The above shot packs just about as much awesome into a photo as can be packed. My camera rightfully should have just burned up when I pointed it at these items.
I can’t believe I actually have this and get to blog about it!!!
But first, some back story.
I’m Instagram buddies with Jun Imai, Hot Wheels designer and extremely awesome individual. He’s designed a good chunk of my favorite 1/64 scale cars of all time. “Most” would be a safe description. The Porsche 935 from the ROADRCR series might just be my favorite, however Jun is more widely known for his JDM Hot Wheels designs.
Anyways, Instagram. Jun posts pix of his Kaido House fleet and I fav them. They’re lovely. His cars just have so much soul, especially the 240Z. And thanks to that Z, I’m doing this blog post. He was modifying it recently – had it stripped down to be deep-cleaned and then built back up with a bit of weight loss on the mind. A bunch of interior parts were sorted out on the driveway in one photo.
I immediately sent Jun a DM and asked him if he’d like a set of Sharka’s Door Straps. A few other Z car guys have bought them and reported that they fit. Jun happily accepted and mentioned he’d send something in return. I packed up the straps and a custom keychain and mailed them off. I honestly didn’t want anything for it. I’ve collected so many of Jun’s Hot Wheel designs. Just getting to share one of my parts with someone who’s art has given me such joy was FAR more than enough.
Jun posted a pic of the parts with a very kind note of thanks and mentioned that the SSR keychain I sent would be perfect for his 510 Wagon. I smiled about that for days. That was enough for me. Life was good. Sharka and THE 510 Kaido House Wagon had the same keychain. Can you say “geek out?”
A couple weeks later, I received a small box.
Just… look at it. This would have blown me away by itself. The Mad Manga is high on my list of favorite Hot Wheels. This sketch is very much a brother to that car. Such glorious Bosozoku style.
I need to frame this. But the frame needs to be large enough for one other item.
This. A custom Kenmeri Skyline. My custom Skyline.
It’s sitting next to me right now as I type this. I’m glancing between it and the screen trying to find words.
I have no words.
It looks to have started life as a white Kenmeri. It has layers and layers of paint, rust, scratches, weathering, and graphics. At first glance, it looks dirty. Upon close inspection, the details just smack you in the face.
There’s at least three layers of very realistic, peeled and weathered paint. There’s rust here and there. The hood has IN SCALE scratches on the front. And the custom graphics. It’s astounding.
Red bumpers. A blue fender. Rusty exhaust. Rusty center hubs. And that 5.
The original wheels are swapped with extremely tiny ones. They’re quite narrow and are offset equally to stick out just the right amount. And on top of that (below?) the whole car is lowered. It rolls – barely.
It has presence. I have never seen anything like it. This car is art.
I’m still at a loss for words. I sent the man some door straps. Nothing special. Well, the keychain was a little special. But to receive such a gift in return? No words. Just none at all.
Thank you again Jun. I hope to meet up someday soon so Sharka and the Kaido Z can roll together.
First tank is on me.