TUNERS – IT’S A RAUH WORLD: PART 1
Rauh WELT Begriff. RWB. Any of you vaguely familiar with the German language could easily make sense of Akira Nakai’s catchphrase for what has undoubtedly become one of the hottest Japanese workshop names circulating the net at the moment. 7Tune decided to pay Nakai san a visit a few days ago for what was definitely an eye opening experience…
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Toshi Ichiraku, International Business Manager for RWB and the owner of Rough Rhythm which we shot weeks ago in Kobe for a two part series ( Part 1 — Part 2 ), had offered to introduce me to Nakai san, letting me in on the small fact that there was also going to be a magazine shoot happening that same day which meant one very important thing; a good turn out of Porsches!
Knowing there was no way in hell that I was going to miss the chance, I grabbed the keys to Audi’s brand new A7, punched in the co-ordinates for the RWB workshop and pushed the supercharged 3 liter V6 all the way to Chiba not knowing in the slightest what to expect from the visit. ( We have a full feature on this odd addition to the Audi lineup as well so come back for that in the coming days. )
What I did know was that I’d never actually been to RWB before, although I had always been meaning to go after having met and spent some time with Alex Bernstein and Tony Harmer from 0-60 Magazine when they were here in Japan years ago. They were specifically going Porsche hunting during their trip and even though I wasn’t able to join them they definitely gave me something to look forward to.
I admit to having been slightly nervous about meeting Akira Nakai because his reputation very much precedes him but going by all accounts of trusted journalists like Alex, Tony and Aaron Mai of NZ Performance Car magazine, I needn’t have worried. They were right; Nakai san is a consumate gentleman and one heck of an artist.
This was the scene that confronted me as I pulled up outside the shop and sat slack jawed in the Audi…
It was a jackpot of pure, unadulterated Stuttgart sickness and I hadn’t even ventured inside the shed yet!
Nakai san wasn’t there when I arrived but Ichiraku san was. He introduced me to 65 year old Watanabe san; the oldest RWB owner among over 100 fortunate customers and someone who was very proud of that fact!
I received a laugh of approval from him when I referred to him as the ”兄貴” ( Aniki ) or “Older Brother” of the group. His car was actually one of my personal favorites among a slew of Porsches that were all my personal favorites. The reason for his visit? I’ll get to that shortly…
I just took in the visual treat provided by Watanabe san’s Black on Gold 964; one of my all time favorite color combinations with the highlights of silver on the deeply dished Work Brombacher rims accenting things perfectly. Your shock is understandable but keep in mind this car is a daily driven thing for Watanabe san and he loves the creation immensely.
Incidentally, the wheels on this beast measure 265/35/18 in a 10.5J +/- 0 offset up front and 315/30/18 11.5J -3 offset at the rear which is mild when it comes to RWB’s.
It’s at that point you realize there is something much more special about an RWB car than just a Porsche with a bodykit and a wide stance. These things are literally automotive works of art built to function as well as they visually shock.
Speaking of functionality, inside the car were a set of brand new black RWB buckets, Nakai san recently coming to a deal with Bride to collaborate on supplying the specially branded pews. They really help complete the look and no doubt serve to be the “Holding Monsters” they’re meant to be.
The engine in this particular car may only have received a mild tune but it has done well over 200,000 kilometers in Watanabe san’s hands and he’s loved every year of ownership since buying the car stock a number of years ago. “Cool” is most definitely a 65 year old gent driving a blacked and slammed out RWB street cruiser, then.
One thing you might be asking yourself is why some cars have names and others don’t. Well that was one of my first questions and it turns out Watanabe san didn’t want to give the car a “nickname”, preferring to keep it as clean, sleek and anonymous as possible. Names are indeed optional for the cars Nakai san builds for his clients.
Still, why is it though, that every time I see a black Porsche like this, I think of the movie Condorman?
Looking around revealed more amazing machinery and I’ll go into each of the others there in more detail over the next couple of days. For now, let’s go round the back and have a look at Nakai san’s recently completed 964 Endurance racer. In a noticeable twist, Nakai san has ditched the rear wing in favor of the factory Porsche spoiler.
It dramatically changes not only the appearance of the Porker but most definitely the handling characteristics now that it won’t be generating loads of downforce over the rear axle.
Nevertheless, this is a statement that an RWB Porsche doesn’t need to have a double whale-tail to sit just as well or look just as menacing, especially when hard parking on phat SSR Professor SP1′s.
Toshi san then popped around the corner to point out a couple of facts about a Merc that had only registered minor interest when I first saw it. It turns out that Merc is an E60…
…which also happens to be Nakai san’s daily driver! So there are indeed days when Nakai san wants to ( or maybe needs to? ) “blend in”!
I’ve got stacks more to show you from our first visit to RWB and some huge news on a collaboration that 7Tune has almost finished with RWB to come in the very near future! It’s pretty damn cool.
Stay tuned for more of this and remember to “Like” our Facebook page and let your friends know how much you love us helping you get through your day with regular doses of JDM awesomeness straight from the sources in Japan and around the world!
7Tune – The Ultimate JDM Experience Since 2005
Words and Photos – Adam Zillin