Diamond in the Rough

Published on August 14th, 2015

In the recent months, the world has not been kind to us Malaysians. With all the political stirs and economic downturns slapping everyone in the face; we petrolheads especially are being hit hard  as sourcing most of our car parts from overseas are costing us more than ever before.

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But our sorrows together with the political and racial barriers were put aside over the past weekend when two very distinct automotive events took place in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. For the racing enthusiasts, the highlight of the weekend was definitely Fairuz Fauzy’s amazing recovery from wrecks to the winners circle with a podium finish from crashing on the next day.

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On the other hand, the followers of custom cults found – we got roughed up watching the masterful Nakai-san turning a 911 into an RWB masterpiece along with the local RWB crew and enthusiasts alike.

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I still remember vividly, the moment I met Nakai-san in Roppongi that cold night in January last year when I was first told that RWB is coming to Malaysia. Fast forward to the past weekend, we’ve had 5 RWB cars in Malaysia with 4 of them based in Johor.

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It was a privilege and an honor for me to be given the opportunity to experience all 5 builds so far and the latest one being done in KL gave a whole new view of what RWB can do to our little community of automotive enthusiast.

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The build took place in a pop-up premise of The Garage KL which belongs to a familiar name that’s been in our local tuning scene, Tengku Azman.

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He’s been dreaming of hosting RWB builds in his premise for years and, with a pick of phone call thanks to the RWB Kuala Lumpur and RWB Malaysia crew, one of his dreams came true with the birth of RWBKL’s first born.

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Despite the extra heavy traffic caused by road closures to host the Kuala Lumpur City Grand Prix, the RWB build attracted a lot of enthusiasts alike to witness a living legend producing yet another one of his masterpieces.

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While at it – these enthusiasts came with various modded cars that turned the parking lot into an unplanned car meet.

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Seeing various kinds of modded cars in one place, along with the owners mingling with fellow enthusiast without giving a single [email protected]#$ of what they drove is something that has yet to be achieved by our community.

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But the aura of RWB has brought along the cult together and it was also an opportunity for us to show to Dino of Speedhunters, who was also there to cover the build, the true colors of our automotive scene.

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The variety of cars that came was mind boggling. Though, naturally we knew many were going to be in the form of aircooled 911s. For example, this particular Porsche 911 RSR Replica was driven by the owner all the way from Kuantan to KL just to witness Nakai’s work.

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For Sepang Kakis, you should know that this particular RSR is a full-fledged racecar, ready to be driven on track anytime. While there are other stunning Porsches that came to mingle about, its only fair to mention that the amount of JDMs there was also overwhelming and uniquely built.

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Taking this bright orange S30 240Z for an example, on the first glimpse everyone would agree it looks like just another cleanly built 240Z.

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But opinions started to differ when the hood was popped open. A bay that used to house an L24 engine is now home to a very unique RB26, not any other RB26, but an RB26DE. Yes you read that right, N/A, Non-turbo. A build like this doesn’t come often here in Malaysia especially in a rare S30 240Z chassis, but I guess Watanabe-san’s influence is also strong in this neck of the woods.

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Apart from the impromptu car meet, the other one thing that made the build special was the presence of other neighboring RWB crews to welcome RWB KL into the circle. Christian Coujin, whom many of you may know is from RWB Seattle and RWB Malaysia came a day early to check out the premise and made sure everything is in place so Nakai-san can start working as soon as possible on the RWBKL #1 car.

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It also happens to be RWB Malaysia’s #5. Later along the build, Mr Yanto and Mr Michael from Terror Garage and RWB Indonesia joined in the fun. In case you haven’t heard, Terror Garage and RWB Indonesia has been pushing the envelope when it comes to building an RWB car.

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Their latest creation, the RWB Speedster that started life originally as a 911 (964) Cabriolet has had the RWB backdate kit and a handmade aluminium hard-top together with chopped windshield to make it truly a one-off creation. I can’t imagine what will they come out with once Magnus Walker is thrown into that equation, which according to them, is happening for their next build.

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Watching Nakai-san’s work on these Porsches could never bore anyone out because he has no definite routine on his workflow. So  surprises awaits you when you least expect it. He is one of those guys that always goes with the flow and immediately works on something when it pops in his head before the mood is gone.

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One of the most apparent evidence was when he’s taking a few minutes off for a bathroom break but out of sudden making a U-turn and immediately working on something for the car. I am pretty sure everyone has been wondering – what’s in his head when he works and names his RWB masterpieces.

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Its hard to decipher his modus operandi but during our short interview with him, we managed to dig a lil deeper into that messy haired-head. According to him, the name doesn’t came out randomly but more of a careful consideration between him and the owner.

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The car, more often than not will be nameless until the very last day of the build because he likes to consider everything like the food he’s eating, the environment of the build and the weather during the build itself.

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For RWB KL #1, on Monday at 12:45AM, Nakai-san named the car ‘Miyabi’ which in modern Japanese context, translates to Elegence, Refinement, Courtliness and sometimes refers to ‘Heart-breaker’ too. Mind-boggling for the rest though, due to the rather hysterical reference to a certain Japanese figure. 😉

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Upon our conversation with the car owners, we figured it is indeed a perfect name for the car due to the fact that amongst all RWB cars, this one probably is the most subtle one thus far. With color-matched front canards and the lower parts of the sideskirt and bumpers front and back were only dress with a black line instead of the normal full black paint, ‘Miyabi’ stands elegantly subtle yet distinctive.

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These features does in a way, tone down the loudness and roughness of a usual RWB cars; making it more elegant and refined. This also act as a testament of the food that has been served by The Garage KL which is nothing short of classy and elegant.

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Upon completion of the build, Nakai-san decided to have a test drive of the car and if I remember correctly, this would be the first time Nakai-san driving an RWB car on the street of Kuala Lumpur.

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Luck is on our side that day though as heavy traffic is everywhere; and the route that we chose was nearly empty, allowing Nakai-san to open up the taps and test out Miyabi’s suspension and clearance settings.

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Nakai-san took off on Monday morning and leaves the owner and fellow enthusiasts not only his masterpiece, but also an experience that can never be forgotten. For those who may have missed this build, worry not. Nakai-san will be back in Malaysia soon for RWB Malaysia’s build #6 and #7 in which, should be an even rougher experience for us.

Words & Photos: Zahid Kasim

Comments

  1. Posted by Johan on August 14th, 2015, 15:47

    Bro..Let me know when the next RWB build will be plsssss..hope to see Nakai-san in action right in front of my eyes

  2. Posted by Sumarni on November 13th, 2015, 01:50

    I’ve been on hiatus for a while. It’s hard to do all I do with shcool as a serious commitment. Taking pictures is one thing, but post process is another. They are their own respective jobs and I’m sorry for neglecting the people such as yourself that appreciate what I do. I hope to update in the near future. Until then,Matt

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