Junique Design: Turkey’s Masters Of JDM

Since its inception, Speedhunters has been exploring car culture all across the planet. After 16 years, finding a ‘new’ country to visit is getting tough.

Turkey was one of the countries on the list, but not anymore – all thanks to Erdem Küskün at Junique Design in Istanbul.


Erdem is single-handedly introducing local modified car enthusiasts to quality and, most importantly, legitimate aftermarket brands. With his new shop now finished and fully operational, Erdem invited me to fly to Turkey while I was back home in Italy earlier in the year. It was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.


I was excited but had no idea what to expect – except good Turkish food. And the local culinary delights were even better than I had imagined.

But back to the cars…


My first day in Istanbul was spent learning the ins and outs of the local scene. Cars are very much loved in Turkey, as is modifying them, however, with strict import regulations and heavy duties on anything coming in from abroad, finding and building certain cars is extremely difficult and expensive. Then there are the parts.


For years, the Turkish market has been flooded with knockoffs and imitations of every big-name brand. Cheaper purchase costs have meant lower import taxes, allowing local car builders to obtain the ‘looks’ they want while spending less. But Erdem has approached it from the other side, teaming up with brands like Work Wheels, Rocket Bunny, Liberty Walk, and Old & New, and becoming their official importers for Turkey.

Using the superior quality of these respected brands, Erdem is persuading the local community that quality and authenticity is worth paying for.


The new Junique Design shop is a mix between Nakai-san’s RWB lair in Chiba and Kato-san’s ever-expanding Liberty Walk empire, and it oozes quality and coolness from every corner.

I spent countless hours chatting to Erdem on his comfortable couch, hearing about how his way of building cars is slowly but surely becoming the end goal for many people.


Sure, the entry price of doing things the ‘right’ way is higher, but so is the kudos you get when you show off a car built well with legit parts. As Erdem tells me, once people see, touch and feel the quality, they instantly understand.

It was so cool to see the BMX from the back of the Junique Design Datsun truck when it was featured via IAMTHESPEEDHUNTER in 2021 – the first time I spoke with Erdem.


Entering the shop, I was met by Erdem’s Old & New Porsche 996 and a recently restored Ford Capri – both stunning cars.


Erdem’s idea is to build demo cars of as many models as possible to showcase the variety offered by the brands he imports. There is a problem, though. As soon as a new car is built, it gets sold. That’s not a bad problem to have.


Liberty Walk is one of Junique Design’s bigger brands and centre stage out front is an LBW-kitted Ferrari 360 Modena. This used to be Erdem’s car, but it’s another one he had to sell off due to customer demand.


It’s taken years, but the word has definitely gotten out there.


Take the JZA80 Supra parked in the display room next to the main show area for example.


Open the hood and it’s obvious – this is a serious build with all the extras. The complete Ridox kit is another one that Junique Design imports.


Sitting on Work Meisters and painted in a custom metallic bronze, this is easily one of the wildest Supras in Turkey.

I loved the OEM + feel of the interior with the suede trim across the dash and trim, all topped off with a TRD steering wheel.


A Veilside rear wing was added for extra visual impact, completing the clean and well-executed build.


Kato-san and his crew visited Erdem when he first started distributing Liberty Walk products, and next on the list is to have Nakai-san fly out and create Turkey’s first RWB build. Erdem’s dream is to build an RWB 997 for himself, something I’m sure he will achieve very soon.


The selection of cars outside Junique Design was pretty cool. Half were completed, some were customer cars, and others were new acquisitions set to become shop builds. It blew my mind just how similarly sized an Alfa Romeo 75 is to an AE86. I can’t wait to see what will happen with these two, not to mention Z32 and 928.


It’s too bad this ‘R32 Nissan Skyline GT-R’ was not completed when I visited. The engine was out of the car getting some work done, but I would like to do a full feature on this build if I return to Istanbul.

I’ve used quotation marks above because this car actually started life as a four-door R32 Skyline sedan. Since no R32 GT-R could be imported into Turkey and there were none in the country to build, Erdem did the next best thing and created his own. To convert it into a two-door coupe, he imported all the stamped sheet metal parts from Nissan in Japan, and then the running gear. When that was done, Erdem fitted the Pandem kit and smoothed it onto the body to create something totally unique.


Speaking of Pandem, Erdem’s freshly finished FC3S Mazda RX-7 project is pretty bonkers, too.


It’s not just an exterior makeover; under the hood is a Toyota 2JZ that makes 500hp on its low boost setting.

That makes you wonder what might be in store for the FD waiting in the shop display!


Then there’s Erdem’s newest baby…


This AE86 runs a built and turbocharged 4A-G capable of developing over 300hp, which makes it a bit of a manic drift car.


The car was completed just days before my arrival and looked clean and purposeful.


The Work Equip 03s sit so nicely against the D-Max vented FRP fenders.


A week after I left Istanbul, Erdem told me the car was sold without him having had the chance to drive and enjoy it. Luckily, he has another Hachiroku in his collection, and that car is now being built as a replacement.


On the second day of my visit, Erdem handed over the keys to the red 997 Carrera S and said “Follow me.”


With a BMW E92 also along for the ride, the idea was to grab some shots of the three cars together. The 15-minute drive from Junique Design to the photo spot was my most vivid memory from the trip because the traffic and the way everyone drives in Turkey is nothing short of crazy.

The fact the 997 went sideways on the dusty city roads with even the lightest prod of the throttle made things even more exciting.


I have to hand it to Erdem and Junique Design for pushing authenticity and quality. So far 100 cars have been completed, and with every new one, Turkey’s car culture is evolving for the better.

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: dino_dalle_carbonare



Comments are closed.


by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest

Congratulations Erdem!


One of the best modifiers ever in Turkey is Junique Design


Junique Design, Erdem. One of the best modifier in Türkiye


Erdem küskün, Turkey's best car designer


Wow this new place look so nice and can we talk about how immaculate those cars are?
Wishing the best for Erdem and Junique Design may it be a blessed venture


that 86 is perfection, clean build no overfender just a right amount of fitment right there


Something about this just screams mafia and criminals to me.


Not a JDM fan(Germany for life!) but that Supra is incredible! Also what's with the RWB tool sets? Went to OSK website. Some super cool tools! Have Wurth and Wera tools but saw some OSKes that were cool! Ordering them tomorrow!! Nice!!


Congrats bro!


The best car customizer i have ever meet in Turkey. Quality works !!!


the best designer erdem


So, these cars are mostly just parked around.

Özgür Mert Ulus

Ahahah no I "know" most of these cars and can confirm they are all used hard and regularly!


As a US citizen I would say that’s more what people in our country do lol. I guarantee people in Turkey are driving these cars hard af


Congratulations Man!


That's a Chargespeed rear wing on the Supra, not VeilSide.


This is speed hunters. Not legitimate journalism or car builders.


He is one of the best tuners in Turkey and the world. I look forward to their continued success and new projects.


Now build a Tofas and a Dacia!


Amazing display! The R32 and AE86 ar amazing!