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Why Did LIBERTY WALK Build The Ferrari ‘F40’ Based On The Mazda ‘AZ-1’?

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TEXT: 青木邦敏(AOKI Kunitoshi)  PHOTO: 青木邦敏(AOKI Kunitoshi)

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  • An even smaller F40-style pedal car is displayed next to it
  • Representative Kato of Liberty Walk with the 300 million yen Ferrari F40 presented in 2023
  • Representative Kato of Liberty Walk with the 300 million yen Ferrari F40 presented in 2023
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The next step after Ferrari F40 is the “F40 replica you can buy with this”

The Liberty Walk booth at the Osaka Auto Messe (OAM) 2024 in February 2024 was a huge success again this year, with a fantastic microphone performance by its representative, Wataru Kato, making Hall 1 burst into laughter! The area around the booth was especially filled with a lively and joyful mood. The tiny LB-WORKS LB40 stood out from the crowd at this booth. Last year, the Ferrari F40 works-style was built and became a hot topic of conversation around the world. This year, we scaled it down to a smaller scale and completed the “F40 replica you can afford”.

Giving children, the bearers of the future, a chance to experience custom car building

Many people will already know about this little ‘F40’ by Liberty Walk representative Kato, as it has already been covered by many media outlets. However, not many people know much about the circumstances that led to the production of this vehicle. Kato told AMW about it in an interview.

“I think many people think the Mini F40 is a Liberty Walk-style prank. Of course, we’ve met those expectations ……, but there’s another meaning to it. It’s part of the Liberty Walk’s project to ‘give dreams to the children of the future’. By building this kind of car, we want to get them interested in customized cars in a positive way, and when they grow up, we want them to build and drive a car like this themselves. That’s what we hope for. We also asked the children to help us build this mini F40, so that they could experience the fun of making things by touching the car they were building. We want to pass on to the children what we felt in our childhood, now that we have grown up. That is the most important thing for us.”

Why did he choose the AZ-1 as the base vehicle?

The Mini F40, which gave form to our passionate feelings for children in addition to our usual bad humor, was indeed a machine with an extraordinarily high level of perfection, as it was built by Liberty Walk, a custom builder whose name is well-known around the world.

The base vehicle is the nostalgic Mazda Autozam AZ-1. And its official name is “LB-WORKS LB40 AZ-1”. The reason for choosing this AZ-1 as a base was its special configuration. The AZ-1 uses a frame structure called a skeleton monocoque, with FRP panels covering the body structure so that the monocoque body is exposed when the exterior is removed. This means that there is a high degree of freedom of design when making specialized body cowls, and the looks can be changed significantly.

Representative Kato, who had his eye on this structure, said that the Mini F40 was the only car that could be made based on this car! He completed a downsized Mini F40 based on the motif of the 300 million yen Ferrari F40 body kit presented in 2023.

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