Shuichi Nakagawa is a trendsetter in Japan. He's one of those guys who strives for innovation and looks at things from new angles—in this case, old angles. For his success, Nakagawa gives a lot of credit to social media, where he built a large following from his street-driven Bad Quality Nissan 180SX (featured on our cover, February '14).
His popularity drove a lot of fans his way. So, when it came time to decide what to work on next, he consulted his mentor, quit his day job, and took a trip to the U.S. to attend his first SEMA show. After seeing all the different influences and wide spectrum of high-quality cars there, he came up with a unique idea to transform the Porsche 997 and create his brand, Old & New.
Back in '70s, Porsche found a loophole in the rules and swapped the production fenders on its 930 race cars for more aerodynamic ones without headlights. This design led to a Le Mans victory for Porsche, as well as limited-edition models later on that are nearly impossible to find these days. Nakagawa applied this "slant nose" design to what became the signature look of his first Old & New body kit. He'd go on to debut the kit a year later at SEMA '16 on Mikey Cristi's 997.
The Old & New kit does a valiant job of retaining the natural curves of the original design, even though it replaces the rear wing, gas cap, rear fenders, both bumpers, and of course, the front fenders with its slant-nose look. It's something purists will cringe at, but for those who've embraced concepts like Rauh-Welt Begriff and the likes of Rocket Bunny and Liberty Walk when they first emerged, the Old & New conversion is a breath of fresh air for an aftermarket that's become stale when it comes to exterior innovation. One such enthusiast who was instantly drawn to Nakagawa's new aero was Hiroaki Miyazaki.
Miyazaki calls Tokyo his home and he's a man familiar with great cars. He owns 30 of them (we're not kidding), including an '88 Ferrari 328, '08 Mercedes G55 AMG, and a '73 911 "narrow"—all left-hand drive, which is very uncommon for Japan. That love of cars explains how he came to create the first 997 Carrera Cabriolet with the Old & New kit.
Miyazaki's 997 sits on an air suspension and has some of the most unique wheels we've seen: 19-inch Rotiform HUR three-piece forged wheels with a brushed gloss clear finish on the face and gloss black barrels. He explains, "I like the design; they're like Lamborghini wheels."
Turning the Cabriolet into a slant nose took about a year with some wiring challenges, but it was well worth the wait. Now the car is used as a daily driver, or at least as "daily" as anything can be when you have 30 cars.
When we asked Nakagawa what he thought of Miyazaki's drop top, he told us, "It's the epitome of cool." That's a pretty big compliment coming from the man behind Old & New, but will there be anything that can top that? Nakagawa hints he has something up his sleeve for the 996. When it debuts (most likely at SEMA), we are sure it'll create another stir in the industry as he once again makes something old for something new.