At the end of Akira Nakai's 2023 trip to the land down under, Australia's RWB family has grown to 15. With a backlog of orders over the past few years, Nakai-san would first head to Melbourne, then Perth, then finally Brisbane across three weeks to transform 7 Porsche 911s and give them a second life.
Restoration and paint specialists Polo Body Works would host the completion of RWB builds #9 and #11, and additionally, a meet and greet on the Sunday for Melbourne RWB fans to witness Nakai-san do what he does best. I don't think there is anyone else in the world who would have 50-60 people turn up to watch you work on a car.
Version 2 of the Southern Hemisphere's first RWB build, 'Southern Cross' would also be revealed, now sporting its smooth fender conversion and a ducktail rather than the tall spoiler seen previously on this 930 and many other RWB Porsches. There continues to be plenty of cool details on Australia's first RWB, including new Pegaroo Racing rear taillights, as the extra-long exhaust pipes give off some serious kaido-racer vibes.
RWB Australia #11 - owned by Scott from Outlaw Garage - would be the first of Australia's new group of RWB Porsches to be completed. What started as a white 911 Targa from Dubai, has now evolved into this street monster, finished in Miami Blue thanks to Polo Body Works.
Kitted out with a mad rear wing with Nakai-san's signature down the side, don't be afraid to look closer. Pegaroo Racing rear taillights are featured again, in addition to Pegaroo side mirrors, both designed by Chern Wong, owner of RWB Southern Cross. The electronic wiring has been completed by Phatt Audio Concepts - who are right around the corner from Polo Body Works - as the suspension has been left to TruTrack Suspension to make sure the RWB G1 forged 5-Spoke wheels fit among the wider fenders and the car sits low. It most certainly has some presence on the road.
Fukuen, Australia's 9th RWB Porsche would be the first 997 model of 911 to be given the Rough World treatment by Nakai-san in Australia. I think many people are included when I say this, but watching an RWB build take shape in the hands of Nakai-san would be a dream experience for many. So, when you do in fact get the chance to witness it, well, you can't quite believe it.
RWB Fukuen's owner felt the same, and was quite overwhelmed that after 4 years, his 997 Porsche was finally taking shape, turning into the exact picture in his head. He is very selfless, wanting to keep quite private, so I am very thankful that he has allowed me (a complete stranger) to interview him and share what this build means to him. He wishes to stay anonymous, so we shall call him D.
D's first encounter with RWB - although he didn't know it at the time - was, the AE86 and S15, both worked on by Akira Nakai. The matte black finish on this pair became an inspiration for one of D's own builds. When Southern Cross was being built, he first helped Chern with cutting up stickers for the brake calipers, which would lead to D following the build closer.
I remember back then I was like, I want to build one, one day."
Four years ago, D purchased the 997 Carrera you see before you, for the exact purpose of turning it into an RWB Porsche. In fact, he had ordered the widebody kit from Nakai-san before he started to look for a 997 to purchase.
It was at the stage that Nakai-san was doing the mock-up of the body kit, and Chern just out of nowhere sent me a message saying, 'look what's happening'. Then I was like 'I'm keen, let's see what the progress look like', and then few more weeks later I got another update from Chern, and I was like, 'This is pretty much what I want', and I say 'Chern, I want to do it'."
Because Nakai-san is just one man putting these widebody conversions together, D wanted to complete the prior work on the car by himself. Inside the 997, are now Recaro seats and a steering wheel from a later model Porsche, as D has also retrimmed the interior panels. In addition to the other upgrades around the car, the most notable change is the air bag suspension. The paint is Midnight Purple III and was chosen by D's wife and left in the hands of Vito from Polo Body Works to complete, making the Porsche look absolutely awesome at every angle the light touches.
I never thought I would have a car in Midnight Purple, and widebody"
Now it was all ready for Nakai-san to work his magic. Although he calls it 'Rough', his eye for detail and measurement is what is most impressive. Barely using any measuring tools, he lines everything up with tape before cutting, drilling and finishing off the widened overfenders with silicone trim, cleaning up the silicone with a single smear of his finger. It is very clear that he has his own processes and tricks, yet stays incredibly focused throughout his work. That is one of the reasons these RWB Porsches are special, because Nakai-sans techniques are so different, yet the end result is always a work of art.
I'm still sinking in the moment, enjoying it. It's surreal, unreal, like I honestly have no words. The attention to detail he puts in[to] the work, just amazing! His requirement, his standard is so different... He would literally spend an extra 20 minutes to get a full millimeter out of the fitment."
One of the first things Nakai-san worked on after cutting the first fender was the fuel flap, making sure it blended into the bolt on fender, even making a little stand for it to sit on when filling up. Even after RWB Fukuen was officially complete, wearing the RAUH-WELT banner across the windscreen, Nakai-san was still spending time making sure the fuel flap was perfect.
With widened fenders and fitment, the factory washer bottle would also have to be removed. Rather than make D go without one however, Nakai-san cut the water reservoir into a smaller size for it to fit back inside the car.
At the time I interviewed D, a name hadn't been given to his 997. Later, Nakai-san would name Australia's first 997 as RWB Fukuen. Fukuen being the Japanese word for 'Reunion', a very appropriate title, summing up what this car means to D and his family.
[Nakai-san] did ask me about any idea, or kind of name or category that I want... I [went] through a lot with this build. I sort of gave him the idea that, something around second life, second chance, a rebirth."
Rauh-Welt Begriff is more than just cut up Porsches, and even more than pieces of art. So many people come to witness Nakai-san give a Porsche a second life, as he gives so much joy and wonderment to enthusiasts young and old. These cars aren't about making some bold statement, they bring people together and remind us to enjoy true car culture; the importance of the journey of modifying cars and celebrating them among like-minded people.
Every car has a story and a community around it. Especially if it's Rauh-Welt Begriff.
Cutting Room Floor