Japan in the 1980s was going through its best economic time known as the Bubble Economy. This flourishing period brought alot of demand for Japanese luxury cars. Holiday Auto Magazine named it the “Haiso Car Boom.” The word “haiso” or ハイソ being compound word using the english words “High Society.”

Nissan Gloria Y30 showing haiso styling at the time on Ray’s Engineering Super Volks, Gains fender trim and other haiso features.

These young delinquents that were into these luxury cars would buy them and turn them into fashionable yet somewhat tacky kaido racers.

There are many style levels within a modified haiso car. The mildest form of haiso is a mostly stock car, slightly lowered and fancy wheels. It might also include an antenna or two. This style takes inspiration from old undercover police cars and even Yakuza.

On the other, more exaggerated side of the spectrum of this style takes on styling cues from Chibaragi, but tones them down at the wheels and fitment. The addition of spoilers, vents, and bright and shiny paint jobs is what distinguishes itself from the more conservative specification.

Toyota Mark II hardtop with AC Courreges theme, fender spoiler, Hiro body kit and other haiso accessories.
Toyota Mark II hardtop with aftermarket aero, Rays Engineering Super Volk wheels, chrome fender trim and Toyota Crown grill.

White on White is the most notorious spec among haiso enthusiasts. The opposite of being murdered-out, the car is usually a white base and sports a set of white aero wheels such as Hiro V1 or V1R, Rays Super Volks, and Enkei Aeronautics.

Toyota Crown MS135 showing later haiso before it turned into VIP, running a monoblock type wheel (possibly Weds Farmas or Zauber Starform) and an antenna

Haiso was to the 1980s as VIP was to the 1990s. In the early days of VIP, it took a lot of cues from haiso and kaido racers in general. Haiso can be considered the precursor to VIP. The one thing that heavily differentiated VIP from haiso in the beginning was the diameter of the wheel. It has been speculated that around 1992, car enthusiasts in Japan were transitioning from 14 and 15 inch wheels to much larger 17 and soon 18 inch wheels. The release of new larger and rounder luxury cars also differentiated them. That’s not to say you can’t do up a Lexus LS400 or a 1990s Toyota Crown in Haiso fashion. Though it was clear that everything was getting bigger; the cars, the wheels, and the bodykits. VIP was the new style trend on the block and it was here to stay.

Gold Rush Customs haiso Toyota Cresta with custom aero

Gold Rush Customs has also re-invented the haiso look with a more modern take of the classic style. Hiro body kits are incorporated, but also with a flair of chibagrai. Many of the cars feature more creature comforts like air cups or airbag suspension. Gold Rush Customs also creates new parts for their customers like new over fenders, new cladding, and other new custom fiberglass work.

Haiso Style Guidelines:

No excessive camber
Wheels below 7.5j
Wheel no larger than 16in
Wheels tucked in under the fender well, no fender to lip fitment.
Minimal to no Stretch

Popular Bases

Toyota GX61-GX81/Cressida
Toyota Crown
Toyota Soarer
Nissan 430, Y30 (Cedric and Gloria)
Nissan Laurel
Honda Prelude 2nd Gen
Daihatsu Mira and Suzuki Alto

Popular Wheels

Hiro V1 & V1R
Rays Super Volk
Fin Style wheels
Enkei Aeronautics
Volk Wire Wheels
Fortecs Imperials
Weiser wire wheels
Bridgestone Dandismo
Cragar SS
Zauber Dish

Popular Accessories

Pearls strands
Light up Deck Speakers
Light up Stereo Unit
Lace Curtains
Lace Seat Covers
Tulip Ashtray
Velour Dash Cover
Fancy pedal Covers
Resin shift knob
AC cup holder
Love Lights
Woodgrain steering wheel smaller than 330mm
Trunk Antennas
Boomerang Antenna
Chopstick antennas
Chrome fender trim
Lonza Smoked Taillight covers
Gains Chrome Side Steps

Exterior Aero

MR2 Vent
Slit Mask
Bonnet Scoop
Fender Spoiler

Popular Clothing brands associated

Renoma Paris
Michiko London