RWB before fame: the M’s Machine Works 930 Turbo

In 2008, Speedhunters published a series of articles about Akira Nakai and his now famous brand RAUH-Welt Begriff (RWB).

It is no exaggeration to say that Mike Garrett’s series was among the first – if not perhaps the very first – series of English-language articles on Nakai-san and his work with Porsche cars.

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Even in 2008, the RWB brand had a retro-cool feel – and for good reason.

What Nakai-san did with the cars wasn’t exactly new; Wide-body Porsches existed long before he picked up a reciprocating saw. It’s not exactly a secret that Nakai-san’s work builds on what Porsche started with its 911 RSR models, but it was the way he applied the aesthetic that intrigued enthusiasts around the world.

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Nakai-san’s work passed through a filter of late nights, cigarettes, beer, personality and uninhibited creativity. Wild cutouts, flat paint, unique names, massive wheels, rough edges – it was a look that few had dared to adopt on Porsches before. Especially cars that did not live exclusively on the track.

Opinions were divided almost immediately and Nakai-san didn’t seem bothered either way.

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I met Nakai-san once, but briefly, when he was here in Toronto, Canada for a car show. He sat at the end of a long line of people waiting for autographs and was a man of few words. Yes, there was a bit of a language barrier, but his personality confirms that he prefers to let his work speak for itself.

Maybe I’m forgetful in my later years, but I can’t remember a single instance where Nakai-san was promoted himself.

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Perhaps that’s why the story of this Porsche 930 Turbo – which Nakai-san worked on in 2001 before RWB became a household name – was almost lost to time. Fortunately, by skill or exceptional luck, Marking during his last visit to Japan, an exclusive photo shoot with this important piece of RWB history.

The first cut is the deepest

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Outside of his personal projects, this car is considered the first Porsche 930 Nakai-san to be visually revised. Nearly two and a half decades ago, M’s machine factory in Kawaguchi, Saitama commissioned him to design a new front bumper and lip spoiler.

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He cut new vents in the front bumper and added canards. Below the new openings, Nakai-san installed a somewhat subdued version of the large black front lip spoiler he is now known for. This 930 Turbo also predates the addition of Second development (Second Development), because it was one of the first examples. It is so early in the process that it does not have a unique name.

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Upon completion and positive reception, Nakai-san was asked to create new wide fenders for the car. The shape of those fenders served as the basis for the fenders that he now fits all over the world.

When building the exterior of this car, one can only wonder if Nakai-san had any idea how far his work would take him in the future.

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I bet neither party knew how important this job would become in shaping the future and longevity of RWB.

Performance-oriented

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Unlike many contemporary RWB models, this 930 Turbo was never intended as just a design exercise. The car was regularly used on the circuit in the early 2000s.

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One notable acclaim during his competitive years is that he was included in an official Porsche yearbook.

In 2002, the Porsche was withdrawn from racing and stored. Twenty years later, M’s Machine Works tore it down to pieces to begin the restoration process.

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A 3.8L 993 GT2 racing engine replaced the original engine. This late model engine, like the chassis itself, has some racing history, having been used in the 2011 Suzuka 1,000km race. Refreshed, it is now mated to a new 997 Cup sequential gearbox.

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Inside, the car has a solid welded-in roll cage, Recaro seats and a range of MoTeC electronics.

Porsche’s exclusive Work Brombacher wheels – 18×10 inches at the front and 18×13 inches at the rear – are wrapped in appropriately sized Pirelli rubber. Behind the wheels are big Brembos equipped with a Bosch Motorsport anti-lock braking system.

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Throughout its life, the 930 Turbo was built entirely at M’s Machine Works and the suspension is to their design, constructed exclusively from machined aluminium. To keep things organized, Aragosta 3-way dampers are used.

Form follows function here, but the attitude is still quite aggressive.

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In 2023 a new wing extension was installed in line with some of the more modern RWB structures. An updated version of the original livery was also added.

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At the time of writing, restoration is underway and the car is missing a main wiring harness. M’s Machine Works has been slowly working on the car in between standard and not-so-standard jobs, like the one above. Once completed, the 930 is planned to compete in historic racing events, where it will be driven by Eiji ‘Tarzan’ Yamada.

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I don’t know exactly how many RWB cars exist today, but being one of the first cars ever built, this car is unique. Hopefully this famous 930 Turbo will be track ready again the next time Mark returns to M’s Machine Works.

Dave Thomas
Instagram: attitude everything com

Photographed by Mark Riccioni
Instagram: mark_scenemedia

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