Itswhitenoise RWB Brooklyn
Back in march I went to New York with Seb Delanney to witness the build of Itswhitenoise‘s and Zalasin‘s RWB Brooklyn. This was an incredible experience for many reasons, which I’ll try to explain as quickly as I can: first of all, it was my first time in New York, which is a concrete jungle of gigantism bound to amaze everyone, even if you live in what is considered like a big city (Paris for me)! Second of all, this was a completely new experience for me: witnessing the birth of a new car. Indeed, famed artist Akira Nakai-San, the man behind RWB (Rauh-Welt Begriff), flew all the way from Japan to New York to build a car for his first female customer: Elizabeth, who runs Itswhitenoise. As it is tradition, Nakai decided the name of the car: it will be RWB BROOKLYN. Brooklyn, as in the place where the owner lived and grew up, and the place where the car was built.
The whole build lasted three days, and took place at The Drive‘s place/studios in Brooklyn, where they film their segments for their show. It was a nice little place that looked almost clinical, where the Porsche 964 which would serve as base for the RWB Brooklyn was waiting for its fate, almost looking like an abandonned car at first glance. But it wasn’t alone: there also was Itswhitenoise’s black Porsche 991 GT3 RS and the white RWB Hollywood! Needless to say, it was a very Porsche-filled place haha (even more on the final day, when a 356 speedster & 911 50th anniversary and another RWB build showed up to the party too)! The Itswhitenoise RWB Brooklyn build could officially start!
It was about 8:30 AM on the first day, we were already there, horsing around, taking a look at the premices, how everything would fit, at the car parts for the build which were already there (well, most of them at least). Nakai-San arrived early, and he almost instantly started working after a few discreet hugs & greets to the owners. To be perfectly honest, I had never actually seen the man work, not even in one of those awesome YouTube videos you can easily online. But the first impression I had of the man was that of an artist, a real artist. The kind of person that doesn’t give a f*ck about trivial things: he’s only there to do his work, to do his art. And I don’t mean it in a bad way like he didn’t care about anything, obviously lol. I mean it as in he was a *real* artist. And as the days would pass, I’d realize that I wasn’t wrong on this first impression.
Nakai started working on the car almost immediately. His determination and focus were quite surprising. Everyone there all sort of helped a bit doing this and that, lifting something, unscrewing the original seats of the car, finding the right type of tool, whatever. That being said, he was the one doing the *real* work on the car. We all sort of curiously watched him work and do his thing with a hint of admiration and praise. It might sound like a silly thing to say, but if it were me in his place? I would’ve felt spied on, watched over, without a doubt. But the japanese craftsman didn’t seem to mind. He was entirely focused on doing his thing and didn’t seem to mind having a camera pointed at his face for long periods of time. The sheer amount of concentration he had was astonishing.
Another funny little detail about Nakai is he didn’t seem to eat during lunch breaks. Well, he obviously ate, but like a quick sandwich. No fancy lunch. He really didn’t seem to have time for anything else but his work and the few breaks he’d take to smoke a cigarette. As most of my friends back in Paris asked me: “how many did he smoke? Haha”. Which later made me understand that the smoking was part of the whole charisma / personage / mythos built around him!
I never really hang around in dealerships or workshops, therefore I had never seen a car being completely torn apart that way, at least not with my own eyes. As I said, when we first saw the Porsche 964 it seemed like it had been vandalized beyond repair: there were electrical wires here and there and “stuff” all around. I sincerely didn’t think it would be possible to make it look like a shiny new car in only 3 days, but as you now well know, that’s exactly what happened.
Nakai was slowly but surely making its way there. Glueing the lights here, black-painting parts there… He only had one huge toolbox with everything he needed. The only thing he lacked was some sort of air compressor thingy to power-up the saw, with which he’d cut the car (but Andrew solved that problem in a jiffy). No robots or anything involved: all manually! When Nakai started cutting the car, that’s when things started to get really serious: there was no going back after this. Also, there was no room for mistakes or failure: if he messed up, it would be irreversible! Though he obviously (probably?) still had planned a margin of error somewhere, but it was very impressive nonetheless. You would see him taking measures, pausing, thinking for a while and looking at the car, then attacking. Cutting the metal, then adding the car parts step by step, taping then screwing them on the front, back, everywhere. The work into building RWB Brooklyn felt like a two-men job, but Nakai works alone. He knows what he has to do, he knows how to do it, too. We only had to be patient and lend a hand whenever a land needed to be handed!
