Retro, Racy and Raw – It’s The Porsche 911 Outlaw
The iconic Porsche 911 has been taking breaths away for over 50 years, with its original 1964 model catapulting the Stuttgart automotive producer to dizzying heights in the sports car manufacturing industry. Indeed, in the 1999 Car of the Century awards the 911 placed fifth, trailing only mass market cars such as the Ford Model T and VW Beetle. With a production period spanning several decades, one would expect the 911 to have undergone dramatic design changes – yet, every Porschephile knows that the motor car manufacturer’s loyalty to the basic concept of the original 911 is what has earned this iconic sports car the cult following it enjoys today.
It is perhaps Porsche’s continued commitment to the signature 911 look which has inspired Porsche lovers to embark upon their own 911 rebuild projects, with edgy adaptations taking the car where its original engineers might never have imagined. With models in production as early 1964, the 911 has of course given the sports car restoration movement plenty to work with. However, in the case of the outlaw Porsche 911, all the conventions and trends of the purist resto movement must be forgotten. Don’t be fooled by the fact that most outlaw 911’s are rebuilds of early 60s and 70s models – at the hands of customization enthusiasts, these original icons are not just being revived, but are being given new life altogether.
The term ‘outlaw’ was originally applied to Gary and Rod Emory’s reimagined Porsche 365s which, contra purist restorer practices, improved on the original rather than simply recreating it. Rod and his father Gary began to willfully ignore the more conservative Porsche restorers’ obsession with originality, favoring instead rebuilds with wider wheels and rally-car modifications which allowed the 365s to be steered, stopped and spun the way Porsche intended.
With the stage set by the Emorys, it was a matter of time before the Porsche 911 got its own outlaw king, none other than Magnus Walker, the effortlessly hip 911 fanatic who verges on being anti-establishment both in his look and his 911 customization projects. His signature dreadlocks and beard, leather boots and beanie look should be an early indication to any rebuild enthusiast that Magnus Walker’s outlaws are far from trend-following. Think rock ‘n roll, punk and grunge meets the classy streamlined Porsche aesthetic which the brand has cultivated tirelessly for years. In Walker’s rebuilds you might find plaid upholstery and distressed leather seats, with the exterior paying homage both to the 911s rally days and Walker’s childhood hero, Evel Knievel: race car numbers and blue, red and white colors are a common feature on Walker’s 911s. Walker owns over 40 Porsche 911s, and each has been given a unique, Magnus-style strip-down and build-up, with specialized internal adaptions for the project at hand – whether it be turning the torsion bars, installing 15s tires, adding a ducktail spoiler or inserting a twin-pipe muffler.
Walker’s edgy rebuilds which emphasize the raw, racer style of the earlier models were never an attempt at attention-grabbing. In fact, the now industry-famous customized 911s were hidden away in his warehouse for his exclusive enjoyment for years – that is, until Canadian filmmaker Tamir Moscovici produced a short documentary on Walker’s collection, called Urban Outlaw. The film rocketed Walker into sports car customization fame, and ever since, his unique design style has captured the awe of Porsche enthusiasts the world over. True to his famously independent style, Walker claims never to work on other’s terms: he builds for himself only, and anyone who chances upon a Walker outlaw Porsche 911 for sale, is just damn lucky.