Japan has one of the most diverse and well-established car modification cultures in the world. Rebellious Japanese youngsters first started to modify their cars for many of the same reasons American teenagers did. Car modification allows you to build a vehicle that is truly yours: to own the landscape and express frustration with sterile and prescriptive culture. Car cultures tend to bleed into one another globally. American and European car modification enthusiasts started to import and modify Japanese vehicles in the 1970s. It was during this decade that the Japanese car industry really started to rival the Detroit giants in the production of reasonably priced, easily modified vehicles.
Today, Japanese cars are some of the most popular vehicles for modification all around the world. Some of the best cars for modification have remained surprisingly cheap. Here is a rundown of some of the best (and most affordable) Japanese mod-ready cars.
Mitsubishi Eclipse GST
The Mitsubishi Eclipse is a pocket rocket that turns heads when modified with aftermarket parts and can be teased into producing extremely silly amounts of power. Made famous in the Fast And Furious series of films, the Eclipse is still surprisingly affordable. Because of how popular this car is as a modification platform, there are plenty of incredible aftermarket additions available – so long as you find a good auto parts delivery company able to ship from Japan. Before buying parts from abroad, compare shipping costs using an aggregation site like https://www.shiply.com/us/vehicle-delivery/auto-parts-delivery. Non-modified eclipses still turn up for around 4000 dollars in relatively decent condition.
The MX-5 is the world’s best selling sports car, with almost one million of these diminutive little two-door roadsters having been sold by 2011. Due to their popularity and subsequent cheap second-hand price, these vehicles have become cherished as starting points for some of the wildest modifications ever seen. The most desirable MX-5 models for modification are the late 1990s iterations, which were smaller and lighter than more modern rehashes. The stock MX-5 sits low to the ground and looks extremely zippy even before the addition of any of the many thousands of aftermarket aesthetic parts available. MX-5 aftermarket parts don’t stop at aesthetic additions. There are plenty of ways to tease more power out of the modest stock engines these cars were shipped with. Mazda MX-5 models are some of the most popular cars suited to DIY turbo modification.
Nissan 240 SX
While not as famous as the Skyline series of vehicles, the 240 SX is one of the best value Nissan sports cars for modification enthusiasts. The stock engine can easily be modified to create around 600 horsepower – a somewhat terrifying prospect! With classic JDM boxy looks, the 240 SX is the perfect car for an aspiring drift racer looking to tear up the track on slick tires. While not exactly cheap, this car will be kinder to your pockets than some of the more prestigious sport-oriented Japanese cars.
There you have it; some of the most affordable Japanese cars suitable for modification.