One of the great things about Japan and its car culture is that it plays host to some of the most unusual and unique vehicle trends in the world. Whether it’s neon-clad Lamborghinis or luxury sedans with insane negative camber, the country always seems to have something new up its sleeve. One of the most surprising trends is track-ready, full-size Dodge vans called Dajibans, and the video above presents a great look at these absurd machines.
This isn’t the first time we’ve covered these racing Dodge vans, but it’s a subculture too awesome not to merit a second look. For one thing, just as American fans of Japanese cars here like to use JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) parts on their cars, the owners of these Dodges like to use American parts. Many of the vans feature Little Tree air fresheners inside and even have Spectre air filters on the intakes. Who would’ve thought there would be a market for Autozone’s bread and butter auto accessories? Plus, these vans get some other impressive mods. Notice that some vans that appear to have stock metal bumpers, but they’re actually fiberglass replicas in the original shape and given a chrome-like paint job.
The video’s host, an Australian drift fanatic named Alexi who lives in Japan and runs website called Noriyaro.com, gets some great onboard footage, too. One of the vans he rides along in is powered by a generally stock 318 Dodge V8, and still has the original automatic transmission and column shifter. Impressively, the driver manages to manually shift it without grabbing the wrong gear, and even rev matches the shifts. Alexi explains that the driver can catch neutral in-between gears three and two, so there’s a brief moment where he can blip the throttle.
There’s even more information in the video, and it’s all fantastic fun to watch. If you decide you haven’t seen enough of Dajibans, you can also check out our previous post on it, which is more polished and provides some history and context to the trend.