Race cars in their purest forms are wholly functional objects. Just look at LMP1 Endurance Racers - the entire car has been massaged to eke out every advantage on the track. Essentially, the entire form of the race car, from the configuration of its power plant to the diameter of the wheel studs, is determined by a very simple logic: Will it make the car faster?
So, it was quite cool when Taryn pointed out that the Japanese Street gangs started the Japanese modification scene by taking these purely functional designs and turn them into artistic touches. While people have visually modified their cars to look more aggressive ages citing “because racecar”, I don’t think that an entire genre of car modification has based itself around the artistic use of performance modifications.
So, that’s what makes the JDM, Drift and stance scene as well as Nakai-San’s creations so interesting. You have an entire genre of modification where the driving purpose isn’t just to go faster. Rather it’s the desire to look cool that ends up producing a faster car.
This underlying thought process is what made me do my series on masculinity and the JDM scene. Anyway a more lengthy article on the role of police and the end of the 90s JDM scene will be up on Thursday. Until then, enjoy these photos of RWB Porsches modified to look good (that also happen to go fast).
You can see more photos at the Native Customs Facebook page.
Edit: I originally planned to finish Japan with the police and 90s article. Fortunately, I forgot about the Tokyo Auto Salon, so that will go on Thursday and the end of the Japanese Car era will be published next Tuesday.