TROLLFACE: Kawashima Celica at the Nagoya Exciting Car Showdown

April 19, 2012 4:49 pm Published by

You know you want to see more of the Kawashima Celica.

Aside from perhaps the Mitsumori JZX100 Chaser, there hasn’t been another single car on this website that has drawn more attention than this one.

When I was at the Nagoya Exciting Car Showdown, I caught Kawashima when he wasn’t busy walking around taking photos and interviewing car owners for his job at Drift Tengoku magazine, and asked him a few questions.

Alexi: First of all, why this look? It’s obviously not finished yet, is it?

Kawashima: No, it’s not finished! As for the look, there’s three main points of the way modified cars should look (in Japan), and that’s onikyan (cambered wheels), tsuraichi (tyres just barely inside the guards) and hippari (stretched tyres). I wanted to make a car that took all of those things to the furthest point I’ve ever seen them done.

Alexi: You’ve been getting a lot of attention overseas recently even though the car is nowhere near finished, but there have been quite a few comments that have been rather negative.

Kawashima: Really? Well, that doesn’t really change what I do. When I came up with the idea for this look, I knew that a lot of people were not going to like it, however the people who actually do like it are going to absolutely love it, and that’s good enough for me.

Alexi: A lot of international people on the internet also think it’s got something to do with American-style “stance”.

Kawashima: No, that’s not a style I’m trying to do. They might think that but no, this is something I’ve been doing for quite a while now.

Alexi: You used to FF drift the previous version of this Celica until you crashed it at Fuji Speedway, but what about this one?

Kawashima: I’ve already drifted this one a bit before we cut the guards and put the rear wheels on! As for future plans, I’m going to finish the front wheels then drive it to work every day and drift it too. Right now I’m driving to work in a kei car while the Celica is getting worked on though, and it’s really boring.

Alexi: How do you get those tyres to fit like that?

Kawashima: The inner side of the tyre is beaded as normal, and it has 600kPa (almost 87psi) of air to keep the outer tyre bead on the rim. I drove it here on Friday night from Tokyo on the expressway like this.

Alexi: What’s next for the body?

Kawashima: The same wheels and tyres are going on the front, wider front guards, and a repaint. Everyone, please look forward to it!

For those who think it’s fake or non-functional, here’s a video of it rolling out of the show’s hall! Keep in mind, that night he drove it all the way back to Tokyo, admittedly rather slowly and with several stops to put some air into the front tyres with a bike pump. Apparently, the front wheels are not quite round after being used for FF drifting for quite a while, but the rear ones hold air just fine!

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This post was written by Alexi


  • Rob says:

    I love the commitment!

  • Josh says:

    I think it’s pretty awesome.

  • Streaty says:

    While I totally admire his dedication, and the fact he built this exactly how he wanted regardless of haters, this is one car I cannot get my head around haha. But yeah much respect for pushing the boundaries!

  • zhaff says:

    Haters gonna hate Kawashima-san, hater gonna hate. I’m more than excited to see this car finish and going sideways!!

  • The car is BOSS, exactly what he said is exactly why it cannot be ridiculed! Its 100% Japan. Nothing else. Thats why i love it!

    Cant wait for more update Alexi!!

    Thank you!

  • Ponczak says:

    It’s different than everything. It’s cool. But I want to see drift video of Kawashima in Celica. Anyone?

  • nyannn says:

    cool zzt231 ever!!!

  • fury-s12 says:

    do people seriously think this is based of an american thing lol yea sure

    i love how this guys doing something he likes and to hell with the haters massive props to him for that

    did he drop hints as too color choice for the repaint? yellow again?

  • sexy hammer says:

    even like it is, I’d rather see this car every day than those zero lip VWs speedhunters keeps shoving down everyone’s throats.

  • AEkyuni says:

    That’s a Big middle finger to all you haters out there. And to the idiots who claim this to be american style stance. yeah.. F*** all of you idiots! This car is awesome and i love the dedication he has for his passion of styling cars!

