Kaido Creative:<br /> Hokkaido-Style In New Zealand
Inspiration, Imagination, Creation

Combine an omnipresent train of creative thought with a bonafide fetish for the oblique world of Japan’s kaido racer subset, mix in a dash – well, perhaps a little too much spare time, and the completed dish may well resemble the machine laid out here before you. A GX81 chassis Toyota Mark II with a distinctively Japanese outlaw flavour.

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Immersed in its ‘home’ context and viewed on a beaming LCD monitor half a world away it’s all too easy to dismiss this automotive sculpture as just another one of those ‘stupid boso cars.’ But witnessed in the metal, plonked smack bang in the middle of a semi-rural yard in North Canterbury, the appeal becomes all too real.

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This is cool, recreated a hemisphere apart from the originators, by an individual with the purest of all reasoning – because he could.


Stumbling across images of a GX81 (in its early form, circa 2007) built by Hokkaido-based team Buttigiri Yuusen Duoro (BYD), kicked off a new creative tangent for builder Thomas Gordon. With plenty of spare time and that incessant urge to forge, a project began.

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Thanks to New Zealand’s deregulation of imported vehicles in the late-1980s opening the floodgates to a raft of used Japanese cars, finding a willing donor for the build wasn’t a tough ask. In fact, Thomas’ friend Taylor came to the party with a GX81 Mark II hardtop that was surplus to requirements. For the princely sum of a box of beer, Thomas owned his kaido racer dream, and despite having no prior experience in custom metalwork, set about brandishing a welding torch in one fist and an angle grinder in the other.

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It’s incredibly difficult to nail down an aesthetic feature that stands head and shoulders above any other design cue. As authentic as they come, beginning at the front the Mark II is bestowed with a classic long-nose treatment. Sheetmetal peeks forward of the bumper casting a shadow across the massive front splitter – itself a hybrid of sheetmetal, scrap box section steel and in true-to-Japan form, body filler.

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Flared arches skirt era-correct widened steel wheels – once again, home-made. They measure 14×9-inch in the front with 165/65R14 tyres that are stretched to their limits, while filling out the rear arches are a pair of mammoth 14×10.5-inch wheels wearing 185/60R14 tyres. Ride height? Well, that was simply achieved by removing the springs.

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Out the back the waistline flows seamlessly into a steep ducktail-style spoiler; the addition of more panel steel forming a straight ‘chopped off’ profile to the rear quarters. Dominating the rear perimeter however, is the extravagant – and functional – ‘peacock’-style exhaust, once again formed from whatever pieces of steel could be scavenged. And it’s loud – the twangy 1G-FE beneath the bonnet speaking the war-cry of the kaido racer from each of the nine slash-cut stacks.

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Small details are abound and add to the authentic feel. A low-slung rear ‘slit spoiler’ and a pair of frenched tail lamps courtesy of a Nissan Figaro (an absurdly Japanese production car in its own right) hide behind the domineering structure of the exhaust. Vents hacked into the front guards and rear quarters add essential visual detail to otherwise untouched panels, typifying the ‘over-styling’ of the genre.

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Perhaps the most important visual of all however, is the livery. Developed around a Tamiya theme, Thomas designed from scratch the asymmetric visual assault that ties the whole package together. One side reflects elements of the classic Falken livery inspired by the Buttigiri GX81, while the other echoes a scale model Thomas uncovered. The crucial team insignia adorns the rear screen and dominates the roof, with a range of traditional logos scattered strategically across the bodywork to reflect the race origins credited with inspiring the kaido racer craft.

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So, Japan craziness comes to New Zealand shores, courtesy of an inspired individual with a thirst to create. Is it practical? Absolutely not. Is it cool? With a sum total of NZ$1700 (US$1150) spent, achieving more cool for the outlay is a tall ask. Will it evolve? If I was a betting man, I’d be putting money on it. Creative minds never cease…

Richard Opie
Instagram: snoozinrichy

Cutting Room Floor
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Best BUILD OF 2015.


Olio Fiat on a japanese car?


EvolveWRC This..what's going on with that?


the exhaust is a bit much (by my standards not bshozuko standards) but other than that flawless, sheet metal work is really good.


Brilliant! Top work, I love the "Game of driving thrones" exhaust. That cup holder is pretty swish too- does it hold a saucer as well?


