Event>> Low Ride Minivan Show @ Fuji Speedway

While most people probably think that everyone in Japan drives around in Skylines, Supras and AE86's the reality is that a great slice of the population is pretty crazy about minivans. Manufacturers have been churning them out in all shapes and sizes giving way to an ever-increasing presence on the crowded roads of the country. They do make sense as a practical means of transportation, they are big and in most cases pretty economical and as you can see from these pictures lend themselves rather well to some personalization.

Knowing this month's theme was going to be about all things lowered, slammed, decked, however you want to refer to it, I have been holding on to these pictures since last month.

On the Sunday of the D1 final in Fuji Speedway I heard a custom show was going to be held in a cornered off section of the VIP parking area so as the action on track took a pause for lunch, I made my way over to check out these crazy slammed minivans.

The Honda Odyssey is by far one of the most popular van in Japan, this is the kouki version of the JDM model that has been on sale in Japan since 2003. The 20-inch D.A.D. wheels fitted to this particular one were definitely different making it look like some kind of concept car.

This little Suzuki Wagon R "Kei" van was slammed right to the ground riding on some nice 17-inch Work Schwert SC1's…

…and if you check out the rear you can see how the bodywork was cleaned up by removing the rear wiper and all the badges.

Spotted this previous generation Honda Fit which was nice and low, but there was some obvious work needed to rectify the offset situation.

 Small is the way to go!

A lowered stance often means extravagant interiors and enough audio and video equipment to power a nightclub. Yes, those are pink seats!

People take the whole custom thing to crazy levels like fitting vertical doors to first-gen Nissan Cubes!

Hard looking Wagon R!

How could the Toyota (Scion) bB miss from this line up of course, this particular one sporting a pretty spot-on stance.

Thought this white on white theme worked well on this brand new Suzuki Wagon R.

But for me the best of the whole show was this latest generation Honda Fit dropped to the ground on massive 19-inch Carlsson wheels. 

It was even running a huge Project µ front brake upgrade. Very smooth!

Slammed Toyota Estima Hybrid on airbags and AME Modelart Gracer 20-inch wheels.

Color coordination anyone?

Bigger vans allow for more interesting modifications…

…shown to us here by this crazy creation sporting a Lexus LS front headlight and grille conversion. The base is a Mazda MPV believe it or not!

Not surprising, with the amount of equipment on board it rides very low…

…and yes that is paint transfer on the side walls from rubbing the inside of the fenders!

The Toyota Estima is one of the most well designed JDM minivans currently on sale an with some smooth customization its looks can be further enhanced…

…as is shown by this mustard-yellow example riding on mean looking black Lowenharts. Check out that rear camber!

Here is another Estima, previous generation, dropped on 20-inch wheels and sporting massive overfenders.

Yes they rubbed!

A lot of people were asking questions on the Drift Tengoku GT-R post, regarding this car (which was visible in the background). Well despite all the guesses it is actually a Toyota Supra…

…built by Obayashi Factory, a company specializing in custom audio/video installations.

The car has been transformed with BMW 6-series headlights and BMW Z4 tail lights, and packed with tons of ear-drum bursting speakers.

I though this was the most pleasant angle from which to view the car, and I'm sure I'm not the only one in thinking so! Hope you guys enjoyed seeing all the slammed JDM minivans!

-Dino Dalle Carbonare



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Some of these minivans run crazy rear-camber angles.


Also, mind including a wallpaper for the last pic? Thanks.


very cool, but still dont get why you would spill alot of money into a people mover!


The first thing that comes to mind when it comes to customized JDM minivans is "odd". And as weird and so not my style as they seem, I find them funny, interesting and can never get tired or stop being fascinated by the extreme takes they take on the vans. It's not ugly, it's not sexy, it's not hideous nore beautiful; it's like some kind of a freack show I enjoy watching any time.

That Supra is insane! Although I like the end product Obayashi Factory and I like to feel my internal organs vibrate and shake like crazy due to overexposure to serious loudness and bass, it feels kinda sad that a Supra chassis has been "murdered" this way, as into turned into a park and show car, rather than a go car being put to good use.

Great work anyway; I'm wondering if they had to modify the rear hatch to be able to fit properly with the rear end conversion? Can anyone tell if the hatch has been modified as well?


is the major reason why japanese manufacturers cant sell those vans here a matter of safety? or emmisions?


Not my cup of tea....


The new Fit looks amazing when dropped!


i really liked this article. vans are so cool.


