By now there is a chance you have heard of the tuning craze in Japan of modifying 1990’s Dodge Vans. In the United States the van is used as a people carrier, adventure/ camping vehicle, business vehicle, or racing for that small niche of people interested in doing so. Even that small niche is done differently in Japan, where the US racers tend to race their vans in a strait line the Japanese do so on a circuit with corners, runoffs, and even drift with them.
The pioneer of this trend in Japan, the world some would say, is none other than Mr. Abe. He has been tuning these specific dodge vans for decades and has following. He owns the world renowned shop Abe Chuuko Kamotsu . He offers everything from suspension and motor to exterior and interior. Life was not always racing vans, but rather importing them from the US to Japan. Now residing in Tokyo with his shop he has settle on doing what he love…modifying and racing Dodge vans!
Most would not understand the appeal or racing or even wanting a van. At first people in Japan, specifically motorcycle racers, used them to transport their motorcycles around town to races. It only made sense as the roads are quite small and having something like an F150 is not feasible in the country. In fact people in the US did the same as they were cheaper and convenient to load a motorcycle PLUS equipment in rather than a truck ni the 90’s. Now with the help of one man the Dodge van has resurrected with another purpose.
For over a decade there has been a race in Japan dedicated for the Dodge van movement to see who is the fastest of them all. Its name is D-Van GP. Check out the racing below!!
It seems to be a cheap thrills and fun auto niche to get into and after doing research….I want one! Who wouldn’t for that matter, something different and to know one could be had for a few hundred dollars is a cheap hobby in terms of an auto enthusiast. That with the fact of there is an abundance of parts available for cheap in the United States (assuming you live in the US). We owe this man a thank you for showing that not all race cars are just that…cars.