Fender flares will give you the ability for a much wider track than with your standard OEM fenders. Fender flares range from the simple bolt-on types as introduced on the Hakosuka Skyline to the bizarre wide creations of the Group 5 and N2 racing. Zokusha were copying racing designs, hence a lot of the zokusha have giant wide fender flares. I found this Toyota Carina GT-R AA63 from Okinawa on Cartune and it actually featured both N2 and zokusha fender flares. So my question to you: N2 or zokusha fender flares?
I’ll first start with the N2 Style (not to be confused with the N-style) fender flares:
The N2 used to be a one-make racing series in the 1980s and early 1990s where it was based upon the FIA Group N rules. In Japan, the Group N was already driven as the N1 series which later became the Super Taikyu Series. N2 started out as a racing series organized by Toyota to have the Toyota Corolla Levin AE86 and Toyota Sprinter Trueno AE86 compete against each other. Keiichi Tsuchiya, who just graduated from the Fuji Freshman series, wanted to join the series but was denied entry because he wasn’t an established driver yet.
As you can see in the photo above, the N2 race cars have a very distinct look with huge fender flares. I could best describe them as squared-off droplets. They form an aerodynamic shape and probably have more function than form. The Carina today has similarly shaped fender flares, hence I call them N2 style fender flares.
The Carina is a four-door saloon, while the AE86 is a two-door or three-door coupe. This means these fender flares were never meant to be fitted on a car with a rear door. The owner of this Carina cut them to allow the rear door to be opened.
This was the look of the car up until two years ago when it transformed into a zokusha:
Gone are the N2 style fender flares and now a set of plastic moulded zokusha fenders flares is in its place. That’s a big departure from the N2 racing look and a throwback to the earlier Group 5 race cars.
The fenders are at least moulded into the shape of the deep dish SSR Mk I rims and not just a bent sheet of plastic. The latter happens a lot on zokusha.
4A-GE engine with side draft webers
The 4A-GE is retained, but you can see the engine is slanted to the left and it also slopes down a bit. This would indicate that the gearbox has been replaced with a stronger item that required the engine to be tilted a bit. The engine also features a set of double side-draft webers, which will give it an awesome engine note!
So what do you think looks better on a Carina? N2 style or zokusha fender flares?