2tricked out japanese trucks
June 9, 2003 9:37 AM   Subscribe

2fast, 2furious, 2...something. This gallery of tricked-out Japanese big rigs defies description.
posted by mathowie (39 comments total)
Wow. Some of those things rolled straight out of Blade Runner. (I say that because I have no other visual experience with which to compare them -- except perhaps Las Vegas.)
posted by Kikkoman at 9:46 AM on June 9, 2003

You were right, of course -- they do defy description.
posted by Kikkoman at 9:47 AM on June 9, 2003


Somehow I don't see the dump trucks carrying loads of gravel around...
posted by bucko at 9:47 AM on June 9, 2003

Holy schmidt! Those are crazy!

(And Kikkoman, you beat me to the Blade Runner ref.)
posted by me3dia at 9:47 AM on June 9, 2003

In a perfect world every one of those things would be able to turn into a giant robot.
posted by Cyrano at 9:53 AM on June 9, 2003

They look like Transformers
posted by btwillig at 9:53 AM on June 9, 2003

posted by vito90 at 9:53 AM on June 9, 2003

Doh, Cyrano beat me to it
posted by btwillig at 9:54 AM on June 9, 2003

I think we're all having the same transformers/blade runner/scifi reaction to these.

If only the logging truck drivers in BC would get into it. I'd love to see one of those trucks barreling down some gravel road. Now THAT would be scary.
posted by Salmonberry at 9:58 AM on June 9, 2003

"When Thunderdome Was New"
posted by kfury at 10:01 AM on June 9, 2003

Big rolling pachinko machines. That's what they look like.
posted by Cerebus at 10:02 AM on June 9, 2003

SWEET! I saw some nice custom trucks when in tokyo once, but never caught them on film. thanks for the link!
posted by tomplus2 at 10:03 AM on June 9, 2003

I bet the more elaborate ones fall apart at speeds over 5mph!
But they are sooo shiny!
Rather than trailer-trash chic, this is trailer truck kitsch.
posted by asok at 10:05 AM on June 9, 2003

Fantastic. I want one.
posted by 111 at 10:07 AM on June 9, 2003

2 Hysterical 2 Miss.

Love it.
posted by NewBornHippy at 10:10 AM on June 9, 2003

They should use these for the remake of "Duel."
posted by muckster at 10:32 AM on June 9, 2003

Cool. More night shots. About the only thing I remember from Black Rain (crap Michael Douglas film) was the shots of trucks like these with scrolling lights all over them. At the time I thought, wtf?
posted by carter at 11:02 AM on June 9, 2003

The Prime family reunion.
posted by badstone at 11:12 AM on June 9, 2003

Can't we get Oolong airbrushed onto one of these?
posted by witchstone at 11:14 AM on June 9, 2003

Word! Transformers fer shur.
posted by Lynsey at 11:24 AM on June 9, 2003

Outstanding! I wish I saw more of this on America's highways.

The lights look amazing.

If only you could drive 5 trucks together and form one Mega truck with a PowerSword and UltraArmor....
posted by Argyle at 11:32 AM on June 9, 2003

If you haven't followed the next/back links on the URL I provided, there are many, many more photos starting here.

I'm guessing this is the personal site for an airbrush artist that does these?
posted by mathowie at 11:33 AM on June 9, 2003

wait, correction: I don't read japanese but I'm thinking the person that runs the site owns this truck. It's the only page title on the site with "My" in it, but that's just a guess. Any Tokyo-based mefi people care to translate?
posted by mathowie at 11:36 AM on June 9, 2003

Cool! I wish they also had pics of the cowboys who drive these things - I can only imagine.
posted by madamjujujive at 11:37 AM on June 9, 2003

"My" is followed by TORAAKU.
I'll give you one guess. ;)
posted by linux at 11:39 AM on June 9, 2003

matt - that bit at the top says "airbrush my truck" and then it says something else that I can't read.

actually, it's "eahburashu my torakku." but you get the idea.
posted by chrisege at 12:05 PM on June 9, 2003

