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How to Crash the Hot Rod Power Tour with Rutledge Wood

Our buddy Rut is on his way toward building an RWB Porsche 911 that everyone's gonna hate

Sam Du
May 30, 2019
Photographer: Chad Burdette

This year marks the 25th anniversary of our sister magazine's Hot Rod Power Tour. Props to them, it's one of the biggest automotive spectacles in the United States, bringing out 100,000-plus hot rod and classic car fans on a massive road trip that spans nearly an entire week and several states. Now, normally we turn a blind eye to the HRPT, as it's made of up nothing but classic American metal we wouldn't know a damn thing about. But we heard through the grapevine from our friends at Continental Tire that a certain individual was bringing something this year that would raise a few eyebrows—that certain individual being Mr. Rutledge Wood, and the car in question, a Rauh-Welt Begriff (RWB) Porsche.

Rutledge Wood RWB Porsche Build 86 Carrera 01 Photo 39/39   |   How to Crash the Hot Rod Power Tour with Rutledge Wood
Rutledge Wood RWB Porsche Build Akira Nakai 01 Photo 39/39   |   How to Crash the Hot Rod Power Tour with Rutledge Wood

I've had the pleasure of rubbing elbows with Rutledge Wood at a handful of SEMA shows since he's one of the key speakers for Toyota. Most of you might know the Alabama-born car industry celeb, as he's a regular racing analyst for NASCAR and NBC Sports, not to mention he was one of the anchors in the American spin-off version of Top Gear. What most of us didn't know (myself included) was that he's been a Super Street kid at heart practically his entire career. He even mentioned to me that he'd done his fair share of drag racing at NOPI Nationals in the late '90s. So, when I heard he was about to ruffle some feathers at this year's HRPT with something that would fit more of the Super Street audience than Hot Rod, I had to get the scoop.

Rutledge Wood RWB Porsche Build RWB Fender Flare Photo 39/39   |   How to Crash the Hot Rod Power Tour with Rutledge Wood
Rutledge Wood RWB Porsche Build Quarter Panel Cutting 01 Photo 39/39   |   How to Crash the Hot Rod Power Tour with Rutledge Wood

Rut has been a legitimate diehard RWB fan even before Mark Arcenal of Fatlace brought Akira Nakai to the States. The extreme-wide Porsches from Japan were "rough" air-cooled warriors that would see track days every weekend. You would be hard-pressed to find an RWB at a car show back then. It became Rut's dream to build his own, one that wouldn't just sit in his garage and only display at major car shows, but an RWB he could drive on long road trips and beat on at his favorite tracks. After seeing Mark Arcenal's personal Pandora One build (the first RWB in the states) in 2011, Rut was sold. It just took him eight years to find the perfect Porsche and pull the trigger. But better late than never, right?

Rutledge Wood RWB Porsche Build Quarter Panel Cutting 02 Photo 39/39   |   How to Crash the Hot Rod Power Tour with Rutledge Wood
Rutledge Wood RWB Porsche Build Hood Adjustment Photo 39/39   |   How to Crash the Hot Rod Power Tour with Rutledge Wood

Our Atlanta-based photographer, Chad Burdette, was able to catch up with Rut at Kenwood Rod Shop in Peachtree City, Ga. where the grunt of the build would take place. Using an '86 Carrera as his base, we noticed Rut's tasteful choice in paint first; Sonoma green borrowed from the Audi color palate. 18-inch gold Forgeline wheels wrapped in Continental ExtremeContactSport tires matched extremely well with the new paint, then Rut added KW coilovers and Brembo brakes. The interior has yet to be completed; however, powering Rut's 911 isn't the original air-cooled engine, but a Summit Racing LS3 swap that's said to be good for 525hp. German car, Japanese styling, American muscle...you can get why some folks are going to hate this when they see it cruising from North Carolina to Ohio at this year's HRPT. But we commend you, Rut, and we are excited to see the finished product and the look on everyone's faces when you blow by them!

Rutledge Wood RWB Porsche Build RWB Rear Quarter Panels Photo 39/39   |   How to Crash the Hot Rod Power Tour with Rutledge Wood
Rutledge Wood RWB Porsche Build Akira Nakai 02 Photo 39/39   |   How to Crash the Hot Rod Power Tour with Rutledge Wood
By Sam Du
923 Articles

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