Home » It Turns Out You Can Still Buy Brand New Rad Kaminari Body Kits From The ’80s And ’90s

It Turns Out You Can Still Buy Brand New Rad Kaminari Body Kits From The ’80s And ’90s

Kaminari Body Kits Topshot
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I’m a sucker for period-correct modifications. From slot mags on old Mopar muscle cars to old AC Schnitzer bits for ’80s BMWs, era-correct tweaks just feel so right. However, many old parts are virtually unobtanium, as production runs dried up years ago. It turns out, iconic body kit brand Kaminari has a different idea.

First established in 1981, Kaminari has been around the block, at one point being the hottest body kit company in America. From Honda Civics to Nissan 300ZX coupes, this Californian brand kitted them all out. However, it doesn’t seem to be done yet. Yes, the brand is still around in some form today, pumping out body kits from an extensive back catalog. Not only are these new-old body kits still for sale, Kaminari has put a whole bunch of vintage promo pictures on its website for us to ogle.

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Kaminari Civic

I mean, would you just look at this EF Honda Civic, all kitted out and dumped on some nifty five-spoke alloys. It’s the sort of clean machine you’d expect to see cruising around the San Fernando Valley in the early ‘90s, freeway-busting as Digital Underground blared through Pyle speakers.

Kaminari Dodge Shadow

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That Civic is cool and all, but what if you want something more unusual? Boom: Kitted-out Dodge Shadow. While these two-door Mopar economy cars are thin on the ground these days due to the usual cycles of cheap cars getting all worn out, it’s cool to see someone still offering a body kit for the 2.2-liter turbo build of your dreams. While no Shelby CSX, this thing would still look tough on a set of period-correct Prime 168 wheels.

Kaminari Rx 7 1

Alright, how about a kit for a car that’s easier to find in decent shape than a four-door early-’90s Civic or a small Dodge? I’m talking about the Doritomobile of the late ‘80s, the FC Mazda RX-7. While Kaminari’s kit for the original RX-7 was good, its kit for the Series 4 model is absolutely glorious. Just take a second and revel in the sheer depth of that chin spoiler and the width of those grille strakes.

Kaminari Rx 7 2

The proud flare of that chin spoiler carries through the side skirts and rear valence, while a massive flying spoiler feels Pontiac Trans Am in all the right ways. Maybe its the pairing with those period-correct wheels, but this kit just hits in a different way than a BN Sports or Uras kit.

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Kaminari Prelude 1

Of course, if we’re talking ‘80s Japanese coupes, we have to bring up the third-generation Honda Prelude. Sure, it’s front-wheel-drive and base models came with a carbureted B20A3 two-liter four-cylinder engine making all of 104 horsepower, but even the base models looked hot. We’re talking about a hoodline that still seems impossibly low, fantastic pop-up headlights, and a wonderfully-contoured decklid, all covering richly-textured steering and a nimble chassis setup. The Si model even went like it looked, with 135 fuel-injected horsepower, available four-wheel steering, and 195/60R14 Michelin MXV tires. These cars are still absolute gems you can pick up for reasonable money, and Kaminari’s kit just sends it over the top.

Kaminari Prelude 2

Just look at these glamour shots. Who wouldn’t want a piece of this? The proud lip kit really helps anchor the car, while the three-spoke wheels (American Racing Aries or similar) are an intravenous hit of early-’90s street energy. These are pretty much the gold standard of modified car promo pics from the era, and the Prelude itself isn’t bad either.

Kaminari Maxima

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Something younger readers might not know is that the Nissan Maxima was once a red-hot sports sedan. In an era when the BMW 525i made 189 horsepower, the Maxima SE was champing at the bit with 190 ponies and a limited-slip differential. Unsurprisingly, Kaminari latched onto Nissan’s big sedan and cranked out a seriously aggressive body kit for it. Imagine how much fun it would be to build a tweaked Maxima today, an artifact from another time.

Given how tuning companies often have relatively short lifespans and part production runs are even shorter, it’s incredibly cool to see Kaminari still offering iconic aero kits of the early ‘90s for enthusiasts with a specific vision. Hell, the newest version of my car is just 12 years old and cool stuff like the Dinan ram intake duct, BMW performance exhaust, and all of Hartge are just gone from the face of the planet. Now, some might think it’s sacrilege to modify 30-plus-year-old survivor cars, but the first two rules of playing with cars are to be safe and have fun. If your idea of fun is period-correct modification, I’m all for it.

(Photo credits: Kaminari)

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Uninformed Fucknugget
Uninformed Fucknugget
1 year ago

My thoughts as my eyes go back and forth between their website and the sn95 mustang in my garage:

“Damnit, I knew I should’ve just skipped this article and pretended I never saw it.”

Parsko
Parsko
1 year ago

That Prelude is absolutely amazing.

Vanillasludge
Vanillasludge
1 year ago

“Rad” is such a cringey word. I just see backwards caps and vape pens.

