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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It is the end of another year, and finally I have time to sit back and reminisce on all of the cool things I have been lucky to do in 2015. As I started searching out photos for this post, I quickly realised it was downright impossible to choose ‘my top 10 images’. I have tried that before, and as each year goes on it gets harder and harder, so this time round is my 17 most memorable moments. Why 17? Why not?
There have been many other memorable ones as well, but if I listed them all we would be here until December next year. I want to say a huge thank-you to everyone who I have met through 2015. You have all played a part in making this year an awesome one. So without further adieu, here are my top 17 moments of 2015, in no particular order!
Sprint car racing evokes a level of jawdropping awe for anyone who stands amongst the flying clay. Weighing in at only 620 kilograms and pumping out 950 horsepower, driving a sprintcar on the ragged edge takes a special level of skill, bravery, and balls. When it comes together though, watching them broadslide around the track is equally as graceful as a ballerina.
The other week I went out and stood in long grass in the middle of nowhere and got showered with gravel, all in the name of ‘fun’. I was out to shoot a bit of rallying purely for myself, and I had a blast. In amongst the field, there was one car that left me with a smile from ear to ear and I had to grab a few more photos of it.