Unique Car Culture Around the World

Since its inception in 1672 with the first steam-powered vehicle, automobiles have fascinated the world.  Entire countries have based their infrastructure and economies on providing cheap independent transportation to their citizens.

Cars have become more than just simple transportation.  They are cultural icons and there are many fascinating sub-cultures based around them.  Cars are a reflection of their owner and have developed many unique cultures around the world.

Japan – The Land of JDM

Japan has long been known for cutting-edge automotive technology and design.  The Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) culture is a global phenomenon, with enthusiasts from around the world. 

JDM cars are built in Japan by Japanese automotive companies with the Japanese market in mind.  They are built to comply with Japanese regulations and include features such as right-hand drive and fuel-efficient engines to fit in with Japanese law.

JDM culture can involve social outings and car meets where enthusiasts bring their cars to display to other fans.  Vendors sell JDM t-shirts and other merchandise to celebrate ownership and support of JDM cars.

The United States – Lowriders

A lowrider is a customized car with a lowered body that became popular with Mexican and Hispanic Americans in the 1940s.  In the 1950’s a new dimension was added by introducing hydraulics.  The cars could now raise, lower, bounce and slam their cars at the touch of a button.

These customized vehicles are also artworks, painted in intricate colourful designs, unique aesthetics, and rolling on wire-spoke wheels with whitewall tyres.

While they may not be your first choice as the family car, they can be seen rolling low and slowing down Hollywood and Ventura Boulevards in Los Angeles.

Germany – Precision Engineering

Germany’s car culture is characterized by precision engineering and high-performance vehicles.  The Autobahn provides unrestricted stretches where drivers can push their cars to the limits. The high-speed road serves as a testing ground for German engineering to produce vehicles that exhibit accuracy and control at high speeds. 

It gives full expression to the German philosophy of Fahrvergugen which translates to “driving pleasure”. This philosophy represents the symbiotic relationship between people, cars, and the road and the thrill of being behind the wheel of a superbly constructed German automobile.

Australia – Adrenaline Pumping V8 Supercars

Motor racing is one of the most popular activities in Australia. The legendary V8 Supercar dominates the racing scene and has a dedicated fan base.  Events like the Bathurst 1000 attract enthusiasts from all over the country.  Supercar events take place in all Australian states and the Northern Territory. 

The Outback offers another glimpse into Australian car culture.  With rugged terrain, diverse wildlife and a diverse cultural history the Outback offers an unforgettable experience.  Whether you are a seasoned adventurer or a first-timer, exploring the Outback is another expression of Australia’s love for the automobile.

Although governments around the world are trying to phase out petrol and diesel-powered cars, you can bet that car enthusiasts will not give up their cherished vehicles so easily.

In the years to come, building and maintaining cars that showcase the unique heritage of automobiles can be expected to flourish.


See some more of my automotive posts here


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *