Speed / April 2016

Bespoken Porsche | Chris Runge

One time snowboarding champ Chris Runge always had a passion for Porsche. So when his career ended he decided to make his own – in the barn of his father’s…

All it takes to build one of the most desirable sports cars is, it seems, a barn, some sheet metal and a hammer or two. That, at least, was Chris Runge’s determined, hopeful thinking. “I’d always loved the idea of those homebuilt cars of the post-war period - guys similarly on very restricted budgets who just wanted to go fast and so built with basic hand tools,” says Runge, one-time champion snowboarder turned self-appointed auto designer and maker - with an order book for custom drives as long as Route 66. “There’s a rawness and an honesty to the ‘H mod’ cars or ‘specials’ that were built then. They were perfect in my eyes precisely because they weren’t perfectly finished. Cars today are too perfect, to the point of having no soul.”

Indeed, if most barn finds are dilapidated vintage cars requiring years of restoration work, in Runge's barn - on his father's Minnesota farm - is found a sleek, silvery vehicle taking its aesthetic cues from the past, but built new and decidedly race-ready. This is the Frankfurt Flyer, a near-mythical car that took its inspiration from the Porsche-based race cars built by C. H. Weidenhausen for Walter Glockler, whose designs of the 1940s and 1950s in turn took their inspiration from the principals and materials of aeronautical design, and which final found official recognition from the car giant itself.

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Josh Sims

Josh Sims is a writer on menswear, design and much else for the likes of Wallpaper, CNN, Robb Report and The Times. He's the author of several books on menswear, the latest 'The Details', published by Laurence King. He lives in London, has two small children and is permanently exhausted.