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Blank canvas without limitations: Helmut Wahl about his 1973 T Coupé

Helmut Wahl works for the brand that gives you wings. In his spare time, the Los Angeles-based buddy of Magnus Walker also likes ground contact. Like riding a bike. Or when he races his 911 from 1973 around the curves in a so-called "Canyon Run".

Interview: Alexander Morath Photo: Lisa Linke 06.02.2019 3 min

Your first contact with the Porsche brand?

That must have been about 1985, at our local Porsche dealer. In the showroom there was a dark blue 911 Turbo (930 wasn't known to me at that time), and that was the highest of feelings at that time. The body with the wide fenders and the huge rear spoiler immediately appealed to me - a picture of this 911 turbo was still hanging in my youth room for some years. Interestingly enough, my mother recently found the old Porsche brochure from that time while cleaning up.

Love at first sight?

Absolutely!

How do you explain the Porsche myth to a little boy?

For me, Porsche is more than just a car brand. In my eyes, Porsche is the inventor of the sports car suitable for everyday use, which has been and still is very successful in racing for decades. In the broadest sense, the 911 is in the foreground, as a model that has remained largely unchanged in its design for over 50 years. Porsche is more than just a car brand, Porsche is a way of life shaped by the people behind the brand. Porsche connects.

When did you get your 911 and in what condition?

I bought it in 2013. I didn't have him on my agenda, but chance would have it. A 1973 T Coupé, non-sunroof with matching engine and gearbox. The previous owner had started with the transformation to a RS and changed the color from original gold to Gemini Blue. I'd say, all in all, it was in good condition. But what I liked at that time was the possibility to modify it as I liked it. In a way, a blank canvas with no limit.

Workshop or rather work yourself?

Workshop (due to lack of time).

I've been asked: Can you modify your Porsche - or is this already a crime of insulting the majesty?

Personally, I have nothing against modifications. In the end, it is up to each individual to decide what to do with his Porsche, i.e. purely a matter of interpretation. For me it's not necessarily about whether the vehicle is first hand, in the first paint, with low mileage and complete history...

What makes Porsche your way of life?

For me, the 911 has a strong influence on my attitude to life, and the timeless design, simplicity and driving feel are decisive factors for me. For me, the 911 is the perfect car, straightforward, sporty and suitable for everyday use.

Does your car have a nickname?

No.

Is there a special moment you associate with your 911?

Definitely the first meeting with Magnus Walker and the resulting friendship. We did a lot of touring together and he was instrumental in transforming my 911, which in turn carries some of Walker's signature touches.

Better alone or with co-pilot?

That depends. In principle, I enjoy being in good company. It's a pity if you don't have anyone to exchange on great trips. But there are also the »Spirited Canyon Runs«, as we call them, on which I like to sit alone in the 911.

What can't be missing on any road trip?

On a road trip definitely a good co-driver/interlocutor, a credit card and my Leica.

Your favorite tour?

There are several, but if I have to limit myself to one, then surely the Angeles Crest HWY, or HWY2, which starts just above Pasadena, into the San Gabriel Mountains. I gladly go to Newcombs Ranch for breakfast and then back over the Big Tuhanga Canyon. In Europe, it's definitely the Col de Turini.