RAUH-Welt Begriff has forged a status in the automotive world based on passion, inspiration and a pinch of ‘I don’t care what you think’. Nakai-san embodies tortured artist, devout petrol head and is a man of few words, the mysterious eyes as dark as the oil stains on his hands. With cars that polarise opinion unlike any other on earth, as soon as I heard my good friend was headed for Aussie, I booked myself a ticket to Melbourne.
I got in touch with Chern, the owner-to-be, and after meeting up at Melbourne airport we headed back to Auto Racing Technik where the build was to take place. After 9 years with the Japanese-based RWB family, this was to be my first build outside Japan.
I thought I was just getting on a plane, and headed to shoot another RWB build. Of course this is RWB we are talking about, it’s never ‘just’ a car build. Everything was ready for Nakai-san, even Skippy the kangaroo was looking pretty chuffed about the first RWB downunder!
After 9 years of watching these builds, I realised this particular one was going to be special for me as it would be the first time I was present from start to finish. Even now, it doesn’t matter how many times I see these giant over fenders, they still blow me away.
Right on cue Nakai-san arrived. The iconic stickered metal case trundled in the door of the workshop. He sat down in his sofa chair, taking a long drag on his cigarette followed by a long exhale. His eyes carefully studying the shapes and contours, already visualising the finished product in his mind. The build process is much like the Kashiwa workshop, raw, organised-chaos and confusing to anyone who has never witnessed it first-hand, although while many may not understand the madness at first, Nakai-san sees everything crystal clear.
It didn’t take long before the suitcase contents were emptied and scattered across a small area of the floor, funnily enough within 5 minutes his workspace resembled that of the Kashiwa mancave. The artist was already at home and ready to get underway.
So here we were, air lines were rigged, tools prepped, and a cigarette lit. While taking a long slow drag I could see in his eyes that he had checked out of normality, and checked in to the place that he draws his inspiration from. It was time for this 911 to get it’s own RWB-inspired dose of ‘secondary development’.
Coming up tomorrow we begin to follow the journey of this 911 getting transformed into RAUH-Welt Begriff ‘Southern Cross’ Australia #1. Stay tuned!