The designer that democratised HW – Jun Imai | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, May 23, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, May 23, 2018

The designer that democratised HW – Jun Imai

What is he?

Jun Imai is synonymous with the growth of young JDM car fans. He was designer and director of product design at Hot Wheels from 2004 till just a while ago. He had a background in automotive design.

What did he blow up?

He's designed a lot of American and fantasy cars like the Corvette C6R and Dieselboy. But he is really more known for the whole design trend at Hot Wheels that saw a gradual and strong shift towards Japanese classics. Case in point, the Datsun 510 and the consecutive 510 wagon (based on his own 1:1 car), both becoming instant sale successes as well as a customisers’ favourite.

His biggest hits

Without doubt all the superb Datsuns and Nissan Skylines. His favorite is the Hakosuka Skyline wagon which just released recently (more like a farewell send-off). Other notable cars he designed were the Aura Integra, BMW 2002 and the Fb and Fd RX7s.  And honorary mention to the introduction of the Toyota 2000gt.

Best friends

He's designed a slew of Porsches along with Magnus Walker.

His semi duds

The AE86 he designed as a widely flared road racer looks stubby compared to the sleek and narrow real thing. Same issue with the Buick GN.

What now?

He brought on the JDM revolution. But we're sure this is not the end of seeing his work in 1:64 scale.

               

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