Was going to mention the same, kind of annoying to put a sticker on the car when it is completely unrelated to it. Would make sense if it had any FIAT parts on, though; does it?


@Frank1996 It's a kaido racer thing in Japan. Been happening for a long time. Because why not?


Mike Garrett yeah, seen it waay before Boso "came out" to wide public, I mean, were posted at more mainstream sites like SH for example :)
I found Banpei or Bozozokustyle accidentally and I was wondering about Olio Fiat too.
it's some kind of "hipster" thing ,"I'm using olio fiat, you propably never heard of it" heh :)
Similar to Shocker Hand sticker , which is pure american-born gesture. And almost every "jdm wannabe" honda must have it sticked somewhere.


Kill it with fire...


@Matiz Mike Garrett These cars liveries drew inspiration from 70s and 80s touring cars, both local in Japan and cars that visited, S.E.V, Olio Fiat and many other brands were seen on these Touring cars, thats all it is


What does he use this for?  Does he actually drive it without springs?  What's going on here...sensory overload


Mental and excellent. Shame we can't hear those tubes...


Achtereekte Check the link to instagram, he mentioned parking it outside to enjoy the view as it is 1000% illegal to drive on the streets


Putspatsonit Sure you can ;0 https://instagram.com/p/44B9v9DB1P/


oh lord, please keep Tamiya from kitting this.


This car went full retard, and you never go full retard.


This sub-culture is more art than car (ie. purpose is to look and listen, not to drive). So why aren't I allowed to hate it?
I actually dont hate this example, but there is some real carbage in this genre.


The paint schemes on these cars are largely inspired by old Japanese race cars. OLIO FIAT, among other foreign companies sponsored a bunch. Fiat Oil is not Fiat specific! The Toyota here is a very good example



That's awesome! Is a real shame something like this is so illegal in NZ, coz it would be funny as to see it on the roads. Though in saying that the lack of suspension would be a pain here in Chch.


Love this car, been following this build on Instagram for a while now, very cool to see it get a SH feature.


HolyHell But he just finished building it? lol


EvolveWRC Check out Zeb's comment above. Fiat Oil sponsored a lot of old Japanese race cars, which this livery is inspired by


Such a cool build and the fact that he built everything himself makes it 100x cooler. Also, this video is amazing: https://instagram.com/p/4d0VWFDBxU

Chris 'Haffy' Hafner

The noise ohmygawd the noise.


This genre of cars needs it own special category, and by special I mean like the Special Olympics. Though many think otherwise this style looks like a mishmash  incongruous garbage thrown together for effect.


NicholasMaher Do we not all have the right to build whatever car we want in whatever style? A lot of work and research has gone into creating this car - it should be celebrated, not insulted!



Absolutely brilliant, the details on this are great. Is there a more awesome way to learn metalwork than a full on boso build? Keep it going!


Taryn Croucher NicholasMaher But what does it actually do apart from look good sitting still(or rolling around his yard)? Don't get me wrong, I did say it looks good, and I do like it, but in a country where it's 1000% illegal as someone said....what's its point? It'll never be driven anywhere(unlike this same car in Japan which would get driven), so was it just simply for the sake of doing because he could? A garage ornament? To get some "likes"?


Screwed that car up big time. I remember having this car almost 20 years ago shit was if more than 20?. 7M engine though . TRD dropped suspension. SSR rims. Full exhaust and SSB boost controller. I was nice until a drunk driver crossed over and nailed me head on destroyed it. I was stopped and gonna turn right into Tsutaya book store in Japan going to hook up with a girl. I spend then next 6 hours or so in the emergency room instead. Car insurance was in a locked in a  battle for a year.


Taryn Croucher NicholasMaher  Sure anybody can build whatever they want, why they would want to do this is beyond me, it's detritus. What I say may be insulting but that is not my primary purpose, I am evaluating it both objectively and subjectively. There are no redeeming qualities to this “style” it’s a design language where both the creators, and those that appreciate it, are each illiterate.
In hindsight it will be seen as a meaningless fad because that's what it is.
It will certainly not be celebrated as a form of classic style by any stretch of the definition.


NicholasMaher This style has been alive and kicking for 20+ years. Are you telling me that's a fad?


Badass! Great to see one of these built outside Japan.


