In the 1960s, Carol Shelby took the unassuming AC Cobra and shoehorned in a giant Ford 427 V8 under the hood. The original Cobra wasn’t big enough for the big V8, so he also made the car 7 inches wider and rolled out the fenders to fit some fatter tires. This is one of the first times a performance car was given the widebody treatment, and we’ve been in love with the trend ever since.
Today, we want to take a look at 15 of the best widebody cars out there. From bolt-on fenders to complete body kits, adding widebody elements can make any car look damn good.
Liberty Walk Mitsuoka Orochi
I bet that you haven’t even heard of the first car on our list. It’s called Mitsuoka Orochi, and the maniacs at Liberty Walk decided to widebody it. What the hell is an Orochi? It’s an insane Japanese supercar named after an 8-headed snake monster.
Liberty Walk decided that it wasn’t crazy-looking enough, though, and slapped a sick widebody kit on it, which makes it look like a cross between a weird Lambo and some classic JDM car. We aren’t sure if we love it, but we love that it exists.
Only 400 of the Orochis were ever made, unlike the next entry on our list, which there are probably millions of. One of the most prolific body kits ever from a kit maker that even your mom has heard of, we’re talking about the Rocket Bunny 86s.
Rocket Bunny 86
You can’t scroll through more than 3 pictures on Instagram without seeing one of these kits. The designer, Kei Miura, basically defined JDM style by putting splitters and over-fender flares on everything from E30s to legendary S13s, but more on those in a minute.
The Version One 86 kit was inspired by the Bosozoku cars that Miura grew up with. And what can we say? They are friggin’ sick. Let’s take a break from the highly obtainable, and shift back to the unobtainable with our friends at Liberty Walk and their widebody Ferraris.
Liberty Walk Ferrari 458
It takes a lot of guts to look at something as beautiful as a 458 and think, “You know what? I can do better.” That’s what Liberty Walk did. By adding riveted-over body pieces and pushing the hips out, they ended up with an Italian stallion that would look at home in the mountains of Kanto.
But what about something normal people can afford? Like maybe the Cayman, that hardtop Boxster that’s constantly praised for amazing handling?
You can’t afford an RWB Porsche. I mean, let’s face it, you probably can’t even find an old 911 anymore. But you can afford a Porsche Cayman and have a body kit designed by a world-famous Japanese designer. That’s right, we’re back to Kei Muira, although this time with Pandem instead of Rocket Bunny.
Their widebody Cayman kit looks amazing with the incredibly aggressive riveted fenders and giant front splitter, the baby Porsche looks ready to tear the roads apart.
In complete contrast to the small, nimble, and aggressive Cayman, let’s take a look at something heavy, extremely expensive, and ultra-refined: the Bentley Continental GT is opulence defined.
VAD Continental GT
VAD stands for “Vision, Ability, Dedication”. Kind of a wordy name for a company, but their Continental GT widebody is incredibly pleasing to look at. Unlike the riveted battle aero that Muira loves, VAD just amplified the clean lines that Bentley already sculpted. Putting a widebody kit on a really expensive car is cool already, and the fact that they made it look factory-spec is beautiful.
Speaking of bolted-on over-arches, let’s check back in with Liberty Walk, who took a car that abandoned its JDM roots in favor of German engineering, and turned it into a proper tofu-runner.
Liberty Walk Mark V Supra
The Mark V Supra is polarizing, to say the least, but I think everyone can agree that these masterpieces from Liberty Walk capture what we all thought the new Supra should look like, with the incredibly aggressive streamlined fenders to that massive wing that Toyota forgot to put on the factory cars. Honestly, if they made this thing in a manual I might want it more than a Mark 4. Just don’t tell anyone I said that.
Let’s take a break from the present and look at some cars from the past, starting with Vaughn Gittin Jr.’s personal 1969 Mustang.
RTR-X 1969 Mustang
RTR makes some of the absolute coolest Mustangs you can buy, and the RTR-X is no exception. You may have heard of Vaughn before, he’s kind of a big deal in the Formula DRIFT world. And his company RTR, which stands for “Ready to Race”, is no stranger to making cars that really stand out.
We’re keeping it old school with the next entry on our list, with a one-of-a-kind Swedish-built C4 Corvette that looks like something straight out of a vaporwave music video.
