Discussion: The Great Over Fender Revival

Bolt-on over fenders are hardly a new concept. Born from a requisite to cover a vehicle’s modesty once the car’s track had been widened, they’ve been around for as long as I can remember. Over fenders aren’t a particularly elegant solution but they served their purpose.

The wide-body look has never really gone away, but the last couple of years have seen a resurgence of the bolted on variety of flares and over fenders. I’ve always felt that the Japanese have been at the fore of this movement – Nakai-san at RWB and Miura-san at TRA Kyoto in particular. It’s the latter of these two that has been getting a lot of attention in recent weeks with the unveiling of Liberty Walk’s Ferrari 458 and Nissan GT-R respectively. Kato-san of Liberty Walk refers to the current style as ‘works style’, as it’s influenced by ’70s Japanese racing style. Maybe you’d prefer to call it ‘werks style’ as a nod to the German roots? Let us know.

The last couple of weeks have felt like we’ve been over-saturated with this works style, but in reality there are only a relatively small number of these cars in existence. It’s perhaps more testimony to the impact that these cars are having that they are popping up everywhere – even in places where people would never even consider aftermarket modifications. My own opinion is rather simple in that I don’t see it as a perfect solution to every build, but it should be considered on a car-by-car basis and whether or not it makes sense on each build. These kits have such impact that they can overcome any other details and developments of a project car, so they should be used with caution.

How do you feel this style has progressed and where do you see it going next? Is it too much or do you actually prefer it over smoothed panels and narrow bodies?



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I was just thinking about "The great old school wheel designs" revival myself. Can't say i'm complaining.


I feel as if the style is going to split, with one school of people going for smoothed flares, and another school of rough as guts visible rivets type thing.
Not complaining either way, as long as it's not just the same thing done over and over again.


I like the infusing of style  to unexpected genre's of cars. I personally look forward to fender blisters on mustangs vs. the wide body kits being offered in the past and present day.


I like the over fender if they're done right. Like the 458, GTR, S13, 911s, and others all look awesome with them. As long as they keep a good flow and don't look too overdone, I'm happy for them to be coming back. And the simple over fenders from the 240zs also look goods good on the right car.


Forrest Wang has over fenders on his over fenders. We could learn a thing or two from him.


With cars, i think it's a good school of thought to stay away from overemphasizing trends n stuff because these things fade through time. A concept that makes a car great is when building a car strikes a balance with the enjoyment of the owner regardless of time.


To each their own, some cars can pull it off and some don't...like you've said, use caution.


I really want to see some more American iorn works equipped, similar to the RTRX... Maybe a late 70's Trans Am.  I really enjoy the cross breading of car cultures.


wheatgod Finally some constructive criticism, but you had to ruin it with a troll rant towards the end. Speedhunters began with Japanese "tuning" in mind...what are you talking about? You ARE the fanboy here, not accepting of other styles as you like to call them.


I love the kyusha look and i will do my best (even with with my country strict regulations regarding mods) to move some of those elements into my build, certainly overfenders/flares (even small) and an oil cooler will be present to complete the look.
Though as any kind of mod, if it is not well executed, if theres no thinking about it, if its just something done without careful planing, obviously will not look good on any car. But as with any other mod: planned, thought and carefully done it can serve any car. 
My 2 cents, but yeah, i like them.


In4theaction What's there to cross-breed? It's a universal thing...more prominent in some sub-cultures, but universal nonetheless.


"kato-san of Liberty Walk refers to the current style as ‘works style’, as
it’s influenced by ’70s Japanese racing style. Maybe you’d prefer to
call it ‘werks style’ as a nod to the German roots? Let us know."
 As long as there is a strong nod towards ze German roots then I'm fine with it (a la' 2002 Turbo, etc.)


