One Pissed Off Bat:</br> The LB Works Murciélago

For Liberty Walk, this year’s SEMA Show will be all about the soon-to-be-revealed LB Works Aventador and a string of other cars that Kato-san and his crew are having a hand in building for Las Vegas, including a certain Porsche 997. So on my last visit to the Nagoya-based workshop I thought I’d pay my respects to the car that helped start it all – Kato’s flat white Lamborghini Murciélago.


Aside from it obvious aesthetic impact, what really makes this car special is that Kato flew it out to Italy last year to participate in the ‘Grande Giro Lamborghini’ that was organized to mark the 50th Anniversary of the company. Now, being Italian I can guarantee that no car of this nature has ever set foot – or should I say tyres – on the roads of the peninsula, because there, modified cars of any nature are usually hunted down by the police and big fines are handed down. My recent meet-up with the Angry Panda Klan in Torino should give you some idea of how hard it is to own a tuned car in Italy.

Kato also brought out a video crew to document the event. You can check out the first part above, and part two here.


Passing through some of the most picturesque countryside that Italy has to offer, it must have been one hell of a road trip – but to do so in a car that pretty much raises middle fingers to all the purists out there, well, I’m sure Kato was more than satisfied showing off his company’s spirit.


On top of the overfender-based aero kit and flat white paint, the car sported some extra touches to further emphasise where it had come from.


The V12 powering the Murciélago has been fitted with a more performance-oriented exhaust system which redefines the term loud!


All of that aggression culminates at the back with massive rear tyres that are just contained by the bodywork.


The rear diffuser finishes things off nicely, and at the time of the shoot the car was still wearing the special Japanese export number plate. Who knows, maybe Kato-san is considering sending the car to another country in the near future to have yet more fun showing off his style around the world? Roll on SEMA 2014!

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino



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I'm not much of a Liberty Walk fan but there's something about this car I love. I think it's got something to do with the over the top aggression of the bodywork contrasted with the Lennon lyric on the door. I honestly find it relaxing to look at and watch in motion.


I love the work Liberty Walk do, and this thing is crazy as always! I still prefer the 458 though. Even the LEGO version too


This car is pure aggro. I love it. The razor sharp lines take to the LB styling much better than the elegant curves 458. I'd pull over and put my hands above my head if I saw this thing behind me.


Nice touch with the last shot. I like the subtle warm discolouration on the rear bumper. Undoubtedly the result of fire constantly coming out the exhaust due to a happy right foot :)


Kato is the one which makes me like the Raging Bull


Nothing like cheap screw on Japanese parts to make an Italian masterpiece 'pop'....because Lambo owners don't have any money for proper body work....


KootenayDub +1


KootenayDub Agreed. And it's boring now to me. Literally the same thing on every car.


Seems like SH is focusing more and more on upper echelon vehicles. shame...


Looks good when dumped on the ground but not so good when rolling. when rolling driving height, the tires look skinny, un proportioned and pushed out towards the fenders. I'll take my Tador stock body, slammed on wheels that fill in the fenders nicely.


KootenayDub I dont think they're cheap, at least when it comes to the cost of these parts ;)


While they hit it out of the park with the 458 fender kit, on the lambo it just doesn't work.  The tador is already beyond aggresive and if you add more to it, you actually take away from it.


JZA80xx If you sold this you'd be rich.


How to screw up a decent car. Just goes to show - more money than sense is rife in the world.


Chris Nuggets JZA80xx Where do I insert my firstborn?


While I'm OK with the front bumper and fenders, I absolutely hate the rear diffuser and how the wheels are tucked in behind the rear overfenders. With the front wheels still popping out underneath the front fenders, having the rear ones tucked in just ruins it for me.


KootenayDub You're right, lambo owners typically only have enough money to "gold plate" their cars and post pictures of them on google+ and instagram while burning dollar bills with exhaust heat....

I think these cars are just fine lol.


remember guys.... its just some overfenders. Not the end of the world. Literally just a cosmetic addition. Maybe some just want a wider car? something to ponder


I still think bolted fenders cheapen the look of expensive cars. They're ok to me on E30s, Miatas, 240s, but not on Lamborghinis, 458s etc. While I do think they work more on a Lamborghini because of how crazy Lambos are right out of the box, I do think Liberty Walk cars are comparable to high end ricers. 

Every time I see a liberty walk car, I just think of Horacio Pagani saying "Then we bolted these fenders onto the Zonda" and I vomit in my mouth. If Pagani came out with a car like this it'd be a joke, but when a Japanese car company does it it's more acceptable.

