A Japanese customizer is bringing the American muscle aesthetic to kei vans, which is either brilliant or a travesty depending on where you stand. Gibson, a manufacturer of body kits and custom parts for a wide variety of vehicles, found inspiration in the iconic muscle cars and translated it into its miniature creations.
The company's latest project brings the face of the 1969 Camaro SS to the humble Suzuki Every kei van. The tiny goods vehicle combines diminutive size and a tiny 0.65-liter three-cylinder engine with impressive storage space. They're cheap due to Japan's tax structure for smaller vehicles, but also highly practical for whipping goods around Japan's packed streets.
Every SS conversion kit completely reworks the face of the van. It includes new panels for the front fenders and hood, along with a new grille and bumper, complete with a chin spoiler. It also includes the round headlights that are so crucial to the Camaro SS look, along with a set of round indicators to match. The grille even wears a little SS badge, too.
Gibson also manufactures the Every MAX kit which offers similar Camaro-esque looks, but with a more rugged focus. The primary difference is the front bumper, which features a raised center section to provide greater ground clearance. It can be optioned with a bumper guard and skidplate for additional protection when driving off-road. It also eschews the SS badge.
It's no accident that Gibson chose to recreate the '69 Camaro SS on the Suzuki Every. The Suzuki Every and its sibling, the Carry, featured round headlights in the past to incredibly cute effect. Plus, the '69 is perhaps the most gorgeous Camaro ever built. Chevrolet has fumbled the bag on more recent Camaros, in particular the 2019 model, though it later righted that wrong.
The kei car modding community in Japan is a vibrant one. Just as Gibson is exploring the retro space, other builders are cribbing design inspiration from classic VW buses and the Chevy Bel Air. At times the culture even feeds back to the manufacturers; we've seen Daihatsu explore wild concepts with its kei cars before.
It's always great to see the fruits of custom car scenes around the world. Japan has a long history of taking American styling tropes to new places, and throwing a Camaro face on a compact work van certainly qualifies in this category. Of course, where some see a genius mashup, others will decry the Camaro's heritage ending up on a simple van. Either way, we're just dying to see Gibson throw a small block Chevy in the cargo area to give the Every SS the grunt it deserves.
Got a tip? Let the author know: email@example.com