I think you're looking at it the wrong way..
I built it because I felt like learning some design and metal work, no its not a racecar. I didn't want it to be. It's more of a sculpture which can be driven/has been driven around a track. Not sure how you'd see this style as a fad either haha. You guys needa chill, just a car sitting in a lil city in NZ.


LOVE this to bits. 1G engined cars are the best there is.


So perfect in every way! One of my favorite cars at the moment. The total money spent is very mind blowing, it makes me want to build one someday. Hopefully, this style can continue to grow and we can see more cars like this outside of Japan.


Chris 'Haffy' Hafner That 1G "twang," it's the mating call of awesome.


Brett Allen I'd love to see it on the road too... sadly I missed it on the track.


ra64freddy! Man I've been following your blog since forever (I think my KP even made an appearance several years ago), I reckon you'd like some of the stuff floating round over here. Come for a visit!


Achtereekte It's useless, utterly useless. It's like owning a 1:1 scale model basically. So good.


Taryn Croucher Ahhh rats I knew I forgot to mention the godfather horn!!!


I love the tamiya livery on it.


crispykrem3 Glad you dig it, this was a tonne of fun to put together too. It's been a little bit of a learning experience for myself also.


NicholasMaher in concept these cars aren't too far removed from lowriders, "rat" rods (pardon the generalisation) and extreme show cars... I'm all for opinion however! But I've lived a lifetime of cars built to function and can still appreciate a build of this style. Think of it as a thesis in another culture of car building. Years of study and analysing the certain nuances of the style have come together to form a final product, which to be fair is anything but a mishmash - every element is as true and faithful to the originators as you could imagine.


cutterjones13 In true Japan minicar style, just buy a GX81 kit and modify accordingly anyway!


Putspatsonit The metal rod is directly connected to the accelerator pedal, for hand-operated obnoxious revving while in neutral. In Japan they often use a motorcycle throttle style arrangement to achieve this.

Chris 'Haffy' Hafner

Uh huh definitely!


Putspatsonit Basically for doing things like this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQBVTVA8ktY


ThomasGordon1 At the end of the day it all comes down to peoples "opinions" where the internet is concerned. I for one, love it! Makes me want to design one!


not sure if it's been covered, but is this definitely a 1G-FE? not 1G-GE?

love it, by the way.


iheartskids 1G F


Would be insane if it was streetable. But he'd probably be pulled over for a dB reading. I love the livery, but I don't like Shakotan style as it is a bit too overboard for this subtle guy. I saw pics of a car meet where some girl from here had Shakotan exhaust on her ride and thought she had been playing too much GTA 5, However I think it's a very nicely well done car and would be right up the alley of fans of this style. Please excuse me if it's actually Shatokan not Shakotan, I think one is a karate style.


John Key NZ Hey every time I read one of your posts, I'm super hopeful it's actually John Key and he has a covert interest in modified cars. So John Key, if it is you how about relaxing the regulations a little to exempt vehicles such as this from any kind of negative attention from those enforcing our road rules, that would be really neat. Thanks in advance, John.


Super gorgeous but with all the detail and stickers it almost seems a little too fussy for the classic Kaido racer style - not a bad thing but this is like a new modern NZ take on the whole thing.  Perhaps what I have said is complete BS.  Been following you on instagram and I'm very glad to see this get a feature on SH - love this car.


actually yes I was talking shite, this is awesome and totally representative right down to the little things!  I love this car lots.


That main picture above omg it's like my childhood all over again!


Are you bipolar? Lol


This is actually just the best thing ever. I've been following it on instagram for a while and everytime I see progress it blows my mind! I'd love to see the reactions when this gets driven.


John Key NZ How does one have a Shakotan exhaust? Shakotan refers to cars being excessively low.....you're probably thinking more Boso?


Abezzegh87 Wut? But at least those get driven. Lowered VW's is a bit broad anyway isn't it?


Spaghetti John Key NZ Hey man it's John Key, he has bigger issues to worry about like high housing prices in Auckland, non-resident foreign investment and of course changing the flag to worry about Japanese styling semantics!


Gary89 Don't know about that but I'm bi-something - hello sailor!


Except for the exhausts (which I don't particularly like on any of these cars), I love it! Give me one with a side-pipe and I'll love you forever.


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