Urban Outlaw: Dirt Don’t Slow You Down

Late last year, I got a call from Magnus Walker telling me that he was writing a book. I didn’t really know what to think, but I was happy for him. In my eyes he has single-handedly changed car culture for the better; there are few icons in our small world who have.

He then proceeded to ask if I could provide photos for it.

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I had been shooting Magnus for four years at this point so I had quite the archive of his antics all over the world. I was excited, but I had a big job ahead digging through all my photos and getting everything together so he could make his selection.

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It’s perfect, because now I can publish photos that have never been seen before and tell you guys a little bit about the book.

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Since the release of the Urban Outlaw film, many media outlets have been covering the Porsche fanatic from Sheffield. That said, quite a few of us car culture enthusiasts know his story.

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What is great about this book is that Magnus dives a lot deeper into his life before he became the Urban Outlaw, and before all the media craze.

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There are many color photos including a few from yours truly, but it’s the old archive shots that I really love.

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The book is dedicated to Magnus’s late wife Karen Ann Caid Walker, who I was lucky enough to meet many times over the years. I was so sad to hear of her passing, and I knew there was not much I could do in terms of support for Magnus; hopefully just being a friend helped a little bit.

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Here’s a shot from when Speedhunters’ commercial director Ben Chandler, photographer Sean Klingelhoefer and I visited the garage for the first time.

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It’s crazy to think how many shoots we have been on over the past five years, because we did the first story right after the 2012 SEMA Show.

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This photograph was taken after a long night of shooting and a crazy meet at the Ace Cafe in London.

One thing about Magnus – he never stops taking photos. I think he probably has more photos on his phone than anyone else I know; the count is way past 50,000.

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Here he is with Chad McQueen. This was such a fun day; there’s nothing like being a wheel man for one of these shoots.

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It’s funny to see Magnus with Chris Forsberg as they are from two completely different worlds and disciplines of motorsports and car culture, yet they can relate in so many other ways.

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I shot these on film with my Leica M6 when Chris stopped by to film an episode of his Garage Tours web show.

Because it’s so time consuming I rarely shoot film anymore, but I quickly scanned these for the book.

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After the initial story was published on Speedhunters, Magnus was still sort of an outsider to our group. We didn’t really work together again till a year later.

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Funny story: While walking through the terminal at LAX prior to a Jaguar press event in Frankfurt, I saw a dude with crazy dreadlocks getting money exchanged. It’s hard to mistake someone for Magnus, so I said hello.

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It turned out he was on the same flight; Porsche was flying him out to Germany for something fun too. Over the next 10 hours or so we talked shop.

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And from then on we started working together more and more. Anytime he had a car to shoot I had first dibs, and anytime I had someone who wanted to do a story on him or visit his garage it was open doors.

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Up until I met Magnus I used to stress out about little dings and scratches on my 240Z, but he’s taught me to appreciate the natural patina from driving hard.

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Of course, I’ve learned my lesson from trying to follow him in the canyons. He always runs slicks on the street, which means I’ve actually eaten rocks from driving too close.

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This is a great series of shots that I’ve never published on Speedhunters – Nakai-san from RWB checking out the garage for the first time.

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The first time I met Magnus we went over 100mph on the 6th Street Bridge with the needle on the tach absolutely buried. He said something to the effect of “that is my favorite shot, ever.”

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I thought it was silly as it was such a simple shot, but then I realized that most people who had ridden with him up till this point were not shooting pictures but rather holding on for dear life at triple-digit speeds over a tiny bridge.

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I think I can speak for everyone when I say that we definitely appreciate the Urban Outlaw; he gives us all a little inspiration to push hard and do what we love.

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The bromance is real. You can find the book right now on Amazon, but if you want yours signed you are going to have to ask the man yourself.

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One thing is for sure, it’s going to be a blast to see what’s next for Magnus.

Larry Chen
Instagram: larry_chen_foto
larry@speedhunters.com

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35 comments

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1

Slicks on the road? Is that even legal?

2

Hoosier makes a street legal slick tire.

3

no, it's not but many have done it and risked getting a ticket over it. Very common in the hot rodding community.

4

they don't call him outlaw for nothing hey

5

Awesome write up Larry! So Magnus has been keeping you busy eh? Two thumbs up! Going to score me a copy of this awesome book too. When an awesome subject and an eye-of-a-photographer collide, you get this...

6

Just pre-ordered a copy of the book on Amazon! Would love to get it signed by Magnus as a fellow Sheffielder living it the States, that would be awesome! Maybe a trip out west to find him later!

7
Patrick Peebles

Awesome article Larry. I hope someday to meet Magnus and see his garage.

8

Could someone explain to me the nature of Mr. Walkers' celebrity? What exactly is this man famous for? Did he build something? Win any races? Does he perhaps own a company doing interesting things like Rob Dickinson or Bisi Ezerioha or Detroit Speed founder Kyle Tucker? It's just he is all over every US auto site I visit and I don't see anything overwhelmingly special. Help me understand; exactly what does this guy do that makes him such a big deal?

9

oh .. you're one of those mr obvious/troll/what did he ever do that's worthy of attention commenter types. when you see all those articles about him, read one.

