Japan's Biggest Lowrider Car Show Is An Over-The-Top Celebration Of American Iron

Photo: noriyaro/YouTube (screengrabs)

When most people think “Japanese Car Culture,” they probably don’t picture Chevy Impalas and old Cadillacs bouncing six feet in the air on hydraulics. But then, those people haven’t been to the Mopona Car show And Swap Meet in Inashiki, Ibaraki.


Alexi from YouTube channel noriyaro admits that—even though he has seen American muscle car shows in Japan before—he’s out of his element at this over-the-top display of iced-up American lowriders. He’s used to a Japanese car culture that obsesses over drifting, turbo mods and cambered-out wheels. Still, he does a fine job of walking us through an absolutely absurd collection of modded American cars at this show:

The funny thing about the chrome, crazy paint and scissor door-filled lowrider show is that, as Alexi points out, the weirdest car may actually be the least tricked-out one. Here’s a U.S. spec Toyota Van that someone decided to important into Japan, despite the van being available in the Japanese Domestic Market as the Master Ace.

Photo: noriyaro/YouTube (screengrab)
Photo: noriyaro/YouTube (screengrab)

What’s the point? Alexi says it all comes down to novelty, or as he puts it “one of those grass is greener things.” Seems totally pointless, which is why it’s so awesome.

Sr. Technical Editor, Jalopnik. Always interested in hearing from auto engineers—email me. Cars: Willys CJ-2A ('48), Jeep J10 ('85), Jeep Cherokee ('79, '91, '92, '00), Jeep Grand Cherokee 5spd ('94).

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Urambo Tauro

Lowriders in Japan, eh? Almost makes me wanna take a little trip, take a little trip, take a little trip, and see...