The thinking (philosophy if you will...) behind the overfenders is in the attempt to massively decrease the W/T ratio.  This served to make the cars grippier, less understeery and generally more aggressive in corners.  Being a modification that often drastically increases air drag, their use at the tracks was predominantly on relatively slower tracks, and/or on cars that had to start with a notoriously high W/T ratio, and/or in race categories where track width was not regulated by the rules, for some reason.
The above (the fact that certain tuners/racecar builders consciously sacrificed straightline speed / drag / efficiency just to be faster in the corners) implies that those cars almost always had enough power.  Therefore, the subliminal, subconscious effect of the overfenders is to convey a hidden message of "I have more than enough power at my disposal".  This alone, is enough to make this mod one of the most unexplicably exciting features a race/sport car can posess.
And this only comes as an addition to the, often very pronounced, aesthetic effect that overfenders can have on certain shapes (on other cars, of course, they just don't generate the awesome aesthetic effect, yet strangely they appeal to all of us).
This is the principal reason why they're so dramatic.
And the more absurd they are, the more pronounced is the "crazy desirable" effect they have - for example, on the 911, the W/T ratio is, in stock form (!), one of the lowest ever made on a sports car:  thus, to put huge overfenders on a 911, just "screams" that the car has an abundance of (Turbo!) power..  
(Just ask Nakai San :-)
To sum it up, in real-life circumstances, a car has to have a really punchy performance in order to justify overfenders - otherwise it's pure kitsch and it's pompeous, pretentious and a definitive turn-off.
So yes, if you really have THE GO, bring'em on !


georgievski32 This is arguably the greatest comment ever made in regards to the over fender subject. Bravo.


I have never thought of overfenders as a trend but as a solution to manufacturers limiting the the amount of fender space available for wheels and tires.  As a weekend track guy it allowed me to maximize the the use of available R comp tires to match the power/weight class I am competing in. Whether you're a drag racer, adding room to the inside of the fenders or a road racer adding it outboard it is an effective way to add necessary grip.


In4theaction The 1996 Corvette Grand Sport had overfenders on the rear from the factory. It's not like the Japanese invented overfenders.


georgievski32 I really like how you addressed the look, and would agree completely with every point. As to the execution of the look however I am having difficulty.
If you look at a DTM or an ALMS race car, and you note the oversized fenders on the Z4, it becomes obvious that they needed the traction benefits, but look at how they clean the lines, as compared to the current bolt on trend. The panel is seamless, and it looks like a continuation of the form. Having a Mitsubishi Lancer, I appreciated the fact that the factory did wider wheel-wells for the EVO, and as such, you can barely notice the flare on the quarter panels as compared to the Ralli-Art / GTS models. 
I would be more likely to show love for the Works/Werks trend if they did full panel replacements rather than the bolt on / rivet on pieces that have gaps along the body line... It isn't about being against overfenders, but against the rushed look of how these current companies are doing them.


over fenders or "spats" as there called in the mini community look great on classic minis


I think I agree with Paddy. It's very much a case by case basis IMO as well. Old-school cars (particularly the Mini and Hakosuka come to mind) seemed to be built for overfenders. But on an M3, or a Ferrari, where the fenders are already pumped? It somewhat messes with the proportions.


What I don't like about them is that you have to mutilate the bodywork to mount them. It's also a style that works very well on vintage cars, but it's been over-applied. The 458 and GTR are the perfect examples of this. Here you have a very smooth, coherent, modern design, and then there's these random riveted flares out of nowhere. They look tacked on, almost as an afterthought. I have no problem with flares, but at least make them flow with the original design. The FRS kit, for example, would look great if the flares were molded in. The rivets are just too distracting on modern cars, especially when everything else is so smooth and flowing.


@Jake Laird I completely agree with you


I think it's being way over done.  The 458 and BRZ/FRS kit would look much better if the fenders were welded on, or since they are FRP, molded into the stock fenders.  The riveted look does not fit these new cars.


While I like some of it, Liberty Walk/Rocket Bunny stuff is this era's equivalent to the Veilside/AB Flug stuff from a few years back. It looks cool now, but I imagine all the extreme wheel fitment and crazy flared arches and vents will look really tacky in a short amount of time.


I think 95% of cars that have flares, dont "need" them because theyre show cars or parking lot queens.