Wow, carter, I was going to post the same thing. I recall nothing from Black Rain except for a few strong visual images: the rice paddies; the driving range; the guy getting his hand cut off; and the crazy-ass trucks.
posted by delapohl at 12:28 PM on June 9, 2003

I showed the pics to a friend of mine (she is from japan). She said they were Yakuza and to stay away if you ever saw them. She acted kind of freaked out. Interesting that she put these "custom trucks" into one big group - yakuza = mafia.
posted by tomplus2 at 12:35 PM on June 9, 2003

This reminds me of the "toaster van" mods that were going around the net a year or two ago. Unfortunately all I can find is this one picture. I know there's more out there, but it's hard to google japanese. Anyone got any links?
posted by betaray at 12:47 PM on June 9, 2003

These remind me of the Filipino urge to trick out jeepneys.
I remember them being covered in chrome and lurid colors, often with an impossibly melodramatic mural depicting Christ, his chest ripped open and his heart almost palpably beating, next to a painstakingly rendered "Boston" logo. Extra mirrors, a windshield rendered opaque by a fancy painted border and religious/historical icons and an extra large airhorn completed the ensemble.
posted by deadcowdan at 1:03 PM on June 9, 2003

Here is a Japanese book on those trucks at Amazon Japan. Powell's has it, too (look for "Cruising Kingdom"), but they didn't have a picture.
posted by dmo at 1:04 PM on June 9, 2003

tomplus2 -- did she see the airbrushed picture of the man and the woman with full body tattoos?

That image was on the side of one of the photographed trucks and screams Yakuza to anyone familiar with their...um...style of doing things. I didn't notice anyone in the pictures missing digits, though...

I could see these things belonging to Yakuza. That would make a weird sort of sense. Of course, there could just be a stigma attached to truckers in Japan.
posted by Kikkoman at 2:05 PM on June 9, 2003

(Actually, there are far more references to the Yakuza and gangsters in general than the one I pointed out. They're all over those trucks. But gosh that chrome is shiny!)
posted by Kikkoman at 2:07 PM on June 9, 2003

betaray - i once found a site FULL of those vans, but I don't know where it went. I also found a site full of ridiculous car mods like cars with 16 tailpipes and huge hood-scoops and stuff like that. they were awesome, cause they looked just like real-life versions of the hot wheels toys I had as a kid.

anyways, if I could remember the japanese word for those vans, I might have a chance of finding the site again. *sigh*
posted by chrisege at 2:12 PM on June 9, 2003

I would hate to be a pedestrian being hit by one of those. Apart from the obvious pain involved in being hit by a large truck, the masses of projections would have you neatly sliced and diced ready to make a casserole with.
posted by dg at 6:41 PM on June 9, 2003

Chrisege, do you mean Decotora (decorated truck, there's a clue to japanese slang)? That's another name for these art trucks. There is a decotora Playstation game, but I know nothing about gaming.
posted by planetkyoto at 7:07 PM on June 9, 2003

wait, correction: I don't read japanese but I'm thinking the person that runs the site owns this truck. It's the only page title on the site with "My" in it, but that's just a guess. Any Tokyo-based mefi people care to translate?

Yes, the site features the work of an airbrush artist named Toshiaki Hirayama and his truck's name is Hiyodori Tenshi or 'Bulbul Angel' but please don't ask me why.

As a side note, all of the stainless parts were also hand-made by Mr. Hirayama.

If you go to his index you will find airbrush links (latest, art trucks, signs/game machines, helmets/cell phones/bikes and a bunch of art truck links as well.
posted by cup at 8:23 PM on June 9, 2003

"Defies description"? I'll take a swing at it: "Eyesores on wheels?"
posted by alumshubby at 9:46 PM on June 9, 2003

When I saw this site, the first thing I thought was "Hey Stinko Man! Everyone says you're the man! Well I want to be the man too!"
posted by oissubke at 11:15 PM on June 9, 2003

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