Muscle cars, swangers, supercars and off-roaders – these are the car cultures you’ve heard of.
But if you dig deeper into the subcultures, you can find some seriously unique car scenes that fly under the radar.
So, here are six of the most unique car scenes from across the world you might not have heard about.
Japan is home to one of the most unique and quirky car cultures – from drifting to kei cars.
But did you know about the bosozoku sub-culture?
Cars modified in this style wear the most outlandish mods you’ve possibly ever seen.
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Born of youth motorbike gangs in the 1950s, these adrenaline junkies took inspiration from American greaser culture.
Everything is taken to the extreme with bosozoku – massively tall exhausts, bright lights, vibrant paint colours, and insane body kits with meters-long front splitters.
Thailand: Crazy modified 4x4s
Something many US readers might not know is how prolific a car manufacturer Thailand is.
Mitsubishi, Toyota, Isuzu, Ford, and other manufacturers build many of their pickup trucks and 4x4s there.
Most are sent to the Australian and south-east Asian market.
The Isuzu D-Max is one of the most commonly modded pickups you’ll see there.
Thai tuners appear to take inspiration from Japanese car mods when it comes to the wheels, colours, and decals they opt for.
You’ll see some really crazy ones which throw it back with scissor doors and neon-colored paint under the bonnet.
And there’s even this totally insane turbo-charged rice tractor – trust us you want to watch the video of it.
South Africa: Spinners
When it comes to spinner culture in South Africa, mainly in Johannesburg, it’s less about the cars and more about the stunts.
Mainly old BMWs, and spinners are built locally in South Africa.
Being rear-wheel drive and lightweight makes them ideal for doing donuts – and that’s important because the whole culture centers around doing massive donuts.
Spinning isn’t just about the donuts.
Midway through the donut, drivers will pull crazy stunts outside the vehicle.
Climbing up onto the roof, hopping out onto the ground next to it and leaning all the way out the window… it’s madness.
It’s also an incredibly fun spectacle to witness.
Safe to say, spinners have some serious skill behind the wheel – or rather, not behind the wheel.
Australia: Locally-made muscle cars
If you live in Australia, you’ll be well aware of the country’s homegrown car culture.
You probably even learned to drive in a Holden or Ford.
Ford invented the coupe utility – which is called a ‘ute’ – in 1934.
The brand’s longest-lasting and most popular models were the Commodore (1978-2020) and Falcon (1960-2016).
Through the models being raced in touring car series across Australia, Holden and Ford fans developed fierce rivalries.
Defined by rear-wheel-drive platforms and big V8 engines, these four-door muscle cars were designed to handle the unique Aussie roads and environment better than anything else.
The Holden Commodore was exported to America and the Middle East at brief points, badged as either a Chevrolet or Pontiac.
Cuba: 1950s American cars
For fans of classic American cars, the roads of Cuba would be heaven on Earth.
While cars were imported from America into Cuba for around 50 years since the start of the 20th century, Fidel Castro put in place a US trade embargo after the Cuban Revolution.
This banned the importation not only of American cars, but parts to keep them going.
However, this didn’t stop handy, resourceful Cubans from keeping their old cars on the road.
Making replacement parts from scratch, the roads of Cuba are now lined with 1950s American cars.
It’s one of the most unique car cultures in the world, and its roads make it feel like a time capsule.
However, since 1959, some foreign cars were imported to mix it up – mostly Russian and Chinese brands.
From the country that brought you Volvo and Saab, you wouldn’t expect a car culture surrounding the greaser movement and ’50s American rides.
But that’s exactly what Sweden’s raggare scene is driven by.
Raggare is all about hot rods, blaring rockabilly music, loose denim jeans, leather jackets, and work boots.
Although cheap American V8-powered cars like the Pontiac Bonneville are most common, many old European cars are modified to look more American as well.
Doing that is easy – just add a set of tail fins, some steelies or five-spoke wheels, and a bit of patina.
This is probably the last thing you expected from the sensible Swedes, but it’s flying.