The idea behind Carmashups.com is to take two cars, mashup their looks and specifications to create a totally new car. The cars used don’t necessarily have to be from two different brands even two different models by the same brand. So it could well be that you would encounter a car mashup of two cars by the same brand on this site. The what if makes it more fun, right?
Carmashups is currently developed, created, hosted and run by one single person. I’m better known as Banpei and have a long track record in the so called Japanese car scene. It all started in 2004 when I founded AEU86, a community for the European AE86 owners. In 2007 I started blogging on my own private blog banpei.net, but soon realised some of my tastes were too excentric and started another blog called bosozoku-style, covering the weird kaido racer and zokusha car styling from the 70s till 90s. That kind of took off and I even had the pleasure of creating a bosozoku style coloringbook!
My son enjoying his own personal coloring book for bad boys!
In the past few years I switched from blogging to video creation on Youtube, where I created over 100 videos so far. Not all of them are great, but I think some of them are awesome (doing a flat run on the German Autobahn in my AE86) and some others are very interesting to watch to begin with (Manga reading and the Lite Ace Wagon brochure review).
So yeah, in the past I had some crazy ideas that I managed to turn into something for future generations. I know have a bit of a different view on the world and look differently to things around me, which tends to make me more creative with all sorts of ideas in my head. Once I get creative in my head, I can get into an urge to actually make it reality and write everything down in small little booklets that I carry around everywhere I go. Most of the time the brain-dumps never come out again from these little booklets, except for the very few good ones like this. Or at least, I hope that this actually becomes a great idea… 😉
Carmashups is a website that takes two different cars and mashes them up to create a totally new car. The inspiration for this came from various sources: kaido racers / zokusha and also the children’s book Crocopotamus by Mary Murphy. The latter became a good inspiration as the children’s book flips open on both left and right side, so you can mix and match the front and back of an animal.
This book gave me the eureka moment!
Carmashups actually have been around for quite some time. Subaru and Toyota gave us the BRZ and GT86, Toyota and BMW the Supra and Z4, Mazda and Fiat the MX-5 and 124 Spider, Mazda and Suzuki the AZ-1 and Cara. These are just a couple of examples of cars that were designed and built by two independent manufacturers, but shared a majority of the body and components of the car. Also in the late 80s, Nissan produced the Silvia and 180SX, which Kids Heart mashed together as the Sil80. Also in the zokusha/kaido racer scene, also known as bosozoku style, it was common to swap parts between cars to make a whole new creation. Popular mods included Skyline or Cherry X1-R tail lights swaps, Laurel C130 head light swaps and sometimes the full front section would be replaced with another car.
So would you call this a Nissan Lauline or a Skyrel?
And then there is Mitsuoka. Oh yes, Mitsuoka… Mitsuoka is an obscure Japanese car manufacturer who, most of the times, takes an existing production vehicle and dress it up as a neo-classic American or British car. A good example of their abilities would be the Mitsuoka Le-Seyde that acutally is a Nissan Silvia S13 that is styled after the Panther De Ville, which is coincidentally also a neo-classic styled after the Bugatti Royale.
Both the Panther De Ville and the Mitsuoka Le-Seyde are neo-classic car mashups?
The Mitsuoka Le-Seyde isn’t exactly what I had in mind with Carmashups though. I think the other creations by Mitsuoka are a much better fit, like the Mitsuoka Ray that is a mashup of the Riley Elf and a Mazda Carol. (second generation used the Daihatsu Gino)
East meets west is quite literally true for this car! A Mazley Carelf? No, it’s a Mitsuoka Ray!
Why only Japanese cars?
My background is Japanese cars: I like them a lot and, in general, the Japanese domestic market models tend to have bizarre names. Take for instance the Daihatsu Cuore: it means heart in Italian, however the Cuore also has a domestic model called Social featuring a boot instead of a hatchback. The Cuore Social was also sold in the trim level Savant, which makes it by far one of the weirdest car names in history: were they really loving a social incapable of social incapable person? I really need to do a video on that particular car some time in the future…
Anyway, the Japanese car names can be weird, so having this mashup of car names and trim levels still makes sense: a Nisda Cedvanna Brougham Limited sounds like a totally viable car from Japan, right? And another reason is obviously the examples given above that the mix-and-match is already part of the Japanese car culture.
That being said, there is no rule here why we shouldn’t include non-Japanese cars. Toyota partnered with BMW to create the Z4 based Supra, they also teamed up with PSA (Peugeot and Citroen) to create the Aygo/108/C1. In other words: if you have a good suggestion and explain why I really should include your choice of non-Japanese car, please send it to me via the Suggestion box.