As a Speedhunter you get to experience a lot of very nice cars – supercars, track weapons, show cars, lowriders, concours champions… The list is very long and very exciting. However, it is very rarely that I’ve found myself faced with a vehicle that transcends its label and becomes something more.
Following on from a whirlwind three days at the Jogja Volkswagen Festival in Java, my local contacts made some introductions to several movers and shakers in Indonesia’s car scene. Before long, two VW enthusiasts from Bandung had extended an invitation to visit their private operation named Terror Garage, and take a closer look at some of their recent creations.
Terror Garage was merely a familiar name to me at this stage; I knew there was a link to Akira Nakai’s growing RWB family, but as with much of the Indonesian car scene, very little detailed information had made it into Western circles. However, even the veteran collectors and builders spoke with hushed reverence when they mentioned the sinister-sounding workshop name. It didn’t take long for my curiosity to be piqued, and I accepted the invitation.
And that’s how I found myself on a leafy suburban street above the chaos of the city of Bandung, staring at what is undoubtedly one of my favourite cars I’ve hunted this year.
I won’t spoil the whole story of Terror Garage (it deserves an article for itself), but one part of the operation is running RWB Indonesia – the exclusive local arm for RAUH-Welt Begriff’s Porsche modification operation. RWB has, in the past few years, been establishing a network of similar partners around the globe to assist Nakai-san continue to deliver the unique RWB experience as the business continues to rapidly expand.
The stunning blue creation you see here is not Terror Garage’s first or only RWB, but it is the latest and quite obviously breaks the somewhat formulaic design approach we’ve seen from previous RWB builds. It is, in fact, build #4 for Yanto, the passionate VW collector and owner of Terror Garage.
Yanto’s partner at Terror Garage, Michael Lesmana, is a talented designer who cut his teeth working for large car manufacturers before the partnership with Yanto opened up the opportunity to work on projects closer to his passion for vintage vehicles. He is the mastermind of this creation, leading the project from the first sketch until completion some three months later.
The final product seems to exist more in the realm of the concept cars that grace motor show stages – a creation that is absolute in its conception and execution as opposed to something that has been merely modified to suit a specific taste or purpose.
Relative to other RWB builds, Nakai-san’s role was slightly more subdued than you might expect. Although he did supply and fit the iconic over-fenders during a short visit in October, it was Michael who fathered the Speedster concept and its many unique details. Thus, it’s incorrect to think of the Speedster as an RWB car – rather it is a collaborative effort between the two entities of Terror Garage and RAUH-Welt Begriff.
I probed Michael about his relationship with Nakai-san, and in particular his feelings towards this extremely unorthodox build. Let us not forget that ‘Rauh Welt’ translates to Rough World, and that Nakai’s usual creations are characterised by a rawness that the polished Speedster lacks completely. “He was really positive; as soon as I saw his first reaction to the car I knew he liked it,” Michael said. “He approved of my design.”An RWB Like No Other
In addition to VWs, Yanto also has quite the collection of artwork. Although I won’t profess any knowledge of the fine art world, it was clear even to me that Yanto’s preference is for contemporary and local artists to anything classic or foreign. This is a man who doesn’t look to others to help define his taste. The unique arrangement between Yanto and Michael allows the duo to push boundaries further than a typical shop/client relationship, and it’s immediately evident that there is a huge level of trust between the two men which allows Michael to work with a high level of creative independence.
This is why I refer to the Speedster as being something ‘more’ than just a modified car. What Michael has created is in my eyes worthy of being compared not only to great Porsches around the world, but also to be appreciated as an artistic piece of industrial design. However, it is a car too, so let’s take a closer look at the parts that make this Speedster whole.
Before Terror Garage kidnapped it and performed their surgical transfiguration, the Speedster lived a peaceful life as a 1984 911 Cabriolet. Not much of the original Porsche remains now – the new look being defined by the backdated details, RWB flares and that stunning aluminium roof.
I expect it will be the most polarising component of the Speedster too. From some angles the roof can seem to hold a disproportionate amount of visual weight, however I can assure you that in person it is not only aesthetically balanced, but one of the most impressive aspects of the car. It goes without saying that the roof is a one-off creation; Michael and his team hand-formed the aluminium into shape over a skeletal plywood buck which was in turn trimmed to the shape of a singular iron bar that was bent to form the perfect profile.
The raw aluminium finish is only punctuated by the rivets securing the skin to the structural frame beneath, and provides the strongest link to the B-29 Bomber which Michael lists as one of the inspirations for the build. He later mentioned that there was at least one month’s work in the roof alone, but for a first effort working with aluminium the results are impressive, and the skills gained will be invaluable for some of Terror Garage’s upcoming projects.
