Rauh-Welt Porsche 964 Turbo Roasts Tires At Retro Rides Hillclimb

It’s rare to see a work of art like a Rauh-Welt 964 doing much else than sitting pretty in front of a respected shop or turning heads at a car show. The outlandish styling and singular vision of founder Akira Nakai is well-known. His bold products usually divide the general car-loving audience. However, when a Rauh-Welt’s full potential is put on display, it’s likely that those not fond of the wide arches and the broad wings will warm to the sheer performance of the hot-rodded Porsche.

The owner of this car isn’t a long-running Porschephile, but he is someone well-acquainted with Japanese tuning culture. Phil Morrison, owner of UK-based DriftWorks, picked up this silver 964 in Japan earlier this year, as seen in this envy-inspiring video. It must be nice.

When your PromoDet-built engine makes somewhere around 550 horsepower with turbocharged torque, it’s not hard to fry tires that wide.

Fortunately, he hasn’t let this example join the horde of Rauh-Welt Porsches that are never driven in anger. At this year’s Retro Rides hillclimb, Morrison showed the audience how capable a hard-edged 964 Turbo with more than 500 horsepower is capable of. With top-shelf Zeal coilovers and 18-inch Work Brombacher wheels, this car can deploy the power quite well. Still, lots of torque from a HKS TO4R turbo spins the tires quite easily off the line.

The custom titanium exhaust amplifies that raspy note 911’s are known for, and also makes the snail all the more audible. The soundtrack is fantastic — easily one of the best exhaust notes ever to leave the tailpipes of a Porsche 911 — but the styling is just as good, if not better. The Rauh-Welt bodykit is clearly inspired by the simple, broad, and curvaceous kit adorning the 993 GT2 Evo — the snorkels in the rear wing assembly being the most obvious styling cues borrowed from the last of the turbocharged 911-based racing cars.

Morrison isn’t flogging the car within an inch of its life, but considering the rarity of the car, and the handful that a wide-tired, stiffly sprung, single-turbo 964 is, that is excusable. Plus, by putting on a smoke show and constantly banging off the rev limiter, it’s fair to assume the fans got their money’s worth. What’s more, he demonstrated (with great drama) the uncommon combination of unique styling, captivating sound, and frightening performance that make a Rauh-Welt Porsche such a highly prized machine.

Though extreme, this car’s masterfully crafted fenders and athletic stance are hard to dislike.

About the author

Tommy Parry

Tommy Parry has been racing and writing about racing cars for the past seven years. As an automotive enthusiast from a young age, he worked jobs revolving around cars throughout high school, and tried his hand on the race track on his 20th birthday. After winning his first outdoor kart race, Tommy began working as an apprentice mechanic to amateur racers in the Bay Area to sharpen his mechanical understanding. He has worked as a track day instructor and automotive writer since 2012, and continues to race karts, formula cars, sedans, and rally cars in the San Francisco region.
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