The Art of Jun Imai

Artwork by Jun Imai.

Back in 2015, I shared photos of my original Kaido Racer by Jun Imai. And a lot has happened since then.

Back story you need: I’m huge into Hot Wheels and have spent years collecting them. Through the magic of Instagram, I became friends with Jun Imai, an ex-Hot Wheels designer who made most of my favorite tiny diecast cars. Click that link above for more info.

Jun now shares his 1:1 and 1:64 artwork with the world via his Instagram page.

Sharka’s horn button.

Close Up.

In 2019, I had the chance to collaborate with Jun and produce some KAIDOHOUSE horn buttons for him. These are super limited buttons available only though his KAIDOHOUSE*GARAGE instagram page. I’ve done four or five different colorways and have had a blast working on these.

Sharka got his own KAIDOHOUSE button. It looks pretty tasty on the Watanabe Falcon.

In payment for these horn button shipments, Jun has sent me cars and artwork. And those are the stars of this blog post.

The Miatas.

To my knowledge, these are the only Card Art Miatas Jun has ever done. I own the blue one and I gave the red one to an extremely deserving individual and one of my best friends. But I shot some pix of it before shipping it off.

“Card Art?” you might be asking.

Sharka.

CARD ART. Just look at it. That’s Sharka, beautifully illustrated on the back of this 1st Edition blue NA Miata.

The hood, the hardtop, the wheels and the stripe. It’s Sharka.

This sits on a special shelf right above my design computer’s laptop. It is my very favorite piece of artwork.

The red Miata.

The red Miata features more stock-like body work, no hardtop, but still the same white stripe. It belongs to a very good home.

You can see more of these gorgeous KAIDO Card Art examples on the KAIDOHOUSE*SHOP instagram page. Each features the hand-made hang tag with zip tie securing the Sterling protector. The front of each card has a KAIDO*HOUSE holofoil stamp. They’re truly beautiful.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Front Card Art.

This 510 is, I believe, the first card art Jun drew on the front of a card. It hangs proudly in my autographed car collection.

Ignore the small helper cars propping up the KAIDO.

The KAIDO Miata.

This is the crown jewel – a custom Miata made by Jun.

My wife found this car out hunting one day. It was one of the first red NA Miatas to hit the pegs locally. The timing was really good as I was finishing a run of horn buttons to ship off, so this Miata got packed up with them. I had no idea it would turn into THIS incredible beauty.

I have opened it up only once, to take the following photos.

KAIDO*MIATA

KAIDO*MIATA

Everything about this is pure art. From the respray and custom water slide graphics to the custom Coval Displays case. It’s stunning.

The Miata is lowered, riding on deep 4 spoke Real Riders, and just covered in detail. Every angle reveals something new. I’m actually staring at it while typing this, noticing new things.

Stunning.

Buddies.

These two look amazing together. I can’t believe I own them.

I’m sorry for such a gushing fanboy blog post. I wish I had some sort of deep insight or more compelling narrative to share. But I had to share these photos. The cars and art are too beautiful to keep to myself.

Thanks again for all the 1:64 scale joy, Jun!! I can’t wait to collaborate on more projects.

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  • BW says:

    Adam,

    You sure find some cool stuff!

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