RWB is not just about cars, it is about family.
Beyond each build is a group of like-minded individuals who all share the same passion for RWB and the car community.
One thing I love about RWB is that each build unites us all together and ever since I attended my first build, I have become hooked with RWB and the people behind it. The bond we have all developed is truly heart-warming and I feel incredibly lucky to be able to capture each moment, so I can share it with the rest of the world.
None of this would be possible without Nakai-san, the creator of RWB. Everything he does is not only captivating to watch, but ever so exhilarating. I learn a lot from attending the builds, and the main thing I learned this time round was the fact that Nakai-san has a lot of patience and is never one to complain. Which reminds of the Japanese term "Gaman", the concept behind my "Patience" sticker.
I think we all tend to be impatient and complain at times, but we need to remember to keep our private affairs, problems and complaints silent, as this demonstrates strength and politeness because others have seemingly larger problems that you may not know about.
Watching Nakai-san is truly powerful and I'm sure those who have witnessed a build or spent time with him would no doubt agree.
For those who are unfamiliar with who Nakai-san is or what he is about, you can watch these incredible videos by Spyro who was filming throughout the build. Spyro is an absolute machine at producing and was constantly uploading high-quality videos whilst the build was taking place, so be sure to check out his videos! (Just don't watch the one with me in it, it's super embarrassing lol)
One of the highlights of my trip was on the very first day when we all met Zara the horse who lived on the property where the two RWB builds took place. There is something about connecting with animals and the outdoors that is so invigorating. I believe that nature fuels the soul and it really makes you realise how lucky we all are and to appreciate the precious life we are all given.
Which brings me to Christian...
Where do I begin? I wouldn't have been a part of Australia's first RWB build if it wasn't for Christian. Almost a year ago, we had our first encounter which just so happened to be on Instagram. I was standing in front of a white GT3 wearing my RWB Japan top that I had bought from Nakai-san at the RWB party in 2015, and Christian commented on my photo saying thanks for rocking the t's and to hopefully meet for Australia's first RWB.
Fast track a few months later, and I was flying down to Melbourne to witness my first ever build. There was no way I was going to miss out and if it wasn't for his initial comment, I probably wouldn't even be writing this post right now.
Christian is basically Nakai-san's right hand man and is definitely the coolest person I know. (Did I mention that he currently owns 5 RWB's with another 2 on the way?) He is like a mentor to me, someone I aspire to be and I cannot thank him enough. Especially for giving us all an abundance of wise words, and a constant supply Jack Daniels, and "I don't even drink" - lol!
But Jack aside, Christian always reminds us that life is too short, so live in the moment and have a good time! And plenty of good times were had in New Zealand as you can tell by the pictures!
And I would not even have these pictures or this story if it wasn't for the one and only Aaron Mai!
I first met Aaron in Melbourne during the Australian build and fangirled just a little when I realised who he was. Aaron has been capturing the Japanese car scene and culture for years now and his work has always inspired me and also made me want to just pack up my belongings and move to Japan.
After Aaron lived in Japan with Nakai-san and made a promise to him almost 10 years ago years ago (which was to try have an RWB in each country), he finally got to fulfil his promise by bringing not one, but two back-to-back RWB builds in New Zealand, along with his partner Lawrence Chok.
Lawrence is the master organiser behind RWB New Zealand and I can't thank him enough for organising my trip and picking me up from the airport at midnight. Along with Aaron, they were both working their asses off making sure that everything was in order and they could not have done a better job - despite acting like fools in almost all my photos, lol!
I am so proud of what Aaron and Lawrence achieved. The pair even managed to secure a spectacular location in Palmerston North for the two RWB builds, which was a helicopter hanger owned by the two Mangin brothers.
James and Josh Mangin were kind enough to open up their property for an entire week whilst Nakai-san worked on the two Porsches.
And whilst Nakai-san worked on the two Porsches, James was working on his Silvia, which is ironically about to become New Zealand's first Rocket Bunny S15.
After traveling to Japan with Aaron last year, James purchased the Rocket Bunny kit directly from Miura-san and then had it shipped over to New Zealand. The car is almost complete and I can't wait to see the finished look! James also showed us Cole's neat FC which now has a nifty new Era 1 e-brake thanks to Christian! And check out James' super cool Triumph that he built in the pictures above - so baller!
You see that is the beauty behind RWB. It doesn't matter what car you drive or where you come from, we all appreciate and respect one another. I love that each build makes the family stronger and allows you to connect with different people from all aspects of the world!
And because of this build I finally got to meet Zahid who lives in Malaysia! I've been following Zahid on Instagram for a while now and been a huge fan of his photography work so it was super cool to be able to meet him! He has some incredible talent and also made these awesome RWB New Zealand coasters. Thanks for all your photography tips Zahid, hopefully we can both shoot more RWB cars in the near future!
Check out his coverage from the build here: noequal.co
Both builds would not exist if it wasn't for the two 964 Porsche owners, Anthony Wong and Nan Su, who both went through several weeks of intense deadlines and commitments to get the cars ready before Nakai-san could work his magic. Hearing their stories about what RWB meant to them was really inspiring and it was great to see the pair working together and showing one another support.
It was also great to spot my RWB x Stay Driven stickers that I designed on the dash of the cars during the build. I got so excited when I first spotted them! Thanks so much for rocking them, it really means a lot to me! Make sure you keep those cars driven :P
Laaaaaaaance. The master who spent endless hours recreating the same LED sign from Nakai-san's workshop in Chiba, Japan. Thanks for all your killer one-liners and for all your advice on stickers!
Like father, like son. Aaron's dad, Kevin is such a legend! In fact the entire Mai family was incredibly welcoming and was kind enough to open up their beautiful home and put on a phenomenal family breakfast before we all went our separate ways. Those paua fritters were to die for!
Aaron's sister Monique is such a crack up. I love her energy and how silly she is! We were in hysterics because we couldn't see over the steering wheel!
Finally another RWB girl - Vika Osipova-May! This girl is not only a babe and a self-confessed motorsportaholic, but she is really down to earth! Welcome to the family!
And to the rest of the family, thank you so much for attending the build and making the entire journey an experience I will never forget, I hope you all like the photos!
Honestly, words cannot describe how grateful I am to be a part of the family and I am so proud of Aaron and Lawrence for successfully bringing RWB to New Zealand. Looking forward to the next build! #allover