Halfway Cambered – Bee Dragon Crown Majesta
This metallic orange JZS171 Crown Majesta was what first gave Bee Dragon’s Imamura-san his big break in the VIP world. This is one form-breaking car with crazy camber that we had to feature. Our visit to Bee Dragon was more of a mission than anything. We wanted to get a deeper understanding of the whole VIP movement, a style that has been around for decades but one that is probably gone through the most evident evolution of any other car scene around. Imamura-san, the guy behind Bee Dragon, is currently seen as an innovator in VIP circles.
He continues to have the deepest respect for the original way of doing things, but has injected a certain flair into the cars that he builds which has won him international recognition. Sitting right on the ground with copious amounts of negative camber, this metallic orange JZS171, displayed at the Tokyo Auto Salon, looks like nothing anyone has ever seen, let alone in the VIP world.
The Shape Of VIP
Imamura explains how VIP has branched off in so many different schools of thought, so many in fact that it’s hard to differentiate any more. What Taketomi-san at Junction Produce began all those years ago is still very much a popular style, where things are kept simple with a black exterior riding low on big silver rims. That look is still very widespread, but even Junction Produce has begun to evolve and experiment, now even moving onto import cars like the Rolls Royce Phantom, the Mercedes Benz S-class and even the Porsche Panamera.
As Imamura says, no matter what you do with your sedan, the end result should always be a menacing looking car, one that attracts attention and even shocks for its extreme looks and sound. So you can kind of understand where the whole onikyan or demon camber thing has come from.
Initially onikyan was a simple, and at times unwanted, effect of slamming a car to the ground, until someone wondered, ‘What if we make it even more evident?’ This particular style has split away in its own direction with people taking it to the very limit of practicality, some managing to get up to -30º on the rear wheels.
Then there are those that, on top of the defining factors of VIP-specific mods, go wild on interior and exterior customization, a somewhat show-oriented movement that has really grown in popularity over the years.
What Imamura-san at Bee Dragon likes to do however, is fuse all these ideas and build cars with his own interpretation of what VIP style should be. The Crown Majesta is the perfect example, a car that maintains that link with the VIP world but merges it with a kaido and street racer look. Imamura wanted the car to appeal to those who are more inclined towards the performance side of tuning, make the car’s looks stand out thanks to a unique stance.
Smooth And Low
The way a car sits is very important and this JZS171 has received a lot of custom work to the front and rear fenders to allow the 18-inch Altstadt Type 1 wheels to sit just right. With the Blade adjustable suspension set to their lowest possible height, Imamura sculpted the flares around the tyres, widening the car 4 cm to the front and 8 cm at the rear. This was all done in metal, with no FRP to be seen, including the widening of the rear doors around where they meet the wheel arch line.
A full K-Break aero kit followed next, made up of front and rear bumpers and a set of side skirts. Imamura took a hint from the more show-car oriented VIP school of thought and painted the car in a custom-mixed metallic orange. Obligatory tinting of the windows followed, as well as a light dark coat on both the headlight and taillights.
The Altstadt 2-piece rims were sprayed in bronze on the lip part and dark metallic silver for the center part. This was done before they were fitted with massively stretched Toyo Proxies T1Rs tyres, 215/40 R18 on the 10J front rims, 255/35 R18 on the 11.5J rears.
Fenders And Arches
Imamura has gone for the more extreme shorudazura look, where the tyre is flush with the blistered fenders, while the lips of the wheels stick out quite visibly. The car doesn’t run on air suspension, so it’s low all the time. To make sure that there is virtually as little suspension travel as possible, so as not to bottom out, Imamura has fitted 28 kg/mm springs at the front and rock solid 50 kg/mm ones at the rear!
Aside from the virtually unsilenced quad-tail pipe exhaust there are no modifications carried out on the 1UZ that powers the Majesta, and its pretty much the same story once you take a look at the interior, with the lush leather-clad seats and trim all left untouched. These cars aren’t about performance, they are about riding around slow on the street and looking damn good while doing it ! The car was built for a customer, a young construction worker taking his first step into the whole VIP scene.
Imamura wanted to go wilder with the Majesta, but since its pretty much a daily driver there were some limits as to what could be done. Imamura’s unique vision of what a VIP looks like continues to evolve and it’s getting even more extreme over the years, if Auto Salon every year is anything to go by. We’re definitely sure his creations will be shoo-in feature material, as and when they are completed.
Vehicle : Toyota Crown Majesta JZS171
Workshop : Bee Dragon
Country : Japan
K-Break Exhaust System
K-Break Front Bumper, Side Skirts, Rear Bumper / Bee Dragon Custom Flared Front Fenders (+4cm), Custom Flared Rear Fenders (+8cm) / customised orange paint / Tinted Headlight And Taillight / LED Tail Lights / Chrome Pillar Garnish
Blade Adjustable Suspension / Springs 28 kg/mm Front, 50 kg/mm Rear / Altstadt Type 1 10Jx18” Front, 11.5Jx18” Rear / Toyo Proxes T1R Tyres 215/40 R18 Front, 255/35 R18 Rear
[ Click picture to enlarge ]
Text & Photos By HOTstuff magazine