I'm currently debating this issue with my build, gc8. Shall I put s15 flares on it (yes been done quite a bit) and just rivet them on gives a more industrial look to the car that suits it as it is a race car and has 9 jj rims on it so I need something or go the full body kit route, JDM modified 22b kit. The latter option is a hell of a lot more expensive than the flares. Common sense and budget dictates I should go flares, it looks aggressive enough but ultimately not as bespoke as the full body kit option. Seeing as flares were around from the onset of rallying etc I think they have a place in the scene and ultimately will always be present, and for some a much better and cheaper option which still gives a aggressive look to a car.


Just do whatever suits you, you/car's purpose and time/money allows.  Do as you may.  At the end of the day, really, the guy/gal that bashes you, is he/she going to sleep in your bed?  Or park their car, project or race car in your garage?  Or spend your money?


Over Fenders: The half-assed approach to covering the tires when there isn't enough money to do a proper wide body.


wheatgod Dude, seriously? Getting a bit sick of your idea that people don't like them simply because they're a Japanese style of tuning. I tried to explain to you in a previous comment that I like many many different nationalities of cars and that my personal dislike of it is because the cars we're currently seeing them on has dubious performance benefits (and therefore is a pointlessly expensive, mainly cosmetic modification)
I think comments like yours are turning Speedhunters into a place I don't want to visit as much (you seem to be the one who does't want to get along and play nice, like somehow people disliking the style you like reflects badly on you or something) 
Maybe the moderators can/will do something about these sort of comments, maybe they wont. Time will tell.


wheatgod apex_DNA At this point it's clear you're either an absolute idiot or a troll. I mean really, if it's what you're trying to do, you're doing a great job.


@Kevin Truong And that, everyone, is the answer to all questions relating to car taste that there are. Well said.


@Honto Ni ホントじゃない


There seems to be a lot of anger on this subject, but I don't think that people dislike over fenders, its just played out thanks to the 86 bros. Every other image I see of an 86 is with the rocket bunny kit and just like your favorite song it gets old after awhile even if it get remixed (458, GTR) its still the same song, but that doesnt mean its a bad song. The only solution is to stop playing it for awhile. (eh speedhunters)
Whats interesting to me about this topic is that rwb cars are well received by most. Why? Because they're somewhat rare and unattainable for most so you probably wont see 1000 of them anytime soon.
oh and please work on a comments off button Im tired of reading arguments between others about their opinions everyone has a different opinions, likes, dislikes. its like going to other sites and reading religious arguments when the site has nothing to do with religion.


wheatgod Jesus, you're kidding right? Maybe some people don't like over fenders because, wow, they just don't like over fenders? You claim everyone that hates on Japanese cars is a domestic/Euro fanboy, but you're the one hating on anything that ISN'T Japanese. Who's the real fanboy?
Some of my favourite feature cars on this site have been Japanese, like the T&E S15, or the Evasive FR-S. But you'll just ignore that.
I like all cars, regardless of where they're from. If this was a German tuning trend, I'd still dislike it. For what it's worth, I like over fenders. I do. I just dislike how lately they've been slapped on every car regardless of whether they actually "fit" the car or not. It ends up just like a caricature.
None of this post matters anyway, because you'll just call me a troll and then carry on trolling yourself. You're either literally the world's stupidest person, or the best troll on this site.


I have mix feelings about bolt on fenders. I like them mostly on older cars, but for new ones I'm like 50/50.


I don't mind them in general(personally I'd struggle to do it to my car for the following reason), but I hate the thought of hacking into the car to achieve this look....what do you do when you tire of this style and want to return the car to stock....spend a lot of money, that's what. I prefer them on older cars, and the more traditional style.....bolt on or moulded in, I don't care, but I just can't like this new style of flares that end abruptly and don't flow all the way around the arch. It just looks half-assed IMHO.....not to mention the amount of crud that must end up down the side of the car behind each wheel. Oh, and as has been said, majorly played ATM and very over seeing them all on nothing but trailered show cars and 86's!!


wheatgod Hotcakes And that's relevant how...? Regardless of what car you own, you still come across as an arrogant, ignorant, one-eyed asshole. Way to ignore the entire post and write something totally irrelevant. GG.


wheatgod Hotcakes Also, nice ad hominem. Always the sign of when someone runs out of actual arguments.


