Absolute…

Oh man, I fucking LOVE Honda Odysseys. I love them so much, I actually went out and bought one recently. After coming back from Japan, I guess you can say that I was incredibly motivated by the vanning culture there. Prior to my leaving for Japan, I was actually scouring Craigslist for a good deal on an Odyssey because I needed a new daily. My 4Runner was taking a shit very soon so it was the right time to look for a new ride. The only problem with trying to buy a car right before going on a trip was me not having any expendable income for Japan.I wanted to have enough money to get around, eat whatever I wanted, and buy whatever I wanted. This Odyssey that I spotted online was a great deal. It was cheap and it only had 90K original miles. What made the deal even better was that it was a 1st generation RA chassis Odyssey, which meant that it had 4 regular doors and none of that sliding door business. To me, the first gen. Odysseys were still more wagons than they were vans. I needed the space to carry photography equipment around when I work and for booth stuff whenever we had events…it just made sense to get a bigger car. I didn’t want to go “too big” and get a full on SUV or van so the RA chassis was perfect. It still drove like a regular car and had the space I needed. Plus, these things were wildly popular back then in Japan so aftermarket support was abundant in that market. If I wanted to add some parts to it to make it a cool daily, I had a variety of options. Sad to say, but after building a CB Accord and then a Y33 Infiniti Q45, the Odyssey has more aftermarket support than both of them…

Anyways, that was a random story but I figured you guys might want to know what I was up to. That ties into today’s post because my Odyssey looks nothing like the Odyssey that you’re going to see today, In fact, my RA3 looks like hot garbage compared to this Odyssey. The RB chassis Odyssey Absolute is a beautiful vehicle straight from the factory. Honda has failed a lot lately in terms of design but the RB1/2 Odyssey was pure art in van motion. While the U.S. got the massive RL1 Odyssey with sliding doors and all, Honda of Japan moved onto the RA6/8 Odyssey and then followed that with the RB1/2. The difference between the Odyssey lineage in Japan compared to here in the U.S. is that the Odyssey over there continued on with the tradition of still retaining four doors. It was essentially just a larger wagon, while Honda of America brought the Honda Lagreat over here and called it the “Odyssey” and then followed it up with two more generations of sliding door glory. It lost its cool factor once that happened and meanwhile, the Odyssey in Japan became a integral part of their tuning van culture…

So I was driving home in my beat-up RA3 Odyssey last night when I get a Facebook notification on my phone. I’ll pretend that I didn’t look at it until I got home but I clicked on the profile to see who was trying to add me as a friend. The name was in all Japanese so I really had no idea who it was. It could have been one of Takeshi’s friends or one of my friends from Tactical Art/Team Madame that I hadn’t had a chance to add yet. So I look at it and don’t recognize who it is but I noticed that his profile photo featured a really nice photo of an Odyssey Absolute that was just gorgeous. When I got home, I opened it up on my PC so I could see his photos in full size and I noticed that he had a Chronicles decal on his window. The photos and the build itself were so good that I just had to try to get them posted up on here. So I hit him up via message and he responds right away. I do my best to keep my English relatively simple and easy to translate so he could translate it on his browser and he was more than willing to let me post up his photos here. Not only that, he even sent me that original photos in their original sizes straight from his camera. The owner, Masahiko Sagawa, not only knows how to build a really nice car, he’s pretty well adept behind a camera. Masahiko-san actually runs the “LASTLY” blog and LASTLY is a car club featuring other vans like the Odyssey as well as Kei cars and wagons. I’ve attached a link at the end to the blog but honestly, unless you’re well-versed in navigating Japanese websites with full Japanese script, you’ll probably have a hard time going through it…

Below are a collection of some of his photos of his beautifully executed RB Odyssey Absolute. I don’t have any specs on it but you’re probably not into the vanning culture enough for it to really matter anyway. The WEDSport SA55M wheels on it look amazing and hopefully, many of you who aren’t into wheel fitment and stance will still appreciate it. These aren’t race cars or anything so the execution of style is of the utmost importance and any sense of race car functionality is irrelevant…

Big thanks go out to Masahiko Sagawa and a nice round of applause for a car well-done. I normally don’t post up photos that are sent to me via email from people asking for “online features” but in this instance, I was the one that asked Sagawa for the shots because I enjoy his build so much. Enjoy and open your mind to van culture. I’ve attached links to larger versions of most of the photos because I liked the shots so much…

Oh, one more random note. The RB Odyssey looks like a big van but it really isn’t. It’s actually pretty compact, much like the first gen Odyssey you see here. They’re just really sleek in design so the lines of the Odyssey make it seem bigger in photos than it really is. They also have K24 motors in them from the factory and not 6-cylinder engines like you would expect. Pretty cool car overall and I can understand why it is such a popular platform to mod in Japan…

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What’s better than one bad ass RB1-2 Honda Odyssey??…. Two of them…

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The darker Odyssey on Work S1R wheels belongs to Takashi Suzuki aka “Iceman”…

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EDIT: I loved this shot so much that I even converted it into a full-size, widescreen desktop image. CLICK HERE and then right-click save…

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That’s a wrap folks. If you wanna check out the LASTLY Japan blog, CLICK HERE… (Good luck if you don’t understand Japanese)…

Thanks for looking…

8 thoughts

  1. “Honda of America brought the Honda Lagreat over here and called it the ‘Odyssey’…”

    I was under the assumption it was Honda of America that brought the USDM Odyssey to Japan and sold it as LaGreat, like they did with 3.2TL and sold it in Japan as Inspre/Saber, and CB-chassis Accord coupes and wagons, and a number of other vehicles…I guess I was wrong.

  2. “Honda of America brought the Honda Lagreat over here and called it the ‘Odyssey’…”

    I was under the assumption it was Honda of America that brought the USDM Odyssey to Japan and sold it as LaGreat, like they did with 3.2TL and sold it in Japan as Inspre/Saber, and CB-chassis Accord coupes and wagons, and a number of other vehicles…I guess I was wrong.

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