January 12, 2022 By Francis G. Pallarco Photos by Joey Yepez

AKIRA 2: Transforming classic Porsches into automotive works of art

Given its distinct styling cues, our featured Porsche reflects the artisan work of someone with an affinity for wide over fenders. The end result of which is something awesome that it would be impossible for it not to attract attention.

Taking the art of customizing cars to stratospheric levels, Akira Nakai of Rauh-Welt Begriff (RWB) or “Rough-World Concept” can be found all around the globe, creating his take on what a custom air-cooled Porsche should look like.

Apart from getting that signature RWB-look, the most exciting and anticipated part of any RWB build process is when Nakai-san installs the bodywork by himself using only simple tools. The first one on our shores is dubbed, “Victoria” owned by Angie King, which we featured a few years back. Since then, numerous more Porsches have been given the RWB treatment including our featured RWB Porsche owned by Architect Michael T. Peña who’s no stranger when it comes to Porsches.

While looking for another Porsche, Architect Michael T. Peña stumbled upon this RWB as he explains, “Ever since I sold my Porsche 964 turbo in 2016, I have been regretting that day. So I have always been looking for a decent 964 with a manual transmission. Finally, a friend told me about one up for sale. But here’s the thing though, I have to wait for two weeks for J Works to finish the final detailing steps. When the day finally came for me to view the car, lo and behold, it was an RWB 964 and I never let it slip away.”

“An RWB is a type of car where you either love it or hate it, of course, purists frown on it, but for me, Akira is a genius. When you look at the car even at its stationary state, you know it’s a beast ready to jump on you. It’s just mesmerizing how Akira single-handedly builds his creation with his own hands and crude tools are just mind-boggling. RWB’s can be compared with the custom ‘Singer’ Porsches in America that even enhances its value so definitely, this one is for keeps. while I do collect classic cars and most of the time, I like it in its “original” state, but hey, if I can have an RWB, I don’t mind at all,” said Arch. Peña

Built by Akira-san in 2013 and dubbed as “Akira”, this is the second RWB in the Philippines, which used to be black and shod with the familiar Work Meister wheels. Since then, it has undergone a full re-spray in a custom shade of pastel blue-gray by J Works Unlimited. Greatly giving contrast to its new look is the satin black wheels from Rotiform as conceptualized by American automotive designer Jon Sibal.

To keep those wide wheel barrels close to the fender arches and terra firma, the AirRex air suspension actually does a good job that Architect Peña is astonished as to how well it actually rides and handles. The functional interior boasts of Recaro SR7 seats featuring a houndstooth pattern that continues to the door cards and rear seats.

Already pushing close to 300 horses in stock form, the normally aspirated 3.6-liter engine was fully rebuilt and fitted with a Varex X-Force exhaust, giving off a gnarly soundtrack. Having undergone major changes from the former Akira built in 2013, they decided to rename it as “Akira 2.”

Visually arresting, this particular RWB is indeed a work of art that’s been refined even further. Projecting a razor-clean, minimalist look with only two dominating colors that strikes a fresh look no matter how long you gaze at it.

But Architect Peña perfectly sums it up best as he quips, “The thing I like most is its individuality, each RWB car has a name and carries a soul in it. Being handmade, no two cars are exactly the same. Admittedly, there will be a handful of classic car owners who like to keep a car completely original like a museum piece, acting as “stewards” of the car. But this is a free world and you can race your car, tune it, lower it, or make it an RWB car. Chances are you might be having more fun than the Porsche owner who keeps it in a sealed garage and never takes it out so it doesn’t add mileage. RWB means “Rough World Concept” and that’s it, Surely it looks rough and ‘brusco,’ but it puts a smile on my face every time I drive it. In the end, I guess this car also reflects your lifestyle.” I must say, I wholeheartedly agree.

 

Specifications

RWB Akira 2

1998 Porsche Carrera 4S

Architect Michael T. Peña

Engine

  • Rebuilt 3.6-liter, 6-cylinder boxer,
  • Varex X-Force Exhaust, Cold Air Intake,

Transmission

  • 6-Speed Manual

Brakes

  • Brembo Big Brake Kit

Suspension

  • AirRex Air Suspension

Rollers

  • Rotiform MLW (3-pc.) Wheels
  • F-10×18, R-12×18
  • Michelin Pilot Sport Tires
  • F-265/35ZR18, R-315/30ZR18

Interior

  • OMP Steering wheel with Rauh-Welt Manila Horn Button
  • Recaro Sporster Seats in period-correct Houndstooth accent,
  • RS sidings, Rennline Pedals, Rennline gauge rings, Shift knob,
  • Rennline track aluminum mats and pedals, Alcantara dash/sidings,

Exterior

  • RWB Full wide Body kit
  • Front/rear Over fenders, Front/rear bumpers, Side skirts, front canards and the Championship rear wing

Paint & Body

  • Custom Pastel Blue Gray color by JWorks Unlimited

Kudos To

I would like to thank John Lee and PR of JWorks Unlimited for the rebirth of the car; they did a fantastic job, also Angie King of Carporn Garage and Alex Isip of Alex Car Restoration for some detailing works.

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