Author Archives: aaronmai

Simple beauty – Chigiri

Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature onto his canvas.  The bright vivid colours of the world today can sometimes mask simplistic beauty.  To tone back the vivid colour can allow our eyes to appreciate things in the purest form.

On my second visit to RAUH-Welt Begriff while sitting down with Nakai-san he lit up a cigarette, turned to me and said ‘sometimes we need to peel away the layers, and appreciate the true beauty that lurks beneath, but is right in front of our own eyes’.  As he stood up, stubbed his cigarette out, and walked back to work, I remember being a little taken back, yet this chance moment I had with him has remained with me ever since.  In honour of that moment, this blogpost is about toning back the colour, removing the distracting chatter in order to show you the birth of ‘Chigiri’ – Australia’s first 993.

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Behind the visor – Idlers 12 hour enduro

Every July, Nakai-san and the RAUH family get together, it isn’t exactly dinner and drinks but rather a gruelling 12 hour endurance race held at Motegi Circuit.  RWB family from all over the world, jump on a plane and make their way to the man cave to hang out, prep cars, and eat bowls of ramen at 5am.  This may seem a little different to the approach of most teams but it is as much about the experience of the journey to Idlers, as it is driving in it for 12 hours.  I asked my friend Caroline, who was driving in the 12 hour enduro for the first time to answer a few questions, and give her take on driving in the enduro for the first time.  She is certainly no stranger to driving fast, so here is a ‘behind the visor’ take on her Idlers 12 hour enduro.


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Blue Streak – Paul Dowdall’s RX8

There is nothing cooler in motorsport than when someone shows up at the strip with something individual, different and it’s a bonus when it sounds good!  Paul Dowdall has gone and ticked all the right boxes with his RX8 drag car.

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RWB New Zealand – The human element.

Akira Nakai, the artisan builder who pours emotion, and soul into his creations is undoubtedly the king of widebody Porsches.  Over the past decade I have been blessed to have spent a lot of time with him, whether at a circuit, or just the two of us sitting in front of his kerosene heater at the workshop.  To those on the outside looking in, RWB may just be another tuning phenomenon.  I however have been lucky to see another side of RWB – the human element.

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Kato-san’s Kenmeri

In a country steeped in tradition, culture, and obedience, characters such as Wataru Kato would surely go against the grain and be seen as ‘very much outside the box’. Despite the colourful jeans, gold shoes and larger than life personality, he is about as traditional as it comes with his automotive tuning. He is well known for creating crazy European supercars with a Japanese twist, but he cut his teeth on classic j-tin icons such as the fairlady, hakosuka, and kenmeri. One of his latest creations is a wild, yet traditional Kenmeri that embraces the traditional roots of shakotan but for an unknown reason just feels like a fresh twist on an old favourite.


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Babysitting the twins

It was 4 days since Nakai-san had landed at Palmerston North airport, and already Nan was tearing the application tape off his RWB window banner on Hekigyoku.  It had been 96 hours filled with laughter, camaraderie, spud guns, Jack made a few appearances, and the police had visited us.


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Going against the grain – 326power

Artists continually endeavor to make a statement, lukewarm creations and fitting in for many means certain death. For Mitsuru Haraguchi sticking to his guns, and constantly striving to create his own vision of what a car should be, has not only earned him a reputation, but praise as one of Japan’s most colourful automotive creators with a vision unlike any other.


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Guide to girlhunting at TAS for beginners

In 2012 I attended the incredible spectacle that is Tokyo Auto Salon, however I had managed to secure most of my shots by the time Saturday lunchtime rolled around.  I wanted something else, a post for something a little different.  As someone who supplies magazines with media, there is one part of TAS that really gets under your skin.  This is the fanatics that the racequeens attract.  Now everyone loves a nice photo of a beautiful female alongside a car, but Tokyo Auto Salon attracts next level fans…I decided to observe and learn the art of taking the perfect racequeen photo from the experts themselves.  So ladies and gentlemen here is the TAS guide to that perfect racequeen photo.


Initially the halls are barren, only cars to snap.  This is the calm before the storm.

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RWB New Zealand – Paying it back a bit more

After the emotional unveil of Waikato, a new day had dawned and rather than all parting ways, we were ready to start the rollercoaster all over again.  RWB 001 was in the books, and now it was time for Nan’s 964 to get the special Nakai-san treatment.

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RWB New Zealand – Paying it back

I have to start this post out with two particular photos. The first is ROYAL MONTEGOBAY which was my first RWB photoshoot, and the second is the first photo I took inside the RWB headquarters.


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