Embracing the Kaido Racer

Published on October 31st, 2013

I first had the opportunity of seeing ’em Kaido racer back in 2006 during our first trip to Tokyo for the Tokyo Auto Salon. Ever since then, the fascination has kept me looking forward to see ’em despite the utterly nonsensical modification of the Kaido Racer.

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Earlier this year, thanks to Rainbow Enterprise and OTR management, we had the opportunity to grace the carpets of Tokyo Auto Salon 2013. It was quite a trip as we had the opportunity to attend RWB’s first inaugural gathering at Hard Rock Cafe, Roppongi as well as meeting the man himself, Akira Nakai.

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Despite all that, it was quite saddening for me as the Kaido racers were not around at the parking area of Makuhari Messe as it turned out they were banned in Tokyo. The Kaido racers were deemed as troublemakers and their presence were somewhat an unwelcoming sight to the authorities. Nevertheless, without seeing them, I felt that my trip to Tokyo was incomplete.

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Getting a phone call from Miyamoto-san saying that we nailed the job to document the Autolegend 2013 in DVD format was quite a surprise to us all. We never expected we get the job actually. And being a three-person videographer of an event in Japan was never being thought off by us at all.

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Making a trip there without a proper brief as well as the lack of communication due to the language barrier was quite a challenge for us all, even though I speak a ‘lil bit of Japanese. Being there in summer was another downer for me as I loved the winter in Japan.

Turned out, documenting an event in video was quite a challenge as the time-constraint had us running around from wee morning till late for three days in a row. Not to mention, the difference in work ethics and ideas between us Malaysians and the Japanese.

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However, a few hours before the opening on the final day of Autolegend, a familiar irritating note of the exhausts from the parking lot of Port Messe, Nagoya had me running out of the door towards it. It was a whole group of Kaido racer making their way to park their rides, complete with the nonsensical vertical exhausts on old Japanese vintage rides revving up their engines.

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Despite the extreme modifications done to the Japanese vintages, some up to the extend of being horrendous… to me it’s the true essence of Japanese modification. The Kaido racer have been around since forever and the movement has been taken by the younger generations as well.

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What makes a Kaido racer unique is the takeyari, the long vertical exhausts that to me resembles the antennae of a prawn. Fender flares, extreme lips and bumpers, huge-arse spoilers and a whole lotta other modification that can be deemed out of this world! It might be unnecessary or even non-functional and yet it’s full of colors and showcased the variety of modifications available and it’s up to the creativity of the owners to take their rides to a level of coolness.

Most of us might not like it, but as what Akira Nakai said to me in Roppongi, ” there’s no horrendous cars, it’s the creativity that makes it special in its own way.”

words & pix: hage’

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