Magnus Walker: LA’s Own Urban Outlaw

What does that even mean?  Does he wear a bandolier?  Does he hand roll his own cigars and defy all of the rules?  The “outlaw” part here applies to his work in modifying Porsches beyond what the factory would have done.  “Non-Compliant Urban Person” is not a great handle so “Urban Outlaw” became his nom de car.

Magnus is like no other and the same goes for his cars.  And those cars!  As you can see, they are unlike others that you’ve seen on the road as they bear his character (and what a character) and his DNA. He truly is one of a kind and he has the wheels to prove it.

At more than 150 miles mostly north of London, about 30 miles north of Birmingham and about 40 miles east of Manchester, Sheffied is an area of northern England perhaps best known for steel. Stainless steel and cutlery, specifically, brought renown to the area. Coal also was big business there, at least for a while. Born in this area in the middle of the 1960s, Walker seemed destined to be some type of rocker. One of his earliest business forays was creating a rocker’s clothing brand, Serious, but he never lost his childhood fascination with Porsche cars. Out of this crucible of steel, coal, rock and fashion arose Walker, one of the most well-known Porsche collectors and builders of the iconic brand, focusing mostly on 911s. It almost seems like he was predestined to work with metal in some way but few would have foreseen the sleek, fast metal missiles which were to come, much less the transition from a gritty town in northern England to the rather posh life in Los Angeles – that chapter began in the mid-1980s.

1978 Porsche 911 SC Hot Rod

Many people got to know the US version of Magnus (who became an American citizen in 2019) from the documentary, “Urban Outlaw” a decade ago. The film’s director, Tamir Moscovici, came up with the moniker. A man who would look good in a rock band (he was with both punk rock and heavy metal bands and he does play electric guitar) or, with his long hair and long beard and his ubiquitous Bowler hat, as a character actor, he decided to throw his lot in with those in the Porsche business. His work has become legendary. 

Walker has been featured in TedX talks and innumerable television and radio interviews. He has an impressive number of Hot Wheels cars in his signature line at Mattel (over 25 so far) and currently has an exhibition at the Petersen Automotive Museum. The exhibit in the Museum’s “Legends of the Vault Gallery” features ten of Magnuis’s outlaw Porsche cars as well as some special objects he has selected. It runs through Jan. 31, 2023. Highlights include Walker’s Porsche 924 Carrera GT, a Porsche art car and his famous red, white, and blue Porsche “277” as well as several others.

Here is some additional information about what you will see in the exhibit: 

• 1965 Porsche 911 

This is a very early example of Porsche’s iconic sportscar–it is the 310th 911 ever made. 

• 1976 Porsche 930 Turbo 

This is the first Turbo sold in the USA as documented by The Porsche Museum in Stuttgart. 

• 1967 Porsche 911 SRT 

An R-inspired sport-purpose build commenced in 2010, this car appears in Urban Outlaw painted in primer with a black hood and orange bumper. This is the first Porsche 911 ever to bear hand-stamped louvers on the front fenders.

• 1971 Porsche 911 T #277 

The most famous Magnus Walker car, “277” started its life as a gold 911 T before Walker bought it at the Pomona Swap Meet in 1999 and transformed it into his signature street race car.

• 1973 Porsche 914 

This stock 1.7-liter 914, decorated thanks to a few cans of spray paint and a creative mind and made without photoshop or computer graphics. 

• 1978 Porsche 911 SC Hot Rod 

The budget-build, sport-purpose hot rod shows that a sport- purpose streetable 911 built on a budget can be an exciting, capable track car. 

• 1980 Porsche 924 CARRERA GT 

One of just 406 built. 

• 1990 Porsche 964 

Completed in 2015, this is Walker’s most performance-oriented build to date. 

• 1995 Porsche 993 RS Look 

A model Walker often described as “the Cadillac of 911s” 

• 2004 Porsche 996 GT3 

Often quoted as saying “we need both air and water to survive,” Walker took his own advice and purchased his first water-cooled 911 in 2016. The 2004 Porsche 996.2 GT3 is one of Walker’s all-time favorite Porsche cars that he has ever owned. 

The Petersen Automotive Museum is located at 6060 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles.  

1980 Porsche 924 Carrera GT