10

He got e-fame because of a video called urban outlaw. That video does the best job of introducing you to the guy and if you don't like him after that it's cool, no harm no foul. He's just a guy who came to America with nothing, built a brand, bought some property that turned from a slum to a budding hip area now, made money with the resources he had, and bought Porsche's along the way because he loved them as a boy. Didn't buy expensive ones because he didn't have the large stacks of cash most Porsche owners had, now that Porsche's are worth quite a lot he's doing very well for himself. Has helped local tuners stylize some Porsche's and even Porsche has hauled him out to events. He did everything his way and likes connecting with car people and just like he did his whole life, he's trying to make some cash with what he's got which is his story.

11

Guess you should read the book.

12

Exactly

13

He has some Porsches that dont have matching colored body panels.

14

He has an accent, money, and looks memorable.

15

you are a great writer and photography artist Larry.

16

Thank you!

17

There was a Speedhunters photog at the Sheffield event where Magnus was signing copies of his book last week - are those images going to be making their way onto these pages?

18

This guy is just hyped up by instagram kids.. You know who's the REAL outlaw?
Smoky Nagata!

19

For the naysayers, dare I say 'haters', it's not so much about what Magnus is as it is about what he isn't. I can only assume from your comments that you have not met him or spoken with him in person. You won't find a drop of pretense, arrogance or selfishness. Magnus is simply a car guy who is more colorful than most, but the same defining characteristics apply: passion for all cars, enthusiasm for sharing and celebration of community.

In those attributes, combined with his unique style, he has achieved what I would says is popularity rather than celebrity. Celebrity implies to me that he is some kind of unapproachable demigod, which could not be further from the truth. He always makes time to chat with casual and hardcore fans alike, and I would challenge you to name another well-known car guy who so openly and generously welcomes people into his personal space.

How do I know? Because I randomly saw him at Formula Drift Long Beach one year. Because I randomly messaged him on Instagram asking if he accommodated visitors. Because he actually replied and invited me to check out his shop. Because he gave us a two hour tour and introduced us to his late wife and dog. Because he suggested we take a group pic and told us to pick any swag we wanted from the shelves. Because he still replies to emails and texts. That's how I know.

He is a genuine, sincere person, and that's what makes him 'famous' in a world of wannabes and false prophets.

20
Patrick Peebles

I agree 100% with this statement.

21

I want to meet him. My odds of being in the same place at the same time are very slim (I am in the literally middle of Canada) so I will need to head in his direction. I could get my car reliable and go for a nice long road-trip down that way for a chance to meet him.

22

Haters gonna hate.

23
Paddy McGrath

This, a thousand times. Magnus is an absolute gentleman and one of the most passionate car enthusiasts that I've ever met. Anyone who says otherwise, doesn't know him.

24

he looks like hes happy af living the dream you go dude!

25

Just ordered myself a copy from the UK. Hopefully it isn't on the slow boat to Australia.

26
Fernando Moutinho

I had the opportunity of meeting him (and the amazing Jessi Combs) in Sheffield during his book launch event. It was an incredible experience that I'll never forget. Magnus has been an incredible source of inspiration for me. I'm glad you got him involved in Need for Speed Larry, thanks to you, I got the chance of getting Magnus closer to me on my favorite media format.

At the event, during a Q&A session I got to asking about his involvement in the game. When I raised my hand, and the crowd opened, Magnus first reaction was "Is that a SpeedHunters T-shirt?". "It sure is!" (I reply enthusiastically) "Let's hear it for SpeedHunters everyone!" Magnus lit up an entire Porsche showroom in the name of SpeedHunters. It was a special moment.

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27
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Gotta get me a copy for the ever-growing office library :)

28

I have been fortunate enough to meet Magnus in person at the latest Ace Cafe meet for his book launch and he's definitely one passionate car guy. The thing is with him is that the Porsche thing and "celebrity" that has come from it is quite a small part of what makes him. The book is a great read and tells the tale which most people will know by now but in greater detail and is genuinely quite inspiring.

The best thing about him though is that instead of buying cars to collect and gather dust in some sealed bubble somewhere is that he actually drives his cars and gives them a good thrashing and i can only stand back, admire that and try and do the same thing. He's made getting out there and just driving a thing to do again and that i applaud.

He's a self made man that loves what he does, if anyone can't get with that then it must be a severe case of jealousy.

29

Clearly there is a disparity between him and his online persona.
Which is too bad, but people's opinions are always going to be framed with the knowledge that they have. You can't change or criticise that.

30

Sad to read about the passing of his wife. Hope he's well. Shots look stunning as usual

31
Federico Barutto

I'm very sad about the death of Magnus' wife. I learnt it with this article. RIP

32

Wouldn't the cops just set up a unit near his warehouse, nab him doing 100mph once and then it would be all over?
I mean here in Australia if you're doing 30+ over the limit, you can kiss your licence goodbye. Are the Americans too soft or something?

33

I bet this guy smells like an old couch.

34

Why weed out those that think he drives like a complete asshole in the canyons...
Delete this post again and I will just delete Speedhunter from my favorites.

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35

Apparently to e-dick riders all you have to do is grow dreads and be on speedhunters and you'll never have to be considerate of human life ever again

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