I’ve been aware of these guys for a while now. Many of you will have probably seen the JDM Insider video surrounding ‘kanjo racing’ (it’s available on Youtube). A mixture of awe and incredulity is the natural response to seeing a host of cars racing at speeds well over 100mph in heavy traffic, and yet you feel guiltily excited by it all. I don’t know what it is, whether somehow these racers come across as somehow being ‘purer’ or in some way more legitimate in their law-breaking ways, but you approve of it nonetheless. For me the young guys behind the cars embody everything I love about the ‘JDM’ scene. Grassroots racing, low budget, backyard built but a passion unmatched and often totally missing in magazine-feature worthy, or shop built vehicles. Often the recipe for building these cars is old-school (used and cheap) wheels, coilovers, straight-piped exhausts, stripped and caged and almost always complemented by incredibly sticky tyres. Semi-slick Yokohama AO48’s seem particularly popular. The car below, part of the Osaka JDM/Temple Racing team, features these tyres matched with Mugen CF-48 wheels including the rare disc covers. Surprisingly, engine swaps are rare, as is extensive engine tuning. Many of the cars are either the 3rd generation E-AT, or the 4th generation EF, many sporting the non-vtec ZC engine. This is testament to the kind of racer behind the wheel. These often rootless youths are on lower incomes and many struggling to buy into the prohibitively expensive property ladder. They are brought together and find unity and identity through their love of driving. Of course, some teams embody this more than others. Team Late Risers are probably the most famous and feature prominently in the JDM Insider video.
The Osaka JDM/ Temple Racing EF9: