Surely you’ve seen Dodge Ram vans driving around the streets of Peterborough. There may not be as many of them on the road now as there were, say, 10 years ago, but they’re still around. In many cases, they’re used as work vans by contractors or professionals in the construction industry. Bell used to use a fleet of Ram vans for their work trucks years ago too. Bands tend to like them as tour vans too – with tons of space and a pretty straightforward engine/chassis setup, they’re ideal for people who need lots of room but can’t afford to spend tons on repairs. Many others were converted into camper vans great for long days on the road.
You know, one of these bad boys:
— Stroi (@stroisila) September 18, 2016
I have personal experience with one of those camper conversion Ram vans. My dad drove one for years, and I borrowed it on a few occasions. When it had a bed in the back, it was perfect for overnighters. After my dad took the bed out, I used it to drive my friends’ band to and from Toronto for a gig. It performed quite well on these occasions, for what was expected of it. The thing is – I never expected it to be exceptionally quick or agile, and it wasn’t. But it thrived in its intended role: ultilitarian cargo mover.
However, in Japan, things are a little backwards. You see, Dodge Ram vans (or Dajibans, as they’re known there) are very popular as racing and drifting machines. Why? I don’t know. But to be fair, there’s a lot of parts of Japanese culture that I don’t fully understand… But the car tuner culture over there is pretty cool.
But why Dodge Ram vans?! Having spent a few hours behind the wheel, it’s hard to imagine them sliding around a corner without rolling… And yet that’s what these guys do with them.
Here, have a look:
When I first came across that video, I thought “This looks like it could be interesting. I’ll skim over it.” I ended up watching all 10+ minutes and loving it. And then I came across another video that delves a little deeper into how the trend got started:
And if you’re loving this as much as I am, you’ll probably enjoy this video of just raw footage of that yellow van from the first video racing around the track:
So if you happen to have one of these ol’ Ram vans sitting around that you don’t use anymore, swap out some parts and start racing it! Or better yet, ship it off to Japan – you might make some decent money off it!