For those of you familiar with the terms in the title, you’ll know JDM stands for Japanese Domestic Market, Hella (Hellaflush) means making your car look undrivable – which it nearly is – and VDub is associated with Volkswagen.
There are so many car genres and cultures now, it’s becoming a little hard to keep up with the esoteric jargon and relevant car decals. For instance, if you admire the Hellaflush scene and decide to add an illest sticker to your factory stanced car, you’ll be ridiculed. There’s a little more to it than stickers and trends though, and I’ll throw a little light on the subject.
JDM owners’ main concern is ensuring their Jap import is upgraded and maintained with original Jap components. Say you had to replace your Subaru’s turbo. Even if you purchased a 100% authentic turbo from Subaru, it won’t do if bought from outside of Japan. It needs to bought there, shipped over, all the paperwork in Japanese. It’s an expensive way of maintaining your ride if you live outside of Japan, and it’s so big now, a lot of fakes are cropping up on eBay. The stickers and decals reflect the Japanese lifestyle, and these are usually sticker-bombed over a panel of the car or a section of the console.
Hellaflush owners usually take there cars, slam them (lower them), but ensure the wheels are flush with the wheel arches. This could also fall into the ‘Stanced’ or ‘Slammed’ category, but Hellaflush take it a step further and offset the wheels using a lot of negative camber.
The term ‘Hellaflush’ came from the training shoe company Fatlace, and is now one of their brands and the name of their most popular string of car shows. Similarly, illest also comes from the Fatlace company.
What’s a Rat car?
Although I wouldn’t Rat a car, I do admire the creativity that goes into some of them. Although the Rat Rod (a Hot Rod made from bits and bobs) was created with mechanics in mind, Ratting a car now means creating something with purely aesthetics in mind. A popular car to Rat is the VW, especially the Beetle and Lupo – these small cars will usually have a panel stripped of paint and left to rust (the bonnet is the most common panel used), badges from different car brands applied, different wheel trims stuck on, a roof rack added, and various items attached to it. This is where originality comes into play.
Although these are all trends on their own, a lot of owners will dabble into other areas. VDub is a term used for Volkswagen and making them look cool – this crosses over into Stanced and Rat because a lot of VW owners slam their cars and a lot of good rat cars are often VWs. A lot of Hellaflush cars also practice JDM or vice versa.
What I think it all boils down to is making a car look a certain way, to be part of something that reflects your attitude. You follow a certain style and trend because it also reflects your personality in the mods you apply to your car. If you have a JDM Honda and like Hella and Rat, well slam it, rust it, rack it, and sticker it up with what you like.