New Style Japan: Where Custom Worlds Collide
Culture Clash

When you think of the car scene in Japan, you think about the origins of drifting. You think about time attack cars hauling around Tsukuba Circuit. You think about stance and VIP cars.

But what about candy paint, scissor doors and substantially oversized wheels?


The New Style Car Show (aka NS Rounder Car Show), held recently at Harbor City Soga in the Chiba Prefecture north of Tokyo, is an event with a heavy emphasis on outrageous modifications, many of which take their cues from the USA. Owners use car customization to express themselves, and as a result you get some truly one-of-a-kind creations.


This Box Chevy on 28-inch Asanti 808 wheels reminded me of the days when I lived in Atlanta, GA.


Imagine driving down the tight roads of Tokyo in this first generation Cadillac de Ville. Man, I absolutely love the taillight wings on these!


A huge component of a Japanese custom car show like New Style is the type of suspension selected for the build. Most owners will choose between running a hydraulic system or riding on bags.


Inside this Mazda Atenza wagon was one of the most beautiful air suspension setups I’ve ever seen. Directly behind the immaculately presented pumps, valves and hard lines sat four large subwoofers taking up the entire rear seat space – and they hit hard.

Rules Don’t Apply

Such is the diversity in this small corner of Japanese car culture, the next second I was standing in front of a Shelby Super Snake modified with custom side-pipe exhaust.


And not too far away was this bagged Chevy C/K pickup on 22-inch Forgiato Indierto wheels.


Getting your truck to lay frame is not as simple as just adding air ride, so I wish the owner had the cover off so I could get a better look at the fabrication work that went into this one.


Candy Gate is a relatively new shop based out of Setagaya, and the guys were at New Style showing off their custom aero kit for the Dodge Challenger.


You might think of the Toyota Prius as a vanilla transportation device, but in Japan the hybrid hatchback is a popular base for customization. Tokyo is home to some of the worst traffic ever known to man; narrow roads and more stop lights than makes sense ensure that. So, it’s somewhat understandable why more and more people are buying into fuel efficient hybrids and EVs in this mega city. However, just because you own a soulless Prius doesn’t mean it has to be boring.


Lime green candy paint, custom pin-striping and air-brushing – there’s an obvious lowrider theme at play here.


This Dodge Charger Hellcat was sitting on Vellano VCX forged wheels finished in candy paint – beautiful!


The fad of Lamborghini-style doors is still alive and kicking in the Japanese custom car scene, and there’s seemingly no limit to what they can be applied to. I would call this Camaro SS ‘Bumblebee’, but since we are in Japan, ‘Pikachu’ seems more appropriate.


Just as there’s a desire for right-hand drive cars in America, left-hand drive cars in Japan hold a certain allure to some. The owner of this Accord coupe picked it up in California.

To The Extreme

This R35 GT-R is a US import too, however there’s a lot more going on than just its radical restyling. Under the reverse-opening hood, its VR38DETT has been tuned up to 700hp by Amuse.


A group of Honda Fits also participated in the car show, including this GP-series Hybrid. Aftermarket wheels plus a low ride height put a new spin on this city car.


Having aggressive wheel fitment and parking lot presence is a must in the custom car scene.


The Lexus SC430 is a bit of a rarity Japan, and even more so sitting like this.


Thanks to stretched tires, the fenders rest right up against the SSR Executor CV03 wheels’ lips. Now that’s aggressive fitment!


As the replacement for the G37, the Q50 has been popping up in a variety of different car scenes. I absolutely love the front end on these things, and this example was tucking its 22-inch Lexani forged wheels like they were nothing.


This has to be one of the most beautiful TSX wagons I’ve ever seen. The motorized license plate hider and Vossen VLE-1s are a nice touch.


On the subject of Vossen wheels, the owner of this G37 takes brand loyalty to a higher level.


