The ultimate road trip with Nicholas Hanlon
Hanlon's custom build out of his Porsche Boxter has been in the works for most of 2022. Here's what he has to say about the nuts and bolts of building a sports car that can take on any terrain-
This trip to me was about achieving my own sense of freedom. Not just that of having no one else's obligations but my own, but to go to one of my favorite places on earth (Johnson Valley) with a creation of my own imagination and passions.
The car is built up from people and companies who believed in the same sense of freedom with Nomad providing the strong wheels that will never let me down to Nitto giving me the grip I need in all the conditions I faced from snow to sand to mud. Project X allowing me to see through the unknown of the night as I wander through the desert finding a camping spot. Eurowise Performance helped me achieve something that had never been done, a modular roof rack for a convertible Porsche to take only the gear I need to simply survive. BC Coils providing the suspension to fit the odd size of wheels and tires for this car and take the beating of thousands of miles of on and off road driving. Finally, VERO for being the first ones to see the dream and realizing the potential.
The reason the car looks the way it does is not only to match the corresponding watch VERO has put out but it makes a nod to my original safari Porsche, the 944. The 944 had the number 17 which was a meaningful number to me, this car has 19 simply because of two reasons: the next odd number evolution up & the roundness of the number matches the roundness of the car.
The name Gazpacho is a funny one to me. Inspired by the first time I had ever had the dish only 2 months ago, the word is a Spanish dish for could soup. The car being a bowl (convertible) and going across the country in the winter makes it so that anything inside the car is in fact, cold soup.
Driving across the country is a feat, but add on doing it in a Porsche...with the top down...in the winter...off-road...makes it something entirely different. My mother kept saying it was a bad idea to which I said "If lewis and Clark can cross the country in freaking deer skins, I can do it with the top down." Doing that many miles in a tiny sports car, doing things it wasn't originally designed to do takes a toll on the body and mind. Its not easy driving a sports car, there is a reason some people only drive them a few times a month. Its hard, mentally and physically. Then arrive at a camp sight in 20deg temps to sleep with the hopes that in the morning the sports car doesn't do the sports car thing and break overnight in some random way to strand you...somewhere. This car continues to exceed ALL of my expectations and just keeps trucking, so I must do the same.
I don't wake up and think about how hard the day is going to be or what obstacle is going to be in my way, I just simply accept the unknown and trust in my abilities to solve problems. So this is to say, I haven't had cruxes or hard parts of the trip. I have just simply had internal, human experiences and accepted the ebb and flow of our emotions.
Some would say "Going with the wind".
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