Magnus Walker, the Porsche hunter, talks at TEDxUCLA tabout his life journey…the story, hopes and dreams.
Listen to the MP3 Audio here: Go with your gut feeling _ Magnus Walker _ TEDxUCLA
Hello! My name is Magnus Walker and I was born in 1967, in Sheffield, England.
I left school at 15 and I came to America at the age of 19.
Well, eight weeks ago, I didn’t know what a TED talk was and to be honest I’m not quite sure why I’m here today. But I do appreciate the opportunity to be with you guys and share my story, my journey, my hopes, and my dreams.
You know, having left school at 15, for me I didn’t really have any future.
Well, I came to America 28 years ago and that represents the land of opportunity for me. And in those past 28 years, I’ve been able to build three things: a successful clothing company, a film location business and also a restored raced driven and collected quite a lot of classic Porsches. Porsche is a passion for me and I’ll talk about that in detail in a little bit.
But all three of those things share one common bond. I had no education in them. I didn’t really think I was going to end up in that particular field. I didn’t really know where I was going. But all three of those things have a common thread, common bond. And that common bond for me really was freedom — freedom to do whatever I wanted to do, on a dream sort of to be able to, I suppose, live my life to the fullest and do whatever I wanted to do.
Journey – 1977
So coming to America really was a journey. And I’ll start my journey in 1977.
1977 in England was sort of a special year. We had this Punk Rock thing going on and we also had this Royal Jubilee thing going on. But for me it was a start of a very memorable moment.
My father took me to the London Earls Court Motor Show in 1977. Back then I fell in love with this car – it was a white martini Porsche.
Now any kid growing up anywhere in the world in the late 70’s, early 80’s, chances are you probably had a choice of three cars on your wall: Porsche Turbo, Ferrari Boxer or Lamborghini Countach.
For some reason I chose Porsche. I even wrote a letter to Porsche when I was 10 years old, and essentially said to them, I want to design for Porsche. And they wrote back to me and said, well, call is running a little bit older which I thought was pretty funny and they sent me a sales brochure and thirty-five years later, they’d end up writing me a letter back but I’ll get to that story a little bit later on.
So I am this young kid growing up in Sheffield. Sheffield a grim northern steel town as shown by this picture right here. There wasn’t necessarily many Porsches on the road. So I filed that dream away. I had the poster on the wall, and I was watching Motorsports as kid also in 1977. England had James Hunt, he was a Formula One world champion. And we also had Barry Sheene; he was a two wheel motor GP champion back then.
So even though I didn’t grow up with any sort of fancy cars, my father was a salesman. I grew up in a working-class background. I did have this dream early on and somehow this dream involved Porsche.