The 911 has a reputation for being one of the finest driving machines on the planet. Its unconventional rear-engine layout has become a proven recipe that works well on both the road and the track and since the beginning has dictated the way the car looks. And it’s these looks in particular that have captivated the minds of some car enthusiasts out there. Nakai-san at Rauh Welt is a man that has taken the 911 to places that nobody thought possible, created an instantly recognizable style that in a very short space of time has exploded in popularity around the world. So to finish off the Porsche 911 Day celebrations we thought we’d ask Nakai some questions…
…questions that you, our readers, kindly submitted last week. We were blown away by the feedback we got and I’d like to thank everyone that responded. I have had to make a short selection form the 100+ submissions we had, so apologies if your question wasn’t included. Read on to find out Nakai-san’s answers…
Speedhunters Readers: How did you get started in this line of work?
It started as a way for me to have fun with cars. Still to this day I don’t think that what I do is work, it’s just a way for me to enjoy myself doing what I love.
SHR: Why Stella Artois ? What make this beer your favourite?
I once visited Belgium and had a chance to try Stella Artois. During my whole time there that’s all I drank and I really got to like it, so once back in Japan I just continued to drink it. Also the label has a pretty cool design.
SHR: What’s the reasoning behind the looks of your cars? Is there any sort of “RWB Philosophy”?
My philosophy is to make cars that not only look cool, but that you can drive – cars that don’t just sit on display.
SHR: What were the early days of Rough World like??? Do you still have any of your AE86s from back then?
It was a fun time, nothing has really changed as I’m still having lots of fun with what I am doing today. As for the hachirokus, they are all gone.
SHR: Where do you start when you 1st start to build a car?
First I think about it and begin imagining what the final car will look like. The actual build process begins form the fenders, once those are taken care of everything else falls into place easily.
SHR: Love your work, would be very much interested in a 350Z (Fairlady Z) RWB conversion! Would you be interested in such a build?
Thanks! Sure, bring it over. I can do a conversion to any car, but since it will be more of a custom built it will probably take a while to complete. Some cars take longer than others.
SHR: Where could I buy the wide body kit that you use? Or is it not for sale and only exclusive with RWB?
Yes it’s exclusively on sale only from Rauh Welt, be it RWB USA, RWB Thailand or any other RWB dealer.
SHR: What would you do to a Porsche 959?
I’d make it wider.
SHR: What would you say is the best looking production car on sale?
There are none, my car is my favourite.
SHR: Can I have a job?
OK sure, come over and give me a hand…
SHR: Do you like comics/manga if so which ones?
I don’t read manga, I watch movies.
SHR: Ever thought about a RWB Cayman or even a Panamera?
Yeah sure why not, anything is possible but it will take a long time to create.
SHR: I want to know what it takes for me to actually have a 911 built by RWB here in Sweden… Need to ship the car to States/Japan to get it done?
There is no need to ship your car anywhere, just invite me over to Sweden and I’ll build it for you. Call me.
SHR: Which Porsche that you haven’t worked on do you want to work on the most? And which Porsches could there never be an RWB design for?
I don’t set limits, I would work on any Porsche.
SHR: How many cars do you do a year?
I don’t really keep count…
SHR: What do you see in the future for Rauh Welt?
I never think about the future, I just think about the “now.” I just want to enjoy what I do.
-Dino Dalle Carbonare
SICK!!! The man is awesome!! I wonder if he'd give the RWB treatment to my Saturn?! LMAO!!! No, seriously though...
I know this kind of work can be expensive, and SUPER time consuming to do, but man this guy must be quite freaking wealthy. $18k for a kit on the rwb usa website. this guy is a high roller for sure. love his cars, and his standpoint on the cars he builds.
I'm kinda bummed he didn't actually answer my question about what he considers to be the best looking car on sale, "There are none" doesn't apply to the question.
