Regardless of your automotive background there’s no denying you love what you see right now. As much as you might want to hate, there’s something about these Porsches that is tugging at your heartstrings. Whether this is the first time you’ve seen these machines or you have hundreds of photos saved on your hard drive (like us), you just can’t get enough. It’s the broad attraction of the RAUH-Welt Begriff (RWB) cars that have rightfully catapulted Akira Nakai’s bespoke creations into Internet superstardom.
One look at any of his builds and the reason for their popularity is immediately apparent: universal appeal. If you’re into Euros you’ll dig them because they’re Porsches; if you like JDM you love the Japanese styling and parts; if Hellaflush is your thing you’ll be enamored by the stance; if you build hood-rides you’ll get the paint jobs and if you’re a track-whore you’ll have crazy respect for these cars that are actually raced. It’s almost as if the entire world tuning culture had its orbit aligned in Nakai’s brain and manifested itself in his work.
I, too, fell victim to love at first site when I originally spotted some RWB goodness in an Autoworks magazine some five years ago. It has been a goal of mine to someday meet the man behind the cars and bring back a story and photos for Super Street’s readers. Fortunately, I found some time earlier this year to visit the smoky lair that is RWB’s headquarters in Chiba. I was instantly awe-stricken and it took me a few minutes before I was able to get to work.
With German satellite radio blasting in the background I started shooting. Every square inch of the shop is covered in something interesting, be it a piece of Americana, some sort of German relic or race related bits, there is a lot to be taken in. For example, on a shelf behind a couch is a row of old racing helmets kept company by numerous cans of nuts, some vintage tachometers, a row of Winston cartons and a bunch of champagne. If anything can be concluded from the workshop it’s that this type of randomness in such vast quantities is surely conducive to the style that RWB has become famous for.
RAUH-Welt is German for “Rough World”, a motto Nakai lives by not only when it comes to cars. He likens his taste in cars to fashion, specifically jeans, where it is common for the wearer to purchase jeans that appear to be heavily used right off the rack. In his own words “not fancy style, ROUGH!” Every car he builds is like a piece of living performance art, only improving with use and age. It’s this trademark style that has made RWB more popular than distressed selvedge denim.