‘Tis a strange place, the Internet, that is. Most of us cannot imagine life without it and I’d be lying if I didn’t say it’s helped advance car culture a great amount in the last decade. For many of us, it’s not only the way we communicate with one another, but also how we take in news and other “vital” information (in our case, cars). Although first encounters are often brief and leave you with more questions than answers, it’s in cyberspace that we regularly see trends beginning.
For Mark Arcenal the Internet would have a strange way of affecting his life, and I’m not even talking about Hellaflush or Slammed Society. Back before all the hype and decals stuck round the world Mark was working for Nike in Oregon where he purchased the 911 on the pages before you. Although an unarguably beautiful car right from the factory, this 964 started its life looking very different from the way it does now. Anyone even remotely in tune with automotive culture should instantly recognize the silhouette of a signature RWB Porsche, but that wasn’t the case in 2007.
It was during this time that Mark helped out the Speedhunters boys getting their site off the ground when Creative Director Rod Chong sent Mark a little inspiration in the form of Nakai’s now legendary “Stella Artois” 911 (see August 2011 issue). At the time Mark, and most of the tuning world, had never seen anything like it and it immediately sparked his interest. At this point, RWB was a bit of an underground thing and everyone in the know tried their best to keep quiet, as many had uncontrollable urges to one day own such a magnificent car (myself included) and didn’t want anyone else to beat them to the punch.
As time went on, Mark would eventually leave Nike and head back to the bay area, but the 911 came along for the ride. Growing Fatlace and Illest from nothing to the powerful brands they are today takes time and dedication and although he continued working on several other builds, the 911 was sidelined apart from a set of Volk TE37s and some suspension work, but eventually the itch to build a super wide RWB monster would be too powerful to resist any longer.
The difference between most of us and Mark Arcenal, aside from the fact that he actually owned a Porsche and had the means to modify it, was that he actually got off his ass and flew to Japan to meet the man behind the bodywork. Through the help of mutual friend and talented artist Jon Sibal, who was helping to design a 996 kit which is yet to be released at the time of press, Mark would set up a meeting with Akira Nakai. As things would turn out Nakai was very enthusiastic about working on an American project and although he had received numerous emails (which he couldn’t read), Mark was the first person to go out of his way to fly to Japan and ask for Nakai’s services.
Nakai was so impressed that he not only jumped at the opportunity to work with Mark, but he also gave Mark the opportunity to become the official US distributor of RAUH-Welt which he happily accepted. Over last summer, things were very busy at the Fatlace paddock as they extended operations and began overflowing from their then-current warehouse and began occupancy of the vacant space adjacent to them, which would become the home of RWB USA. But there was a lot more going on than painting the building and installing RWB sign out front.
In the back of the warehouse a shop had been assembled complete with all the tools (including Stella Artios) Nakai requires to work his magic. Mark was watching history, and his dreams of owning the first RWB 911 in America unfold before his very eyes. Working in sporadic bursts Akira did what he does best to complete not one, but three 911s in the little shop on Amphlett Blvd in time for the 2011 edition of the SEMA show. Keeping the projects under wraps was difficult but the crew did their best to give teasers that got people interested without giving away the whole shebang.
Come SEMA and there I am standing in front of the Falken Tire booth looking at what is an incomprehensibly green RWB 911 emblazoned with the phrase “Pandora One” on the rocker panels and a one-off faux bedazzled Illest front lip accent. To say that the car caught most show-goers off guard would be a grotesque understatement. It was at no time surrounded by any less than ten people, many of which were clearly posing for Facebook updates, which likely read “OMG I’m totally standing next to an RWB Porsche!” It was a bit funny to me, but had I not already been around some of Nakai’s creations before (or had a Facebook account) I’d likely be doing the same.
But as much as easy as it is to give RWB all the credit would be sadly overlooking a very special part of the car, the engine. While Nakai is a great body man, he leaves the engine tuning up to experts, in this case FFTEC. Although rarely heard of outside of the Evo crowd, the guys at FFTEC had wanted to get into Porsches and when they heard about Mark’s project they saw a perfect opportunity. With a crazy time constraint to get the car finished in time for SEMA, they had their work cut out for them, but they delivered.
Aside from a complete engine teardown, the FFTEC team was responsible for creating a bespoke turbo system consisting of a top-mount intercooler, turbo manifolds and exhaust. Their work is impeccable, albeit a little difficult to see given the car’s drive train configuration and packaging restrictions. Mark said he cannot stress enough how hard the guys at FFTEC worked to make sure everything was done right and done on time and is extremely happy with the setup. All we know is that on the freeway the turbo whine is pure bliss.
Since completion Mark has put plenty of miles on the car, only being restricted by its E85 diet which limits where he can drive and refuel. The car is driven on the street regularly and, like its Japanese brethren, has even seen track duty at Infineon raceway in Sonoma. It’s easy to hate on a badass car like this that’s so well rounded and stylish, particularly because he beat us all to the punch. But if you look at it in the scheme of things this car is pushing car culture in the right direction and on the bright side, thanks to Mark, now you can actually get an RWB kit installed on your car instead of day dreaming about it.
1990 Porsche 911 964 Carrera 4 “Pandora One”
Owner Mark Arcenal
Hometown San Mateo, CA
Occupation Creative Director at Fatlace and Illest clothing
Engine 3.6-liter flat six-cylinder; Moly cylinders, pistons; FFTEC 62R turbo kit with Precision billet turbocharger, custom manifolds, custom exhaust, custom top-mount intercooler; TiAL Q blow-off valve; Fuel Injector Clinic 1100cc fuel injectors; Bosch 044 fuel pump; AEM inline wideband UEGO controller; AEM 3.5 bar MAP sensor
Drivetrain G50 transmission; ACT clutch
Engine Management AEM Series 2 EMS
Footwork & Chassis KW V3 coilovers with Hydraulic Lift System; FFTEC motorsport specification custom full rollcage
Brakes Brembo GT brake kit
Wheels & Tires 18X10.5"/18X12.5" black Rotiform RWB wheels; 265/35R18 & 315/30R18 Falken Azenis RT-615K tires
Exterior Rauh-Welt Begriff Porsche 964 wide body kit (front and rear bumpers, side skirts and wide arches), double rear wing; TNT satin green paint, Illest logo decals
Interior Recaro Pro-Racer SPG bucket seats; TRS green harnesses; custom lightweight door cards; Technic Craft suede steering wheel; Rennline pedal set
Thanks You FFTEC for the motor build, TNT Autobody in Sacramento for the paint, KW for the suspension, Recaro for the seats, STACK for the gauges, Brembo for the GT brakes, and of course, Nakai for the inspiration while building the car
WWW falkentire.com; fftec.com; kw-suspension.com; rauhwelt-usa.com; recarousa.com; stackltd.com; tnt-autobody.com