Author Archives: aaronmai

Adventures of 2016

2016 has been much less automotive orientated than expected, yet some of the things I was lucky to experience are without a doubt some of the biggest and most satisfying to date.  Compiling a post that captures the best of what a photographer shoots in a year, without it getting out of hand is insanely difficult, and that level only ramps up year by year.  So let’s get into it.  In no particular order is my favourite parts of 2016 captured through my lens.

1 – RAUH-Welt Begriff New Zealand 001 & 002

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Chigiri – the human element

Life at times is very impersonal.  Scrolling through my Facebook and Instagram feeds consists 90% of cars, it feels like we are starting to forget the human element when it comes to photographing the car scene.  We always talk about the people behind the builds…why not the people in front of the builds? The machinery is a by-product of people not the other way around.

This post is dedicated to the human element of ‘Chigiri’. It shows the experiences and the people Nakai-san brought together in Melbourne to make for an unforgettable experience.

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Simple beauty – Chigiri part 4

After removing the window banner from another successful build, the one question hanging in the air was what the 993 would be named.  Without pressing Nakai-san, we knew that the right time would come and he would decide on the name when he felt it was the right time. There was one last thing to do as a group, and that was to head for a celebratory dinner.  Feeling full and very content, it was back to the workshop for a brief stop before bed time for most.

As Nakai-san and everyone else departed the workshop, the freshly completed RWB sat quietly in the workshop, so I seized the chance to take a few shots before the public meet and greet the following day.  Ladies and gentleman I present you with Australia’s latest RWB.

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Simple beauty – Chigiri part 3

One of my favourite things about reading a book rather than watching a movie is that the visual story I form in my mind is my own version, individual and unlike anyone else’s.  By only writing the time that I took each photo in these posts, I am hoping you too will form your own visual story of the birth of ‘Chigiri’.  It truly was a different experience for every person who attended.  Enjoy the final build chapter of Australia’s first 993.

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19 August – 9:56pm

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Simple beauty – Chigiri part 2

‘When you photograph people in colour, you photograph their clothes.  When you photograph people in black and white, you photograph their soul’.  For those who have witnessed the art of RWB in person, one thing resounds with everyone.  The cars are beautiful creations, yet it is the man behind the name who captures the hearts and minds of people.  Welcome to part 2 of simple beauty – the birth of ‘Chigiri’.

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August 19, 2016 – 12:14pm

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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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10:47am

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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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