Silhouette Style: The Final Evolution

When it comes to having the flashiest, most over-the-top car to make a statement to your bosozoku peers with, Silhouette style simply cannot be beaten.

Inspired by the flame-spitting touring cars from the Japanese Super Silhouette Series, this form of styling is the final evolution of works styling, and the owners who favor it hold nothing back in their quest to stand out.

DSC02550

Two examples that I found really interesting during my cultural exploration at the Fuji Kawaguchi Auto-Jamboree was this Z10 Toyota Soarer and the X70 Toyota Cresta below.

DSC02501

In comparison to most racing regulations, the Super Silhouette series was very laid back, allowing the designers and engineers to go absolutely nuts. The massive front splitters, giant wings and huge overfenders made a huge impression in the minds of those that followed the racing. The bosozoku took these aerodynamic traits and exaggerated them for their street cars.

Here we see custom body work, vibrant paint schemes and rear wings which shoot out at least three feet on both examples – classic Silhouette style features.

DSC02526

If those don’t work, there’s always a racket to be made with homemade exhaust systems, usually devoid of mufflers.

DSC02554

And if all else fails, you have the standard issue air horns. Take a wild guess which tune bellows out of these…

The interiors in both the Soarer and Cresta remain mostly true to their eras, but in typical bosozoku fashion, accessories are in plentiful supply.

DSC02569

This is definitely a style that is out of my comfort zone, but as a cultural piece to study it still remains extremely fascinating to me. I may have to dig even deeper in the future…

Ron Celestine
Instagram: celestinephotography

More stories from Japan on Speedhunters

ADVERTISEMENT

Comments

Add comment

E-mail is already registered on the site. Please use the Login form or enter another.

You entered an incorrect username or password

Sorry, you must be logged in to post a comment.

32 comments

by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest
1
Philly Robertson

Oh Jeeezzz... Lets keep this type of style with limited exposure... We finally got the kids over here to stop all the rice builds. Its not finished tho, apparently, they still like to put BS decals all over the back window and/or bumper.

2

Haha I promise this is the only post about it

3

I've been keeping myself very quiet, but I'm gonna speak out this once. This sort of "bosozoku style" is shit, and is not only, frankly, useless, but also the socio-cultural association makes doubly irritating. I lived in Japan for many years during the heyday of bosozoku, and they are nuisance and criminal, there's absolutely nothing to celebrate about their so-called 'style'. They call it nostalgia, but it's the sort of line some people find burning cross on someone's front yard nostalgic (okay, that's a bit extreme, but you follow my drift). Of course, most of you don't know all that much about it other than the fad of 'style', and I don't blame you for that, but really, at least provide some context, there's nothing to be glorified about any of their shit.

4

@j.b. - Agreed. Honestly the references to WW2 imperialism make the whole thing unpalatable. It's like seeing Kid Rock defend rebel flags on General Lee Chargers, or a neo-nazi biker gang's custom Harleys and saying "but ya gotta admit they look tough". No amount of "cool" or "counter culture" can excuse it. Yeah all sides were victims and also committed atrocities, but read The Rape of Nanjing if u still think references to Japanese Imperialism are acceptable.

Also, those cars are hella ugly, but that's irrelevant bc it's just my opinion.
-M

5

honestly lad you're a bit of a prissy shitter if the rebel flags piss you off
did the neonazi biker gang's harley kill 5.1 million jews and razed 85% of warsaw's buildings to the ground? i dont think it did
the bosozoku are supposed to be a nuisance, most of them were very low level yakuza
doesnt seem like you know shit about them hey

6

You're opinion is valid and it is refreshing to read a different point of view from someone who has lived in Japan and is not associated with the movement or style.

But bear in mind this is Speedhunters, where expression of ones car is a reflection of hard work and perseverance to ones pride. This "bosozoku" style has had a great impact on car culture and has shown people that their wildest creations and dreams can be reality, and even more, can be accepted.

I am sure I am not alone in understanding your dislike of the attitude you described and jingoist nature which some adhere to. But, that can be compared to to a disliking Harley Davidson's because of their associations with motorcycle gangs.

I don't think this short feature would be on this website if it didn't allow us a look into the expression of their pride through automotive art.

