David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/14/20 8:16 a.m.
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Back in the ’50s, Karl Meier designed a front spoiler for the VW Beetle. It didn’t take off, but his company, Kamei, offered other accessories–like the slumber cushion, a pillow that stuck to the passenger window. 

Finally, in the ’70s, Kamei spoilers stated to become hot. It was what the fashionable Rabbit, Capri or BMW wore on the nose. 

And in ’80s, things got on the boil. From the history section of their own website:

“1982 was KAMEI’s most successful season on the motorsport circuit. The company sponsored a total of 127 drivers and cars, including the then rising star Stefan Bellof, Hans-Joachim Stuck and Prince Poldi's Schnitzer-BMW M1 and several tourers across the German and European championships, various Eastern European competitions and some demanding rally circuits. Across the pond in the Bilstein Bosch Rabbit Cup, all of the cars were fitted with KAMEI spoilers, including that of film star Kent McCord.”

Today Kamei makes interior and exterior accessories plus roof boxes. And if you poke around online, you can find their iconic Golf ball shift knob still available.

 

 

Read the rest of the story

pinchvalve
pinchvalve MegaDork
1/14/20 8:40 a.m.

A Golf with a Kamei air dam was the shiznit back in the day. Toss on some BBS lace wheels and Hella fogs and I was in love.

Woody
Woody MegaDork
1/14/20 8:47 a.m.

I really miss Kamei spoilers.

They were a good company with great customer service too. I went to their place in North Haven Connecticut once and they helped with an installation issue free of charge. They might even have replaced the whole thing for me.

I was just a kid, but they treated me like a VIP.

Woody
Woody MegaDork
1/14/20 8:48 a.m.

In reply to pinchvalve :

It seemed as if every first generation Scirocco and 320i had one back then too.

Jumper K Balls (Trent)
Jumper K Balls (Trent) PowerDork
1/14/20 9:06 a.m.
David S. Wallens said:

 

 

 

Once again, killing it with these posts

T.J.
T.J. MegaDork
1/14/20 9:08 a.m.

This thread needs more 2002's - that is the car that I instantly think of when I hear the word Kamei.

aw614
aw614 Reader
1/14/20 9:45 a.m.

Always loved the mk2 scirocco with the x1 kit and eurobumpers

roverguy
roverguy New Reader
1/14/20 10:47 a.m.

Pic of my 71 SAAB EMS clone back in mid 70's with my Kamei Air Dam.

I removed it for New England Winters!

I was a dealer for them as well as all the other go fast bits; Minilite, Cibie, Ansa, Momo, etc.

Ah, to be able to get those parts and prices today!

 

 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/14/20 11:26 a.m.

Now that I think about it, I have a Kamei product list at home. Assuming I can find it, I'll add it to this thread. 

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) PowerDork
1/14/20 12:35 p.m.

I had a Kamei front spoiler on my '78 Datsun 510.  It was "the must have" accessory of the era.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/14/20 3:49 p.m.

In reply to Jumper K Balls (Trent) :

Thanks. Hopefully everyone's enjoying them.

airwilf
airwilf New Reader
1/14/20 6:06 p.m.

Thanks for the memories, I still have these two models I built in the late 70s. Wish I could find one of my black 84 GTI.As a so-so modeler, the striping was a challenge, but it worked out well. Probably why I still have them.

84FSP
84FSP SuperDork
1/14/20 6:29 p.m.

So much Rabbit goodness.

Woody
Woody MegaDork
1/14/20 7:22 p.m.

In reply to airwilf :

That's really cool!

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/14/20 9:47 p.m.

Okay, those Kamei listings. Upon graduating college in 1992, I got a job selling parts at Automod. They were a W-D for many of the day's big brands. We stocked a ton of inventory as we sold a lot of wholesale.

Kamei, for example? We had a big rack full of front spoilers. And shelves for everything else. Sadly Automod is gone. I was there until going full-time at GRM in 1994. This was basically my grad school. 

After being hired, I was handed a catalog: "Learn it." (Also, there's stuff sitting on my scanner, so you're getting low-tech scans tonight.)

Kamei:

 

Pacesetter exhausts and headers:

K&N:

Hella and Cibie lamps:

Amco knobs, racks and convertible tops:

Nardi and Momo wheels--so many wheels and hubs and horn buttons:

We had some fiberglass parts made for us--mainly for Z-cars, Mustangs, RX-7 and mid-'80s Maximas (super-hot at the time):

This is just a fraction of the catalog. We even did louvers, too, but those had to go via truck so I don't remember us doing too much with them:

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/14/20 9:52 p.m.

And, here, some low-tech zooming so you can read the Kamei front spoiler part numbers:

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/14/20 9:54 p.m.

And here's the '82 Accord that I drove in college. It needed a Kamei front spoiler. (Also, can anyone tell me where this photo was taken?)

Speedyschwein
Speedyschwein New Reader
1/15/20 1:07 a.m.

Was that photo taken at Road Atlanta, on the hill where the motocross track used to be, before the hill was clear cut?

Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett MegaDork
1/15/20 4:44 a.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

Dude, that Can Caddy... Doesn't it seem unfathomable today that there was a time without factory cup holders in vehicles?

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/15/20 7:37 a.m.
Speedyschwein said:

Was that photo taken at Road Atlanta, on the hill where the motocross track used to be, before the hill was clear cut?

We have a winner--well, close enough. Yes, top of Road Atlanta. Time: about 1991-'92, so before the motocross track but while the infield was still a sea of red clay.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/15/20 7:38 a.m.
Pete Gossett said:

In reply to David S. Wallens :

Dude, that Can Caddy... Doesn't it seem unfathomable today that there was a time without factory cup holders in vehicles?

IIRC, they came in a six-pack box. And we moved a bunch of them. 

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