Magnus Walker talks to XCAR about his '66 Irish Green Porsche 911
14:41

Magnus Walker talks to XCAR about his '66 Irish Green Porsche 911

Auto Tech
Driving early Porsches is freedom. It's freedom to go wherever you like, and I'm one of those guys that I like freedom. You know, I came to America at a young age and that was my first taste of freedom, living alone in a land faraway. I had my first road trip on a Trailways Bus from New York to Detroit, Detroit to LA. That was the first taste of freedom. Ultimate freedom is behind the wheel of any Porsche. My drive of choice obviously is early Porsches from mid-late 60s, early 70s. But we saw the adventure whether it's just going up the road to Pasadena on a 110, which is a thrill weaving in and out of traffic or whether it's during a road trip through Angeles Crest Highway or putting several hundred miles on the car. The car allows you to go wherever you wanna go at your pace, your own speed. That's the connection to the early Porsche 911 is the freedom of the open road, man and machine on the open road. Let me tell you, when I'm behind the wheel of these cars, I don't think about nothing else. You know, you're out there in the middle of nowhere, phone doesn't ring, there's no connection, time sort of stand still. Your head gets clear. You're not worried about anything that might be bugging you or bothering you or priorities change when you're behind the wheel of a Porsche 911. There are no other priorities other than enjoying the ride. It's like decompression timing of car and when you come back you got the memory and along the way you got the sight, smell, sound, tingling sensation, excitement. The thing we all live to do, I think, is the freedom of the drive. This is one of my favorite cars to go experience the joy of driving in the road with 911. Well, I'm sitting next to one of my favorite cars. It's the Irish Green 66-911 built January 12, 1966. It's one of the latter of the Solex carb, 2-liter, 66 cars in February of '66, Porsche switch from Solex's to Webers. The car is currently running a Weber 40 setup, but I do have the original Solex's and I acquired it probably little over 4, 4-1/2 years ago. It was an ad on Craigslist. The car was located in Seattle. The thrill of the Porsche starts with the chase. You know, I sold a yacht, called the guy up, I had a little conversation and this was back when I actually used to travel and look at cars. I think I remember driving my race car to Burbank Airport getting on a 7:00 AM flight to Seattle and I was in Seattle at 9:00, 9:30 in the morning. It was rainy drizzly, so I drove the car out of Seattle airport and drove into Seattle and visited his mechanic John Walker. I had a little chat about the car and then drove it some more through downtown Seattle on the freeway in the rain and drizzle and sort of fell in love with the car straight away. By noon, I was dropped off back at the airport on a flight at 1:00 back in LA by 3:00 and back in my warehouse across the road by 4:00, having a quiet, my first Irish Green. To many this is what I would consider British racing green but it would appear Porsche couldn't call a car British racing green, so the look of the Irish, it did become Irish green. The car has been repainted once in its original Irish green color. Other than that the car has never been restored. The only thing I've really done to it is that I did change the seats. Origin of the car would have had a 4-1/2 inch steering wheel but I've-- now I got it on a 5-1/2 steering wheel with a slightly wider, slightly shallow a profile 195 series tire. Now it's just one of those cars that I really love driving it. You know, there's a lot of memorable moments spent behind the wheel, the fact that I bought it in a rainy environment and rainy climate it's pretty amazing that the car for the most part is rust-free. You notice the car have obviously been maintained. It's 47 years old. It spent its whole life in Seattle. I've still maintained the original Seattle license plate frame on it. A lot of times I acquire cars in prior owners, that put their own individual little personal touches on it, such as the law enforcement sticker and things like that I just leave on the car if I like and it feel connected to the car. So this is one of my favorite cars. I have put a lot of miles on it in the past few years. It certainly not the fastest car I own, but it's a rewarding enjoyable drive. So in eyes, I often tell the tale, I do have some cars that are pretty much original and I've got my race car which is a 71 T, you know, sort of RS inspired, TR inspired, modified but never restored, currently running at a 26 Twin Plug motor. So I like the diversity. People say, you know, don't you only really need one Porsche, well, in theory yeah, maybe you only really need one Porsche, but I like variety, 'cause no two cars ever drive the same. Those 4 turbos don't drive the same. I've had numerous 66-911s that don't drive the same. What I like about the car really is it's the closest experience I can get to stepping back 47 years to 1966. You know, the car is a 2-liter car. Originally, it would have had 130 horsepower. Today, it's probably lucky if it has 120 horsepower. And I have to tell myself when I get behind the wheel that, I mean the Irish Green 66, because I tend to drive my cars the same regardless of what car I'm in. And I'll probably describe my driving style as spirited. When I'm behind the wheel, if I have just step out of my race car and I step into this car, instantly, there's a lot of differences. The big thick wood ring steering wheel is completely different to my race car, but I have to remind myself this car is gonna behave a lot different to my race car. It's a lot softer, it's higher up, it sound skinnier 5-1/2 inch rings. There's a lot of body roll, the grip's not the same. It doesn't stop me with the same-- it doesn't accelerate in the same. But the great thing I love about my '66 Irish Green 911 and every other Porsche that I have is a rewarding stimulating drive. This car is no different. I love the way it shifts, sort of a rifle bolt precision, 901 shift pattern. I love sort of driving it to like 6,000 rpm and then shifting up there. It's got a nice sort of unique sound because it's, you know, it's running [unk] dual system, it does not have headers. It does not have the sport muffler. The experience is a little bit different to all my other cars, but it's just the way the car moves around, it rolls around and let me tell you, 80 miles an hour in this car feels really, really fast. The speed is deceptive because by modern standards you know 80 