Yes, yes, you’ve seen enough footage and photos around the web of Rauh-Welt Begriff Porsches being built and driven from various parts of the world. The success and reputation of the man behind all those wild Porsches, Akira Nakai, long precedes anything to be written of his accolades these days. Such is the impact of these builds that, with the power of the internet, the initials RWB have become a household name among Porsche guys and JDM enthusiasts in a span of a few short years.
Considering the countless* Porsches Nakai-san has built and all the various styles and iterations of them that he’s made, somehow people also ended up being curious as to what inspires the man to think of something different for every single car. It reflects on many things about him, really. From his favorite beer (Stella Artois), to his favorite smokes (Winston Reds), and to many more details about his travels and that of the car’s owner, Nakai-san brings something unique to the table for every RWB he builds. Plenty-a-media have touched on these details as well, as i’m sure every avid RWB follower knows these bits already by heart. What I find lacking however, are some details on how these wide-body beauties are pieced together. What little bits and pieces are behind each build to aid the main man in the creation of his masterpiece?
*No, Nakai-san does not keep count of how many Porsches he’s built. He cannot tell you how many Porsches he’s already worked on. That’s how many.
We were fortunate enough to witness the build of the sixth Rauh-Welt Porsche in the Philippines just to show you these bits. This Seal Gray 993, RWB Kirsten, will be our subject as we go along the finer details of the RWB build.
Rauh Welt Porsches are distinguished by their wide fenders, deep dish wheels, and stacked championship wings. That said, the build begins by sourcing these items from Japan and ensuring that everything is ready to be grafted onto the car. Here in Manila, the shop appointed by Nakai-san is none other than Car Porn Racing, whose job is to coordinate all the steps for the client prior to the built itself. From shipping, to the painting of the kit, and to the pre-prep of the project car before the build date, Car Porn will orchestrate everything to ensure that everything goes without a hitch.
In the case of RWB Kirsten, several key aftermarket pieces went into the 993 before the kit was installed. As is signature with most RWBs in the country, Kirsten is fitted with an AirRex Digital Air Suspension System paired with an AccuAir E-level Management System to provide convenience and usability for the RWB on our local roads. A Stoptech Big Brake Kit as well as a FabSpeed Exhaust System have also been installed for good measure.
Once everything’s set and a build date has been confirmed, the Porsche is suspended on a set of jack stands in the middle of the shop with its wheels, trunk, and front and rear bumpers removed. Besides this, the whole painted RWB kit and the Work Wheels are laid out on a mat beside the car. All of these are done to make things streamlined once Nakai-san steps in to work his magic.
Upon Nakai-san’s arrival, with the greetings and formalities aside, the build finally begins. You’ll find here all of the equipment that Nakai-san lugs around with him during his trip to use in grafting the kit around the car. Here you’ll find all of the bolts and nuts that hold the kit together, the various sizes of spacers for the wheels to fit flush to the fenders, some pneumatic tools like a cutter and a belt sander, and those magical green Washi Tapes.
I say magical because you can only imagine how this kit would come together without those Washi Tapes at the builder’s disposal. What he does with them is quite quirky and ingenious at the same time. Aside from tape and shut work, they’re also used as a measuring tool for aligning the kit and fenders on one side of the car to the other. Instead of using measuring tapes over and over again, Nakai-san mounts a piece of tape on one fender like a crosshair and aligns it with the piece of tape on the other side. Such is the sharp eye required for a build like this, and it is a method that only a craftsman like Nakai-san can employ and execute properly.
Speaking of the fenders, these characteristic pieces of the RWB aren’t simply a screw-on type of deal as its rivets suggest. Anyone remotely familiar with the proceeds of the Rauh Welt Porsche build knows that the cutting of the factory fenders is somewhat of a ceremony, one that marks the point of no return to being stock for the donor Porsche. Here Nakai-san brings out one of the two handy power tools he brings along; The pneumatic cutter. An air line from the shop is coursed to the area where the car is being built, and once that plugs into the tool, the hacking begins. This particular act is one that the diehard purists cringe at and is usually a point of resentment for them with regards to RWB. To his credit however, you can’t fault Nakai-san for his work as even the process of cutting the fenders involves surgical precision.
To give you an idea of how I define ‘surgical precision’, kindly allow me to digress a bit:
I distinctly recall when I was working with Car Porn Racing on the very first RWB Victoria build a little over a year ago. Ian King, the bossman behind Car Porn Racing, wanted to hack the fenders off the Porsche himself, and Nakai-san allowed him with his guidance. As they were about to finish cutting up the rear left fender, Nakai-san says in fairly broken english “Move 2CM back. You hit Oil Pan.” Such is the experience of the man with working his art on the P-cars, I take it he must’ve broken his fair share of internal bits over the years as well!
With the fenders fitted and in place, Nakai-san proceeds to using his second pneumatic tool, the belt sander. Put simply, this is pretty much motorized sandpaper in a belt that allows for quick smoothening of rough surfaces and is applied to the jagged bits and edges of the body work post-installation. Considering that Nakai-san is very keen on the fitment of the wheels down to the millimeter, this tool is key to ensuring that no parts will come into contact with the huge tires inside the fenders.
Soon after bits and pieces like the trunk, front, and rear bumpers go into place with their respective touches. These are also meticulously aligned with the rest of the kit for that one piece look.
Once the large pieces are in place, details like the front canards, the rear fender wings and canards, and the stack championship wing are mounted to add that signature ‘rough’ edge to the whole kit.
Finally, the piece de résistance of the build is none other than the Rauh Welt windscreen visor which is as delicately mounted as the whole kit itself. This sums up how Nakai-san treats his builds, from surgically removing key components, to aligning the whole kit, to simply mounting a visor, his eye for detail shines through all those tasks whether they be simple or complex. That mentality is something we can all use a slice of cake from, and is pretty much what sets Akira Nakai apart from plenty of other builders out there.
Photos by Jet Rabe