J Unit Atenza / Mazda 6 on Leon Hardiritt Gemut


If you’ve never heard of J-Unit don’t feel stupid, they mostly produce VIPish parts for JDM only saloons. So when they came out with this kit for the Mazda 6 they made some waves. The kit is mostly add on but completely transforms the car. That with a deep dish set of Leon Hardiritt Gemut (which we have on sale, just saying) makes this a truly beautiful and unique build. You’re welcome, enjoy!






The Stance Creators


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.


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]


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.


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.


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?


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. 


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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