I've been a fan of the Japanese tuning scene for over 2 decades now, but when I see the direction it's going in (or at least what Dino is covering lately) it's really making me nostalgic for what I consider true Japanese tuning: Top Secret, JUN Auto, Re-Amemiya, etc. A lot of tuning companies that are out now seem to be watering down great cars and favoring brashness instead of overall balance and performance. Removal of the 458 special editions rear diffusor on their last car is a great example of this. 

Just my opinion.


who made this?


@Chris It may be you own opinion, but I feel like there are a lot of people who feel very much the same way. I haven't been following tuning for as long (although 12-13 years is a long time...), but I too miss the days of the classic japanese tuning. The days of cheap performance were awhile away, and more value was placed on the vehicle, where there were plenty of clean examples, and top shelf companies were doing things to impress and persuade you to buy their products. Liberty walk for example don't do any big horsepower or farfetched engine swaps, nor do they strive to be the best at drag racing, salt flat racing, or even time attack racing. They just do things for the "look at me" factor alone, all the while presenting a product that looks like it was never finished.
I suppose with the lull in affordable and fun performance vehicles and the economy that this "nowhere period" of tuning is to be expected. Of course there is soul in individual cars and the work put in by owners. I just feel like there are few companies creating demo cars that we can look up to and strive to follow.
I miss the 90's and early 00's, but I don't miss the Veilside bodykit copies or Chrome 18" wheels on CRX's. Maybe I've just become tired of what is virtually the same thing trying extreme measures to reinvent itself and be the "first".


It sounds like you're both missing the spirit of the Japanese car scene. Have fun, do what you want and most importantly, don't take it too seriously. It's like the crazy boso cars. Some people would think it's nuts to do that. But they're amazing. Just my take on it anyway.


Can anyone transcript the whole "people live life in peace" phrase on the side of the car? I think i am missing some of the text that i can`t figure from these pictures alone
Also, Kato-san is , as always, a very inspiring man!


johnbezt Considering they take a sawzaw to the body of the it's not literally just a cosmetic addition.  This lambo is never going back to oem...for better or worse.


Floz  - Good to know I'm not the only one and very well said. 

xrockonx - I don't think I'm missing the spirit at all because I've seen what it used to be 20 years ago:

I almost feel like after Keiichi Tsuchiya and the Best Motoring stuff died down we saw the emergence of something new that is more about the perception of speed than the speed itself. Sure the Lamborghini is fast, but it's not fast because LW built it, it's fast because Lamborghini built it that way. The Stance stuff is more and more common and we aren't seeing as much performance oriented innovations. Maybe it's just the stuff Dino is covering lately. Not sure.


John lennon.


Speedhunters, can we take like, a 3 month break from Liberty Walk/TRA Kyoto?Rocket Bunny overfenders on everything? Its been 3 years of oversaturation now. Just because they keep doing different cars the exact same way doesn't mean we need a "Groundbreaking!" article and subsequent articles trumpeting it each and every week. It's jumped the shark and headed for meme territory.


At least they didnt cut up a superveloce or some track special like they did with the 458 challenge. That was a travesty, in my opinion. Just my own opinion. I think this car looks great, but it definitely doesnt function nearly as well as it did from the factory. Which is a shame. If it lost the stretched tires and camber I would be more onboard. I personally would like to see more speed hunting and less stance hunting


While Most westerner wouldn't know, but my Korean relatives find the display of Japanese military flag offensive. It's like driving around with Nazi swastik and SS symbols painted on the car. Since the Japanese committed similar war crime and unlike Germany, the Japs shown no regret of doing so and never made official apology for such crime. Anyways. I like how to body kit would appeal to every man's the 4 year old soul, and kudos for them to doing something unique. Hah


Thanks Dino Love this Stuff !


Sure the handling would be worse than stock, but most hypercars only do a few hundred miles a year, and most of those are spent driving slowly through up-market parts of town. We're also at the point where the performance of all high-end cars is so high that reducing it slightly is not exactly an issue. 

Widening the already very wide Murcielago might be a bit impractical, and it might have over-egged an already rich pudding, but I do enjoy the spaceship looks of LW stuff. The fact that it would crucify the resale value of an expensive car would only work in its favour with some customers - it just screams that you have money to burn.


EmmaMacki Yeah was "wondering" about the display of the flag too..


So cool! I actually met the nephew of Ferruccio Lamborghini; Farbio Lamborghini.


@dom EmmaMacki The tem "Japs" is probably far worse than showing a military flag no?


