Question: Which Is More Gloriously Extreme, Houston SLABs or Bosozoku Style?

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
question which is more gloriously extreme houston slabs or bosozoku style

In recent years, there was no way any car customizer in the world was going to come close to the absurd lengths that practitioners of Bōsōzoku Style in Japan went to when modifying their vehicles. Six exhaust pipes sticking ten feet straight up out of a slammed Corona with an octo-wing? Not enough! That’s a shame for patriotic Americans, because we once ruled the world when it came to brain-scrambling, utterly senseless customized vehicles. But wait! The love of 84s and old-timey lowrider-style kandy paint in Houston has led to a renaissance, and the SLAB (Slow, Loud, And Bangin’) may be knocking the Bōsōzoku Style machines off their pedestal.

A SLAB is typically (though not always) a GM luxury sedan, and it boasts wheels with way more “poke” than anything Cragar ever imagined for the ’84 Eldorado (the aftermarket has stepped in with 30-spoke “elbows” that stick out 18″ or more), kandy paint, neon, 10-billion-watt sound systems, and so on. The green Cadillac at 0:13 in the video above may well be The Greatest Car of All Time. Take that, Japan! As Mike Jones says in his SLAB anthem, “tippin’ on four ‘bows, wrapped in four Vogues.”

But then… check out what’s going on over there!

Yeah, put on some Melt-Banana, add another 20 exhaust pipes, and maybe the SLABs have another couple of years before they can match Bōsōzoku Style. What do you say?

Bosozoku car image at top courtesy of

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3 of 17 comments
  • Luvmyv8 Luvmyv8 on Dec 14, 2012

    I THINK that the first car featured in the Bosozoku video is a replica of the car from the Japanese manga series 'Shakotan Boogie', it was the pink and white 2 door Toyota Chaser. That being said however, not my thing! Yes, all the cars were goofy and silly looking and I'm really trying to be nice about it, though I did like the clean silver 'Ken and Mary' 4 door Skyline that shows up in the middle of the video. Then again I'm a raving Skyline fanatic. I also brought up 'Shakotan Boogie' because the same author later produced a different manga called 'Wangan Midnight' that was radically different from the Bosozoku scene, Wangan was about high speed racing on the Tokyo Bayshore Expressway. The main car from that one was a '70s era Nissan Fairlady Z/Datsun 240Z that had 600+ hp and could exceed 200 MPH.

    • Felis Concolor Felis Concolor on Dec 14, 2012

      That particular Fairlady was the "final boss" in Genki's popular Shutokou Battle game, although its appearance and back story were heavily tamed for the domestic Tokyo Xtreme Racer port. In both games it could be unlocked for purchase via completing the entire time attack section, although only the Japanese game supported the "super AE86" secret car.

  • RatherhaveaBuick RatherhaveaBuick on Dec 14, 2012

    Some Bosozoku cars are awesome. When taken to the extreme seen in the picture becomes horrendous. But entertaining no less. Some great rims on those cars too...

  • John H Last week after 83 days, dealership said mine needs new engine now. They found metal in oil. Potential 8 to 9 month wait.
  • Dukeisduke An aunt and uncle of mine traded their '70 T-Bird (Beakbird) for a brand-new dark metallic green '75 LTD two-door, fully loaded. My uncle hated seat belts, so the first time I saw the car (it was so new that the '75 models had just landed at the dealerships) he proudly showed me how he'd pulled the front seat belts all the way out of their retractors, and cut the webbing with a razor blade(!).Just a year later, they traded it in for a new '76 Cadillac Coupe de Ville (they had owned a couple of Imperials in the '60s), and I imagine the Cadillac dealer took a chunk out to the trade-in, to get the front seat belts replaced.
  • CaddyDaddy Lease fodder that in 6 years will be on the 3rd owner in a poverty bound aspirational individual's backyard in a sub par neighborhood sinking into the dirt. The lending bank will not even want to repossess and take possession of this boat anchor of a toxic waste dump. This proves that EVs are not even close to being ready for prime time (let's not even talk about electrical infrastructure). EVs only exist in wildly expensive virtue signaling status-mobiles. FAIL! I know this is a Hybrid, but it's a Merc., so it will quickly die after the warranty. Show me a practical EV for the masses and I'll listen. At this time, Hybrids are about the way to go for most needing basic transportation.
  • Jeanbaptiste The bubble free dash on the R32!
  • Dukeisduke A seven-year-old Cadillac, and a front-wheel-drive one at that? Maybe instead title this series "Overpriced User Car Review"?