"There is no need to ship your car anywhere, just invite me over to Sweden and I’ll build it for you."
Nakai-san, i want an RWB!!
One question i wish they had asked was of all the cars out there, why did he choose Porsche to be his marque focus. It seems that he could of gone with any of the other brand, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Mercedes etc. Looking at his answers he would probably say something like " I like the way they look and drive". I doubt we could have gotten a deep philosophical insight into his reasoning, as he said, "My philosophy is to make cars that not only look cool, but that you can drive – cars that don’t just sit on display" but maybe help us know why he loves his Porsches so much.
Sometimes, its the little things. This guy has a Meters CD!!! That's it. No more needs to be said. The man has taste
Epic man, man of few words, but words just on the right spot. Very nice, hope to get to do this some time again. :)
Judging by the answers, Nakai-San seems to be the Kimi Raikonnen of Japanese tuners. XDCool interview, seems like a really cool dude.
I'm glad to see that my fundamental question about the beer was answered.
It's also nice to see that he is open to others cars than 911s. I want to see a Z or a Miata done in the RWB way !
A "big pimpin' balla" is what we call this guy. Almost at the level of Chuck Norris, but more at the Jet Li, Jackie Chan status. No where near Bruce Lee but potential is there.
lol this guy!!! love his responses! if only everyone could cut the bull and give you a straight answer!
I love his philosophy, no BS, just do what you want. And he's so open to meeting people and he makes himself so available. We could all learn from that I think.
I know at least of one friend that would be happy to be just half as cool as Nakai-san. And would love to have that last picture as a desktop background.
Wow, awesome my question got answered! Not sure how practical it would be to bring my Zed over to Japan. You're welcome to visit Belgium again, I'll keep the Stella cold ;)
Great interview and a possibly the coolest guy on the planet.Love the RWB style and what a great workshop.Does he live there?
Just enjoy yourself and everything else will fall into place.Good interview. i always though these guys (RWB,Chip Foose,Brabus,Shelby) had some sort of special education or advantage to be able to build custom built cars for a living but it seem thats not the case at all. They were just having fun with what they are doing and everything else fell into place. Cool
@Tonioseven He can, but it will take time :)
as this has probably been explained already...
He grew up liking Porsche's toy cars and the local porsche (be it his neighbours or his fathers, it escapes me at the moment).
When at last he got one, he realised the 911 was the "bee's knees" for balance and driving feel.
sources: somewhere online....
I became obsessive over his approach to auto-salon styling/customer service and Google'd the shit out of him. I watched some Japanese-only videos as well, him becoming popular in Tokyo in 2010. Hopefully that gives a little more insight as I felt the same way after reading this, only to realise I already knew the back story.
@grandtouring I wonder if it's the sort of thing where he started with his own car, people saw it and it took off from there. Sort of a natural progression. But I love the fact that he has no snobbery about the brand from the interview....seems he'll mod anything that someone feels is cool. Neat approach to not pigeon hole himself, very cool
@grandtouring From what I remember from a magazine interview that I read, I think he had had a curiosity about the 911 back when he was building Toyotas. I can't remember when or why he ultimately switched.
I totally agree. i could totally see Nakai-san building a car with "CLAP YA' HANDS NOW!" playing in the background!@MPistol
@m8rky Most of the time he does, yes. He really does live and breathe his work
@hanablemoore Foose went to Art Center. He has a very specialized, expensive education to do what he does. Other guys just work hard and make it. But lets be clear, a guy like Shelby could never design a car the same way that Foose does. They each took completely different approaches to their craft. I know that sounds like I like Foose and not Shelby, but that's not my point at all.
i think chip foose studied automotive design and something other related to cars iirc
@KeithCharvonia I was just listing my favorite tuners. i know chip has a education but he could have went the safe route designing buses and shit but he decided to build and sell hot rods. Also his daddy was a known customiser. Hot Rods is a very small customer base so for him to be successful is cool.