Liberty Walk must have heard this name, especially in the ears of car lovers and tuners. The name Liberty Walk is considered to have echoed to all corners of Japan to the world. The man behind Liberty Walk and its founder, Wataru Kato has succeeded in elevating it to become an international brand that is popular in the world of car modification.
Even so, maybe there are still many here who don’t know about this Liberty Walk. Without further ado, let’s discuss it here.
Kato-san’s Vision Becomes the Spirit of Liberty Walk
Liberty Walk is a bodykit modification workshop in Japan that has been established since 1993 ago. That year was precisely when the founder of Kato-san turned 26 years old. At the beginning of its establishment, this workshop was only able to accommodate three cars. Well, imagine how narrow a workshop is, Bro? Yes, very small.
But thanks to Kato-san’s persistence with the team and a very clear vision, Liberty Walk slowly continues to develop into a very popular bodykit modification workshop. The climax was when they participated directly in the SEMA Show and Tokyo Auto Salon.
At the SEMA Show 2013 Nissan GT-R and Ferrari 458 Italy modified Liberty Walk received a very good response from various parties there at that time. Automotive journalists also really appreciate what is presented by Liberty Walk. As a result, the name Liberty Walk suddenly became known globally. Not long after, Liberty Walk developed into a company with several branches and international distributors. Of course, with a workshop area that is no longer small.
Talking about Kato-san’s vision, this is what makes Liberty Walk modification feel full of life and as the main key.
Like Japanese culture, the people always have distinctive and unique characteristics in fashion and style. But a style that is synonymous with freedom of expression at first glance looks strange, huh. Quirky.
Yes, things like that also apply in the automotive world, you know, Bro.
In the Showa era, bodykit modifications were made by replacing or removing bumpers, transplanting the headlamp from another car, and using over fenders. The modification is a classic style of Japanese automotive culture with a very recognizable “reckless” aura. Well, Kato-san’s vision is to apply this modified style to high-end cars, aka luxurious, fierce, and expensive. This is the reason Kato-san started the Liberty Walk.
In 2008, a customer who is also Kato-san’s friend, expressed his desire to replace his Lamborghini Diablo. They then decided to replace it with the Lamborghini Murcielago. But the customer also feels that Murciélago is less attractive and less eye-catching. Upon this complaint, Liberty Walk then decided to develop a special bodykit for the Murciélago. This moment became the starting point for the “LB Performance” brand.
A year later, in 2009 Murciélago, which was equipped with the LB Performance bodykit, then participated in the SEMA Show. This event was the beginning of LB Performance’s world-class debut.
Despite the positive response from the visitors, Liberty Walk did not get any response or business connection from the event. This then became a big question, especially for the Liberty Walk team. Are their modifications actually unacceptable?
But that didn’t make Kato-san give up. After three years, Liberty Walk then designed a new type and brand called LB Works. Murciélago, who wore fenders from LB Works, was then included in the 2012 SEMA Show.
This LB Works modification can be considered quite extreme. Liberty Walk, on Kato-san’s orders, then cut off the Lamborghini’s billions of rupiah body parts and modified the fenders. This reckless action apparently was not in vain. As a result, the visitors to the SEMA Show 2012 were immediately amazed and lift their hats with Liberty Walk’s dedication in modifying the bodykit.
Thanks to that moment, in 2013 Liberty Walk was increasingly awaited by his presence at the SEMA Show. Answering this wish, they came back by bringing two high-end cars that have been modified with the LB Works bodykit. The two cars are the Nissan GT-R and Ferrari 458 Italy. Both of these cars are clearly able to amaze the visitors. Again, their work immediately boosted the name Liberty Walk so that it became increasingly popular in the eyes of the international automotive world.
Philosophy of Smile and Positive Energy
Apart from the previously mentioned modification vision. Kato-san also has another vision that makes Liberty Walk a different and unique brand. This vision is synonymous with smiles and positive energy that is always attached to Kato-san.
In an interview with Dodologic, Kato-san explained that the thing he likes most about modification projects is the results that make people happy. Currently a lot of sadness and bad things are happening, that’s why Kato-san wants to make many people happy through the results of his hard work. Kato-san also said that because he couldn’t communicate in English, he tried to communicate and convey his vision through the embodiment of a character who was always happy.
“If I’m not happy, I cannot make other people happy.”
That’s why the Liberty Walk philosophy is smiles and positive energy. Even the staff photos on their official website are all displayed with photos smiling or laughing.