A Car Nerd's Guide To JapanAn insider look at car culture in Japan.

Controversial Japanese tuner Liberty Walk wanted to make an impact.

On their social media pages they posted a cryptic image of three cars under covers on their stand at the 2018 Tokyo Auto Salon. We already knew about the new kit for the Lexus LC, the company’s first body kit for the Japanese manufacturer, and a special edition of the kit for the Aventador. But curiously all attention and speculation went to the car in the middle.

The cars were set to be unveiled at 2:30 p.m. on the first day of the Tokyo Auto Salon. By 2 p.m. there walls already a crowd at the LB stand awaiting the surprise unveil. With the usual fanfare, took covers off the LC and Aventador.

Special Edition Liberty Walk Aventador Version 2.0. Limited to 30 in Japan and 20 worldwide
Liberty Walk’s first Lexus kit

Then it was time for the middle car. As the covers came off to reveal what appeared to be a black Lamborghini Miura with overfenders, there was a stunned silence. There were a few claps from the back but it was very clear the crowd that had gathered around the Liberty Walk stand were shocked.

Liberty Walk Miura

Here it was, one of the most gorgeous and historically important cars ever made, arguably the first modern supercar, done up in Liberty Walk’s radical styling. To say it was an acquired taste is an understatement, but it certainly stood out.

It’s exactly what the company wanted to do. This is a one-off promotional car, so don’t send them emails asking for one. The story behind the car a typical one.

Toshiro “Toshi” Nishio, Sales Manager at Liberty Walk, kindly explained the story of this curious car to me. “Kato-san has always wanted a Miura, but finding one is quite difficult,” he said. That’s understandable—who wouldn’t want a Miura?

“One day Kato-san went to a few random car shops and found a Ford GT40 (replica) for sale. This gave him the idea to make himself a Miura,” Toshi said.

From idea to creation it took about six months. They stripped the Ford body off and put their own custom Miura body on top of the chassis, overfenders and all.

Overfenders on a Miura

Kato-san could’ve easily made this replica without the overfenders, but where’s the fun in that? As always he wanted to combine his love of classic Japanese cars and this classic European exotic. From the outside with the stance and overfenders to distract the eye, it’s quite a convincing replica. The black color does help hide some of the doubt.

It was supposed to sport the black and red Yokohama Advan livery, but because it’s not an original, Yokohama didn’t give them the all-clear.

It’s one way to bring attention to your company

The car isn’t fully complete yet; air suspension will be the next thing to go on this “Miura.” While the chassis and engine are from a GT40, some “modifications have been made to the engine.”

As much as I’d love to see this driving, I want to hear it even more. It’s very likely this car will be making its rounds at various shows for promotion purposes.

Kato-san taking a photo of his own creation

But I personally love the idea behind this and what it represents. Kato-san had a ridiculous idea and actually went out and made it a reality. He doesn’t care what other think, he just wanted a Liberty Walk Miura, dammit. It’s that kind of thinking that fans and customers of Liberty Walk love. People get far too emotional over things.

Liberty Walk knew fully well the polarizing reaction this car would have. Social media on the day exploded with comments on this car ranging from confused to downright offended.

But as they say, all publicity is good publicity.

I just hope this paves the way for more Liberty Walk “icons.” Can you imagine a Liberty Walk Ferrari 250 GTO or Jaguar E-Type? After the Miura anything is possible.

What should they do next?

Liberty Walk had most of their line up on display as well, including the S660
Giving a new meaning to ‘shark nose’
The big wing and overfenders work well on the McLaren 650S
None-widebody NSX sneaking through
Version 1.5 of the GT-R kit
Even after the show was over, it still attracted a crowd
It sounded less like an Italian exotic and more like American muscle. Basically a DeTomaso
Kato-san is very proud and happy of his latest work
Love it or hate it, it’s very extra
Gotta have the bent up plate for, umm, privacy
Standard GT40 interior
They had a very busy stand
Just goes to show the brand appeal of Liberty Walk these days
Made in Japan
LC suits the LB look
GTR Version 2.0

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