By on December 13, 2012

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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17 Comments on “Question: Which Is More Gloriously Extreme, Houston SLABs or Bosozoku Style?...”

  • avatar

    H-town’s got this on lock.

  • avatar

    Everyone’s a winner here, I JUST CAN’T CHOOSE.

    This is also the best car-related question I have seen in years.

  • avatar

    I suspect many will initially vote Bosozuko, but I bet they change they minds when them ’84s come rollin’ up.

  • avatar

    Need more SLAB examples.

    The bosozoku are winning in the headgear category, but the SLABs look to have better workmanship over all. Some of those bosozoku look pretty cheaply done.

  • avatar

    Cars, cars, settle down. You don’t need to fight for my affection- I think you’re BOTH equally stupid, and I hate you BOTH equally as much. Now lets go get ice cream.

  • avatar

    I just spent 60 G’s on a brand new Eldo-reeze
    Black-on-black, drop top ‘lac, north star fifth wheel on back
    Sometimes I feel like Lil’ Ke when my trunk steady hummin’
    Had to leave my bitch ‘cuz I fell in love with my chrome plated woman

    Rollin’ Seville
    Grippin’ my steel
    My Tahoe real, man, I’m workin’ wood wheel
    Sedan DeVille
    House on the hill
    Countin’ up my scrill, bitch, I’m workin’ wood wheel

  • avatar

    I raise you Dekotora and Saudi car-stoning!

  • avatar

    Shins everywhere quake at the sight of those 30 inch “Elbows.”

  • avatar

    I believe it’s not ‘bows’, but tippin’ on “Four 4’s” (pronounced Fo’s)… which is reference to “84’s”, the optional 30 spoke wheel available on ’84 Eldorado’s (via Cragar) that you alluded to later in the post. 4’s and Vogues is the sought after combo.

    …and I gotta give this one to H-Town.

  • avatar

    That Caddy is Ri-DONK-culous but the look of this Park Avenue is even sillier.

    Although those spokes might be adequate deterrence for a car jacker, just step on the gas and take his legs out from under him.

  • avatar

    I grew up in H-town. There were two slammed minitrucks in the neighborhood, lived next door to each other. One was pink-on-white and other had multi-colored geographic shapes on black I think. Both had 1000W systems and would bass on their way in and out of the neighborhood, right by my house. I was so jealous.

    Today, I don’t know whether to be embarrassed or proud of H-town.

  • avatar


  • avatar
    Felis Concolor

    That’s a tough one to call, but seeing as Studio Pierrot has not honored SLABs with their own animation series it’s bosozoku for me.

  • avatar

    SLAB FTW. The one detail that shows why it wins is the rear wheel well of the green Eldo in the top pic and video. If you look closely you can see that the elbow wheels stick out so much, and the suspension is so low, that the rear fenderwell had to be cut to accomodate the wheel. This one detail explains all of SLAB. In essence, in SLAB we cut boring cars around garish accessories, whereas Bosozuku merely adds garish accessories to boring cars.

  • avatar

    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.

    • 0 avatar
      Felis Concolor

      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.

  • avatar

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

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