The entire interior has been customized in red leather with white accents, and ‘Vossen’ has been stitched into the upholstery in a variety of places.


One of the most menacing looking cars at the show was this blacked-out Mercedes-Benz S600 with HyperForged wheels, widened fenders, and a custom aero kit. Even the owner looked the part, and he watched me with a sideways glance as I took pictures of his car.


Sitting in the trunk is a Universal Air setup, with two VIAIR compressors, air tank and stainless steel braided hoses all mounted in a custom enclosure.


If anything, the New Style Car Show gave me a completely different look into the world of Japanese car culture. The big wheels, lifted trucks, candy paint jobs, and hip-hop music that blasted from the speakers – it took a car culture predominantly found back in the States and added a Japanese twist to it. It’s this idea of being truly unique and breaking out of the social norms which made the event really interesting to me.

I’ve already shared one spotlight from this meet with you, but stay tuned for more.

Ron Celestine
Instagram: celestinephotography



Comments are closed.


by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest

This style is all over teh Bau Area whereI live, and most of it is with people whom put $3500 of wheels into a $500 Buick, which just makes me shake my head tbh.  I'll say this, though: That challenger doesn't look half bad! Hell out of all of them that looks like the most appealing one (besides the Honda Citycar) that'd id want to drive!


Sorry but for me, this is just rice. Is rice a part of car culture? Yes, it is, but I don't think SpeedHunters is the right place for it.


Speaking from a purely practical viewpoint, with the price of space at a premium, and parking alongside with it, "lambo" (or lifty uppy as my family says) make a lot of sense in Japan.
Stop laughing at the back.
I tried to get the dealership to put them on my CRV for "added access" but they were having none of it :(


Jesus dude, if your going to bait, get your insults right, I'd say the majority of the cars you refer to are more Donk then they are rice.


Wonder if swangs will ever catch on over there lol.

My TV is on fire

I can't be the only one that would like to see more donk content on SH. 

Really? I'm the only one? Jeez.


to me, american cars look way out of place in japan, but some of the americanized japanese cars, like the accord, can seem to pull it of quite well.


TarmacTerrorist I'd say trash more than donk....but thats just my opinion


one day, when i have money to spare i need to buy a w140 and do the gangster treatment! Black dropped body, black wheels black windows, and then i just roll around really slow and pretend to be gangster!


There is a whole lot of fun in this post, and that makes it really awesome. The Japanese never seem to lose sight of the idea that modifying cars should be fun at its core.


Why would you import a GTR from the US to Japan....surely they're cheaper in the mother land? If it's just to get a LHD one, then that's just stoopid IMO.

Cool pics and some cool cars, love that yellow Mazda wagon!


all of these cars are ugly


That box chevy is too fucking good.


"Man, I absolutely love the taillight wings on these!" in regards to the 59 Caddy

As far as I can recall these were never called wings. Pretty much anytime anyone has ever referred to these they have always been called fins. Grew up riding around in cars just like this, including a 59 Caddy. Don't believe me? Google image "car fins" then try google imaging "car wings". See the difference?


@My TV is on fire Donks are actually kinda crazy. There are many which are waaaay more powerful than they should be.


I still have a soft spot for box chevy caprices....hate the squat, but love the car. 
The yellow mazda is on Hydraulics btw...


Hard parkers! Gotta love them :)


I was hoping donks were purely an American style. Sadly I see that this is not true.


@kek opinions aside, those people put more work into those cars than you did into that comment.


talln45 no one cares


Nice article!


That Mazda is juiced, not bagged, which is intriguing.


@a guy go screw yourself you trolling piece of trash -_-


DonHoonigan you serious? you also pointing the charger hellcat a rice? what about the cadillac? not all cars are riced....


This looks like every hood ass car show I have ever seen. Don't get me wrong, these are done on a much higher level then the donks and boxed chevy pieces of shit we have in Jacksonville but fuck this shit is horrendous. The amount of work is something to be praised and these are by no means ghetto or shitty, just ugly lol but if its what they love then who really cares right?