  • Adonis says:

    That white and cream VW bus at :18 is beautiful.

    • tokyospark says:

      That’s not a VW, its a VW face kit on a tiny Japanese “Kei” type van. Still cool though

  • yes says:

    The video just made my day. I cant wait to see it done, as silly as it looks its still just so strangely appealing to me.

  • Henry says:

    Rad. I’m feelin this

  • This guy says:

    Haha that Celica is sick. Can’t wait to see more of it

  • truspin86 says:

    This is amazing, can’t wait til its complete!

  • crinale says:

    looks way better in motion

  • neuri says:

    amazing build. You have got to love people who dont take the easy route

  • hey says:

    thats some awsome body work, and its sooooo low! cant wait till its fully finished

  • Jake P says:

    I love this so much!! I can totally admire and appreciate everything about this build!! Kawashima’s so inspiring!! Keep it up Kawashima!! And keep us updated Alexi!! NORIYARO!! \(^.^)/

  • TegraKid22 says:

    Specs on rims and tires? Suspension? camber kit?

  • Nev19 says:

    I only have one thing to say.

    Excuse me sir, you’re doing it wrong…

    Why would someone do this to a Celica? This vehicle is to cars what rap is to music – proof that not everyone should participate. There’s a great deal to be said for having to run your work past an editor.

    Yeah, it’s different. I’ll give you that much. Sometimes, however, different takes flak for a reason and the people who criticize what you’re doing have a point.

    It’s like a schizophrenic combination of tastefully restrained bodywork on top of a tribute to 10,000 riced-out Civics.

    And to all you English scholars out there, “hater” isn’t a word; not in the context you’re using.

    By the way, Alexi, love this site, man. Seriously. I always look forward to the updates.

    Can you do more road trip videos?

    • Ken says:

      You sir, are a living definition of a douche/hater…

    • Warren says:

      Who cares, its a Celica ZZT. Its not like these cars are worth anything… Kawashima actually turned a car no one cares about except a few ricers, to something unique and interesting.

      • Trololol says:

        “unique and interesting” Thats one way to say it.

        • Warren says:

          More interesting than your hard parker car with full on racing shit installed, yet it never see any kind of fast action.
          I could have said its ugly like some dumfucks here, but no need to point out the obvious, we all know its ugly and we wouldn’t do that to our car (even being shit celica).

  • michael says:

    no one has commented on how great his 2ZZ sounds…. compliments the car soooo well, reminds me of a TS020 or a wasps nest

  • Scott Borden says:

    Not really my style, and to be honest it is a little bit to much for my taste but to each their own and if this is what he likes then this is what he should do. Will probably look better once the fenders are finished and the car is repainted. As for the wheels I do enjoy some camber here and there, stance is all the rage here in Rochester, NY now but this is a little to much for me. It just looks like the fitment of the wheels, tires, every thing is just off. But like I said do what makes you happy and don’t worry about the rest!

  • Scott Borden says:

    Also meant to comment on the apparent fact that Japanese law makers don’t give a shit when it comes to modifying cars and keeping them “street legal”. LOL, here in NY we would get eaten alive by the police if we even so much as took that thing down the street! This does lead me to this question though, can you drive just about any thing in Japan or are there any vehicle modification laws that the government has in place regarding things of this nature? Kind of off topic but I thought it would be interesting to find out.

  • brendon says:

    hey looky who i found…

  • VIPody says:

    Im bookmarking this website just to watch the process of this build. Its over the top extreme and I love it.

  • Kaul says:

    Scares me to think about the suspension on this, considering how dodgy the setup was on his yellow car.

  • your mum says:


  • Dale says:

    This car is just so so so so bad!!!

    It really just makes me laugh how some people can be so so stupid!!!

    What a complete waste of a Celica! How can it be cool when you can’t even use it properly! Having to stop to put air in the tyres is just ridiculous!

