Japan’s Strange Love Affair With Dodge Racing Vans

These videos will offer you another glimpse inside the D-Van Grand Prix, arguably Japan’s most outrageous racing series.

We’ve seen what these machines are capable of on the track, so we’ll call the culture “vanzoku” for the time being. Basically, everything started at the Ebisu Circuit, in Fukushima Prefecture, thanks to impromptu racing challenges held during Arakaki’s motorcycle school’s racing pauses.

The Dodge vans were used for hauling the school’s motorcycles, but one day someone thought it would be a great idea to pit them against each another while the track was clear – despite being told that vans are not allowed on the circuit.

In retrospective, Takura Abe – an event organizer and D-Van racer – says what they did was stupid, even though everybody who saw them having fun in the vans wanted to participate.

Some of the Rams aren’t heavily modified, sporting just a few cooling upgrades for the stock 5.2 and 5.9-litre V8, while others are in full-track mode. A few even have plexiglass windows, composite bumpers, stripped down interior and racing seats – for getting a good time around the track.

These machines are a clash between cultures, representing an American lifestyle (they even have U.S. air fresheners), but are being raced and used like the car maker never intended; in true Japanese fashion. If you want to find out more about them, check the videos down below.

H/T to Automobilemag!


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