Or maybe it should be titled 'How one thread changed the retro world'. Rmad is fond of his time machine, mine isn't quite as good, more of a Bond Bug than a Deloreon, so it doesn't go back as far. However that being said it can take you to a vastly different time, a time when the term Bosozoku was virtually unknown, an innocent time.
Today I will give you the story of how one thread changed the retro scene. All the way back in April 2004 there was a thriving Japanese car scene quietly grooving along doing its own thing. In the US this centred around the Datsun 510, which had a legacy from motorsport over there. In Europe the 240Z and 260Z had its fans and there was a small but dedicated following for other Datsuns. The Toyota AE86 was growing in popularity and value world wide off the back of the rising interest in drifting. So there was already a ground swell of interest in Japanese cars, which was starting to float into the general consciousness of the regular retro fan.
If left like this then I have no doubt that interest would have gradually risen. Something else happened. A couple of days into 2004 someone went to a car meeting in a service stop at Diakoku in Yokohama, Japan, and they took some photos, four months later they put up a thread on VWvortex to show off his pictures. That was all, but it was everything.
Here is that thread : http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=1364258&page=1 titled : I'm back Part IV - Old School JDM-ness at Daikoku and even Bosozoku!!! (56k, go make a sandwich)
The thread contained images of cars that a lot of people had never seen before, what’s more it contained images of cars modified in a style that even more people had never seen before. Some were amazed, some fascinated, some disgusted. Everyone had a reaction. VWvortex has a popular forum, a very popular forum, but the posting on there alone wouldn't have been enough to spark a fire of interest across the scene. What happened next was that this thread gradually filtered out and got linked to on other forums and blogs. Suddenly every forum you went into had this link, from Australia to the Ukraine, VW forums, Japanese car forums, drift forums, Alfa Romeo forums. It was everywhere.
Suitably inspired people went off to find out what it was all about, to find more pictures of this type of car. Each gallery discovered heralded more links to explore and fish our way around, clicking on everything because we couldn't speak Japanese. In addition to finding more picture of Bosozoku style cars a lot of people also discovered the more restrained style of modifications, what is commonly called shakotan style, so started posting those up, particularly when people were ridiculing the bosozoku style.
Each time these things got posted they often required a little explination and soon the scene became aware of terms like bosozoku, grachan (originally incorrectly called garuchan), shakotan and even decotora. Suitably inspired people have started building rides in this style outside of Japan. Other people had their eyes drawn to the shakotan style cars and have gone out and bought cars to build. The general profile of older Japanese cars has risen and the speed of its rise can, at least in part, be attributed to a single thread.
So next time you are out and about taking photos of interesting things, you never know what fire you might spark!
The original directory of images is here as well as a second set here
PS: If "VadGTI" ever reads this; Thank you!