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1984 Porsche 911 930R, 1986 Porsche 911 930 - It's A Rough World

How a man in Chiba created a tuning subculture

Sean Klingelhoefer
Jul 28, 2011 SHARE

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.

Sstp 1108 01 1984 porsche 911 930r+cover Photo 2/19   |   1984 Porsche 911 930R, 1986 Porsche 911 930 - It's A Rough World

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.

Sstp 1108 10 1984 porsche 911 930r+kensuke Photo 3/19   |   1984 Porsche 911 930R, 1986 Porsche 911 930 - It's A Rough World

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.

Sstp 1108 06 1984 porsche 911 930r+interior Photo 4/19   |   1984 Porsche 911 930R, 1986 Porsche 911 930 - It's A Rough World

Although Nakai is most well-known for his Porsche builds he actually got into the tuning scene at the age of 18 thanks to the ever-popular AE86 Corolla. In his younger years, he spent much of his time heavily involved with the underground street drifting culture and his passion for the rough style began there. Even today Nakai still offers services to Hachi-Roku owners and says that he can create a body kit for virtually any car available, but cautions that creating anything non-Porsche will take a little extra time.

Sstp 1108 09 1984 porsche 911 930r+tires Photo 11/19   |   1984 Porsche 911 930R, 1986 Porsche 911 930 - It's A Rough World

The whole RAUH-Welt process is a rather involved labor of love and expression. You see when you bring your car to RWB, Nakai calls the shots. The ordeal is fairly straightforward; you bring your car to him and pay a deposit. Your car then sits atRWB for as long as Nakai deems necessary to come up with a plan. In the following weeks Akira will dig deep to find out what your interests and passions are and integrate them into a one-off styling for your automobile.

It’s a rolling form of personal expression. Nakai will pick the color scheme he thinks best matches your personality and will determine what decals will adorn the side skirts. Nakai takes the decals very seriously and puts a lot of attention into how the letters are spaced, what the words represent and even how fun they are to say or the types of things they make the reader think about. For example, on his black 930 the words “Stella Artois” appear along the side, a concept that hit him as he was drinking one of the beers in a bar in Belgium. Nothing he does is premeditated; he works in a stream-of-consciousness manner, working only when the mood strikes him.

Sstp 1108 04 1986 porsche 911 930+stella Photo 12/19   |   1984 Porsche 911 930R, 1986 Porsche 911 930 - It's A Rough World

“Whatever I like now, I do,” he tells me. “I am thinking only of the moment, I do not think about the future.” I was even able to catch a glimpse of his work process, which involves a lot of time smoking cigarettes until the ideas come to him. Nakai explains, “I leave the car here and smoke about a thousand cigarettes, then I get inspired.” For this reason RWB doesn’t offer their bodykits for sale, Nakai himself handcrafts every kit to your vehicle.

Up until now, that has been a real problem if you live outside Japan. However, Nakai has realized that his products are now in demand elsewhere in the world, with one of the larger markets being the US. In fact, while I was on site, Nakai showed me his latest creation, a US safety-bumper capable of passing our strict regulations while retaining the signature RAUH-Welt styling. By the time you read this, he should have the whole kit sorted out and tells me that if anyone is interested in an RWB kit, he will come over and complete the process start-to-finish. So if you’re in the market for a custom kit, check out RWB’s new English site and stock up on Winstons; Nakai’s gonna need ‘em!

Sstp 1108 03 1986 porsche 911 930+spoiler Photo 13/19   |   1984 Porsche 911 930R, 1986 Porsche 911 930 - It's A Rough World

TUNING MENU

“Masterpiece” 1984 Porsche 911 930R
Owner Kensuke Ohsawa
Footwork & Chassis RWB spec Deed coilover kit
Brakes AP Racing calipers and rotors
Wheels & Tires 18X11"/12" black w/polished lip SSR Professor SP1 wheels; 245/40ZR18, 27535ZR18 Hankook Z214 tires
Exterior custom camouflage paint by RWB, RWB “930R” body kit (front bumper, rear bumper, side skirts, rear wing, canards, front wide fenders, rear wide fenders)
Interior Recaro seat; MOMO steering wheel
www rauh-welt.com; more-japan.com (SSR); promodet.co.jp; idlersclub.org

TUNING MENU

“Stella Artois” 1986 Porsche 911 930
Owner Akira Nakari
Hometown Chiba, Japan
Occupation Turning cars into works of art
Power 355hp
Engine 3.8L naturally-aspirated flat-six; fully-built PROMODET engine; PMO individual carbs; RWB titanium exhaust; (2) MSD 7AL-2 ignition boxes, (2) Pro Power coils
Footwork & Chassis RWB spec Aragosta coilover kit; rollcage
Brakes Endless calipers, pads and rotors
Wheels & Tires 18X11"/12" custom gold SSR Professor SP1 wheels; 245/645R18, 295/670R18 Kumho Ecsta S700 tires
Exterior matte purple-black paint; RWB front bumper, rear bumper, “Hakama” big side skirts, front wide fenders, rear wide fenders, rear wing, canards, decals
Interior MOMO RWB steering wheel; Bride RWB seat; Recaro rails; Autometer Sport Comp tachometer; Innovate air/fuel gauge; Kameari fuel pressure gauge; carbon-fiber dash
www rauh-welt.com; more-japan.com (SSR); promodet.co.jp; idlersclub.org

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By Sean Klingelhoefer
211 Articles

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