We know that many of you still think that Japanese lowriders are just buying cars already done in the U.S. and just drive them or show them once imported to Japan. The Japanese lowrider movement has improved a lot in last 10 years. Frame-off restorations and custom builds are not impossible anymore, and to build or have built a dream ride is not a dream. Many lowriders are building or renovating lowriders in Japan nowadays.
One of the finest Japan-built lowriders is “Raider 4,” which shows you that a unique influence has gone to Japan. The Oakland Raiders are also popular in Japan for the lowrider scene as one of the L.A. homeboys’ favorites. Katsuaki Nishikawa of Mie, Japan, wanted to get a cool lowrider that was unique from the others. He decided to have one built in the way that he wanted, instead of just buying one already done up. He wanted to do a ’64 Chevy Impala in black from the beginning, and then he came up with the idea to build his ’64 as a Raider car.
Once Katsuaki came up with the Raiders theme, he decided to coordinate with black, gray and silver on the car. Only new, rechromed and reconditioned parts were used to make the beautiful solid black body look perfect. The frame was painted black with silver leaf and pinstriping after being reinforced and smoothed. To get the “silver and black” image onto the ’64, Katsuaki added silver leaf and gray pinstriping done by Cholo’s Custom of Nagoya, Japan.
It’s hard to get Raiders stuff in Japan, so Katsuaki asked his friend to get Raiders stuff in Los Angeles, and bring them home every time he came back from L.A. Katsuaki used Raiders license plate, fuzzy dice, floor mats, even antenna topper from Jack In The Box to add the right touch to the car.
A unique idea was to add black-painted headlight shields on the passenger side only like the eye patch of the Raider guy. Katsuaki chose Rockford Fosgate speakers because he likes the grille guard design that reminds him of the facemask of a Raider player’s helmet. The mural on the trunk lid was done by Fonzy when he was visiting Japan in 2005.
Raider 4Owner: Katsuaki Nishikawa
Vehicle: ’64 Chevrolet Impala
City/State: Mie, Japan
Club: Thee Originals C.C.
Engine/Drivetrain: 327-c.i.d. with cam, Edelbrock aluminum heads, Edelbrock 600-cfm carb and intake, billet air cleaner and valve covers, and aluminum radiator, Powerglide transmission and custom-made stainless exhaust.
Body/Paint: Mural by Fonzy, silver leaf and pinstriping by Cholo’s Custom in Nagoya, Japan, custom work done by Midland Auto Custom in Nagoya.
Interior: Black and gray vinyl with Dakota Digital gauges.
Sound System: NA
Setup: The frame was reinforced and smoothed, the front A-arms and rear trailing arms were boxed and molded, and the rearend was replaced with narrowed GM 10-bolt rear. The hydraulics include three pumps, 8-inch (front) and 12-inch (rear) Red’s Hydraulics cylinders, 4-ton (front) and 1-ton (rear) coils, and eight batteries with custom car club logo stickers.
Tires: P155/80-R13 Cooper
Wheels: 13×7 reverse L.A. Wire with black hub and custom-made Raider 4 emblem