1970s Dekotora - Crazy-Ass Japanese Semis
The Popular Mechanics article does give credit to a series of trucker movies that started in 1975, but doesn't name it. The magazine calls these truckers "members of Japan's Utamaro Kai", crediting the name and origins to Kitagawa Utamaro, an 18th century Japanese arist "who liked to paint women and insects." Hopefully they mean likenesses -- you can only put so much paint on a spider before it gets angry. The trucks are done up in a modernistic style combining the classics with modern crome and power.
Are they still doing decotora to their trucks today? Of course they are!
(Photos credited to Joan Mann; article by Victor Chase and Milton Mann)