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How Japan VIP Culture Influence US

Updated on February 14, 2014

What is VIP?

There are different aspects of VIP in the car scene. Some view it as a luxury car equipped with 20 inch chrome wheels. That is definitely not the case in the US and Japan. The mindset of “VIP” is to build a luxury car with perfect taste in paint, wheels, body work and custom interior. That is what you generally see on the road. What you do not see is the VIP vehicle builds on the other side of the world in Japan. Their perspective of VIP is mind blowing compared to what you normally see in the US.

The VIP car scene in Japan is very similar to the US as the builds both involve luxury vehicles. The most popular vehicle brands you commonly see are either Lexus or Infiniti but there are other vehicle makes as well. First, majority of VIP vehicles in the states either has stock bumpers or an aero lip kit on the stock bumpers. The likeliness of seeing one is extremely rare. Meanwhile, in Japan, there are various big name body kits used such as AIMGAIN, Junction Produce, Job Design, K-Break, or a custom fabricated wide body kit. In addition to a luxurious but stylish and aggressive body kit, interior goodies such as neck pads, curtains, pillows, front trays, and wooden consoles are among those finishing touches on the vehicle.

It is not hard to notice a “VIP” vehicle on the road. You may see the wheels are a bit tilted. Tilted? The term used for “tilted” wheels is camber with the use of aftermarket suspension arms to achieve the exact degree of negative camber on the vehicle. This is what you would call “hellaflush” in the US but to the Japanese, it is their lifestyle and culture. Not only do they drive with wide and cambered wheels but also extremely low. It sounds painful to imagine the ride height the Japanese VIP car enthusiasts drive at especially if the only sounds you expect to hear are pipes and bumpers banging against the concrete road. It must be music in their ears. There are air suspension kits available but not all choose to go this route because of pride and prefer to drive their vehicles static. Those who ride static are very daring and the consequences may eventually catch up to them.

Urban Dictionary: VIP car

A car in which is perfectly decently looking and a nice daily driver, totally modified to resemble a car a VIP would supposedly drive in. Now, understand that this is the derivative of this style.

The Japanese VIP car culture has inspired many US car enthusiasts

to follow the same footsteps as Japan. Although the US has changed it up a bit since Japanese VIP vehicles are majority static, US VIP vehicles are majority on air suspension. Now, we have the VIP enthusiasts in the US where many prefer to go with air suspension for comfort and use it as a tool to help them achieve that perfect stance on their VIP vehicle. Air suspension is now becoming the norm with VIP builds within the US. With air suspension becoming more and more affordable, more VIP car enthusiasts choose to go this route. The advantages of having air suspension are the fully adjustable height to prevent any damages to your vehicle and avoid getting stuck getting into steep parking lots (boy that would be embarrassing wouldn’t it?). If you have a five thousand dollar body kit then you will understand why air suspension is important. Air suspension opens a door of opportunities since it would enable you to run very aggressive wheels on your vehicle to reach the perfect stance.

VIP Lighting

esides wheels, body work and VIP accessories, lighting is an important feature of the vehicle as well. Retrofitting headlights is tedious and requires a lot of patience and dedication. Some VIP builds are not blessed with factory projectors like most modern luxury vehicles. In order to attain some projectors in your headlights, it would involve removing the entire headlight and housing apart. Many read about retrofits and give up before attempting it. I wouldn’t blame them because I would most likely do the same. Imagination comes a long way when it comes to modifying your vehicle. There are many different retrofits that can be done to your headlight such as a dual projectors, quad projectors, and custom LED retrofit lighting and if you want to be different then you can retrofit a total of 6 projectors in your headlight. The lights on your vehicle are the finishing touches for the vehicle. It is a great way to showcase the entire build and what better way to do that than to start off with the lighting. It may be a tough task retrofitting the headlights and tail lights but the outcome is very well worth it.

Do you like the JDM VIP style?

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In the end, you may not approve of this car lifestyle with wide wheels and lowered vehicles. It is personal preference and to each their own. Everyone’s perspective of a perfect “VIP build” will vary. However, most would agree on that a perfect set of body work, interior, lighting and stance is what VIP should be. Regardless which VIP style you go with, it will definitely turn heads as many people outside of the car scene have not been exposed to these types of vehicles.


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    • SolveMyMaze profile image


      4 years ago

      I've seen a few imported Japanese VIP cars over here in the UK, and they certainly do draw your attention really easily. 'Surprisingly', it was a Lexus that had been modified, although it looked amazing in black.

      It's certainly an interesting look, and aside from those rare few cases, I've not seen any more recently.

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 

      4 years ago

      What beauty in the Lexus, what form in the Subaru.


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