Wednesday, June 29, 2011

ultimate man cave: the RWB workshop

Okay, so I'm not exactly a man but that doesn't mean that I wasn't just as excited about this! A few months ago I stumbled across this feature on Speedhunters by Rod Chong. Back in 2008, Rod was lucky enough to get a look behind the scenes of the RWB Workshop; home to Nakai-san and his many beloved Porsches. I remember reading it and thinking 'f*ck that is cool!' Never in a million years though did I think that I would one day get to write my own post about doing exactly the same thing - it was such a surreal experience!

After our amazing day out at Tsukuba, we followed Nakai-san in his beautiful 993 Tunerhaus back to his small residence in Chiba - the place where all the magic happens. Driving along the tiny streets winding through the lush green countryside, we passed by rice fields and children playing on the side of the road before finally pulling in front of the unmistakable workshop that Mr. Nakai calls home.

Although our day at Tsukuba was more amazing than I ever thought it was going to be, so much so that I would call it one of the best days of my life; I knew that there was still something missing. The roller door to the workshop opened, and then I saw it... Stella Artois.

No words - my mind is blowing!

Finally, I got to set my eyes on Nakai-san's "first and last' Porsche, his beloved 930 Stella Artois. Although Stella was missing it's rear bumper and wasn't able to come out and play at Tsukuba that day, (the car is currently undergoing some work), it was still just, if not more beautiful than I had imagined it would be.

Nakai-san's workshop is the ultimate man cave. Inside we found several Porsches in various stages of being given the RWB treatment, as well as stack after stack of enormous SSR and Work wheels and a very impressive collection of empty Stella Artois bottles! Nakai-san explained to us that when he is not out driving his cars, all of his time is spent here working on them. He said that because this is his hobby and his job, he works 7 days a week. After a busy day out at the track though, Nakai-san helped himself to an iced coffee and sat for a brief (and rare by the sounds of it) moment of relaxation in his plush red leather armchair, cigarette in hand. He seriously has to be the most interesting character I've ever met!

As I walked around the back of the shop, something caught my eye - something pink. Sitting there amongst about 10 other Porsches (they are all Nakai-san's too by the way) was a gorgeous baby pink rag-top. Check out the smile on my face! When I asked Mr. Nakai who it belonged to, he told me that this car is his other daily driver. OMG. Apparently this car is next in line to be given an RWB makeover, and Nakai-san said that this will be his first ever convertible project. Taryn do want!!!

While we were there I also picked up this hot pink RWB jumper - which is proving to be very useful at the moment as it is the middle of winter here in New Zealand! These jumpers are being made by RWB to raise money for the Japan disaster relief fund so they are for a great cause too. I am not sure when they will be released for sale online though.

It was such a huge honour to be able to visit the Rauh-Welt shop and I just wanted to thank Aaron Mai for organising our visit, as well as Nakai-san for hosting us. I will never forget our amazing experience!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

stickers are back!

Hey everyone! The iheartstance store has just received a re-stock of new stickers, check them out here.

The new Japanese stickers have come out awesome and they come in two colours. You might notice that the original stickers now have a hot pink heart too!

Thanks to Streeter Concepts for printing them :)

Monday, June 27, 2011

it's a rough world out there... part 3

I remember when I first noticed the distinctive white lettering on the sidewall of those enormous slicks that Nakai-san's Stella Artois sits on, and wondering what 'Idlers' meant. One thing's for sure, after my recent stint in Japan I will never forget the name! The Idlers club meet at Tsukuba was not just about Porsches, there were some amazing 350zs, MX-5s and a large collection of Hachirokus there too. Since I have spent the last few days filling up my blog with endless images of beautiful Porsches I thought it might be good idea to change the subject today!

I've never seen so many sets of Watanabes in my life! I loved the brown and gold colour scheme of this AE86 - the matte paint and bolt on fenders looked rad!

I was surprised by how clean and well-looked after all of the cars looked!

A few of the beautiful Zs...

Roadster love ❤

It was nice to see a 240z there, and in bright Orange it certainly stood out in the crowd. Even with the additional fenders the Watanabes still stuck out past the guards.

I loved this old Datsun Fairlady...

...and this Autozam AZ-1! These cars come factory with a 650cc 3-cylinder turbocharged engine, and this one was surprisingly quick around the track.

This GT-R was immaculate and looked super tough!

This staunch Silhouette-racer style DR30 Skyline was bad-ass!

We spotted this Soarer over in the car park and couldn't help but take notice of it. Sitting low on BBS LMs and I like how the factory two-toned paint has been retained. Super clean!

Hirikoshi-san's Exceed Moat S14 was an impressive sight out on the track. I recently read that the car can lap Tsukuba in 56-seconds! The car had a particularly menacing look about it, especially with that front splitter.

My favourite non-Porsche car there had to be the RWB "Real of the World" Silvia; man did this thing look tough! The matte satin purple-black paint job could only have be done by Rauh-Welt. I was sad to only see it do a few laps before it had to be packed up and taken home due to engine troubles.

This brings me to the end of my Idlers games coverage, I hope you guys have enjoyed it! I certainly did :)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

slammed bB spotted!

One of the things on my Japan 'to-do' list was to find a sick bB, sounds easy right? Every second car in Tokyo was a bB or cube, but we hardly saw any that were actually modified! Just when I thought that I would be going home unsatisfied...

We went to the Up Garage store in Chiba and as we walked out the door, this bB pulled up. I've never been so happy to have my camera in my hands! White bBs are my favourite too, and this one was sitting super slammed on Work Schwert SC1s... what a treat!