Dill Pickle I agree


Arbitrarily talking trash on donk, lowrider, or similar cultures.... pretty racist.
Kudos to y'all for that.


So your saying I can't put 2.5k $ worth of wheels on my 3500 dollar Mazda ? Different strokes for different folks I guess.


that fitment on that lexus sc430....

unffffffff its so goo0d


@ilia Is lowrider a race? Is so what kind, please let me know? 
Trash talk is for people who don't get it and feel better by putting others down, don't get worked up over some idiots.

I happen to think the styling cues shown in the Japanese scene are very interesting, they copy with their own visual touch and the end result is different than what we see here and although not for me, I can get ideas and appreciate the work on some of these builds.


@kek  Apart from a style that might not fit someone's idea of current trends, I see deliberate choices made to modify cars in a quality and presentable fashion.

I'm getting tired of these negative comments that add nothing to the discussion. Would you go tell any of the owners their cars are shitty to their face?


DJDrifta What about the guys on Roadkill on youtube putting a $1000 supercharger and $1500 worth of carbs on a $1000 jaguar just to overheat it 10 times... money isn't worth the same to everyone and that only seems to be a crime for people that would have spent theirs differently. What's the price of having fun if you can afford it and aren't neglecting other life responsibilities?


Why would someone in Japan import a R35, would it not be cheaper just to buy on in japan where they built.


hcram39 talln45 I care more about that factual statement than this opinion based crap flying around.  Rude asshole.

The attitude, the ignorance, the bias, and the focus on non-performance is why I rarely come to SH.  Thanks for highlighting that clown.


It is like a car show from 1998 in the dirty south


I used to hate donks but they've really been growing on me lately


There used to be a gearbox part that was on the German/European ones and its Japanese counterpart was somewhat flimsy. This was back when the 35 was new and shiny (possibly covered in an option video) once the difference was realised people started importing Europeans till Nissan adopted the part across the board.
So there you go. One reason. I'm sure there are others, like the driving position on the other side of the car to be different. Oh, there you go, two reasons.


My comment was meant more to ridicule the guy who posted calling it rice, I'm kind of regretting bring Donk into it now...


Engineering alone, the same with low riders, they truly amaze me.


I like that Challenger way more than I should.


That isnt a first gen Cadillac DeVille, pictured is a 1959, and the first year for the DeVille was 1949.


Is it just me or Japan has gone back to the Fast and Furious era?


Im sorry this is not a car culture, this is a particuar demographic of people with bad taste and decide to meet up. I thought these styles were dead?


The Q50 looks so much more like the traditional Skyline's than the R35


QuattrogroupB Styles die only when they're a fad/trend, car culture is forever!


6A13TTFelipe They've been doing this for over 20 years now. it's nothing new.


DonHoonigan RICE = Race Inspired Cosmetic Enhancement, and I am not seeing any of it here.


DJDrifta That's because to you that car's worth is it's market value, but to the owner, at least to a true gearhead, it's worth a lot more, and it's up to the owner of said car whether his/her car deserves said modification.


I like that Chevy C/K pickup.


I have a personal rule that I will not trash talk any of the content nor without leaving some kind of positivity, because I really appreciate the work the Hunters do to bring us articles every day.
So I was pretty surprised that the Super Snake and Challenger were the two that really caught my eye amidst all of this. Really clean work on those two, look like proper prowlers.


6A13TTFelipe  they never even left the fast and furious era


gtr and accord r amaizing


DJDrifta I look at it slightly differently. The $500 Buick is simply a way to get $3500 worth of wheels moving so the owner can show them off. :p


shiftyXTI SHOTS FIRED....same here I just hate hearing negative comments on a good article like this....


