The diverse world of car culture has its own Rule 34. If you can imagine it; it likely already has its own fetishistic following. In this vast community no other niche is reviled as STANCE. The street culture in which it blossomed and the product companies for and by whom it is marketed have become synonymous and the mere sight of a Fatlace, illest, or Hellaflush sticker can bring unyielding ridicule and unrelenting vitriol. If you’ve even been remotely exposed to drifting you’ve undoubtedly seen the decals; if not you need to get to the track more.
I had the great fortune of living in the San Francisco/Oakland Bay area for 7 years and was exposed to not only the Stance culture but the part of the country where it prospers. The biggest arguments against Stancing are Looks, Drivability, and Safety.
Firstly it should be pointed out the motto of the movement is ‘Form Over Function’. It’s like a preppy millennial and his retro popped collar. It’s like his girl and her slightly orange tan. They don’t make sense, they look a bit weird, and the girls tan is definitely not safe.
Secondly I don’t think this is where the true hatred lies. California likes to consider itself a bastion of progressive thought and its diversity agenda but you need go no further than your nearest car show to find segregation.
I should point out here for the uninitiated that the first Stancing of cars took place in Japan as hot rodders attempted to make street machines that look like those they saw at the race track. So when Stancing came to the States it was into the culture that owned Japanese cars. (aka JDM for Japanese Domestic Market)
In the time I lived in California almost every car show I went to was either American cars mostly from the 40’s through the 60’s classics and muscle cars with a small token area reserved for Jaguars and Ferraris’. Or the show was made up of JDM, mostly Stanced, with the occasional restored classic or a swapped resto-modded. These shows would include a smattering of VW’s and the occasional BMW.
So I hope you noticed that even in Lefty California its Axis vs. Allies. This is where I think the true hatred lies and with STANCE and Drift the two major scenes in JDM; of coarse the Haters gonna Hate.
Just like any prejudice Stance haters pick out what's most obvious; looks. Lowered chassis, unnaturally wide rims, and stretched tires are the most obvious hallmarks that make up STANCE cars. Every form of car cultural expression has its own extreme whom all equally “ruin” their beloved cars.
Hot Rodders, Low Riders, big wheels, chopped tops… etc. Don’t they all equally make their cars undrivable in anything other than a straight line?
Even the eco-purist car haters of Berkeley ruin cars with political sticker bombs, or glue iridescent buttons and pennies all over them to make them look like fish. I would be remiss if I forgot the French fry converted Mercedes’.
As for me the true waste of a car; the epitome of car abuse is the guy who locks them away and only lets them out once a year.
STANCE; by those who live it, and those who promote it is an expression of car love just as strong as yours; they just have a funny way of showing it.
All photos taken by the author except the VW, The best one was taken by my wife and used with permission, because I like to live.