The roof is attached by a few internal latches and can be removed in only a minute or two, instantly transforming the car into an open-topped cruiser. Personally, I think the Speedster looks naked without its roof or a driver sitting inside, but truth be told, I’ve always preferred the 911 Targa to the Cabriolet owing to the Targa’s central hoop maintaining the car’s appearance of rigidity and thus performance.
The plastic nose of the 911 has received a significant rework to backdate the styling, a fairly popular modification style for the ’80s-onwards 911s. Unsightly bumpers were traded in for an elongated hood, and a combination of genuine and custom lights and trim bring back the ’60s Teutonic flavour at both the front and rear of the car.
Michael tells me this was actually one of the most involved parts of the project, but the attention to detail pays off in spades, each element working in consideration of the others to create a uniform whole.
The windscreen from the original 911 is long gone, now replaced by a custom-shaped acrylic screen mounted into a widened frame originally taken from a 1958 Porsche 356.
Also borrowed from the 356 book of inspiration is the fender-mounted mirror inspired by the competition-spec 356 GT – one of my favourite details of the whole build.Under The Skin
The engine remains relatively untouched; it goes without saying that outright performance was not a top priority for the Speedster – Terror Garage have other projects for that, which you are going to love. The stock 3.3-litre flat-six is helped along by a Clewett Engineering mechanical throttle body setup.
Filling the muscular arches are custom-sized Outlaw 001 3-piece wheels from the collaboration between Fifteen52 and Magnus Walker. They are a perfect match for the car both aesthetically and conceptually – a Porsche icon reinvented for 2015 with reverence for the marque’s history.
Michael and Yanto are both friends and fans of Magnus, so obtaining the world’s first 17-inch Outlaw wheels in a suitably-aggressive fitment was an easy task. The fronts measure in at 10 inches wide and -11 offset, while the rears are a cavernous 12-inches wide, -74 offset.
The tread pattern is barely visible so tight is the wheel fitment, but the rolling stock is Toyo’s aggressive R888 semi-slick in 225/40R17 up front and 315/35R17 at the rear.
Swing open the driver’s door and what greets you is an environment that flows uninterrupted from exterior to interior; the Sea Blue paint reappears on the dashboard and brushed aluminium abounds. Also making an appearance is a coarse, Berber-style carpet that I’d never envisaged would work well in an automotive application, but the results speak for themselves.
Michael designed a capsule motif for the interior which ties all the aluminium components together, including the dashboard and footrests. The purity of the 911’s basic interior layout remains, but has been hit with a modern, industrial twist.
The factory gauges remain too, but Renown USA provided a suede-wrapped wheel for the driver to steer with.
It’s hard to think of a better place to spend a sunny summer’s day than in the Speedster’s driver seat with a buddy by your side, cruising a favourite road in some exotic corner of the world. This creation from Terror Garage certainly captured my imagination, and I’m sure will do the same for many reading this story.
The great news is that there are many more artistic four-wheeled and over-fendered creations to come from Yanto and Michael. If ever there was a good reason for a return to Indonesia, Terror Garage is it.
Terror Garage RWB Speedster
Porsche 3.3L flat six, Clewett Engineering Porsche MFI individual throttle bodies
Factory manual transmission
Deed adjustable coilover suspension (front), Aragosta adjustable coilover suspension (rear), custom knuckle & drum brakes adjustment by Terror Garage
Fifteen52 3-piece Outlaw 001 wheels, 17×10-inch -11 (front), 17×12-inch -74 (rear), Toyo R888 tires, 225/40R17 (front), 315/35R17 (rear)
Sea Blue paint scheme, Porsche 356 Speedster front panel custom made by Terror Garage, RWB fender flares, RWB bumpers, aluminium hardtop custom made by Terror Garage, Carrera GT mirror, alumunium rear dual louvers engine lid by Terror Garage
Aluminum sill plates custom made by Terror Garage, aluminium pedals custom made by Terror Garage, Renown USA Monaco silver suede steering wheel, custom seats by Terror Garage, custom lock hatch by Terror Garage
I really liked it at first, but the closer and longer I look, the more awkward this car looks. Even with the oddball roof off, it seems like it's missing something....a decklid spoiler or something.
Per the spec sheets - drum brakes?? Really? That isn't aesthetics. That is genuinely making a car worse. Ugh.
@Speedhunters Sick beetle
What an awesome build. It's funny reading negative comments from the same people that has built nothing. Close minded internet warriors...
@DNAofMotorsport how do you do. I've never seen such a cool Porsche.
@FormulaOneWorld posh skip!
Love it! I found the side windows a little awkward to look at from first glance, but the more it sinks in the more badass it looks. Great blend of classic Porsche cues.
