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.
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.