Bjork C4 Corvette
It’s got a 180SX front end, custom-built fender flares, an American V8 under the hood, Ferrari-style black stripes, and a custom Porsche color scheme! Oh, and it’s built in Sweden by a guy named Jim Bjork. How’s that for a world car?
The best news is that if you want one, you might be able to build your own. Bjork has said that he plans on making the kit available. Just be sure to grab your C4 ‘Vette now, because they’re actually going up in value.
The next car on our list is another Ford Mustang, but this time it’s a new one, not one from the 60’s, and it has more rivets than an entire WWII fighter plane.
Clinched Mustang Widebody
The Clinched kit is wide, one of the widest on this list, and it looks badass. The ducktail alone should honestly be a stock option. What really makes me want one, even though I’m not a huge S550 fan, is the metric ton of visible mounting hardware. Something about visible rivets makes me think “air combat”, and that makes me happy.
Speaking of combat, it’s possible to take things too far. Take a look at this next thing on our list for instance. We aren’t even sure what to call it.
We wanted to include this on our list because it represents what is possible. You don’t actually need expensive body kits, or to be a smoking, older Japanese man. You just need vision and some elbow grease. What you’re looking at is a C5 Corvette with old Mustang body parts and custom sheet metal fenders.
Both the Mustang and the Corvette were wrecked, so crazy man “Mustang Kyle” combined the two, creating this work of art. It’s mental metal, and he doesn’t care if you hate it.
Speaking of chain-smoking Japanese men, let’s go back to Mr. Kei Miura to take a look at where all the myths got started: the Rocket Bunny S13.
Rocket Bunny S13
We don’t need to tell you what the Nissan 240SX S13 is, and we don’t need to tell you how good they look with wide hips and an aero package. In fact, you probably already know that the S13 is a legendary drift car that’s world-famous for its use all over motorsports and in the custom car world. And the Rocket Bunny kit is one of the most common modifications for the S13.
What we can tell you is what Kei Muira has to say about them. When asked about what his favorite car that he has ever made was, he answered “Definitely the Nissan S13.” There really isn’t more to say about it, you can’t argue with the master himself.
Too bad they’ve gotten so darn expensive, much like the next 90’s JDM legend on our list. The big difference is that this next car got a lot more screen time in Tokyo Drift, which means we’re talking about the Veilside RX-7.
You probably recognize the orange and black Dorito-powered car as Han’s car in the Fast and Furious franchise. What you may not know is that the Veilside RX-7 started out as a show car. It has a Fortune widebody kit and a built 13B rotary under the hood with an HKS turbo, making it one of the few movie cars to actually use a real rotary engine.
And, for a mere $17,000 plus the price of finding an FD RX-7, you can build your own! What if you want something cheaper than an RX7, but that still has tons of prestige? Well, let’s go back to Deutschland for a while, starting with the humble Volkswagen Golf.
Forge Motorsports Golf
The Forge Motorsports Mark One has some of the sickest aero I have ever seen, with a front spoiler that would make Formula One jealous and flared arches covering the widest tires ever installed on an 80’s hatchback. Unlike most cars on our list, this Golf was built by engineers. All the mods are done just to make the car faster, which is one of the most beautiful aesthetics you can get. I’m definitely a function-over-form kind of designer.
The penultimate car on our list is also a classic German car, but unlike the small hatchback, it has a long history in motorsports. We’re talking about the Ultimate Driving Machine, the BMW E30.
Alright, we promise this is the last car on this list designed by Kei Muira, but it’s way too good-looking not to include. The Pandem Widebody E30 gives the boxy 80’s BMWs a bit of extra shape by adding some mountain styling. They really remind me of the iconic BMW E21s that raced during the 80’s and I’m sort of in love with the look.
Let’s get to the final car on our list, which I have a feeling most of you have already guessed.
There are thousands of videos on YouTube that can bring you up to speed on RWB or allow you to just sit and watch Nakai work. It’s honestly a great way to spend an afternoon. Nakai started out by tuning and drifting AE86s while drinking his favorite beer, Stella Artois. One day someone dropped off a clapped-out Porsche 930, and he fell in love. He created a custom body for it, tuned up the engine, gave it a frankly insane 3-pipe exhaust system, and named it after his favorite beer.
That car started a cultural revolution, and Rauh Welt Begriff, that’s RWB, was born. Now, if only I could figure out how to get one.
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