If you collect 1/64 cars these days you’re spoilt for choice. At Lamley our WhatsApp chats can stray to discussing an issue that’s in all our heads: have we hit saturation point? We have some great discussions and normally differing opinions. Personally I’m not sure where we are at. I still think there are new directions to travel down, new castings to be made, new liveries to be explored on race cars (Someone PLEASE do the 1992 JTCC Kenji HKS R32!). But in a world fixated on Japanese car culture it shocked me that up until now only Aoshima had made a serious effort at replicating a car in the “Bosozoku” style. And before I go any further let me clear something up for the Japanese car culture pedants: I use the word Bosozoku loosely, as I know the Aoshima cars are Grachan style and also that the Bosozoku term is now cliched, out of date and rarely used correctly. But for beginner level terminology, it’ll do fine. Regardless of what wording you use, there’s been a distinct lack of wide SSRs, takeyari exhaust pipes and deppa front spoilers in 1/64. Ok so Hot Wheels did the Mad Manga and Track Manga, but they’re fantasy castings. This isn’t.
Arriving in a racket of exhaust and air horns is the Nissan Skyline Kaido Racer in collaboration with fashion icons Bathing Ape. And it is one serious bit of kit. So let’s just take it in for a moment.
Not done? Nope nor am I….
Under all the modifications the base car is a Nissan Skyline C210, a popular foundation for various sub genres of modified car culture in Japan. Unlike the Aoshima cars this is modified in the Chibaragi style which began to appear in the early 1980s, characterised by wild takeyari exhaust pipes, ultra wide works fenders and deppa bonnets featuring a large overhang. The name itself is a compound of two prefectures east of Tokyo; Chiba and Ibaraki.
And the details are incredible. Amongst the wild colour scheme, mad aero and external oil cooler, the mad takeyari pipes are probably the most instantly noticeable. Takeyari tranlates as “bamboo spear” and refers to the shape of the pipes; long, thin and usually with a slash cut end. Supposedly they came about when tuners began replicating temporary exhaust silencers that were added to race cars when they were in the paddock, and they’ve since become more flamboyant, longer and louder!
There’s also opening parts; the boot opens to reveal air tanks for the suspension and the bonnet hides a scale representation of the C210’s L20 inline-six engine.
The stance is perfect and it looks incredible sat on those wide SSR Mk3s. And it doesn’t just sit on them, this is a fully rolling casting. And when I say rolling that means no wobble, no catching, no issues.
And that’s purely down to the effort that goes in behind the scenes at Pop Race. The Skyline has been a real passion project for brand boss Marchy Lee. I know first hand just how much work he put into making sure this thing rolls as well as it does; making painstaking adjustments, checking and re-checking measurements and even approaching the chief engineer of his race team for advice. There’s not many diecasts that can say they’ve had that kind of support behind the scenes.
The Bathing Ape colours can divide opinion deeply and I’ve got to say I thoroughly hated them when applied to the Hot Wheels 300SL. But on this? Man they work. Cars in this style cars often have flamboyant, extravagant paintjobs and this wouldn’t look out of place at Daikoku Parking Area at 3am.
And for those who aren’t keen at all on the BAPE camo, there are more colours incoming. I know this is a style and a diecast that will divide opinion like Marmite, but this is the sort of variety we need right now. I’d take this over another poorly applied Gulf livery any day.