Try as we might, there seems to be no end in sight for the one car styling trend you thought would’ve passed us by long ago: stance. Whether you’re slammed on air or riding on a perfectly tuned setup for the street and track using adjustable coilovers, the debate to have a car so low shouldn’t be so controversial—enthusiasts have often longed to have their cars sitting at that perfect height. It just becomes debatable when a car goes so low that you wind up ripping parts of your undercarriage off and have to rely on wheel and tire packages that use such a stretched tire and questionable camber settings that send people off the deep end.
But we’re not going to get into a debate that can go on—and already has already gone on—for what seems like an eternity. Yes, some enthusiasts exercising their right to stance to all extremes can look downright ridiculous, but there are always methods to make both a safe and functional setup. Here are some of our favorite stance setups to satisfy all ends of the controversial stance spectrum:
Take a classic American muscle car chassis, modify it with some modern-day performance bits and suddenly you have a car that can hang (and in some cases, annihilate) some of today’s most powerful vehicles. Ringbrothers have mastered pro-touring modification beautifully, as is the case with this ’65 Mustang Fastback. Not too low with near-perfectly flushed wheels.
Serving as somewhat of a subtle middle finger to the more traditional hot rod style of building cars is the rat rod. Raw and in a continuous state of ‘under construction,’ they are often very low, and some form of late-1920s-to-‘50s coupe or roadster, like this 1928 Ford Model A, a representative of the Stanceworks empire, sporting a BMW V8 powerplant and custom BBS wheels—perhaps one of the craziest twists we’ve seen on a rat rod. Ever.
A Caddy Coupe Deville’s silhouette certainly reminds us of days long gone, and it’s classically designed lines look even more grand once the body’s been brought within inches of the pavement. Take this ’53, which is bagged on top of a Camaro subframe and sinister in black.
One thing I can’t get out of my head was this FedEx truck from the 2014 SEMA Show. Mobsteel went to town on this custom delivery truck, which was retrofitted with a front end from an ’81 Freightliner, powered by a 550hp turbo Cummins diesel and air suspension to put it on the ground. Crazy, sexy and very cool.
You can’t talk about stance without giving a nod to the OGs of the automotive world: lowriders. Meticulous attention to detail and lifted, lowered and doing tricks thanks to hydraulics is what draws us to these classics. The ’64 Chevy Impala is the platform of lowriding legend, but there are several others that can be equally neck-breaking.
We couldn’t compile a list like this and not include the German automaker that’s seen tremendous popularity in recent years, thanks to guys like Magnus Walker, Akira Nakai, and Patrick Long, to name but a few. Long-time purists and newbies alike are swooping up what air-cooled gems are still available, driving the market apeshit, and we’ve seen all sorts of suspension setups for these collector’s items that can double as your first born’s college tuition.
Technically speaking, Euro-enthusiasts have been carrying the stance torch far longer than the Japanese side, so we need to give them credit for the innovators of the import scene. VW owners on the East Coast and Europe love going low and pushing the extremes of stretching tire.
Had to think carefully about this category, and while there are plenty of ways we could’ve gone, DTM was a bold winner. These German touring cars, such as this Audi RS 5, demonstrate engineering and styling at its finest, cars that are truly put to the test with rigorous competitions throughout Europe.
This could be considered the most sacrilegious form of modification to vehicles with a price tag that most of us can only dream of purchasing one day. Liberty Walk’s Wataru Kato may have aero for every super and hyper car under the sun, but sometimes all you need is a Testarossa on air and a set of wheels, just like Kazuki Ohashi’s. A beautiful marriage of ‘80s styling with today’s flair.
This example might go completely against what you think of when you think about stanced out Hondas, but a properly set up Civic can’t be argued. Spoon Sports Japan use custom tuned coilovers with a modest drop for improved circuit racing handling. Don’t get us wrong—Hondas do look really good slammed, but form and function are so much better.
Old school Nissans and Datsuns look their best with a nice drop and wheels that sit flush with the vehicle’s wide wheel arches. Take the Hakosuka Skyline and Fairlady Z, for example—the perfect embodiment of proper stance and wheel/tire fitment.
One word: AE86. In a nutshell, the iconic Hachiroku is the quintessential Toyota vehicle to lower and outfit with low offset wheels. Drift, grip and hard parked tested for over 30 years now, they’ll continue to stand the test of time.