Enjoy :)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

it's a rough world out there... part 2

Post holiday depression is starting to sink in as I sit at my desk wearing a heavy woollen jacket, staring blankly at the stodgy, unattractive looking sushi sitting in front of me. It’s just not the same! However, as I turn on my laptop and open the folder labelled "Idlers" a smile is immediately brought to my face. It’s been over a week since the event and I still can’t get my head around how insanely awesome it was. I can’t stop wishing that if only I could go back and do it all over again...

After checking out all of the cars and walking around the track countless times, I was pretty exhausted and not to mention a bit sunburnt. With a 3am start to the day I was running on only 3 hours sleep - this combined with the hazy, heavy heat made the whole experience seem so surreal; if I didn’t have the photos as proof I might have thought it was a dream. The thought of seeing those Porsches out on the track kept me going though, and boy was it worth it!

We also bumped into Dino from Speedhunters - I had camera envy over the two big 1Ds he was lugging around. Nice to meet you Dino!

As we made our way down to the back of the grandstand I noticed the unmistakable nose of an MX-5 sticking out from behind a barrier, and as we got closer another, and another...

I didn’t realise that Idlers had a Roadster class so it was a pleasant surprise for me (okay, so those of you that know me will know that means I was actually jumping up and down slightly) when I spotted them!

The last races were particularly exciting and I especially enjoyed watching the Roadsters. It made me miss my MX-5 so much!

With my poor feet aching and shoulders sizzling, we made our way to the exit of the first corner and waited patiently as we heard the unmistakable sound of Porsche engines firing up for the last race of the day.

As they came thundering around the corner I knew that we were about to witness something very special. My partner and I were standing about 10 metres apart and after the cars shot past us we both turned to look at eachother and then laughed at eachother's expressions - we both had a look on our faces that said something along the lines of "Holy sh*t!"

Here is a quick clip I took (sorry only iPhone quality), unfortunately it just doesn't quite capture the level of total awesomeness of the moment!

When you are this close to the track, all your senses are on full alert with the roaring sound of the engines, the overpowering smell of fuel burning and the tingling sensation of adrenaline in your heart as the cars zoom past only a few metres away from you. It has to be one of the best feelings in the world! We couldn't get enough.

What an amazing day! The photos don't end here either, so I will make sure to post some more pictures soon of some of the other cars!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

it's a rough world out there... part 1

I tried to imagine the moment that I would set my eyes on an RWB Porsche for the first time. Only a matter of days ago I had blogged about how these cars were such a huge inspiration to me and one of my motives for wanting to visit Japan. So when I found out that there was an Idlers club meet on while we were going to be over there, you can imagine my excitement! Just when I thought things couldn’t get any more awesome, we got a call to tell us that Nakai-san himself had invited us out to the games so that we could witness the full RWB experience firsthand. After the recent feature on RWB in Performance Car by Aaron Mai, Mr. Nakai thought it might be a good opportunity for us to see his cars do exactly what he builds them for – to be driven on the track.

Nothing else I’ve ever seen is quite up there on the ultra dope/sick/rad/amazingness scale as these Porsches. As we sat in the back of Nakai-san’s Mercedes driving out to Tsukuba Circuit, I tried to contain my excitement as I contemplated what it would actually be like to see one of these cars with my own eyes as opposed to on a computer screen. We were rolling down the highway (at around 5.30am I might add!) when our driver pointed out that Mr. Nakai was coming up behind us in his personal car, the silver 993 known as ‘Royal Montego Bay’. This was the moment I had been waiting for!

The answer was pretty simple; there are no words.

We pulled into a car park for a quick meet up and I realised that Royal Montego Bay had been renamed; the car now being called ‘Tunerhaus’. I can now tell you that no matter how high quality the photo, it just can’t express the true beauty and presence of this car in real life. As I said, there just aren’t any words to describe it - it’s that amazing!

The drivers must have been thinking “who is this crazy blonde foreign girl running around with a camera and with her mouth hanging open!?”

We continued our trip onto Tsukuba, finally arriving at the track around 7am.

As far as I knew, there would be a lot of Porsches there but I was completely unprepared for what I was about to see.

There were Porsches in all shapes and colours and in every direction; it was more than I ever thought I was going to get to see. There were also other classes racing besides the Porsches, but I will post these cars up another day to keep things short and sweet!

'Bordeaux' and 'Natty Dread' are two of my favourite RWB Porsches. I am a huge fan of the dark satin paint that Nakai-san uses.

This 996 was something different - I quite like the matte grey with gold. It looked sick on the track too.

I was so stoked to see this car there - I've seen pictures of it before but it was even more immaculate in person. I love the bight red on those huge matte black SSR wheels. The dish was insane!

Diamantes appreciated!

It was pretty clear that Nakai-san's 993 'Tunerhaus' stole the show on the day. With it's rough and insanely wide bodykit and that incredible stance, I felt so lucky to be able to be there and see the car up close. I later asked Nakai-san about the change of name as I was curious as to why he would change this. He explained that he originally made the car with plans to sell it, but as he continued to modify it he became very attached and decided that he would keep it as his own. He said that this would be the car's final name as he felt that it belonged at home with him in his workshop. Hence the name, Tunerhaus.

I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised when we met Nakai-san. I had this image in my head of a very mysterious and intimidating man of very few words; but he was the complete opposite to this. He is energetic, charismatic and was very friendly. I felt so honoured to be able to meet him... and his car of course!

I have so many more photos (they just don't seem to end!) so stay tuned for more very soon!