Southern Cross – RWB Australia #1 Day One

I must admit it was strange sitting in a workshop with Nakai-san at 8:00am, coffee in hand, and waiting to start building.  Nakai-san doesn’t start anything back home before 12pm.  There is a golden rule at RWB – don’t show up before lunchtime.  There should be a sign on the door that states working hours are 12pm-4am.


After smoking his cigarette he was into it.  Grabbing the bumper he quickly masked it up to shave the bottom off.  Take a quick look at his hoodie.  I will remind you to do so a little later in the post as well…


First up was a test fitting of the kit.  Every base car is different, and there is no one way to approach building a RWB Porsche.  Test fitting it to see how it hung was the first step in the process.  This shot gives you an idea of RWB on the left, and a stock Porsche on the right.


I know this isn’t Nakai-san’s first rodeo, yet I am always fascinated watching him hack the guards off the cars.  So cool, calm and collected. This is the stage where it hits you – no going back now!


One thing that struck me at this point was how quickly things were progressing.  No need to double measure stuff, it was on with the masking tape, out with the cutting saw, then tidy up and move on.  He was like a one-man automotive production line!


The production line stopped from time to time as Nakai-san had Chern cut the last part of the rear fender.  Such a nice touch, and knowing how passionate Chern is about RAUH-Welt this was a moment that needed to be captured on camera.


With the rear mocked up it was time to sit back, light up another cigarette and observe his work quietly.  Nakai-san is quite possibly the most observant person I have ever met in my life.  The saying ‘we are our own worst critic’ certainly is applicable with him.  He settles for nothing less than perfection.


Next up was the front.  The cutting saw cruised through the fenders like a hot knife through butter.


After taking back the skin of the 911 the front was applied.  4 cuts, 4 fenders mocked up with front and rear bumpers.  How long would you think all this would take? Go on take a guess…


Just on 4 hours (remember to factor in all the time Nakai-san spent smoking!)  The car went from a bog standard 1986 911 Carerra 3.2 to what looked like a Grand Prix Hydroplane speedboat.  It was now really taking shape!


Take a look at the hoodie now…going back a few years, I remember my first shoot with him, he had just finished Royal Montegobay the very first 993.  At the end of the shoot I needed a profile photo.  He didn’t like cameras, was nervous about how to stand, or sit, and wasn’t sure whether to look at the camera, look away, where to put his hands and so on.  Well look at him now.  Nakai-san you are a pro, and also a masking tape magnet…


As the day progressed into the evening the front bumper was trimmed, and adjusted to ensure the fit was perfect as the skirts and fenders placement was finalised.


Darkness fell, and just a few people remained to watch the master work on into the night.  No cars starting up outside and driving off, just the sound of the machinery and silence.  The only thing missing was some soothing internet radio the mancave is so famous for.


As Day 1 drew to a close, there was one final thing to do.  Nakai-san wanted to attach the wheels and drop it down to see how it was taking shape.  Some small tweaks on suspension, and advice for Chern and the wheels were attached for the first time.  Everyone held their breath, this was what we were waiting for.


This was how flush the car sat on it’s first test fitting.  Now that to me is pretty spot on! Nakai-san was pretty happy and decided to call it a night.


Although in true Nakai fashion (he just doesn’t know when to stop), the car went back up on the jack, and a few little things were adjusted while everything was still fresh in his mind – NOW it was a wrap. Pretty quick progress for a single day everyone was thinking as we wandered out of the workshop.  Obviously with the overseas builds he is under the gun for time compared to Japan, but the quantity and quality of work for a single day was incredible, remember this was all one by just two hands .  For now however it was bedtime, and another early wakeup beckoned for day 2.  See you all again tomorrow! おやすみ!


Additional Snaps


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