funny guy Jake, but I like your style.


Too much goodness here, all of it. But seriously, that r35... More please.


Jon_Volk Good point about the posible electroic hissy fit, and I was thinking the same about the brake bleeding, it probably takes 4 hours and 5 specialty audi tools just to get to the brake reservoirs. prastic bagu good sorution!


on the wishlist, visit this guys when in japan, love their cars that im doing a couple of their vehicles in 1/10th scale


@Seeking Perfection In Jake's defense he has some valid points just expressed them angrily. I love the way the photos are taken on the site but would like to see something different as well from time to time. I would like to see the Top Secret shop as well as Underground Racing. Also a little more variety on the site, I rarely write about it tho.


I would really love to work there!


such a cool workshop.if only we had a place like that in the uk...


Dream car collection <3


turbom  start it then :-)


@Jake Laird +1 for a top secret visit. PLEASE?


@Jake Laird haven't the already gone to some of those shops in previous articles?  maybe what Jake wants is a revisit to some of the shops, just to give them equal attention :)


"Cut and shredded – just like the hearts of commenters all across the internet" ha ha ha! Also "bitchin' Citroen" ha ha ha. Excellent work, sir.

Oh, and thanks to those couple of photos,  i now finally 'get' the 458 (be it the LB Works version or not). Thanks.


Thanks for that "bonus pictures" page. I just can't get enough pics of these crazy cars in various states of modification. And It's a beautiful shop all around.


Nice post Mike...again. Looking forward to scale model week !!!


"Ah yes, just look at those fenders. Cut and shredded – just like the hearts of commenters all across the internet." Mike, you have most possibly made my day! So true for the purists, I do cringe a tad at cutting em up but as I say: each to their own.




Would there be plans of spotlighting the police yonmeri? It's amazing.


Great write-up and pics! I love everything that comes out of Liberty Walk. Up here in Vancouver Canada we are also getting our first LB Skyline which is in the works.


The place looks amazing! And I really, really like the bonus images chapter, I think you guys shouldn't hesitate to use it often as it's a great idea! Also, those model kits of the silver+purple kyusha look amazing, I want one!!!


Is it open for people to just pop by?


"Ah yes, just look at those fenders. Cut and shredded – just like the hearts of commenters all across the internet."
Loved that bit and the 458, well... Awesome.


If I could afford a supercar I would customize the shit out of it. Idk if it's just me, but I love seeing those videos of crazy japanese people in a caravan of crazy lamborghinis and ferraris etc. 

None of that tron/gold wrapped garbage though.... that's for rich fools who don't like cars. ;)


Lachys114 the cuts look a bit sloppy! That's my only issue. If you can afford something like this, then do what you want to it. It's not like most people with sports cars can race them to full potential anyway. Although airbags on a GTR seem kinda off to me as well... whatever though.


BLKMarauder I think theres' money coming in from Liberty, Rocket Bunny, and especially Rays wheels, but I can't prove it. It kinda grinds my gears too, but it's not like they haven't done features of some of those shops you've mentioned. (by 'you' i mean Jake).