ROMEDOG_ was about to say the same, also considering GM updated styling and even chassis every two years in those days; that's actually a SIXTH gen DeVille...but what ever.


sbradley237 I know what you mean, but the term "Donk" only applies to 1971-1976 Full-size Chevys only. A 1977-1989 Caprice like above is a "Box", and 1990-1996 is a "Bubble". 

The southern, lifted on big wheels look, is called a high-riser. Like everything is car culture, the proper terms can be very anal.


shiftyXTI nice point, but a great part of open discussion is the ability of others to voice opinions on what others are doing, positive AND negative. 

Sometimes, no matter how well executed a modification is, it's just plain ugly, stupid, or tacky....and some people - thankfully - have no problem saying the king has no clothes.

If you don'the like negative opinions, ignore them.


Jagdroach I don'the think any car enthusiasts from any country forgets that. Don'the let elitist on the Web taint your world view. I have pretty strong opinions on a lot of what I see in car culture these days. 

That said, if you aren't having fun, and doing what truly makes you happy, my overall attitude is; don'the bother in the first place.


In Japan, ANY love of cars is called Kurumania - 'car sickness'. Even your eurotrash snob-knobbery is part of the sickness to most Japanese. Why spend $$$ on an Audi or BMW, when you could take the train to work, and buy 10 years of vacations with the money instead? Your sickness isn't any more valuable than theirs, bub.


Why do kids in the States spend a full summer converting their cars to RHD? Rare = valuable to many.


Please keep your bigotry out of car culture. Japan doesn't follow the rules you've set for yourself.


Actually dadecode, the world would be a lot nicer without people like you in it - which is why car culture in Japan is so much fun (because you're not there).


Nobody misses you when you're not here.


Show us your car then? Every 12 year old is on here, bashing cars they can't afford.


The snobbery on SH is mostly from young kids who don't have cars, money or jobs. They use their daddy's iPad to troll any decent site.


'Rice' is race.inspired.cosmetic.enhancements. NONE of those mods were inspired by racing. You're just being a troll. And saying 'sorry' before trolling, makes you a douche.


I guarantee you don't shake your head at donks in the 408. I'll bet you turn down your stereo, roll up your windows, and pretend you didn't see them, so you don't get your punk ass shot.


First of all f---k you... You dont know me.
As a car enthusiast, driver enthusiast, and outdoorsman. I have respect for all cars and tuning cultures but only when function is first or if the aesthetic is intended to be complementary not flamboyant!!!!!!!!! Second you are claiming i like euro vehicle's for social equity?? Your a oxymoron due to your defense of a car culture or style that trys to appear To be asthetically "wealthy" (for the lack of a better term) but say " you like euros to be a fame whore".. Lmao, no offense but please educate yourself theres nothing wrong with starting out at community college!! Lmao


... I had to rub my eyes after a few of these photo's........ I almost swore it was 1999 and I was at Hot Import Nights


You want function to be first - why? Why is function so important for cars? Nurses shoes are functional. High heels are decorative. Wide birthing hips are functional. Tight hips require C-section. There are MANY times in life where style is more important than function. You just want to feel smart. Sorry pal- you're a tool.

Educate yourself


Educate yourself

bakayaru ^-^/

He says to "Educate"...

Well - Newsflash! Trys = Tries. He must have missed that one in the dictionary when taking an hour to compose his well thought out comeback!

Educate yourself


Oh, and in other news - That's "Social Equality" you'd be referring to, please don't let your lack of interpersonal skills and an, what seems - over-payed education by mummy and daddy spoil the joy of others by appreciating their cars of choice.

........and I'mmmmmmm loading!


first couple shots are like 90s early 2k car shows . so bad.. but at least it made more sense then car shows no that are a bunch of pretend race cars.


with a very nice speed  sure the car could be a champion one


vthe 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

sargio Waiganjo sure I landed to the best dream career is car customization. Would really wish for some one to contact me because Kenya has big potential. To provide site at a strategic place in town for the purpose.+254 725240240