I love all that over fender 'works style' movement. But there's certainly some ways to apply it!


I absolutely love it. One major thing could be making them in CF. Kei Muira needs to get a hold of an American car. (Corvette, Camaro, Charger, Mustang, etc..) Just saw the renderings of the BMW he is doing, love it,  but my golly a Rocket Bunny kitted 14' Corvette...tits on wheels!


Please, don't reply to him. If he stops getting responses he'll ramp up and burn out. It's middle school all over again for him except this time he's not the one who's on the receiving end.


@Honto Ni personally I totally disagree. I have enough money for custom wide body but actually like the idea of just using over fenders to reduce weight and still get the look I like and performance benefit in having a wider track car. Some cars look better with over fenders than a full body kit, Ford escort mark 1 for example.


@Kevin Truong 
I'm with K.T. 
Others will have an opinion but in the end yours in the only one that really matters. I prefer function over form as well. Want to to fit that wider wheel/tire combo under the fenders of your track/ race car.......DO IT!


Big fan of it. I met Nakai once, great guy but I was derpy and didn't know what to say. He built a RWB 993 in Vancouver and I absolutely love it. The raw look of the bolt ons really add to the style he's perpetuating.


i luv it but why? 
simply because the level of art and design that actually follows the designers stream work and lines of a car (tra) is simply astonishing..............it just fits and flows well... j
ust normal off the shelf bolt ons are for old schools but for new cars the lines and very shape , Miura-san at TRA Kyoto takes it to a level that one simply cant do in the backyard ...( a work of art and keeping with factory lines and proper stance )
its not for evey car or everyone that wants to hack there car up but it will make one great project that done correctly...
the Japanese has really made more car lovers love there car more and made them push the boundaries of customization a little further  ......
all car builders are appreciated by fans no mater the reason but some just stand out more than others simply because they have no boundaries and no rules .....


zephoto may i ask what brand fender that is? Thanks!


zephoto looks nice!


wheatgod your comment would have been better if it was just " Heres how it goes, do you like fender flares? If yes, than you put them on, if no, than you dont."


RussClarke if you go for the flares, i encourage you to go the 12 point flange bolt route. adds +10 style HP.


over flares are used ALL the time, just not in the sport compact crowd. The stock fenders on jeeps these days have ABS over flares.


Nothing new, been on cars for years, but surprised no one mentioned the Mustang RTR-X from a few years ago. IIRC that was influenced by Japanese classics like the 240ZG, so maybe Speedhunters, Vaughn and Andy B led the revival a little?
Do feel they are out of place on supercars though.


i prefer it, it makes the car look like it is functional like a race car should be, if the fender gets smashed in a race then unbolt it and bolt on a new, smoothing them every time is too much work, plus they almost always make classics look awesome!


Personally, I love this works style. Low and wide. Function over form. But the form is function-able. I own a legacy GT that Im cutting up to put the S13 kit on. Unless Muira-san wants to make a Subaru Kit??


I thought it was due to bodywork not being bolted on anymore like they where before.


wheatgod  noone got butthurt, darling.  I personally like them, as I said before.  the fact that you didn't get it (probably don't speak good english?) is something I really cannot do anything about.


PowerTryp Thanks !


Kirk_B no matter how it's done, the non-bolt-on way of doing it also increases aero-drag, more or less the same amount as the bolt-on method - it is due to increasing the overall cross-section of the vehicle (usually by a very substantial amount!). 

the non-bolt-on method, however, has a disadvantage of increasing weight, but is also often advantageous due to the fact that it can be (partly) used to reinforce bodyshell stiffness (sometimes even using it to take advantage of a loophole in the regulations on this subject as well.).
the non-bolt-on method is also more beneficial with regard to usually making it possible to attain a higher amount of wheel travel (suspension travel) as opposed to the rather restrictive bolt-on flares.


