I Have A New Favorite Car

After some research, I believe that I know what this car is.


This was shot at the Hello Special 10th Anniversary car meet in Osaka over the weekend, a gathering of wonderfully modified Japanese cars. Hello Special sells aftermarket parts for little Japanese kei cars to get this ‘kyusha’ style, super small economy cars slammed with vintage wheels, bodykits, and everything else over the top. Tons of old, modified Japanese cars with this look showed up at this kyusha expo meet.

This little not-a-popemobil may be the silliest of all of them.

You’re looking at what I believe is or was a Suzuki Alto. It’s bodied in wood, and as you can see in the photos above, the roll cage is made out of PVC pipe.

It’s sort of a physical version of those little car cartoons, all scrunched up with super tall roofs.


The name of the builder is a bit difficult for me to find. The car has stickers for “Crazy Jap Racing Team,” but that doesn’t turn up anything useful in Google. A hashtag search on Instagram returns “Neko Oki Racing.” Google offers a number of questionable translations for that name, my favorite of which being “Cat Straddles Racing.”


Here’s how the car looked in February, in bare wood with fake racing exhaust piped through speakers.


The hashtags make it clear it’s a joke on the Kaido Racer style, which is silly in its own right.

I don’t know if now the exhaust works, but it sounds like it does.


Either way, I absolutely adore it.

Raphael Orlove is features editor for Jalopnik.


Raphael Orlove

Another point of inspiration: there’s a set of car models with this same high-roof look, as Matt Wood points out: