It's about time Malaysia gets a new RWB since other countries like Thailand and USA have been very active in multiplying their numbers. A week ago, Nakai-san was in Johor Bahru to build two unique cars for two lucky owners. Hayashi86.com was fortunate to be part of the important occasion experiencing up close the process of making RWB with the master!
We spent four days at Plentong, JB where the two new Malaysian RWBs (#03 & #04) were built. This newly developed shop lots (but yet to be renovated) will serve as the RWB Shop for many future RWBs to be created in Malaysia and Singapore.
The soon-to-be RWB Malaysia showroom occupying the first lot will be the biggest one yet with a full-fledged workshop at the back offering selected services, a special guest room and bathroom for Nakai-san on the floor above, bar counter for friends, and a Fatlace apparel store. In the meantime, a clean empty space was what Nakai-san needed to make RWBs.
Before we get to the car, let's meet Akira Nakai the man behind the Rauh-Welt brand who has been spreading his outrageous yet addictive wide-body Porsche phenomenon to the world. It was my third meeting with him, and I am glad that he still remembers my face. :)
This time, two very different 964s would be built. The yellow one in street RWB style is for Mr Dominick, and the two-tone blue-orange one will be built in backdate style for Mr Christian, who has already 3 RWBs in his collection.
By the time we arrived, Nakai-san had completed the front bumper, and was on his way to install new wide fenders. During that process, the owner had to witness the shocking moment of the original fenders being chopped off. But that’s just temporary; the final product would definitely amaze everyone.
People don't call Nakai-san "master" for nothing. He's able to complete an RWB (which includes cutting, sanding, drilling, masking, painting, & wheels alignment) in less than 3 days using tools you can find off the shelf at any hardware stores. If you think RWB is as simple as putting on new fenders with a set of nice deep-dish wheels, you don't quite understand the idea of Rauh-Welt yet.
Of course, even the Master had to take a break from time to time taking quick puffs at his favourite Winston cigarettes while checking for mail on his phones before continuing to build. And one thing that I noticed he never fails to do is staring at the cars, thinking, maybe thinking about what he'd do next, or thinking how he could make it better, I'm not sure. Nakai-san is a mysterious guy.
The yellow Carrera was starting to take shape by the end of Day 1. However, Nakai-san noticed a little problem with rear wheels sitting slightly out from the fenders. Upon examination, it was actually due to the short thread on the wheel studs which couldn't accommodate enough room for deep-dish 13J Forgestar wheels.
Since he couldn’t do anything with the wheel studs, he proceeded to mount the rear bumper and finished with a nice strip of silicone sealant to mask the gap between the aluminium body and FRP (fiber-reinforced plastic) parts.
Christian's Gulf livery Carrera was yet to be fiddled with by Nakai-san. His 4th RWB and Malaysia's #04 will soon be one of the most unique RWBs ever built!
Yamato Nadeshiko & Furinkazan were sitting peacefully at the other hall awaiting the birth of their new brothers. Click here to read about Malaysia's first RWB build. :)
Dominick fell in love with RWBs after seeing Christian's cars. Immediately he bought a second hand 964 Carrera 4 (originally in red) at an irresistible price, and got it painted together with the kits before Nakai-san's arrival. Since they both are close buddies, Christian gave Dom one of his slots in the queue to realise his dream. It seems that there are more than 20 international customers (excluding Japan) on Nakai-san's waiting list. :O
If you wonder why Dominick picked this colour, it's because his surname 'Huang' literally means yellow.
Honestly, it is pretty addictive to watch the process of making RWBs. We really admired the undivided concentration he invests in all time to put everything together and making things work.
There are no such things as 'difficult' or 'impossible' for him. If he can't find a ready-solution, he'll make one. That's Rough World to Nakai-san.
After the side skirt had been installed, Nakai-san moved on to areas where they require some detailing. He fixed the messy cables using cable ties, fitted mesh panels to protect the cooling fan, custom made brackets to keep the fenders in position, and finally a spray of black paint so fender interior is nicer to look at.
Rather than stay put and observe the whole RWB process from a distance, everyone voluntarily stepped in to lend their hands with small tasks as simple as finding a tool he needs or holding an object for him just so he can do his work comfortably. This culture unites people of same passion together and it has always been this way in RWB.
Dominick shared that he prefers something that's decent, humble, less aggressive when driven out, and definitely not like the frightening triple-tier wing that Yamato has. Haha!
Nakai-san is indeed a man with few words. He's cool, rarely talks and only concentrating to finish what he had started. But that didn't stop me from striking a conversation with him during his break. Out of the many questions I can remember, I asked him this "Among all the RWBs built, which do you like most?".
Without hesitation he answered "None". Then, he smiled and explained that every RWB he created around the world is a piece of him and there's no way you can choose which one you love most in your family. :)
Oh yes, fortunately one of Christian's friend managed to acquire a handy thread repair tool to solve the issue Nakai-san highlighted the night before, and the owner of car gladly took the challenge to thread the wheel studs deeper.
Without wasting any time, Nakai-san proceeds to work on Christian's car creating the first backdate RWB in Malaysia. "Backdate RWB" refers to modern Porsches being converted to an old school 911 with the distinctive Rauh-Welt styling cue. The conversion is available only for 930 and 964 models as they share the same body chassis.
For the conversion, different set of body kit is necessary and earlier 911 parts like front/rear lights, grille, turn signal box have to be sourced. We were quite excited to experience the first backdate RWB in the making.
Nakai-san takes extra care in mounting the turn signal box (black plastic bracket) directly below the headlights, so it can firmly hold the 911 grille and signal lights which form the main features of the backdate.
Easier said than done though as Nakai-san have to go the extra mile to customize the bracket, sand it down, hold it down using zip ties, making fine adjustment and finally finished with sticky silicone sealant to set the bracket permanently.
Nakai-san ended day 2 of the build with an almost completed RWB Malaysia #03 and a kick-start to #04. Stay tune for the upcoming post that will cover the progress of the remaining built days before everything is officially complete. :D
To be continued in Part 2...