Aug 10, 2015

RAUH-Welt Begriff | Building Miyabi

When one sees a Porsche, one will see a car that was meant to be driven at speed, handle a corner effortlessly and to be driven as often as possible. The German icon might generally be the same but there are many varieties of styles and characteristics that it comes in. A builder from Japan named Akira Nakai is known for his take on the iconic 911 with his wide body creations on late model Porsches. These creations are made under the name of Rauh-Welt Begriff.

Rauh-Welt is a German word that means “Rough World”. The name came to mind about 22 years ago when Nakai-san started driving German cars. Three years later, he finally set up his workshop in Japan that is dedicated to building these unique Porsches. But it was in the year 2011 when the shop was finally started to get the world’s attention. Even for myself personally, I first knew about Rauh-Welt when I read about Nakai-san’s personal Porsche 930 known as Stella Artois on a Super Street Magazine in 2011.

There have been four previous builds in Malaysia which happened in Johor but I never had the chance to see it myself. Most of the time, I hear about Nakai-san’s eye on perfection through a third person’s experience. Now since it finally took place at The Garage KL in Ampang, I decided to take a full three days there since for me, I have to see it for myself to believe it.

When he touched down in KL with his close friend, Christian Coujin, the guy who brought RWB to Malaysia, he took a quick look at the Porsche 964 cabriolet before getting to work. Only equipped with a crooked measuring tape, Nakai-san marked up the cut points without any drawings and guidelines. Every cut and seam was all done by free hand with an electric hacksaw. It was one of those times that I had to put the camera down to see myself.

During the downtime, I was lucky to talk and make friends with Nakai-san and ask him from top to bottom just to have a picture of what goes on in his mind. Despite the intimidating, straight-face appearance he had, he was one of the friendliest people I have met. It was as if he knew exactly what to do for whatever set up all in his head. But for Nakai-san, it is important for the car to be built to be fast.

The name of the cars he build is not something that he thinks about, it is always named on the spot. It could be something he remembered, music he listens to, or even from the area the owner lives in. Totally spontaneous, this Riveriera Blue cabriolet received the name Miyabi which means “elegance”, “refinement” or “courtliness” in modern Japanese. But it can also be referred to a “heart-breaker”.

It was a great experience to meet and make friends with some unique characters that were at the build like the guys from RWB Malaysia, Terror Garage, Art Of Speed, The Garage KL, and other enthusiast a like from many corners of the globe including the owners of this masterpiece. Of course, it was also a chance for me to get to know Nakai-san more. It was an experience that even autographs and pictures can’t compare to.  Nakai-san is genuinely a unique character.


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