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Dressing up the Decotora

It’s the whole cast of Transformers in the flesh! Or should we say, in the metal? Big, bold, and beautiful, Japan’s decotora are at once artwork and transportation device, monstrous and majestic, crazy and cool.

Decotora, the Japanisation of the term “decorated trucks,” are huge, moving chunks of eye candy. No bland greys here. Every inch of these trucks is covered with everything from calligraphy to casino-coloured lights, making them look like a cross between a neon sign and a Christmas tree. The drivers have certainly hit the jackpot, expressing their creativity in spray paint, dangling paper lanterns, and installed “rockets,” steel tubes that produce a menacing yet quirky effect.

Everything from dragons, geisha, volcanoes, gods, anime (like the Gundam TV series), Hello Kitty, and Popeye are plastered on the trucks’ bodies, interesting enough to look at by day. By night, however, the decotora are almost supernatural in all their illuminated, ultraviolet glory, looking like otherworldly bulls ready to charge upon an unsuspecting torero.

The decotora’s interiors are almost as splendid, customised with loud wallpaper, extendable stairs, and intricate chandeliers. Some drivers even make this their homes, with armchairs, TV sets, and curtains.

How’s that for pimpin’ your ride?

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