Art / Car Culture / Cars

Video: Bosozoku – Cartoonists, on acid, designing body kits….

Bosozoku is all about rebellion against the mainstream ideals and the ethics of civilized society. In the era of the 1950’s it started as a sub-culture of Japanese motorcycle gangs who showed no respect for traffic laws, traffic officers, and other accepted norms on the road… and beyond.

The brashness of the Bosozoku movement evolved through the decades, adding two wheels, dialing back the gang mentality, and taking on a more eccentric, audacious tone in regards to representing on the street. The cars of Bosozoku, known as Kaido Racers in some circles, are easy to spot… If it’s a vintage car with a look that appears to come from the Hanna-Barbera animation studio, it might be Bozo. If it sports a chin spoiler that extends four feet in front of the car and is four millimeters off the ground… has exhaust pipes that rise six feet in the air and are shaped like lightning bolts… or fender flares that defy physics and good taste in one fell swoop… you’ve found a Bozo build.

Some say the exaggerated styling cues of the Kaido Racer look can be traced back to motorsports from the early 1980’s, like the Nissan Super Silhouette cars from 1982 to ‘84 and other road racers of the era.

Enthusiasts took the already edge designs and stretched everything, tossing functionality and things like downforce out the window… heck, it’s a miracle some of these vehicles can drive on public thoroughfares. Some of the wildness has transitioned into the mainstream… or its fringes. Wide body over-fenders, high-camber suspension slams, and running oil cooler hoses from the grille to the outside of the car and back into the engine bay via the lower valance has permeated into many old school/rat roddy builds.

Bosozoku has a van scene too.

Obviously these cars border on the theater of the absurd but you don’t have to understand them… just remember beauty is in the eye of the beholder and that’s enough… maybe. Check out the parade of the absurd below and make the call for yourself then take a Hanna-Barbera-inspired survey here.

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