@ Joe

Safety!?:)) If those would be chinese vans, yeah safety would be THE issue. It's none of those, it's marketing and economic reasons, most of the times. If a product won't come close to meeting the numbers that the company wants, they won't even consider it.

Another reason can be image. Some manufacturers choose to sell certain vehicles to certain areas to fit into the "local" image of vehicles or of the company. Another pretty simple reason is that they just don't want to. They don't want to share some products with other countries.

Your comment reminded me of a very funny scene from a video a few years ago, from when the Smart was to be released into the US and they first got 2 Smarts to cruise around New York to start reactions and spark interest. And it did so in a big way! Everyone that would glimpse or lay eye on the "alien" car, would stop and check it out again and again, trying to figure out what it was; a scooter? a electric car? is it a car? It was like a frenzy, cab drivers, on walkers, people on bikes, cops everyone would stop and ask questions. And there was this one guy that cracked me up: he was walking down the sidewalk and spotted the alien intruder parked. He got close and spent like 15min. analizing this "thing" and when the driver of the Smart came, the confused man asked first if it was a car, paused and then asked: "Is it safe?" :))))))

I know americans are used to big cars with sedans that can fit your whole family, but it doesn't mean that if a vehicle is small, it's unsafe, undrivable and so on.:)))


That supra is a prime example of 'just because you can, doesn't mean you should'


I just threw up in my mouth a lil' bit.


You know. For a DD a dropped mini van on rims would be quite nice.

A way to separate your self from the SUV sheeple.

BTW Joe..the reason they don't sell here is simple. most people would have an SUV over something like this for soccer mom duty.


omg that supra now looks like a squid from the front :(


Agree with you Dino on the Honda Fit. It definitely looks the best out of all the cars there.


thanks for answering the oddball supra :)


What is that purple thing in the second pic??? Any more info? Something about it just strikes me as "awesome"....odd, but awesome. (^_^ )


I LOVE VANS AND KEI VANS!!!! Don't like them, don't bother looking at them, keep your negativity out.


Damn, that Estima van looks so good (front end in general)

Would most people really rather have a chunky SUV over a sleek van?

Oh and, something about the black fit's front bumper bothers me. It just doesn't look right


Yea I mean the whole van thing is like a freak show. I respect them, the energy and creativity it takes and amnt of labor but some of those vans remind me of what some ppl here in america do to buick LeSabre, caprice classics and LeBarrons.....doesn't suit me but its all good those vans wouldn't be of anyother use anyways lol


i can see that squid supra's license plate from the reflection LOL

says 85-88


:)) Cool spotting of the license plate number:)))


Japanese vans are awesome. They are the pick-up trucks of Japan. Pretty much every drifter has one, or a close drift friend of theirs has one. They are very practical over here. I have seen some NASTY (IE Amazing) wheel fitment/stance on vans here at our local Parts-off/UpGarage etc. Oh, and suprisingly...the kei vans are quite roomy inside! Nice event blog Dino...good way to capture "the otherside" of Japan.


It would have been nice to see the first-gen Estima that was parked besides the mustard-yellow one. Anyways, this was a nice post, Japan is full of cool rides... makes me wish I lived there!

Oh, and the last picture is the icing on the cake. :)


VANNING CULTURE!! so sick. i love it. ugly but beautiful


LOVIN' these photos. More like this please! TK DDC.


Dude, Dino! Why did you go to this event and not to the 1JZ meeting at Fuji the week before?

It would have been nice to have someone there with photography skills, instead of the shots I took:



Could you please post a high res of the second picture of the Toyota Estima in your "Desktops" section??


I love them all except for that Supra and the yellow Odyssey...very ugly


Black Honda Fit is the only one I'd drive. Anyone noticed the Merc. S Class styled tail lights?? Nice touch!


Cool stuff! I love the "weird" side of Japanese car culture. I wish they would bring the JDM Odysee and Estima here, would murder all the domestic vans. Speaking of, were there no Astros there? That orange Odysee with color matched rims would fit right in in a hip-hop video. Seems like they are imitating some of the worst US trends in some of the builds like the purple Lexus/MPV. JDM/USDM/SPOCOM/Vanning anyone? How did they fit Carlsson wheels on the Fit? Isn't the fit 4 lug? Do they sell wheel spacer/adapters for that like they do for putting Porsche/Lambo wheels on VWs? Thanks for clearing up the BM-Supra abomination. At first I thought they chopped the top on a 6-series, lol!