D1RGE EXE I see what you are getting at, but realistically it's not every other week and it's just our way to show you what is going on in Japan and around the world. Were we to skip covering cars like these and we would get just as many complaints asking why we haven't featured a specific car.  Hope that makes sense:)  
Sorry, but SEMA is coming up so you might want to get ready ;)


@notrichenough It's all about balance, we focus on everything and anything that excites us :)


EmmaMacki 'September 24, 1993: Prime MinisterMorihiro Hosokawa
said, at the 128th National Diet Session:. "I used the expression war
of aggression and act of aggression to express honestly my recognition
which is the same as the one that the act of our nation in the past
brought to bear unbearable sufferings and sorrow upon many people, and
to express once again deep remorse and apology"


speedhunters_dino EmmaMacki I've understood that in British English you can use "Japs" but not in American English. Don't know for sure though. But to me the use of Japanese military flag shows the same kind of bad taste as Nazi or Soviet Union flags. Though this car is a festival of bad taste so maybe it's fitting (tongue-in-cheek).


how can u guys get tired of seeing lB works aero when they are only a handful of them made in the world? people keep forgetting that they design aeros, not tuning cars. similar to vertex, uras and other small companies that can be found scattered around in japan. i know the style is not for everyone but the quality of bodywork, material, paint and fitment is whats really matters/counts.


It says "Imagine all the people living life in peace" and it's a lyric from John Lennon's Imagine.


Yep. My grandmother and relatives went into the internment camps and had faced a ton of discrimination during that time. So seeing the term "japs" thrown around as if it's nothing makes my blood boil.


Japs was used as a racial slur against Japanese Americans during ww2.


newshamg If I was in a position to spend like this, I'd totally modify a super car in this fashion. Sure, these cars can all look the same in photos but the presence they have in real life is something very special. It's aggressive, it's rebelling against the norm, and it stirs an emotional reaction in everyone…


@notrichenough We cover all aspects of automotive culture, not just luxury vehicles. No need to worry, nothing has changed!


I've actually heard a lot of people in the states say Japs. When I was in the South a lot of people called me cracker and being from an Italian family wop gets thrown around every once in a while. You can't get too offended by things or you'll never get out of bed in the morning

The past is the past, all of you need to stop being so sensitive and get back to talking cars.


Taryn Croucher newshamg But would you rather spend your money on this, or a twin turbo Heffner Gallardo?


speedhunters_dino D1RGE EXE I disagree Dino. You guys have jumped completely in bed with Kato and Miura and if you tally how many features you've done on them, its vastly more than any other body kit maker anywhere. And its just a bodykit maker. 

Please don't get me wrong, I do like the style, but I would rather see progression from them instead of same-old, same-old. Arches, Aero, paint, wheels, done.  Other than putting the same kit on a bunch of different cars, where is the progression? And I'm not talking going from reverse-swan-neck wing stays to duckbill spoilers. I mean, when will they team up with a real motorsports powerhouse and do a FIA GT kit? Team with AMG or M/// or something and run a car at the green hell....ANYTHING!?!?!


AbdHadieHR Because on SH, they would even feature a TRA/Kyoto Vespa and send a video crew, 2 photogs and write 5 articles on it. I know I am tired of it because I "got" where they were coming from/going to after their first car, and saw how they could apply that style to almost anything. Lo! and behold, we were treated to each and every LB/TRA car like it was the birth of a new era. Its feeling rammed down our throats now.


AbdHadieHR Because on SH, they would even feature a TRA/Kyoto Vespa and send a video crew, 2 photogs and write 5 articles on it. I know I am tired of it because I "got" where they were coming from/going to after their first car, and saw how they could apply that style to almost anything. Lo! and behold, we were treated to each and every LB/TRA car like it was the birth of a new era. Its feeling rammed down our throats now.


@Chris Just because a lot of people say it, don't mean its right.


D1RGE EXE I agree. Now that we've all cried it out and told our harrowing tales from the past, lets get back to talking about cars :)


I get to see a LB works aero Murci every day. And hopefully by the end of the year we'll have a GTR finished


I get to see a LB works aero Murci every day. And hopefully by the end of the year we'll have a GTR finished


I really do love this car the color and the stickers really do make it look like a real racecar. Its great to see a company that's in it because they love cars and not only money. Truly inspiring! Great post :)


Awesome photos, and an awesome 2 part documentary.. This just made us even more pumped up for the SEMA show!!

Great job Dino!


Vittorio Jano speedhunters_dino EmmaMacki In UK English 'Japs' is really just an abbreviation of 'Japanese' and isn't really considered a derogatory term.  Although it can depend slightly on the context.


Just amazing