It would be easy to dismiss the car above, write a funny comment and move on to the next feature. You will however notice that underneath our crankandpiston logo there are four important words: car, culture, lifestyle AND community. Leave your prejudices at the door as we travel through time and space back to 1980s Japan and explore the wonderful world of Bosozoku style.
Bōsōzoku literally translates as “violent running tribe” and was the name of the youth sub-culture biker gangs that peaked during the early 1980s. Gang members were easily identifiable by their tokkō-fuku (Special Attack Uniforms) as worn by Kamikaze pilots during the Second World War and their illegal activities normally took the form of public disturbance. What really interests us though is their chosen form of transportation.
The Bosozoku bike became a flamboyant form of expressionism combining elements of American custom choppers and, perhaps more apparent, Vespa and Lambretta customization popularized by the mod subculture of 1950s/1960s England, UK. Over-sized fairings, raised handlebars and ridiculously lengthened exhaust pipes were all standard fare and subtlety was not high on the priority list.
In referencing cars with similar styling attributes, it is necessary to use the term ‘Bosozoku style‘ as few (if any) of the owners were gang members. Occasionally this is abbreviated to Zokusha (‘sha’ meaning ‘car’) and you may also hear them being referred to as ‘Shakotan’ (low height cars) or simply ‘Kaidou Racers’. Either way, Bosozoku style has entered the collective consciousness and is the term most regularly used when specifically talking about the more extreme styled cars.