It is a rough world out there. Indeed it is. Times like these everyone has it rough. I am more than glad to be getting some donations of any kind if you don’t mind (no pun intended). When it comes to the car scene however, Rough World resembles another story.
A story of a man called Akira Nakai. Nakai-san started out modifying and drifting the iconic AE86 and runs with his legendary AE86 drift crew which he leads, Rough World back in 1990s. Interestingly enough, another crewmember from Rough World is a world class pro drifter from Team Orange, Kazuhiro Tanaka. This guys were the rebels back in the day.
Many has said that Nakai-san was the first to lower his AE86 to the ground and run mad amounts of negative camber, known in Japan as oni-kyan or demon-camber. Deep-dished wheels, mounted on spacers and tires stretched way past its normal width. This was the “rough style”. It got even intensified when Nakai-san decided to paint his hachiroku matte black. Mind you, all this in the early 90s was unheard of.
Fast forward a few years down the road, in the late 1990s, Nakai-san chanced upon a Porsche build while employed at a local body shop. Through this build, Nakai-san began developing a certain fascination towards the car. When he turned 28, Nakai-san bought his first Porsche, a 930 that is well known today as “Stella Artois”. RWB, short for Rauh Welt Begriff (Rough World Concept) the brainchild of none other the legend himself, Akira Nakai-san opened its doors six years after Stella was born.
Tucked away in a rural area of Chiba lies Nakai-san’s shop where he perfected each and every build in Japan. Not only in the sense of bodywork but also meticulously setting up the suspension settings for each car. What it lacks in space, the shop made it up for all the awesome memorabilia scattered around the shop.
Rows of empty Stella Artois bottles lined the window pane creating a perfect ambience. Take a wild guess as to why his pride and joy is dubbed Stella Artois.
To him, the shop is not only the place where he gets work done. It is also his home. Nakai-san actually sleeps at the shop as well. His reasoning, “I would want to wake up to seeing the cars near me.” Talk about building a relationship with a build. Nakai-san has just brought the game to a higher level. Although I couldn’t be there taking the scenic view all in by myself in person, the pictures did all the talking for me and it literally felt like I was there at that cozy little shop.
You might feel that the place is just cluttered with too many things lying around but that just adds more character to the little shop that could. Everything is at arms reached for Nakai-san. If it is comfortable enough for him, what more do we want?
If it is comfortable enough for him, what more do we want? The shop, although it was located about an hour away from the center of Tokyo Rauh Welt is still pretty well known in the suburban area of Chiba. Or more commonly known by the locals as “the Porsche place”. The outside of the shop is a bare large corrugated concrete shed with bits and pieces of parts lying around. Discarded panels, worn out racing tires, rusty exhausts. You could see all those lying around outside of the shop. IF it was here in Malaysia. Those bits and pieces will be gone in a heartbeat!
Inside the shop where the magic happens is an entirely different story. A few RWB-ed Porsche’s were parked on the shop floor and on the other end of the spectrum, there was a pool table, old poker machines, a vintage coca cola vendor machine, stacks of spacers of variable sizes, tool box with all the bizarre and common tools lying around, posters of Porsches, die-cast model Porsches and more Porsches related items lying around.
A glass display cabinet with small trophies and full face helmets and loads of magazines related to a certain car was just next to the standing heater and right next to it was Nakai-san’s infamous red leather chair where he did all his interviews in. Oh, did I mention that there was a chandelier hanging above it all?
There were many other uncommon things lying around that you would least expect to see in a workshop. For instance, a cabinet packed to the brim with packets of cigarettes from around the world, RWB neon light panels hanging above. A small glass fridge filled with drinks and also some cool jackpot machines. This place is a goldmine!
Parts were stacked neatly together. Wheels and tires were aligned properly to make do for the limited amount of space inside the shop but what amazes me the most is that although with such limited space. The shop just oozes with everything Nakai-san. His character and most of all, a resemblance of who he is and what makes him who he is today. All the memorabilia’s he accumulated from all his travels around the world tells a certain epic story of a man who is Nakai-san. Words just can’t describe how amazing the tiny little space is. Just let the pictures take you on an adventure.
A huge thank you to Mr Hossy-San from ARMYGIRL for bringing us to the Rough Cave.