VeilSide: Inside the Most Extreme Tuner Car Company of 2002

Big wheels, bigger spoilers, and some of the most over-the-top bodykits ever designed. The early 2000s tuning scene is taken as a joke now, but this is what it looked like in the middle of the big-money, big-style era. Right at the heart of it all: VeilSide.

As far as a name and a reputation went, for me VeilSide was the famously wide orange-and-black FD RX-7 from 3 Fast 3 Furious. You might also recognize the tuner’s parts and stickers on Vin Diesel’s red RX-7 in the first F&F movie. But all I knew about the company was that it made wild bodykits, wider and more willing to depart from a manufacturer’s factory styling than anybody else. I mean, anybody short of the old European styling shops like Colani, Sbarro, or even Rinspeed. VeilSide was the only one on my radar going as extreme.

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What I didn’t know about VeilSide was that it was a very serious speed shop. At least, I didn’t realize it until I watched this clip from the contemporary High Performance Imports v5 DVD from Australia, giving us some English-language coverage of the Japanese tuner scene in those days. Apparently this was the first DVD-only release of a High Performance Imports video, ending the VHS era, as its distributor notes in its YouTube description.

As president Hironao Yokomaku notes, the company was making bodykits to help its drag and high-speed track cars perform well. Indeed, its drag Supras and Skylines were among the fastest in the country at the time.

But all that attention got people just wanting the kits alone, sans the 1,400 horsepower engine conversions. So the company started making kits just to be body kits as well. Basically all VeilSide is known for now among casual car fans, if it’s known at all, is its car-consuming styling kits. So this seems like it was a real turning point.

VeilSide is still around, or at least still updating its Facebook and showing off new kits for the Toyota 86, but it seems like it’s a long way from what it was in this heyday. I hated it at the time. Now I kind of miss it.

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Raphael Orlove

Raphael Orlove is features editor for Jalopnik.