Akira Nakai, the chainsmoking widebody Porsche builder from Japan, has been slapping his own brand of insanity on Porsches for a long time now. In fact he bought his first 911 Turbo—with significant body damage—back in the late 1990s to build it into the car that would kick off a widebody aircooled revolution. That car was a matte black monster dubbed Stella Artois, and it has become more than the sum of its parts. The man, and his works with his RWB brand didn’t really develop a following in the United States until about 2011 when his work began seeing features in English language magazines. More art than car, these so-called ‘RWBs’ were quickly added to the Porsche zeitgeist.
An article in Excellence Magazine was my first real introduction to his work, and his stock has risen among Porsche fanatics across the last decade to a point that his widebody builds are often replicated, but none ever reach the exacting level of aesthetic standard that Nakai san has become known for. These machines are crazy just for the sake of being crazy, and that’s exactly why we love them.
Friend of the blog Larry Chen recently got an opportunity to travel to Japan to see Nakai san again after being around to help nurture his breakout success all those years ago. Chen wanted to find out what RWB was working on, figure out where the brand was headed next, and get a feel for how these previous ten years have treated the man who has become something of a cult phenomenon. I won’t give away too much, as you should definitely watch the video, but it’s pretty impressive to see that Nakai san is still innovating new designs, cohesive designs, for a new generation of cars. He started his work with 930s and graduated to 964s and 993s. Now those have kind of become too expensive to hack up, so he’s migrating his trade to the oft-disregarded 996 and 997 chassis, which is a phenomenal idea.