The Street Freak Lives

One of the things I enjoy most about Japan is the way you almost never see a car with parts that are out of place. Sure, there’s an endless amount of styles – some tasteful and others not so – but it’s rare to see a car which isn’t built with a cohesive theme. No matter what the owner’s goal or inspiration is, the finished product is always spot-on and all the details are accounted for.


That brings me to one of most distinct machines I encountered during my recent visit to Japan: a 1970 Dodge Challenger built by Sho Kogawa of Ibaraki. I always get a kick out of seeing high quality muscle car builds in Japan, but Sho’s over-the-top 1970s street machine takes things to another level.


This actually isn’t the first time Sho’s ‘Magic Powder’ Challenger has appeared on Speedhunters. The car was previously painted white and gold, but he’s recently given it a makeover with a new root beer hue and updated retro paint work.


As we see so often on builds from Japan, Sho’s nailed all of the details that defined the jacked-up street machines of the ’70s. From the heavily raked stance and old school Pro Trac 60 tires in the rear…


To the polished deep-dish slot mag wheels with subtle touches like dice-shaped valve stem caps.


Big fat side pipes are another staple of ’70s street style, as are the KC driving lights up front and the louvers mounted on the rear window. The Dodge is an absolute time warp.


The same retro treatment has been carried over to the cockpit, which features period-style maroon upholstery, a metal-flake steering wheel and pistol grip shifter for the automatic transmission – which is mated to 360 cubic inch Mopar small block. And perhaps best of all, you’ve got the disco ball hanging from the rear-view mirror.


While there are certainly followers of this style in the US, I can’t recall coming across another old school muscle car build as authentic as this one. In fact, you’d probably need a time machine to find a car that better conveys the spirit of the ’70s street freak.

Mike Garrett
Instagram: japanifornia_media

Cutting Room Floor


Comments are closed.


by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest

i would say not my style but damm i need this in my life


The car sits like a beast and the paint is great. I am not a fan of the gauges out in front of the windshield but it is something Dodge did with the Judge. My only thing is that the loovered rear window was more of an 80's thing I believe and the luggage rack feels more 60's than 70's. But this car is superb and I like it. The question is, can it lift those front wheels off the ground in a mean launch from a red light?


Shaggy Moon The Judge is a Pontiac not a Dodge :)


loving it!!!


I want those rims!


You are correct, good catch. Must have been the 3 am messing with me. I just checked the internets and at least the Pontiac GTO Judge is the car I was thinking had the hood tach.


This genre is going to happen. You can't fight it.


This car takes me back to happy times as a kid. Crank up the Earth Wind & Fire!


....automatic? I thought you said 'rare to see a car which isn't built with a cohesive theme'.


haha. Saw this in my reader and thought hey another post from 70's Street Machines... no wait.. that's a SH watermark.
Nice spot.


The Buick GSX, Pontiac Firebird, and some Mustangs had 'em too.


First it was street vans to get retro'd, street machines have been long overdue a revisit, so it must be cartoon T-buckets next? Excellent!!


GertK reread it, he is saying it's rare to see mismatched cars in Japan, not that this is an example. This is clearly built with one theme in mind.


Now that's what's up! Paint and all, great post!


Looks like a challenger version of my 78 volare super coupe


Same displacement too


Good Muscle, I generally like Challengers, but this setup is not my cup of tea


Very neat, but if it was for me, I would restore it to it's original's a shame to do such things to a classic muscle car...I happen to own a Modern Challenger Rt Classic, and it rolled out of the showroom just the way it was coming from the factory in Canada, now in streets of NYC...Even though it's a Modern Challenger, but still have the stance of the 1970 Dodge Challenger Rt, with it's stripes just like the 70 challenger...Most of the time, it gets mistaken as a 70's car...But the "Work" the owner did to the featured challenger is really a work of Art...A "FrankenChallenger" , it barrowed parts and styling from different eras. I really didn't like the side pipes, I wonder if they are functional that gives it more Horsepower... I'm just saying, what makes it a classic, is that it never goes out of style! Got to be Original...


The 1970 Challenger RT Classic....Then and Now...


@A49999 Love those things!


Putsteelsonit Wouldn't be surprised to see that at all!


GertK Not sure what you're trying to say?


milkplus I embrace it!


MeesKohneVonJaski There you go! Haha.


(Forgot password to a49999 new account) its my daily driver been repainted and replaced decals since then and getting the engine rebuilt soon




Mike Garrett GertK I think he's saying that it is exactly what you claim it not to be. A 70s themed car built exactly in the tacky in-cohesive way many of them were modified in the past. 

Luggage rack on a supposedly legit performance car - classic 70s styling fail

Big side pipes on a weak small motor car - classic 70s Styling fail

Big rake and tires on a car that would be a joke on the track or at the street races - classic 70s styling fail

Racing gauges on a small motor, non contending "small motor" performance car - what ever you get the point...

Never mind the disco ball - REALLY?!? 

I dig the car, but lets be real, it's got every laughably bad 70s styling trend there was all displayed as a homage to 70s bad taste, along the brown paint.

I remember seeing cars like these when i was growing up. These types of cars made me write-off muscle cars for nearly 20 years! lol

At least until i started digging in the books and realizing just how cool they were and the performance potential that many had. It also didn't hurt that around that time (early-mid 90s) the resto-movement was hitting big, as well as the beginnings of the pro-touring movement.


milkplus PLEASE NO...


Shaggy Moon Nope, loovered rear windows are a child of the 70s, as well as the luggage racks. Thanks to the rise of neo-classic styling from the big three personal coupes - like the Cordoba, Monte Carlo or the infamous Lincoln MK IV - as well as the revival of Stutze's, Excalibers and so on. It lasted well into the 80s, because you know, it always takes a while for the really bad trends to just die.


Love this thing… yet strangely hadn’t even realized it had
changed colour!


Have to admit. That thing is spot on. Friend in high school drove that car! Well minus the graphics.


the car was very good 
really really like to see the car that shiny new car fits like made ​​for walking trailsthe car was very good" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> and very fast" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> mix of colors" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> from which to" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> make want pobud see hatnya" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> kecepatanya" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> was very nice ," rel="dofollow" target="_blank">  suitable for a "" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> sharp bend or not sharp I guess motorists like this is" very skilled in the speed I hope I can membilinya someday will whether there are new cars are better I" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> 'll wait for it , with a stylish car classic" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> style I" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> also like" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> to see would be whether there is a" rel="dofollow" target="_blank"> car that is as fast and forius like in the " movie , the car very good car designed a way apparently hopefully there will be new cars more good and the price is quite pantastis then chances are I can membilinya the same as you have at this time