His beanie hat hoards a mass of dreadlocks; his beard is a mixture of silver and blonde hairs. Magnus Walker is not what you’d call a typical-looking Porsche enthusiast. Sit him outside Kings Cross, and you’d be excused for handing him your spare change. Yet the self-proclaimed Urban Outlaw has shot to fame as one of the world’s most prolific Porsche collectors and something of an underground hero for anti-establishment tuning of vintage Porsche products. So how exactly does a scruffy lad from Sheffield wind up nestled in Los Angeles as an aficionado of Stuttgart’s finest?
The story begins back in 1977. England was an exciting place to be as a young ‘un - the Sex Pistols kicked off the punk rock movement, and a little film called Star Wars was about to spawn a whole generation of geeks. But, for Magnus, aged 10 years old, 1977 signalled a very different kind of obsession. “It was the Earl’s Court motor show,” he explains in his strange amalgam of US twang and Yorkshire vowels. “I travelled there with my dad, and as we reached the Porsche stand, I laid eyes on a 911 painted in Martini red and blue stripes. The engine plaque read turbo, the spoiler was as tall as my head. I knew right then the Porsche 911 was my dream car.”
Pictures: Mark Riccioni
This feature originally appeared in the February 2015 issue of Top Gear Magazine.