Updated: Feb 1
Kato-san pulled it off again. The world’s first Bosozoku Ferrari F40 at the Tokyo Auto Salon (TAS).
Purists be damned. If there was one moment to signal this is gonna be a crazy year, at least for the automotive scene, TAS 2023 was definitely a good place to start. The event is a melting pot for Japanese motoring at its most liberated, where local tuning shops showcase endless possibilities of aftermarket engineering and creativity.
At the center of it all was Liberty Walk’s Ferrari F40. The company has been known to bomb the automotive scene with its unconventional approach to car styling -for better or for worse.
The unveiling was ceremonious, reminiscent of an art exhibit. During the event, the F40’s fender was cut before the attachment of LB’s signature wide overfender was laid into place. Yes, that moment sent shockwaves across automotive circles around the globe.
Being conservative wasn’t on the company’s MO, nor did they pretend to care about breaking some hearts. This raw unapologetic behavior is the spirit of the Bosozoku, after all. One thing Liberty Walk was able to do so effectively was to get the world’s attention to talk about their cars. Divisive opinions about their approach resulted in endless debates among automotive enthusiasts. Nevertheless, Liberty Walk continues to push the boundaries of car styling.
The sentiments of purists are understandable though. The F40 was Enzo Ferrari’s last remaining legacy to the world. To tinker with it and style it otherwise, let alone cut its fenders, was blasphemous to some. But to pretentious collectors who only lust for the F40 because of its market value and the social status it brings, this is a giant middle finger they deserve.
However, one fear of doing such a bold move on one of the world’s most important cars, is that it may influence clout-chasers who understand nothing about the F40’s value and replicate this act with nothing else in mind but a shallow attempt to get hype.
It’s 2023, though. Anything can happen. For now, Kato-san does what he does, and if he wants to create his own version of his F40, he has earned his right to do so.