The Stance Creators

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With the growth of VIP {bippu} culture in Japan, it was only obvious that the gangster fad would expand and grow (for a brief origin check out our previous article). Not only has it expanded across the board in Japan, but stylistic features have crossed the Pacific to the good ol’ US of A.

Stance. Stance? Stance! Stance… Stance

Yes, that retched word that ranges from a set of coilovers to how your car sits and in some cases is being used as an adjective. Stance polarizes the car scene with automotive fundamentalists criticizing the lack of function and fans loving how stanced their cars are, usually exalting “form over function!”

So how do we describe stance? Typically my description to non-car people starts off long, complicated, and confusing but ends up summing up to the following: slamming the car, taking a low offset set of wheels with aggressive specs, and “making it fit.” As innovative as we think we are (at least in this case), we have to tip our hats to the Bippu O.G. creators in Japan, who have been slamming, stretching, tucking, and stancing cars since the 90’s.

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So you’re welcome to the fans and to the haters, keep hating.

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Classic Wheel Evolution: Kranze Cerberus

Kranze Cerberus [JDM pronunciation: kurenze kereberosu]

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To most these two words are simple gibberish and a vague reference to the mythological Greek three-headed dog from Hades (I watched Hercules as I kid, don’t judge). But to the gear head, Kranze Cerberus is a sign you’ve made it, a super rare 3-piece wheel that can elevate any build to IG notoriety.

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So what do we have to know about these wheels?

Currently the Kranze Cerberus III is the third iteration of a design that has been one of the pillars for the Kranze brand since its inception.

Due to the technology the initial designs had simple but classic flared split 5-spoke construction, something of a nod to European design. And even though Kranze primarily uses 3-piece wheels, they did made a mono-block design at one point.

Thanks to advancements in the field, the latest Cerberus use “3D” tech to give the spokes more character and depth. Likewise, the latest design comes in a wide range of sizes and widths, making it an ideal wheel for bippu setups.

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So the next time you see a set of Kranze Cerberus by Weds, strut your wheel knowledge and let them know those wheels were inspired by the Greek hellhound.

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Japanese Bippu Culture 101

If you’re in the Japanese car scene you’ve more than likely come across the term VIP or bippu with a general but somewhat vague understanding of its meaning. So where exactly does this term come from and how should you pronounce it?

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VIP Style

Though clearly mimicking the English use of V.I.P. (Very Important Person) and having the same general sentiment of being special and important, the Japanese took the term and pronounced it “bippu.” So in most cases you should pronounce out the letters of VIP but when it comes to the Japanese car culture it’s bippu. 

Now that we’ve cleared up that confusion, we can now get to the real meat of the culture. 

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History: Gangster Roots

The Japanese Yakuza culture dates back hundreds of years and is deeply intertwined with Japanese society, including VIP culture. The roots of VIP style stem from the vehicles driven and modified by the Yakuza (edit: I should specify that these are low level wannabe gangsters, real Yakuza wouldn’t be so reckless or outwardly flashy). 

Initially in the 70/80’s many Japanese gangs fell under the Bosozoku style of modification and culture. Due to the attention this style provoked (loud exhaust, colorful paint, eccentric body modification, as well as a general hooligan gang mentality) the richer part of this subculture divided into a different style.  The gangsters who strived so hard to stand out and rebel from the homogenous Japanese society needed a new style to showcase their wealth and power while still maintaining a sleek low profile. Rather than riding around in sports cars or cheap foreign cars, they began using large domestic sedans to mimic the large Bimmers, Mercs, and Rolls.

Bippu was born.

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One Beautiful BMW 2002

Ultrabox Hiroshima in Japan is a popular European auto body and repair shop. They’re fairly low key but have built one beautiful BMW 2002. Running on Work Seeker EX wheels, check it out:

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Project Vitz: The Reboot

It’s been a while since we’ve worked on the KamiSpeed Yaris. Last we saw it, a wiring mix up caused the clutch line to light up lol :(. We’re working on getting a whole new harness created but until then its been collecting dust in the back.

This are starting to look up and we plan on getting this puppy up and running some time this year. At that point expect a lot more info. For know check out the spec list:

EXTERIOR:

  • C-One: Front Bumper, Side Skirts, CF Hood, Rear Wiper Cover, and Wing
  • JDM Toyota: Vitz RS Rear Bumper & Tail Lights

INTERIOR:

  • Bride: Exas III FRP Red Logo & Seat Rails
  • TRD Short Shifter
  • Zoom: Rear View Mirror
  • Works Bell: Short Hub & RapFix II Quick Release
  • Personal: Suede Steering Wheel

FOOTWORK:

  • Silk Road Section R Coilovers & Stabilizer Links
  • Custom Rear Calipers
  • C-One: Pads, Rotors, & Lines
  • C-One Front Sway Bar
  • C-One Strut and Performance Bars
  • Custom 8 Point Roll Cage
  • 15×7 RE30 in Diamond Black

ENGINE:

  • Okade Project: Direct Plasma Coils
  • HKS Turbo Kit
  • Mishimoto Radiator
  • A/C Delete
  • Custom Oil Cooler
  • Custom exhaust system to Tanabe Medalion Muffler
  • Beatrush Engine Roll Stopper & Pulley Kit
  • TRD Engine Mounts

ECM:

  • AEM EMS-4
  • Infinitybox 20 Circuit Harness Kit
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