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Kustom From Japan: Paradise Road [VIDEO]

Junichi Shimodaira founded Paradise Road in 1987 by just as Mooneyes started putting on the Street Car Nationals hot rod show and more parts became available from America. Junichi had visited Southern California years earlier and gained a fondness for American style custom cars. Prior to Mooneyes and Junichi’s shop, the custom American car scene in Japan was fairly small and limited to only mild customs. Most enthusiasts at that time customized Japanese domestic cars. After Junichi visited the Paso Robles kustom show Cruisin’ Nationals in California, he was inspired to create his own style of lowrider inspired hot rods.

One car that gained fame and ended up staying in the United States is, Rod Riguez. The hot rod features lowrider accessories blended with 1960’s space age body mods to create a low hot rod. It was brought over to California to attend several shows including the Grand National Roadster Show and Cruisin’ Nationals in Paso Robles. Currently, aside from customer projects, Junichi has built the next evolution of Rod Riguez, the Galaxian; a kustom hot rod in form, but a lowrider in style. The shop also features tons of memorabilia scattered throughout the shop floor and walls. As one of the originators of the custom American car scene in Japan, Paradise Road helped gain prominence as an early Mooneyes dealer in Nagoya. Visiting the shop is truly a snapshot of both Japanese and American custom car history.

Kustom From Japan is a 7-part series, watch the next video.

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