A week in the life of Magnus Walker: part 1
“I had wanted to do a southern road trip for some time and it seems the stars finally aligned for me and everything just fell into place. It all started after PCNA marketing guy Chalmers Niemeyer invited us to Amelia Island for Porsche’s 911 50th anniversary dinner. As luck would have it, my wife Karen is from Atlanta (the ‘Peach State’) which just happens to be where Porsche is headquartered in the States, so my thoughts were to kill two birds with one stone. Naturally then, the trip was based around family and Porsche.
In no amount of time our flight was booked to Atlanta, but what about a car? Sure, a rental car could be booked but apparently Hertz does not rent Porsches yet. But, as luck would have it, Porsche stepped up to the plate and loaned us a 911! We were met at Atlanta airport by Chalmers who give us a brand new 991 C4S Cabriolet 7 speed PDK version with only 11 miles on the clock with a sticker price of $137,000 and a tank full of gas. You’ve got to love Porsche.
Now, I have never owned a Cabriolet and I am not the “wind in your hair” type so the Cabriolet was not the first natural choice, but I was determined not to let that affect our trip.
Being an earlier 911 owner and driver, I was a little overwhelmed by all the modern gadgets and amenities that were being shown to us at the Porsche Tec centre. All that apprehension soon disappeared though as I put the car in sport mode and followed Chalmers away from the Tec Centre in search of some good local Southern food.
It was then time to find our hotel located in the middle of nowhere, about twenty miles south of Atlanta. Porsche’s GPS sure came in handy for that! The first thing that struck me about the car was how familiar it felt in nature to the older models, and the second thing was how fast it felt! I was very impressed by the 3.8-litre engine in the C4S.
Early the next morning I programmed the GPS and headed out to take a tour of the Porsche service training centre where apprentices from all over the country come to take the PTAP (Porsche Technical Apprenticeship Program). Top performing students from Universal Technical Institute (UTI) are hand picked by Porsche Cars North America for an intensive 23-week apprenticeship. Students are immersed in Porsche’s full product line then once they successfully complete the program they are placed in a North American Porsche Dealership. I saw classes in engine rebuilding, bodywork, electronics, suspension set up, along with an ultra low mileage Carrera GT that is used as a service training car. It has been taken apart and reassembled 55 times!
Next stop was PCNA headquarters just north of Atlanta as I followed Chalmers trough Atlanta’s morning rush hour as I started to feel at ease behind the wheel of the 991. The 911 cuts through morning traffic with ease, no doubt helped by the 400 HP at my disposal. A quick prod of the throttle pedal and the PDK downshifts a gear or two and eats up distances in next to no time. Before I knew it, I was pulling into PCNA.
Upon entering Porsche’s North American headquarters I was given the full tour and amazed at how friendly everyone was. Quite a few of them even knew me because they had seen our documentary Urban Outlaw. A few hours later after having met everyone from the marketing to legal dept I left with an arm full of great Porsche swag and merchandise including a very cool GT3 RS 4.0 piston paperweight and a few cool toy models.
The rest of the day was spent covering great distances in and around Atlanta, visiting and spending time with my wife Karen’s ‘Kin Folk’. I even found time to take Karen’s brother for a quick spin in the 991 around the block. He is usually a diehard Chevy guy so was apprehensive of the fancy Porsche and naturally told me to brake at least fifty feet before it was necessary, but needless to say when the joyride was over he got out of the car and told me he would never call a Porsche a “souped-up VW” again! That’s one more Redneck for the Porsche team.
Early the next day we loaded up the 991 set the GPS and headed south on I -75 towards Macon where we picked up the I-16 & Headed south towards Savannah. The most difficult part was obeying all the local speed limits and controlling the urge to keep the throttle floored for long periods of time. We were soon in the historic picturesque city of Savannah GA. After a short tour and many picture stops we were back on the road heading south down Hwy 95 to Amelia Island, Florida. The 991 was eating up the approximate 375 miles from Atlanta with ease and comfort. We were in Sport mode the whole time, prompting my wife too suggest that a new 991 was a good idea. Maybe it was the four-wheel-drive? Either way, a happy wife makes a happy life!
Entering Florida was a little like entering a different world it moves at its own slower pace. The air smells different, and the scenery and the vibe was tropical. Amelia Island defiantly has the chill vibe about it…”
*Part two of a week in the life of Magnus Walker is available on Total911.com here. To purchase a copy of the special 100th edition of total 911, guest edited by Magnus himself, hit this link to purchase a copy or click here to download a digital edition.