I’ve been covering the world of aftermarket cars for longer than I care to remember, and in that time there have been a handful of tuning concerns that have not only stood the test of time but are still in operation today, and these have gained worldwide cult status. One of these companies hails from Japan and goes by the name of Liberty Walk. The company was established back in 1993 and was well-known in Japanese tuning circles, but when the internet became the way to share work, the name soon became a household name for automotive fanatics. Pics started to emerge of one of the main men behind Liberty Walk, Akira Nakai trimming fenders on various Porsche models so that the now iconic LWB wide arch body kits could be fitted, totally transforming the looks of the cars. While this excited aftermarket fans, purists were not impressed, and that’s usually a good sign. Over the years the images of Nakai San working on supercars with a cigarette hanging from his lips have become commonplace. There’s just something cool about seeing a supercar being cut up in the name of aesthetics and street cred. Together with Liberty Walk CEO Wataru Kato, the company has grown immensely over the last few years and the body kits they create have started appearing on other modern supercars as well as some classics. This year the most shared LWB car was most definitely the wide-body Ferrari F40, it’s simply amazing. In the past, the kits were only seen on 911s and were fitted by Kanai San himself, but these days body kits are shipped across the world for local fitment. Here in SA, we’ve seen a few amazing builds come out of the RACE! Workshop near Kyalami. Kits are available for loads of new cars now, including Lamborghini, Ferrari, McLaren, BMW, Honda, Nissan, Toyota and more.
Take a look at the YouTube video that got us more excited than it should have, a proper look into the day-to-day at Japan's iconic Liberty Walk headquarters. The place is amazing and should be on the bucket list of all JDM fanatics, but for those that can't get to Japan, our favourite photographer Larry Chen has done a site visit under the Hagerty banner: Japan's Most ICONIC Tuning Shop: Liberty Walk's Massive HQ | Capturing Car Culture | Hagerty
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