miles an hour is not fast, but 85, 90 miles in this car when it's moving around there's a fair amount of play in the steering wheel and you just sort of letting it dance around, you know, sensitive hold on the wheel and then you try to pilot it down the road and stay on the gas, it's exciting. It is a memorable moment behind the wheel. Early on today I drove you in this car through Griffith Park and I described it a little bit like a mini type of Florida. You know, and that's the great thing about getting behind the wheel of any of this early cars. It doesn't even necessarily have to be a Porsche. At the end of the day, it's all about the drive behind the wheel, you know, on your favorite road. You and I have spent a little bit of time in 2 different cars over the past 24 hours, my 65-911 in Angeles Crest Highway and my 66-911 in Griffith Park and the two cars are separated by no more than a year. Essentially, they're both the same 2-liter car, but as you experience that thing, they both have their own character. The 65 is a little bit more aggressive. The 66 has got its own sort of unique sound, smell. You know, often I come home and my wife, Karen, she knows I've been driving in the Porsche, you've got that sort of smell of gas and oil and sweat, all sort of mixed together and you've seen inside that car, the steering wheel's worn over 45 years of holding the steering wheel, the paint's wearing off, the original car paint sort of thread bare, the rubber mats are worn, the seats are creaky. It's all part of the charm of these early cars, you know, the wood dash, the 911 squid, the green face gauges, the way that raspier exhaust no sound. You know, shifting and heeling and towing and left foot brake and then trying to balance the car whilst it dances around on the street. It's an adventure every time I get in. I keep using that word, but it's sort of the best way to describe a memorable moment behind the wheel of one of these cars and the modern cars may do things better but the reward is not the same. There's a lot of satisfaction of hustling this car around, weaving in and out of traffic, trying to out-brake people and it is antiquated but that's the challenge to get the most out of the vehicle and to be connected as one with the car, flowing together through those turns, trying to get on the gas or the brake leader. It's a thrill. I think people who have followed my story to mirror, did a great job in Urban Outlaw outlying sort of my story coming in America and how I followed my passion through the clothing, the buildings, the filming and along the way several Porsches, and I think people relate to that story. You know, I think people have read a lot about me and they've seen that I've tried things. I haven't always succeeded. There's been failures along the way. But if I can do it, anybody can do it. I-- you know, I've never been the plan-me-life-out type of guy, I'm the go-where-the-road-takes-you, follow opportunities along the way, do what makes you happy and I'm putting 12, 14 hours a day in but it's doing stuff that I really, really love to do and the common bond between the clothing, the buildings, and the cars, the connection, the common thread is a certain style aesthetic. I've spoken about it before that you could tell what a serious clothing item was by looking at it. Our building's pretty unique, that's why we're able to do a lot of filming and I think the Porsche's that I've customized have got my own unique sort of flavor and style to them to the point where now people are asking me, you know, are you gonna sell drilled door handles and louvered deck lids and to me those are things that were in a sense relatively simple, it's not brain surgery. Louvered deck lid, it's all hot rod thing, but one of those things that for some reason most people that replicate Porsche cars from the past, let's call them the purist, you know, they chose not to go down that road. I chose to do something aesthetically that I enjoy that I knew would be slightly different and those are the things that I think it's separating me from what other people have building and I think people relate to that sort of go your own way mentality. I never paid much attention in school. But it just goes to show, if you are passionate about anything in life and you put the effort in, you can achieve whatever results and goals you may set for yourself. But hard work certainly goes a long way. Not many cars leave the garage, you know. Yeah, I just sold a car but I just bought a car. So, selling is the worst part, this car is definitely staying, been in there for 4, 5 years. You know, I don't see it leaving. It's a great example of a great car. You know, when I think it's gonna happen for me in the garages, newer cars are gonna come in. I am sort of on the hunt now for '04, '05 GT3 'cause to me that's the most bang for the buck today, at least here in the states. 964 RS would be great, 924 Carrera GT would be great. Possibly some none 911 models 'cause I wanna experience everything Porsche as a builder and manufacturer has to offer. 914-6 GT would be a great acquisition, I think, would be a fun car to drive, 924 Carrera GTs on the list. You know, I was just giving a ride up in monorail, I think I mentioned in the 918 Spyder, a phenomenal car, but you know, it's just such a top dollar high amount of car, you know-- I'm not a guy that spends a lot of money acquiring Porsches. So it's nice to be driving in them, but I don't see a 959 or a 918 in my garage in the near future, unless of course Porsche wants to loan me one for a little bit and then yeah, sure, I bought for the-- I was born in the summer of love, I grew up in the 70s, that is my period of sort of getting acclimatized to cars and Porsches, where cars from the 60s and 70s, you know, those early years that when you form the bond with the car and this car is a reflection of that period. The driving experience to me is like stepping back in time. I've owned a lot of cars from the 60s, [unk] 5 Mustang GT 350s, R Replica, we had a 60, 70 type Jag, we own 2 69 Superbees, so the 60s was just a really a great era for automotive design, you know a lot of great cars came out of that time period, you know and they've just-- it's an emotional look back in time to a simpler time, the time when safety was a different concern to what it is today and that car, you know, just reflects that period of time, covers all the sensory basis of that car. That's pretty much the Irish Green 66-911 Porsche and thanks for coming on by and taking a look and spending time driving it with me.

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