Instead of the massive wings/spoilers RWBs are usually known for (at least that’s one of the two things that comes to my mind when someone mentions the brand), the RWB Brooklyn chose to have a little ducktail. The reason was to sort of mimick the Itwshitenoise Porsche 2,7L RS. It also shared the same livery: black with red accents. That was a nice detail that I thought would go well (it did look nice in the renders for starters).
The Fifteen 52 red wheels only arrived on the last day, after a lot of delays & issues during shipping. They were supposed to get there the day before, but apparently UPS messed-up. It always happens at the wrong times, but when you have to send a silly card to a friend, no worries lol. That added a lot of stress for everyone, especially for the owners: they had a schedule to keep! Good thing everything was eventually sorted out around 6/7AM on the last day, as a last-minute thing almost, and it’s now only a funny anecdote we’ll remember and laugh about. Everything turned out great, and the car was completed in time! The wheels were the last detail we were unsure about, and that was now sorted. Nakai-San made the back of the car mega-wide as per demand (wider than its sister the RWB Hollywood – some of you even feel it’s too wide, from what I gathered in the comments). Let’s face it, it really is a big-booty car haha! But that’s the whole point / charm (and it’s also the second thing that comes to my mind when someone mentions RWB = extra-wide cars).
A lot of people attended the build on the last day compared to the previous days, there were many visitors, passer-bys, people who simply worked at Industry City, curious persons, or people who knew what was going on and wanted to be a part of it. Everything was well-organized so it would be a very cool experience! Hell, there even was a roasted pig for everyone to eat! I don’t know of a better way to spend a saturday: cars, friends, and food! Elizabeth’s sister, who is an artist, even came with a super rare and HUGE polaroid camera. When I say huge, I mean it needed a truck for transporation, about as big as myself (and probably as heavy too haha).
As far as social media coverage goes, it worked pretty well for everyone I think: there were many people who represented all sorts of online media on every platforms. I did maybe 3 live feeds of the build of Itswhitenoise RWB Brooklyn during those 3 days, step by step. When you think about it, it’s actually quite hard to follow the build of a car in a “LIVE” feed, because it’s a slow process that requires a lot of patience and precision work. You basically take small steps until the big picture is revealed. Therefore, I can understand how it might’ve seen a bit long: a lot of you seemed impatient to see the final result haha! Patience always pays, my friends.
On saturday, the final touches were all done. The wheels were installed, the interior had changed (new seats, similar to the 2,7L RS’s). And above all, *the* little detail that made all the difference to me: the side-decal which read “Brooklyn”. Again, just like the 2,7L RS (which reads “Carrera” though). The car was ready for its christening and its first real baby steps. Or should I say baby drive? It was quite a logistical feat to take the car out: because of the location a truck was needed to move the car because it couldn’t leave any other way, and it could hit the ground. But once everything was done, the car was unloaded in a parking lot in Brooklyn, right in front of Industry City, with a view on Lady Liberty watching over us. Andrew & Elizabeth got in the car, fired it up, and then they were off with a big acceleration! They eventually did a few runs & drove a bit. It really did look mega-wide, but that’s the whole point of the car IMHO! Sometimes it felt like turning wasn’t the easiest thing to do, though Nakai made it all seem very easy-peasy when he jumped behind the wheel for a quick test-drive with Elizabeth haha. As we say “what a lad”!
Here ends my adventure in New York with the RWB Brooklyn & Itswhitenoise! It was quite a lovely experience and I enjoyed every single day and every single thing (that Brooklyn Pizza, though – I’ll have to agree we don’t get that here in Paris)! Also, some quality time spent with some amazing people, Elizabeth, Andrew, Seb, and all the other guys I met over there along the way (I know I’ll forget some, bear with me): the Car community crew, Gabriel Sevigny, the NS2media team, Rob Dahm, the Drive crew, Jovian… and everyone else I’m simply too stupid to forget mentionning! Thanks everyone for making it IMMENSE! Itswhitenoise RWB Brooklyn out!