    It looks like something something out of Max Power magazine circa 2002.

    You modify a car to improve performance and looks, this has been modified to make it look stupid and unusable. Truly shocking!

    • Jimmy says:

      You modify a car for the enjoyment of it, perfomance, looks etc. all come second to that.

      As long as Kawashima is having fun with the car, it is not a waste. A waste would be to leave it in the hands of someone who is not going to enjoy it.

    • Warren says:

      Get over it a stock Celica is already a waste by itself.
      If you get that much butthurt about this being done to a Celica I understand why you quote Max Power, you might have a subscription.

  • Hundredpercent says:

    i don´t like it ….more isn´t always better
    but its good that everyone got owne taste

  • scott says:

    love it

  • jidousha says:

    Wow that one video does more than what the pics could. Hard to believe it was actually drivable had you not have put that vid up.

    Can we hope for a vid of it going sideways?


  • Matt says:

    i’d love to say i like it, but its a little too pointless for me

    love the fact that he plans to use it as a daily driver/drifter although i can’t see them tyres doing much mileage

  • Andrew J says:

    I think I speak for a lot of people when I say you have to keep us updated if you can, Alexei 😛

  • Nathaniel Marywether says:

    Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should do it. This car is an abomination, sad, so sad. It’s just like looking at fools who put 26″ rims and up on muscle cars; they live in their own little world, dreaming they are so cool when in reality they are the butt of all jokes… so, you know what Mr. Kawashima, keep on dreaming, stay in that world of yours and don’t listen to us “haters”…oops, I mean HATERZ. Keep listening to these people that love riding your dick, just because they love anything that is Japanese.

    • Alexi says:

      You’re writing all that as if it matters to him.

    • hirosuke says:

      wow bro if u dont have any thing nice to say dont say any thing i dont go round other car sights and say shit about what other people enjoy making driving or what ever just chill bro Kawashima is a legend in my books for making some thing unique car and possibly the most awesome ff drift machine iv ever seen

      • bawkchoy says:

        Legend?! HAH! Seriously? I can stick 25×15″ with 175/20r25’s on my car too… would that make me a legend? Please.

        Yeah it’s cool the dude can do what he wants with his car car.. but he’s far from a legend. Anyone can bolt some wheels on a car and put a tire 5 sizes too small on it and go around saying “Fuk da HATERZ!”. There is only one necessity. Determination. Apparently he was that determined to get that small of a tire on such a ridiculously huge rim. That thing is a liability on a drift circuit. You need a tire that can hold air… What the hell is he gonna do? Stop mid drift and whip out the bike pump… “HOLD ON GUYS I NEED TO ADD SOME PSI’s”

        Get real man. Personally I think this car is RIDICULOUS. It’s a friggin accident waiting to happen and looks like a Turtle on wheels. Does that make me a hater? No. I just have an opinion. Does that mean I disrespect the dude? No. I respect that he wants to do something different. The only problem is I don’t want him blowing out a tire and crashing into me on the freeway because he left his bike pump at home. That’s the only real issue I have.

  • Azone' says:

    1) Art is in the eye of the beholder (or so they say, but I often beg to differ… a “Red Board” is a wooden board painted red, not “Art”. Crap is crap, but that’s always a subject for debate).
    2) Pushing limits in all conceivable manner and direction is simply human nature (and there is often a price to pay for pushing too far, like when that thing loses a tire/wheel/major suspension component and wreaks havoc upon the immediate environs and its occupants).
    3) Just because one has excess cash to throw away doesn’t mean it’s a good investment, nor that it should be done, nor that there aren’t MORE DESERVING people/ideas/concepts/causes much more worthy of the wasted cash. All too often these anachronisms are the product of the excessively stupid, self-indulgent, and UN-deservedly privileged.
    4) now, throw all this in a blender and you’ll have an opinion.


