If there is one thing that Nakai-san of RAUH-Welt Begriff has become very good at over the years, it’s pacing himself. Let’s not underestimate how hard that actually is, because it can make or break the popularity of the things you create if you fail to maintain the correct balance. This allows him to concentrate building countless cars throughout the year – many for overseas clients – and then, when the time is right, he comes up with something different. Last year it was Rotana – his own personal track car, that I shot before it was unveiled at the idlers event in Tsukuba. This year, however, it was a request from a customer that prompted him to slightly steer away from his usual style.
RWB has always been synonymous with ‘roughness’, or at least perceived roughness, as various generations of 911s have their fenders sawed off in favour of riveted-on overfenders of varying dimensions. However, this was not the chosen path for the white 964 Carrera 2 you see here.
That’s why, last Friday – a couple of days before the idlers Games at Tsukuba – I took a little drive out to Nakai’s shop. “The new car is finished,” were the words he uttered when I picked up a call from the man himself a few days prior. Excitement instantly rushed through my body. The time has come I thought, this is Nakai’s ‘car’ for 2014 – the one he unveils at just the right time so that RWB continues to thunder-on with the same sort of momentum. A two-hour drive later I found myself standing in front of the nameless creation. And needless to say, I was blown away.
I jumped in my car and headed off to a little park where the shoot would take place, all the while struggling to follow the impossibly-wide 964 as Nakai zig-zagged all over the road checking that none of the tyres were rubbing. Yes, he drives fast! It was the first time he had taken it out on the street – that’s how fresh the thing was…
Seeing him tackle the odd car coming in the opposite direction was nothing short of comical – the wide rear end freaking out most other motorists!
For Nakai’s latest creation, inspiration was drawn from the 1976 IROC race cars. The styling gives the 964 an RSR look thanks to that unmistakable front bumper with the large rectangular central air-dam and the two round side intakes that help cool the brakes. A black lip was added for looks and to protect the bumper against occasional rubs and scrapes.
On the factory 964 the headlight trim is usually colour-matched with the body, but to keep the ’70s theme in check vintage Bosch lenses with chrome trim rings have been added. They’re a nice little touch that accentuate the retro vibe.
Oh my, it’s the end of the world – an RWB 911 that doesn’t have screwed-on fender flares! Of course, this isn’t the first time that Nakai has done this, but maybe not too many people have noticed for the simple fact that the more aggressive overfender-equipped cars tend to steal all the limelight. Relatively speaking, the front hasn’t been widened that much, just 5cm on each side to be precise; the flaring seamlessly blended into the bodywork.
The sort of fitment you would expect on a RWB car is very much there though. There are literally millimetres between the Yokohama tyres’ sidewalls and the inside of the wheel arch, and the more the suspension compresses the more they camber inwards avoiding any sort of rubbing. The Work Wheels x RWB version of the legendary Meister wheel sport a reversed rim for a unique look and measure 10.5 inches across on the 18-inch fronts. A -10 offset makes sure they sit just right without the need for spacers. Seeing that the car will be daily driven by its owner (yes, you read right!), more street-oriented ADVAN Sports are fitted in 265/35 size. In case you are wondering what the ‘NIKI’ logo is, that’s Niki Lauda’s airline. Nakai seems to like stickering up his cars with logos of airlines.
Does the simple front end treatment not make this 964 a proper RWB Porsche? I think not!
I really like how the side of the car was left without the usual name-bearing side skirts – just like on those 1976 race cars. You can easily see the lines that take the oil between the engine and the front-mounted cooler.Them Hips
What to say about those rear hips? Well, they are big – +15cm on each side to be exact. That’s one serious dose of widening, which just like the front has been achieved by smoothly-blended oversized fenders – vented both on their front and rear sides to mimic the IROC look. A mighty wheel size was needed to fill those guards up properly, which is why 18×12.5-inch RWB-spec Meisters were chosen and wrapped in 315/30ZR18 Yokohamas. The -70 offsets ensure that the fitment is Nakai-certified, and with dish that seems to go one for ever, boy does it all look spot on.
All haters of the stacked Porsche GT2 & GT Wing combo can keep their mouths shut, because the overall clean execution of this 964 is topped off with an RSR-style whale tail.
Underneath the spoiler, US-style rear lights and a middle ‘Porsche’ trim complete the picture; Nakai-san preferring it to the Euro or Japanese-spec lights with orange turn signals.
This car has so much presence it’s hard to stop staring at it. It warrants your attention, but in a different sort of way to usual RWB cars.
Nakai has certainly hit the nail on the head with this one.
Seeing the owner plans to drive this car every day, there’s been no comfort taken away from the interior. Even the factory-fitted grey reclinable leather seats remain and offer just enough side bolstering to keep you locked in place through the corners.
A suede-trimmed RWB deep-cup steering wheel replaces the stock Porsche unit – a simple upgrade that fits in perfectly with the overall theme.
The HKS Circuit Attack Counter was installed for when the car is taken on track – something the owner plans to do on a regular basis.
The RAUH-Welt kick plate reminds you every time you jump in that this isn’t an ordinary 964 Carrera 2.What Will The Future Bring?
As the sun dropped lower in the sky the light really began to emphasise the smooth contours of the widened fenders.
The 3.6L flat-six has been left in its stock state, which is more than capable of supplying ample performance for everyday driving as well as the occasional track excursion.
However, to get it to sing just right, Nakai had his exhaust guy fabricate a one-off stainless steel system which pokes out of the bumper with a pair of extra long tail pipes. The sound created is of a very low frequency, with that usual NA-rasp that makes these engines so unique.
I’m sure this is one car that won’t probably appeal to everyone out there. Those that favour Nakai’s usual style will probably see it as too clean, too simple and too smooth. After all, RWB is synonymous with ‘rough style’, right?
Nakai, on the other hand, really enjoyed building it. It’s a nice refreshing break from the norm, and to say it looks sensational out on the street would be a pretty big understatement in my mind.
But what this car manages to do is further evolve the RWB name as we know it. It reminds us that there are different looks that can be achieved; all catered to the customer’s individual needs, as with with every other car he has ever built.
Exactly one year after Rotana, this 964 couldn’t have arrived at a better time.
It kept us waiting and wondering at what would come next, followed by the usual awe that every car that has rolled out of the rough Kashiwa workshop has always instilled in us.
In the last week the IROC style 964 has been collected by its owner and driven back to Nagano where I’m sure it’s already blocking narrow country roads with its massive rear end. It leaves us wondering if it will be another year until we see Nakai-san come up with something out of the norm. Rather than attempt to wow us constantly, it’s simple anticipation that RWB will continue to rely on to keep our interest alive. And let’s admit it, it damn well works!
Dino Dalle Carbonare