Is this discussion really about overfenders, or is it about the internet rage over the LB Ferrari and GTR?


Nothing like taking a nice, clean body line, and running a row of screw heads or pop rivets right across the middle.
Makes the duct tape and bailing wire look more at home.


HLB And I've said this time and time again. 
 Paddy has a point; less than 1% of Lambos, Ferraris, M3s, GTRs, etc. will actually wear a Miura kit.  Most of us (you guys) probably won't ever even see one in the flesh.  So there isn't really a great enough number of them in existence to really call them "played out". Maybe the reason I feel burnt out is because of the exposure they're getting over many other, equally awesome kits (Varis' GTR and 86 kits, ASI's 458 kit).  
I love flares on the right car when in context with the build.  Hakos, Z's, RX-3's and the like (Alfa GTV) in my opinion look best when lowered over 15x8/15x9 inch wheels with some flares on 'em.  It's a timeless look that will never die.  What Miura makes are more than just 'flares' though.  They are full on kits (bumpers, wings and all).  It's a HUGE departure from the natural bodylines of the car.  The reason they shock and awe right now is because before now no one had the audacity to even suggest you CUT THE FENDERS of your $90K+ car to put a kit on.  They were not designed to be timeless, nor will they be.
Looks sick as shit right though, I'll give him that.


Simply P The 458,GTR and M3 have what could be called a gt86 style kit just due to the number of them. (the 86 compared to the rb kit cars that came before it) Just click on the "sema: jdm taste" post that came a little after this one, 5 of 12 images in the first chapter alone have the rocket bunny kit. 
 5 of 12 come on get it out of your system already.


Werks? German roots? you what?
Racking my brains, but the earliest screw/rivet-on factory homologated flares for racing that I can think of (Mini Coopers didn't get them till athe Mk2 in 67ish) is the '67 homologation rear arches for the Alfa GTA... pre-dates the Escort Forest arches, and the 2002 Turbo arches by a few years...
Hako was 1969...


I dont really care that a 458 or any car has bolted on over fenders. If you have the money and you like it, go for it. I have no issues with over fenders, fender flares, or whatever people want to call them unless its clearly done badly or cheaply (not to be confused with inexpensively).


@mark yi an interesting point...


People love cars, or they don't. Anybody who loves a car enough to bolt on over fenders, widen the tires, and race it around a track is good by me. Anybody who gives flack to those true enthusiasts is my sworn enemy.


Bakayorou desu! Thinking that car-love only applies to the wealthy, is the bane of true kurumania. I hope you die of a painful cancer.


Your vain attempts at wealth work against the beautiful feeling of earning it. No purchased glory comes close to the sensation of a machine you can't afford - dumping your last dollar into an unattainable goal, and getting away with it. Kurumania belongs to the poor. To the true wanters and believers. Like buying sex, rich kids will always wonder if they would be fast without money. Speedhunters, like every other beautiful thing, has become 'property' of the rich. But... You'll never know the beauty of having spent your last dollar to make the track. The rush that only honest love for speed can produce when at your last. The feeling of scrubbing a wheel when you can't afford another. Limits provide their own exuberance. Fakery runs out. Someday, there's gonna be reconciliation.


Some cars that already have bulging quarter panels look funny with bolted on fenders.  It depends on the car.
Wide body kits don't exist for every car.
However, if I see bolted on fenders, I assume you race your car and it's not just for looks.


For me, over fenders looks cool on almost any old school car and it doesn't have to be so much performance-oriented.


bakayaru Your poverty and failure to earn enough money to obtain the things you want is not the fault or responsibility of the rest of us.
But if you defile a beautiful car, you commit a crime against humanity.


@Barry bakayaru It's not your car, he can do whatever he wants with it.


Bolt on Fenders on everything. Function over Form!
Wider wheels? = Wider Fenders!


Bolt on Fenders on everything. Function over Form!
Wider wheels? = Wider Fenders!


