Some might say it’s too Euro for this mag and others might think it’s played out. But haters, you can shut up because RWB still builds some of the illest cars we’ve seen today.
For years, we’ve been following RWB (Rauh-WELT Begriff, German for “Rough World Concept”), before you’ve seen them surfacing on blogs and loading up on your Facebook feed. Conceived in Japan from founder and designer Akira Nakai, these handcrafted cars have been praised around the world and appreciated by virtually all enthusiasts. It doesn’t matter if you bleed Hondas or Mustangs, bikes or trucks; a finely tuned Porsche can get any man’s heart pumping. RWB’s specialty wasn’t about building 1000hp track cars but bringing new light to older Porsches using a widebody treatment that’s reminiscent of ‘70s endurance GT racing. While the cars have a classic coke-bottle shape of a widebody turbo, no two RWB cars are the same. With each car that bears the RWB name, Nakai puts his own personal twist to make each project unique for each customer.
There are about 100 RWBeezies in Japan, but last year the Rauh-WELT sensation hit foreign shores such as Great Britain, Dubai and Russia. In the US, we have Mark Arcenal from Fatlace and Illest to thank. After becoming buddies with Nakai, their friendship blossomed into business partners as they jump-started RWB-USA in California last fall. Three RWB cars were built for the SEMA show, including Mark’s turbocharged 964 which graced our cover last June.
A couple months after we shot Mark’s 964, we heard about his next project—this ’95 993 Carrera. Meant to be Nakai’s personal car when he comes to visit the US, they concluded it would be easier if it was registered and taken care of by Mark. “We decided to build the car together as a demo vehicle, plus the 964 is difficult to drive on the street,” Mark told us. “This is more of a daily driver. You can pick up the kids and drive it every day.” It’s hard to believe a beast like this could be considered a daily but Mark isn’t kidding. He doesn’t give a shit if it’s dinged or the front scrapes—although we cringe at the thought! It’s meant to be driven; to prove it, he insisted on throwing us the keys. Like dumbasses, we answered no but we didn’t want to be responsible for damaging or breaking one of six RWB cars in the States. So we asked staff member Jon Chow to chauffeur us around, and why not through the heart of downtown San Francisco?
With no engine modifications done to the aircooled Porsche, the car started up with ease. If you were blindfolded, you’d think it’s your run-of-the-mill 993 but open your eyes and you don’t want to shut them.
Once we entered the city, it was clear to us that we weren’t the only one’s in love with this car. It’s a neck breaker, panty dropper; whatever you want to call it…times ten. Grandmas and grandpas were dropping their jaws; mothers with their kids couldn’t stop staring. Even when we parked on the side of a street, we had passing cars making a complete stop in the middle of the road to snap cell phone pics. The car is a driving celebrity.