Is nothing sacred?
A walk on the wild side
Imagine this. You have Lamborghini Murcielago.
But you’re bored. You’d like to give your Italian stallion, or rather bull (albeit one that’s maybe a little long in the tooth) a breath of new life. Automotive viagra if you will. What do you do? Where do you go? Modena? Sant’Agata? No Nagoya.
Home town not only of NGK spark plugs, sponsors of Torque, but more significantly in this instance, home of Liberty Walk. Car customisers extraordinaire.
Founded in 1993 by Kato-san, a 1,000 octane petrolhead, Liberty Walk has gained a global reputation for creating some truly eye popping re-works of, what would be for many, cars that are already regarded as beautiful beyond compare. The sensuous Ferrari 458 Italia being just one example. But for Kato-san he sees such cars as a canvass upon which he can stamp his own unique mark, and the the mark of the owner too.
After all who needs yet another red Ferrari when there are thousands out there already?
Liberty Walk first hit the radar big time when they had the temerity to take a Murcielago and shall we say, spice it up a bit, which bearing in mind it already had scissor doors, four wheel drive and a brutal V12, spice was not what many people had thought the Lamborghini actually needed.
But Kato-san did. And what rolled out of the workshop was the precursor of what you see at the top of the page. A Murcielago makeover. A Lambo on steroids.
Already mad, bad and dangerous to know, the Murcielago now took on an even more menacing persona that left the onlooker in no doubt at all as to this car’s intentions. And they weren’t honourable. Not even close.
LB’s particular visual signature is the crafting of what they call over fenders. Muscular bulges to cover what are normally already fully developed biceps. This is not of course a new idea. The classic that springs to our mind is the Alfa Romeo Giulia 1300 GTA which had a similar treatment. And that was no ugly duckling to start off with either.
Along with over fenders, LB develop a full body kit addressing any area of the car that they feel can be improved. No stone is left unturned in their quest for serious street presence. And as we said earlier no car, however humble or proud, mundane or exotic is excluded.
So along with kits for Murcielagos, Gallardos and Aventadors, they have an “upgrade” for the 458, as well as the Nissan GTR and not forgetting the Toyota Prius!
We know that for some people this could well be considered sacrilegious, an affront, even an abomination.
But that Mad Max meets Arnold Schwarzenegger looks does grow on you. You could never call it pretty (except when Kato-san does pink, yes pink!), but we like that tricked for track look. It’s like you’ve decided on the spur of the moment to go racing. Got out the pop riveter. Slapped on some arch extensions. Fitted racing rubber off you’ve gone and won Le Mans. Awesome thought!
But that of course would be belittling this man’s obsession to detail. And there’s no way we would do that. Acquired taste perhaps but anyone who can make a Prius look like its been hewn from weapons grade titanium has to get your vote. Let alone a Ferrari 458.
The automotive establishment in Italy may still be undecided about this Japanese interloper who has dared to play with fire, molesting their masterpieces. But have a look at this video and you’ll see that the man in the street is mighty impressed.
Who says spaghetti and sushi don’t go together?
Published on 4th August 2014