The Idlers 12 Hour endurance race at Motegi is the most anticipated event of the year on the Idlers calendar. It is easily the longest, and pulls the most entrants and spectators. Last year we made our first trip over to Tochigi Prefecture with RWB and Dino from Speedhunters, and it was a great experience. This year, unfortunately we were unable to attend the actual race day due to prior obligations, but we still got the chance to hang out the night before with the RWB crew.
Before going over to RWB we decided to head up to another Porsche shop, Crosspoint 25, located about 90 minutes northwest in Kawaguchi City, Saitama Prefecture. The official name of their space is Crosspoint Garage Porsche Park, and the 4,300 square foot facility is fairly large by Japanese standards. The bottom floor is the workshop area fitted with six bays, four of which are available for rent and two of which have lifts.
The prices are not bad for what you get; for example a Saturday all day (8am-11pm) rental of a normal bay is only $70, and only $110 if you want one with a lift. Weekday rentals are $20 less, but the shop is only open 11am-11pm.
You don’t even have to rent for the whole day if you don’t need to – hourly rentals range from $10 on Saturday ($15 lift equipped) or $7 for a weekday rental ($12 lift equipped). The best part of that deal is you get to use all of their tools as well! Not to mention the staff are helpful and knowledgeable enough to answer most any questions you might have. There is a even a shower available and the whole place is air conditioned. How awesome is that? Oh yeah, and the second floor is a cafe and huge slot car track.
But enough plugging the shop space; the real reason we came here was to check out the car that they would be fielding in the 12 Hour race the following day, a 930 that has had some cosmetic treatment to make it appear a bit battle-worn. They’ve elected to call it the Zero Fighter after the famous Mitsubishi Zero war plane of dub’ya dub’ya two. Bullet hole stickers are strewn about the primer gray exterior and the front canards have an orange stripe to simulate the propellers of the real Zero, while yellow strips of paint on the door mirrors are meant to be the wings.
A giant rising sun flag, the symbol of Imperial Japan, is plastered on the duck tail of the deck lid, a reminder of the era that the real plane flew in. Most everything on the engine is stock aside from a slight refresh, from what we were told by the shop owner, Kiyoshi Murata.
For us, the best part of the car was the interior – just look at it! Completely stripped out and painted olive drab. Definitely resembles the real thing if you let your imagination run a little. The kitchen timer being used to track lap times is a little bit cheesy though, not only in color.
We lightly touched on this car on our piece about the Idlers race at Tsukuba, but given that it was at the shop we took a few more pics. Not an exact replica by any means, this is sort of a tribute to the second P-car Magnus Walker ever owned, and his favorite, his beloved 277. While Magnus’ car is a 1971 911T, the Crosspoint 25 car is a few years younger, a 911SC, and while the stickers are in all the right places, they have been changed around a fair bit. The Shell Gas logos on Magnus’ car has been replaced by Mobil ones for example. One thing they did get spot-on, aside from the color scheme and number, are the Fifteen52 Outlaw wheels, which were co-created by Magnus.
After making the long drive from Crosspoint 25 over to Kashiwa City in Chiba Prefecture, we finally arrived at Rauh Welt Begriff, where the pre-race party had already started. Parked outside was Nakai’s personal cruiser, a 964 Cabriolet, with one of his signature wide-body kits, of course.
This is the car that he takes around when he is popping off to Tokyo to wine and dine guests, so it is built for comfort in mind. With softer springs and the 3.6-liter engine left stock, save for the exhaust, it isn’t typical of the man. Also outside was his turbo race car, Rotana, and the pink beauty that is Adriana, the first RWB car that we got a ride in two and half years ago and one of the cars that RWB fields in the Idlers 12 Hour.
Right inside was Charlene, one of Nakai’s favorite cars and the testbed for endurance parts that Nakai receives from companies looking to gain exposure from the race. If it works on Charlene, he considers using it for the other cars. Last year Charlene was in a little bit of a crash when someone from RWB Taiwan had an unfortunate accident at the 2015 Idlers 12 Hour, but never the procrastinator, Nakai had her fixed up within the week.
Further in still were the final five that would be entered into the race. Every year Nakai has his best buddy and painter, Nojima, respray some of the cars that are going to be running the track. A lot of people wonder, “why would you respray a car that is going to be tracked?”, but those people wouldn’t understand Nakai’s way of looking at things. His cars have to look good! They are an expression of his workmanship, so he can’t have them all looking beat. Granted there are a few that are left alone.
Three of the cars being used for the race were painted in classic 70s pastels reminiscent of the IROC 911s. The 993 Lomianki was a minty green.
The 964 Veronika and the “narrow” backdate 930 were done in pink and purple respectively. Rarmintra was left brown, because that was the way God intended it, we guess.
Natty Dread Jr. was looking menacing as usual, sporting that huge 935 RSR style wing and decklid. The rear is perforated for extra cooling. The flags on the car are of significant importance, because they represent the countries that the Idlers drivers from Team RWB are from, both past and present.
Even though there were about 25 people mulling about the shop, and even though he was running on no sleep, Nakai still was talkative and generous enough to answer questions from anyone and everyone.
And speaking of generous, as per usual he also ordered food for everybody! This year seven cars, being driven by over 40 people, from 13 different countries would participate in the race, truly showing what a world-wide family RWB has become.
The crew was getting ready to leave for the track, and as much as we would have liked to join them, we had a wedding to attend on race-day. So reluctantly we headed home, but not before pulling over to check out this Ford GT we spotted at the Lawson convenience store down the road from RWB. This is one of our favorite modern American cars, so anytime we see one in Japan we just have to stop and look. Not too long though – still have to make the two hour drive home.
As a bonus, here’s the Crosspoint 25 shop dog, Carb, chomping on our camera. Cute!