If you take a step back and look at everything Hironao Yokomaku has accomplished in his career, you quickly realise how wild of a ride it’s been for him.
And now, the VeilSide founder is back, using his decades of experience in a new approach to car customisation.
Yokomaku-san started his first tuning business in his 20s, and throughout the 1980s was single-handedly building drag cars for events held at Sendai Hi-Land and Central Circuit’s main straight. Back then it was all about the Nissan L-series engine. First he was extracting as much power as possible from carburetted NA versions, but Yokomaku-san soon progressed and began experimenting with forced induction, fuel injection and nitrous oxide.
Yokomaku-san was, and still is an engine builder at heart, but in 1990, with Japan in the midst of its economic bubble, he stepped his game up and opened VeilSide to offer a lot more. Yokomaku’s customers wanted to go fast, but at the same time they wanted their cars to look the part. His idea was to craft custom body kits for popular JDM performance cars, starting off with the usual bumper, side skirt and spoiler package. Ultimately though, this evolved to complete conversions with a unique, identifiable style.
For a decade, this methodology went hand in hand with Japan’s drag racing, high speed trial and street racer movement. Then, at the beginning of the 2000s, VeilSide famously hooked up with the Fast & Furious movie franchise.
It then went a little crazy for Yokomaku-san. VeilSide’s newfound fame outside of Japan saw a slight shift in direction; think Pimp My Ride Ibaraki-style, but using brand new luxury cars as a base.
On my second or third visit to VeilSide’s HQ in Tsukuba city, Yokomaku-san threw me the keys to a Bentley Continental and an H2 Hummer. I was confused, but the overseas tuning magazines I was shooting for at the time couldn’t get enough of it. Back then, I even shot a pink Mini and a Dodge Magnum for the VeilSide catalogue.
The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift brought what I’d probably call the final wave of international success for VeilSide. The company’s ‘Fortune’ RX-7, NSX and 350Z were also the last cars I shot.
When the orders for Fortune kits eventually began to dry up, things weren’t looking great financially for Yokomaku-san. Personal issues made the situation even tougher, and the business was wound right down. Over the course of a few years, the bodyshop was closed, a number of demo cars were sold off, and VeilSide’s iconic showroom became a makeshift workshop.
The New VeilSide
But now, at the age of 60, Yokomaku-san is back. Or at least he’s trying to become relevant in today’s customisation world, beginning with a VeilSide ‘complete car’ version of the A90 Supra – the VFS90R.
Building VeilSide back up will be no easy feat for Yokomaku-san, but he believes there are customers out there who want a real bespoke look for their cars.
And with every exterior panel except the roof having been redesigned with this A90 conversion, you’re definitely getting something special.
Let’s get the price out of the way first. The FRP version of the conversion will cost you ¥2.4m in Japan, which with the yen having devalued in recent months equates to around US$18,500. Go for the carbon fiber version and the cost goes up to ¥3.0m, or the equivalent of US$23,300.
That doesn’t include the cost of the deep-dish Veilside 20-inch wheels, which measure 10-inch wide up front and 12.5-inch at the rear. These take 255/35R20 and 345/25R20 rubber, front and rear respectively.
There’ll definitely be no issues with traction.
For ultimate functionality and looks, Yokomaku-san has put this first customer car on air suspension.
Girth For Days
At the rear the pumped hips have added substantial girth, so much so that the car now measures a whopping 2,073mm (6.8ft) across!
While the front fenders are direct replacements for the stock items – moulded partly with the hood, which is dictated by how the front end of the A90 is structured – the rears are massive bolt-on over-fenders that extend right into the side skirts and doors.
The rear bumper gets a redesign too, with a contrasting lower section that gives the visual look of a diffuser. I quite like the integration of an F1-style fog light.
HKS supplied the titanium exhaust system, which is not crazy-loud, but does enhance the sound of the boosted straight six as well as giving a snappier punch to the crackles and pops on overrun. Otherwise, the engine in this car is stock.
While I was snapping away, Yokomaku-san grabbed his first shots of the finished car himself.
I have to say, the VeilSide A90 looks far wilder in person than any image can convey. The proportions are exaggerated in every direction, but somehow it all comes together cohesively.
My favorite piece has to be the extended ducktail spoiler that kicks back high above the hatch.
The VFS90R won the ‘Dress Up’ category at the Tokyo Auto Salon in January, which is a big deal and the best possible way Yokomaku-san could make a comeback.
By customer request, the car’s other modifications have been kept simple.
You’ll find an embroidered VeilSide logo on the stock seat headrests and branded padding for the seat belts.
Lift the hatch and you’re greeted by the air suspension system’s compressor, tank and control unit.
While the Veilside VFS90R is not going to appeal to all A90 owners, I find it great that a wild conversion like this is still a thing.
The design brings back some of that ’90s VeilSide magic that I think the modern customising world lacks right now. I’m really interested to see what else Yokomaku-san comes up with, but as he confirmed to me, VeilSide’s future will definitely include a complete car conversion for the new Nissan Z. And, like with all of his other creations, Yokomaku-san will use his own hands to do the initial shaping work. It’s the VeilSide way.