Last edited 1 year ago by Vanillasludge
Joe The Drummer
Joe The Drummer
1 year ago
Reply to  Vanillasludge

I see freestyle BMX tricks from my childhood. Get off my lawn.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
1 year ago

That’s interesting… but that got me thinking about an even more important question… in theory, you can still order a Cizeta Moroder V16T for US$800,000
https://cizetaautomobile.com/order/

But can someone still order that old car in reality? I doubt it meets current emissions and safety standards.

And given that it originally came out in 1991, does it even have OBDII?

And Wikipedia says the company was shut down in 1994… but a couple of cars were built after the ‘shutdown’. And Claudio Zampolli (the owner) died back in 2021.
So who’s running the show now? Who is keeping the website up and paying the bills?

So we need someone to place an order to see if we can get a 12th car built.

Nlpnt
Nlpnt
1 year ago

They should modify the Shadow kit so it fits a four-door, I think what survivors still exist are 90% those anyway.

ApexAlexandros
ApexAlexandros
1 year ago

As someone with an S4 RX-7, this is now a problem knowing that Kaminari still produces body kits….

Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
1 year ago
Reply to  ApexAlexandros

Can you imagine how good it will look with one of these? Not trying to enable, mind you… but can you imagine???

Parsko
Parsko
1 year ago
Reply to  ApexAlexandros

Do it!!!!!!!!

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 year ago

These kits fit like Tesla built them back when the cars were new. Now bent, twisted, and bowed you think they will fit like the pictures?

Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
1 year ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

I’m not sure these are new old stock. The article is a bit ambiguous, as it does call them “new-old body kits”, but just before that it also says that they’re “pumping out body kits from an extensive back catalog”, which reads more like they’re still making these kits. I don’t even see how they could try to sell 3 decades old fibregalss without it looking like they’re selling junkyard parts (looks like these are CRFP, not sure how well that holds up).

Last edited 1 year ago by Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
Yes I Drive A 240
Yes I Drive A 240
1 year ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

They make them new. Check their website, they even have a few newer cars listed like the FRS and newer gen Camaro.

Slow Joe Crow
Slow Joe Crow
1 year ago

Cool, I think retro mods (period correct mods) is a neglected field. I’d be all over a VW Scirocco kit, if I had $$ and a good first generation Scirocco. Techtonics still carries a bunch of A1 VW stuff and is only about 2 hours away.

That Guy with the Sunbird
That Guy with the Sunbird
1 year ago

Impressive that they still have a kit for the Dodge Shadow. Nothing for my Pontiac Sunbird, though. 🙁

Newcarpetsmell
Newcarpetsmell
1 year ago

The maroon MK3 Supra on their website looks good, especially with the gold wheels.

MATTinMKE
MATTinMKE
1 year ago

Love that Prelude.

Freelivin2713
Freelivin2713
1 year ago
Reply to  MATTinMKE

Hell yeah

Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
1 year ago
Reply to  MATTinMKE

The Prelude and the Civic both look astonishing. I’m such a sucker for fibreglass bodykits.

Andrew Kim
Andrew Kim
1 year ago

So many “good” 80’s kits. Strosek, Koening, and Gemballa were the best for the German cars. They definitely have not aged well but back then they were so cool.

Also Maxima 4DSC. That moniker is still one of the best branding for a sporty car.

Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Kim

Rieger and Fleischmann are my favourites. I don’t think they’ve aged badly, they’re just a product of their time. I always get excited when I see some proper 80s fibreglass.

M0L0TOV
M0L0TOV
1 year ago

Jesus, they still have kits for the Grand Am!

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 year ago
Reply to  M0L0TOV

Didnt sell left in inventory NOS.

Lockleaf
Lockleaf
1 year ago

I had no idea Kaminari was still producing their backlog. I came in to cars right as F&F 1 came out (graduated high school in ’02). Kaminari is a name I have long respected and loved. Those pics really made my day. I got in to cars in a 3rd gen honda accord of all things and those EF and Prelude pics really hit the right spot. Awesome on them.

RootWyrm
RootWyrm
1 year ago

While no Shelby CSX, this thing would still look tough on a set of period-correct Prime 168 wheels.

STOP RIGHT THERE, THOMAS.

Know why the Kaminari kit looks so much like the CSX? Because the CSX’s body panels and spoiler actually were designed and manufactured by Kaminari. Unfortunately, some of the moldings were damaged or destroyed in the mid-90’s to early-00’s. But that is the genuine, real deal CSX front bumper cover. And that’s not the only OEMing they’ve done.

Kaminari also can offer their entire back-catalog, continuously, because they have only ever made one piece at a time, entirely custom. When you order a part, they pull the mold or laydown, and make just that part. This means they don’t have to waste space and money on stock; they only need to store bucks and molds. As long as the mold is undamaged, they can and will make it. And they have some of the best – if not the best – people in the business.
How good are they? The exact same ’92-’93 front bumper fascia they offered in 1994 is now available using the same molds, in real CFRP.

Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
1 year ago
Reply to  RootWyrm

wow that is awesome info!

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