Take a tour of one of the most unique car cultures in the world.
Japan has one of the most insanely diverse car cultures in the world. Its home to some of the most iconic sports cars in the world like the Nissan GT-R, dinky Kei cars and extravagant supercars fitted with brash aftermarket body kits. World-famous professional drifter Mad Mike Whiddett recently took a trip to the Land of the Rising Sun to explore Japan’s crazy supercar culture which is shown in a new documentary entitled 'Nihon Nights' posted by Red Bull. It’s a fascinating look at one of the most unique car cultures in the world.
In the 12-minute video, we get to see Mad Mike meet major players in the Japanese car tuning scene. One of the most prominent figures in Japan’s supercar culture is Wataru Kato, the man behind the controversial aftermarket tuner Liberty Walk famous for its outlandish supercar body kits. “I prefer to start trends, rather than follow them,” he said in the video.
"I never seek to start a new trend. I just want to be recognized by as many people as possible for my own unique style.” Should you be in the fortunate position of owning a Ferrari or Lamborghini, there’s a good chance you’ll want to leave it stock as the designers intended. In Japan it almost seems obligatory to fit them with custom body kits and copious amounts of flashing LED lights to attract as much attention as possible on the street. One car modification fan in the documentary even described driving a standard Lamborghini Diablo as "boring", so they plastered it with LED lights and diamante decals. We can think of many words to describe the end result, but "boring" isn't one of them.
Kei cars and trucks (Japanese for ‘small’ or ‘light’) have also proven popular in Japan’s car culture. Because their small engines mean they're cheap to insure, more money can be spent on aftermarket add-ons. As a result, owners tend to extensively modify them with lights, chrome panels, huge tires and hydraulics. Mad Mike also visits another shop that specializes in building 1970s American lowriders like you’ve never seen before. They may be an acquired taste, but these Japanese tuners simply don’t care what other people think. If you want to learn about niche car subcultures you probably never knew existed, Mad Mike’s mini-documentary is well worth your time.