I remember when this car completely done in Bandung. When it comes from the garage you can imagine the sound of flat six engine roar surrounding Teror Garage! As you can see from the picture the roof are amazing! Aluminium roof never dissapoint me
This seems like a very good business model: Buy late model iconic sports car, add well crafted one-off nick-nacks predominately of the aesthetic variety. Resell for 4 or 5 times what was paid for the used late model car. I hesitate to compare this rwb to say singer porsche. but this model shows that rwb is evolving its craftsmanship upwards. the roof is love or hate but definitely is uniquely imagined. it will be interesting to see what design elements rwb cars that come after this one offer, and the level of craftsmanship utilized to execute it.
Great idea - as done before a number of times of course - but very badly executed. Roof proportions are so far off as to be comical. Nice color too, but other than a few features, this looks like a 12 year old's rendering of what they would like in their Pokemon set or similar.
@Kuroneko Exactly... "Comical" is the word. It's like the dog-car from Dumb & Dumber forced itself on a smurf and nine months later this came out...
Cool Car, can't get over the roof though. I can appreciate the craftmanship and the many hours that must be spend on it but still i do not find it aesthetically pleasing...
It is indeed a unique and interesting build. I guess is some of the angles in which the pictures where taken that make the roof look so Odd to the eyes.
Im having a love/hate thingy with the car...
I love the uniqueness, fresh & bold daring theme of the car.
But at the same time I hate that the Roof reminds me a Mayor League Baseball Mascot Funny Car....I can almost see the mascot getting out of the car and getting ready to silly stuff..
This is why I have a love/hate relationship with SpeedHunters; every time I read it I come across a car that every fibre if my being says "Oo, must make it mine!", but then reality sets in and my bank account says "Hahahahaha.." (my bank account is a rude bastard).
Love this car. I would wager it is even better in the metal.
It's nothing personal, SpeedHunters. Love your work, but sometimes I want to cry... ;-)
Just when I thought RWB couldn't get any worse. I suppose at least it's something (a little bit)different to their 1 million other cookie cutter cars though, so props for that.
Not my style at all.
1 million others? I hope you realize the rarity of RWB vehicles. I won't force you to like them, that's pointless and will only create unnecessary conflict. I will, however, address your fallacious claim that RWB cars are cookie cutter and as common as Accords. Around the world there are only a handful of RWB vehicles, all equipped with different wheels, tires, suspension setups, paint, variations of the kit, interiors, stickers, etc. For you to say that they're all the same shows just how shallow of an enthusiast you are. You don't have to like it, but it'd be nice if you'd appreciate how everybody interpretes this kit in different ways.
I have to agree with what some other people have said about the proportions and overall shape of the roof, the curvature and overall height compared to the top edge of the windscreen seem wrong. . .but it's different, it's not just "another RWB" and it's what the owner/builder wants and I can respect that. . . .I'd sure as hell love to see half the people commenting be able to build a roof like that.
With the roof off it looks incredible, I saw one guy mention putting an aero cover over the back. . . .and I just think it wouldn't look right, wouldn't suit the styling of the car.
No mention of whether this is a turbo or n/a car. There was no 3.3 n/a 911 in 1984, unless the motor was stroked. Also, drum brakes in a 911? Looks like there's some typos or misinformation here...
This one looks lovely both with and without the top! The colour, the interior, the roof, everything is a work of art! BTW although its too much to ask, speaking about creations that we'd love without promising a spotlight on each sounds mean....
@Dhikaz sure is!
It looks very aeronautical! I could see the owner wanting to create more different roofs like a collection of hats for the car.
@koko san he's doing exactly that!
That blue is a amazing and the top just sets everything off.
Awesome wheels and details, great build.
Definitely love this. Happy new year folks. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TuHqZDTcVI
It needs a few things to top it off... (which I'm actually a little paranoid to say, cause it seems like the internet steals my ideas with every google search I make, but whatever)
I'd like it more if things were held in place with leather straps. Like the top and bonnet.
And if it had a vintage helmet... And leather gloves.
With some wood grain or brushed aluminium... Such as a wooden nardi wheel.
And a Tommygun.
And a Colt 1911.
Ok maybe not a Tommygun, just the 1911.
With the right person dressed to suit behind the wheel... He would make Jidenna look like a bitch ass fake.
A real classic man.
I'm not a fan of the final result, especially with the top, but he achieved to make something different from a 911 and deserves kudos for that!
And also, all the details and finish are amazing!
I like the fact that the top is not painted. Gives a very nice contrast between the Sea Blue paint body and bare aluminium roof.
Before this thing came about, I wouldn't have thought that a 356 windscreen would work so well with a 911.
I immediately fell in love with the lines for the roof, despite the bare look that gives it the colorful "football helmet" description. Granted, I'm biased towards roadsters and cabriolets in general, especially where the Porsche lines draw heavily from the roof's slope that makes them look unfinished. Despite a possible "any hat over no hat" kind of mentality, this really agrees with me. Leaving it aluminum (even giving the body a brushed illuminum look would be good), however, makes it look way too obtuse. All in all, the craftwork for it is incredible, and the interior is pretty bang on.
@Kidargok Good call!