Josh Hennerley. - Corsa D VXR

I have always been obsessed with cars - this is probably due to my Dad introducing me to Santa Pod at a young age and seeing the rally highlights on the TV. 

Josh Hennerley. - Corsa D VXR
Josh Hennerley. - Corsa D VXR
Josh Hennerley. - Corsa D VXR
Josh Hennerley. - Corsa D VXR
Josh Hennerley. - Corsa D VXR
Josh Hennerley. - Corsa D VXR
Josh Hennerley. - Corsa D VXR
Josh Hennerley. - Corsa D VXR

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My name is Josh Hennerley. 

I’m the owner of the itasha Corsa D VXR (insta @st41keruk) and founder of the group Baka Senpai (insta @baka.itasha). 

I am an IT engineer specialising in networking, troubleshooting and repair of a wide range of devices and hardware. Computers have always been my biggest passion and when I got my first car I just knew I had to personalise my car to reflect my interests and make my car as crazy as my computers.

I have always been obsessed with cars - this is probably due to my Dad introducing me to Santa Pod at a young age and seeing the rally highlights on the TV. 

The first car I remember the most was my Dad’s Yugo! He also showed me pictures of his Reliant Robin, which he raced in at Santa Pod. I passed my test at 17 and got my first car, a black Fiat Seicento, sporting 1.1 which I practically lived in and drove every chance I got. I never went to any car meets or got involved in the car scene at that time in my life, but I did visually modify it with white racing stripes and red under car neons (obviously...). I then sold this car, got into motorbikes, back into cars and then back into bikes, until my brand new Honda Grom was stolen. I didn’t have it in me to get another bike - that’s how I ended up with the Corsa VXR and my new obsessions kicked in.

Not long after buying the VXR I was eager to go out and show it off, so I went to my first ever car meet. I didn’t know anyone else who was interested in cars at the time so I went on my own, parked up and was blown away by the amount of cars that had turned up. I was instantly hooked. The VXR was completely standard at this point. I met a guy called Brian, who then became one of my best mates. He was running a club called Carbon Strips at the time and asked me to get involved. I jumped at the opportunity and that is when I knew I had to start modifying my car and start something big.

I started out with the very basics: a sound system, induction kit and a new exhaust system. The exhaust system already had a Scorpion Red Power cat back, but I got the cat delete and midsection delete and got it remapped by Wraith Performance to stage 1.5. I started doing more visual modifications starting with simple splitters on the back. I was happy, but far from finished. 

Myself and Brian were holding a few good car meets every now and then, but the stress of everyday life and trying to run the group was too much and unfortunately we both ended up leaving and went our separate ways with our cars.

No longer tied down to a group and feeling as though it had no personal identity, I thought to myself ‘I need to make this car mine, I don’t want it to look like everyone else’s!’ Being the nerd that I am, I have always loved Anime and Japanese styling, especially when it came to cars. I’ve always been aware of Itasha and anime cars but I had noticed a massive boom in the West, not just in Japan! America had really gotten into itasha and I could see on social media that more people were popping up every week at meets, with people sporting anime styling on cars all over. 

They then started becoming so popular that they were holding their own events, with thousands of cars attending. After joining some of these groups to follow what they were doing, I also noticed big groups popping up in Europe - especially Germany. That’s when I realised; it didn’t matter if your car wasn’t Japanese. It was a massive movement showing off true, personalised car customisation without worrying what everyone else thought.  

The community was the most welcoming I have ever been a part of, which was great, and I knew I had to get involved - all it takes is for one person to do it and more will follow. I spent almost a year designing what I wanted, budgeting for it and speaking to multiple people around the world about how to go about getting all of this done. 

Eventually I was introduced to a guy called Bryan in China, who had never seen a Corsa before but was more than happy to turn the design I had sent him into a reality. Eventually the wrap was finished and was sent to me - the next step was getting it fitted! This was also an issue, because itasha is still so unheard of in the UK so many of the places I went to weren’t willing to attempt this kind of wrap, as they had no experience in this type of customisation. Eventually I reached out to a guy called The Wrapper (insta @th3wrapp3r), who jumped at the idea of trying out something new! He was very honest with me and let me know that although he normally does full car wraps, he had never done something like mine and as I was providing the wrap, he was unsure of how well he could work with it. I took it to him, waited and anxiously watched him apply the wrap - it was done while I waited and I was over the moon with how it turned out. A perfect job!

With my car’s look completely refreshed, wide arches fitted with wheel spacers (which unfortunately hadn’t turned out the way I’d hoped), unnecessary canards, splitter struts and a far out anime wrap the itasha was complete! I was ready to show off a new take on the modified car scene.

Firstly I took it online to existing itasha communities and the feedback was great – my car was being featured on random Russian social media websites and I was making loads of new friends all over the world which then gave me the confidence to start going to meets.  The reactions were very hit and miss, however I’d expected that and was prepared for any negative comments and/or reactions. I actually received a lot more respect and love for the design than I expected! This is when I met Bradley, who came to a Blackpool Illuminations meet just to see my car and have a chat about it. I ended up helping him get his Astra itasha wrapped and we decided to create the group Baka Senpai. We made this group to find and hopefully encourage a less serious, more fun and welcoming car community for the UK.

I am very far from finished with my car and hopefully looking to focus more on performance modifications next, starting with a stage 2 intercooler and map, a bigger turbo and engine forge. I also want to look at redoing the wide arches, getting coilovers and at some point I want to look into getting a fabricated wide kit. Looking forward to car meets opening back up in the future to get our team out there and have some great group meets together.

Would love to give a shout out to:





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