AmericaMan bakayaru Apparently he can't do whatever he wants with it, because he doesn't have enough money to do the job correctly.
Any job worth doing is worth doing right.
Anyone who can't do the job right, should leave the work to someone who can do the job right.
Cars are an expensive hobby, if lack of money makes his goals unattainable, then he should pick another hobby.


Reading some of the arguments (kind of annoying, but it had to be done), I see the same back-and-forth on subjects such as Design (homes, interior of homes, garage designs, etc.,) and Art (artists, meaning of pieces, style of art, etc.,).
To each their own, I say; however, it seems the bolt-on flare-style lures comments that are negatively charged due to their opinions on relating fender mods to lack of financials-related. Personally, I'm all for bolt-on fenders, but more than that, I'm For people doing anything they want to do with their cars, and sell said parts to the make money if they so choose. The folks that have 'ugly!' or 'too broke to do it right!' comments can't say something to the effect of 'wow, i'd never do that to my car, but it is amazing that the guy had the balls to cut up a porsche/ferrari/GTR/etc' or 'crazy, i think he spent too much money and time to get what he believed to be finished, however, great effort on the hours/$ spent on the project... hope they make the money back to go back to the drawing board and evolve his/her style...' 
only in my dreams, haters do not exist...


bakayaru So you're freedom of self expression excludes anyone else's freedom to express disagreement with your self expression?
Sounds like bakayaru will soon be loading up his gun and heading down to the local grade school, movie theater, shopping mall, or Ferrari dealership to express his automotive socialist hatred of society.


bakayaru So you're freedom of self expression excludes anyone else's freedom to express disagreement with your self expression?
Sounds like bakayaru will soon be loading up his gun and heading down to the local grade school, movie theater, shopping mall, or Ferrari dealership to express his automotive socialist hatred of society.


So "over fenders" is the european sexied up name for fender flares?  Still makes whatever they are put on look like a redneck pickup truck.


So "over fenders" is the european sexied up name for fender flares?  Still makes whatever they are put on look like a redneck pickup truck.


Im putting fiberglass bolt on  flares made for a TE27 onto my 1974 BMW 2002 this week, believe me purists hate me but the general look and consensus has been positive. Just gotta hit them with paint now, and cut into the sacred sheetmetal.  Besides, im already cutting up the engine bay for my M20/Getrag 260 swap, and blasting it with a wet kit, might aswell go full bore and let this car ooze its bad attitude. Your old grand pappy's 2002 would shit itself when this car is done lol

Honestly I really dont care who agrees with them, I think they are bad ass on the majority of cars! Smoothed on body kits usually look worse than a pair of bolt ons so its really dependent on the car.


Onecton Function over Form would be letting the tires stick out without anything covering them at all.


This post has attracted some of the most brilliant, and some of the most retarded, comments i've ever seen here. In fact, because i'm bored right now, i'm going to go through and mark "nice" or whatever next to the ones i like. The ones i think are retarded, i'm going to leave unmarked, because my mum told me "if you aint got muffin nice to say don't say muffin at all"… but you know who you are


csopelario Yup


this.guy.said right


this.guy.said nice


@Joseph M bakayaru nice


@Kevin Truong true


robzor wheatgod 100% correct


nickmmele Brilliant


georgievski32 Brilliant, sir


RussClarke Do you have any documentation to prove this claimed weight reduction, or is this just an uneducated guess?  I'd put my money on a single layer stamped steel fender or quarter panel with a wider offset, weighing less than the original steel fender or quarter panels, with additional plastic attached to it, _and_ the added weight of all the fasteners.


And the next big SpeedHunders story covering overfenders:


Speedhunters calls it a fender revival, I call it a played out trend.


No it wouldn't that would be retarded. Also...Mexican.


PFULMTL  I agree with this. To me for example, GD series STI Imprezas look weird with the stock box fender plus circular over fender on top. Clash of geometry in my opinion. GD wagons however, with smooth stock fenders then with over fender added looks great. Just my 2 cents and further agreeing that it depends on the car.