  • Jeff says:

    with 87psi in the tires, and riding on a corner. thats a blowout waiting to happen. please keep this OFF THE ROAD if you want to live, and to avoid injuring others. it looks like you like working on cars, but keep the safety factor in play

  • Trololol says:

    EDIT: Fake usernames and emails means you spent all that time typing for nothing!

  • dumbasses says:

    EDIT: Fake usernames and emails means you spent all that time typing for nothing!

  • Eazy says:

    car looks like shit and those rims need to be on a Lambo

  • Warjo says:

    Got to say, i’m not a fan for over doing the stance, but well, everyone builds their rides for themself. And got to respect for doing what you wan’t. Altought i got to agree on Jeff there who says to keep the car off the road, it really isn’t too safe to drive anymore 🙂

    Haters are really going to hate too 😀

  • Dave says:

    I have to say this again, big props to Kawashima for doing what he’s doing, and the fact that he is doing this for himself not for people around the world he doesn’t even know, and their opinions.
    regarding to what he said that people who will like it, will love it, he’s completely right about that!
    I love clean rides etc. but when something this batshit insane comes along it just makes me want to scream out in joy, it’s so awesome to see something that stands out so much!

  • LowFlyin says:

    I weep for the future of humanity…

  • CA16UK says:

    His money, his car, everyone else can shut up! heh heh heh

  • Weasel says:

    LOL, these comments!
    I like how he moved the yellow trunk trim from his previous car over to this one, sort of like a tribute to his fallen comrade.
    Speaking of rad, this car is way cooler than anything any of these keyboard warriors will ever do.

  • patri says:

    ojala existieran solo las criticas constructivas…. nice car!!!!!!!

  • dan says:

    Tyre bead sealer, this is it’s first drive. I’m sure he will sort it out. Too many people get way to worked up about another persons car. Go to the garage and work on your car (if you have one) instead of riding the bandwagon online.

  • Jake P says:

    Does anyone know of Kawashima’s personal blog? I cant find it.

  • white guy says:

    two thumbs up

  • S says:

    I would love to know how the excessive camber on the rear wheels does not ‘push’ the tyre upwards on the rim and it still manages to stay on the lowest part of the rim touching the ground.

  • mike says:

    When you have to stop multiple times daily to repair or improve your car, it doesn’t function well as a daily driver. Do you really have an argument warren?

    • Michael says:

      If you read the article it says that the front wheels need pumping up because theyre out of shape from drifting. And when its Finished he will be running the same style tyre and wheel combo as the rear

  • M1A1 says:

    I live just near Nagoya and I see a lot of these cars, though obviously not as extreme. I thought the drivers were dipshits until I read what this guy said. He’s a car guy, loves what he does and doesn’t care what other people think. It’s not my bag, but I can’t hate him for it, and it’s a lot more interesting than another frigging kei car with a big farting exhaust or white corolla.

  • Nick L says:

    Didnt the Mythbusters prove recently that you can actually drive a car with square wheels? This is the next best thing…

  • BOSO E30 says:


  • Barnyard says:

    I wonder if we can all pitch in & get him some tires that fit those sweet wheels?
    It just looks like he squeezed motorcycle tires onto some phat rims.

  • Michael says:

    Love this car, so tough!! Can anyone link me their blog?

  • Tony says:

    what kind of exhuast is that? sound sick…

  • pete says:

    Any updates? love this car

  • What is the name of the muffler of this car? Its very cool!

  • Mav says:

    Any more updates??? Can anyone please link me to Kawashima’s or any of the other Sexy Knights blogs?

  • nick says:

    that is cool but crazy

  • GVB says:

    “Haters gonna hate.” Kids, cars, and the internet these day. This coined term doesn’t apply to this particular car due to the fact that it’s just a flat out mistake. I put this in the same category as the Jay-Z maybach. Oh and I saw the car finished.


    It’s still ugly.

  • NYBRUNO says:

    When is kawashima gonna show more cuz i love that car