7

Ah I see I finally touched a nerve. And yes, that was a bit extreme seeing my background but I can see where you were going with your analogy. In my very first post about bosozokus, I addressed that including going in to their nationalist mindset and meanings being a lot of their kanji within on their outfit and cars. Yes their heyday was quite different than now and was considered dangerous. Try to look at them in a different context. You might be surprised at what you find. Do I agree with what they did or would do anything like that to my own car. No - but I can take a sec to try and understand them ^^ sorry that was long winded

8

So stupid

9

It is a 'bit' much lol

10
Spanky Mc Lugnuts

Can people lie down and take a nap on the front spoiler?

11

Nah, it'll crack and fall apart.

12
JBfromSiliconValley

This

decom_9b47900db3ffae360ff503ec6b5ac11b_598111e8876fe.jpgdecom_9b47900db3ffae360ff503ec6b5ac11b_598111e8876fe.jpg
13

My eyes! Its burned!!!

14

Is it a thing that every car must have an open or empty drinks container somewhere within center console?

15

I think they were drinking it that day and just left it. They weren't expecting some random Foreigner to take pictures lol

16

You haven't see the minivans yet... those will take this bosozoku craziness to the next level. LOL

17

That lol. Is a whole different animal lol. Don't think people are really ready for that o.o

18

Am pretty sure they're both Toyota X70 sedans, Ron.

Hint: The pink one is also a 4-door with the rear doors sealed, and both dashboards are the same.

The red/black one is probably a Mark II or Chaser from its pillarless frame, so the pink one should be a Cresta.

19

You may be right. I fig someone would think differently lol. I checked with other people too and we came the conclusion that I mentioned above

20

The cars are ugly, the nationalism of the bosozoku is disturbuing, but.... bring more. And please provide even more cultural/social context (like you did in your main post). Because it shows that there is some depth to this subculture, not just funny looking vehicles.

21

I'm in the works of making a project out of it but still talking with some of them about it.. And I dunno if it will get approved for SH lol ^_^;

22

I would bet they all have Godfather Horns=)

23

You would bet correctly lol

24

So much hate going on for this style. I have no hate towards it. Think there should be more exposure on it tbh. Dino has some good posts.
All my inspiration has come from builds like these, I try to replicate them as best I can in the UK. My Mazda is hardly this extreme, maybe some day.
These people are keeping a style alive & its the best interpretation of "I build what I want, who cares what people think". Everyone has there own style.
These are defiantly not built for Instagram

25

That car you called a z10 is actually also a gx71. Is it really that difficult to ask the owner of it which car youre actually even looking at instead of looking like a fool and misnaming it ;).

26

Not being a troll here, I love these fantastic rides, They to me, are every bit if not more so than lowriders, gassers, heavily chopped rat rods.. etc. I love the colors the attention to clean seams and body paint matched parts. These are no weekend builds where you stick stuff to your car that you found hanging at AutoZone. These owners LOVE their cars and it really shows.

27

I can agree with that. Definitely not my cup of tea, not something I'd ever aim to emulate with any of my own cars, but I can respect the amount of work and time spent creating these. Like you said, it shows the love of the car.

28

Nothing better than a good boso silhouette. Way more interesting than the malaise hot rodding we get in north america

29

The "Moonlightrunners" out of Socal are doing a pretty good job to bring their version of this style / culture to the usa :)

30

I'll be honest, when I first saw these rides in 2012(ish?) in a spotlight Dino did, I wasn't too hype about it. But then I realized how much work goes into these machines and the pride the owners have, I really started to appreciate them. While I was at the Auto Jamboree, I never got the feeling that it was a Yakuza party or a right wing national frenzy. It was just a motorcycle and car show like many others with many enthusiasts. I know a few guys who rock mark IIs, crestas, and cressidas like this, and they're just normal people (a few fresh out of college!) that enjoy the style. TL;DR: don't knock it unless you see it in person and talk to a few people. Keep up the good work Ron!

31

Dig Deeper! All the way down! Keep these coming!

32

I don't get it or the desire of any of the bosozoku builds. I see plenty of post in favor of it but I have yet to see one that truly intrigues me. Even the bikes look like they belong in a circus. As long as the owners are happy with their creation, keep at it I guess.

OFFICIAL SPEEDHUNTERS SUPPLIERS