Whale Tales - Porsche Club Great Britain on Duck & Whale

By Lee Dean

Whale Tales - Porsche Club Great Britain on Duck & Whale

Over in Australia there’s a Porsche magazine that combines high-end design values with grass-roots stories that journey beyond the cars, and it’s set to launch in the UK

Words: Julian Milnes

Duck & Whale - Porsche Post Article

Have you ever wondered where your Porsche has been, and similarly, just where it can take you? It’s a question that’s being asked by the sumptuously compiled Duck & Whale magazine, whose striking photography and design resonates against real-world stories across the globe, delivering an altogether intriguing result.

“I wanted to deliver a different type of experience on the printed page, to focus as much on the people as the cars,” says editor and founder Lee Dean. Those subsequently unearthed personal journeys are recounted over up to 16 pages, turning stories into proverbial odysseys.

Take the one about the Aussie farmer who uses his vintage ‘76 911S daily to visit his post box due to logistics, tackling dirt tracks and deconstructed tundra along the way. The car was subsequently tracked down through legend and word of mouth, then purchased in good faith, farm modifications disbanded, the car is now back on the street.

“The key time is to try and make it as much about the people as the cars. I love photographing the different things that people do to their cars. If they made a little change here or there, it creates that unique story.”

However, while Lee grew up with a fascination for motors, whether reading about them or tinkering with them, he admits his passion for Porsche only fully bloomed after working as a designer on one of Australia premier automotive magazines, Wheels.

“It became clear that Porsche was something special, a brand that stood out, so admittedly the obsession came a bit later on and I worked my way backwards from there,” says Lee, who drives a ’73 911. “It plugs me straight into the essence of what these cars are about; how they produce different emotions. Mine’s a bit of an old club racer, it delivers such a visceral experience. It’s what makes Porsche so special, the enthusiasm created around the cars.”

Having also worked in various creative roles in publishing and advertising, including a two year stint in London, Lee decided to combine his knowledge and enthusiasm to create something new.

“I felt there was a need for something different at this point, one that aimed to blend creative design with Porsche culture.” They say in business a great way to approach it is as an ignorant hero, someone who isn’t aware how hard it is to achieve the goal.”

And so with this in mind in 2016 Duck & Whale’s first photo shoot took place, recruiting a friend’s 964 and a photographer, Lee planted the flag and established the magazine’s blueprint with his first feature.

“I knew if I told enough people I was going to launch this magazine I’d have to follow through on my word!” And so the good word was spread.

Being completely independent is key to Duck & Whale’s philosophy. It doesn’t have kowtow to external commercial pressures or have the editorial narrative dictated by mainstream audiences, who’ve been brought up on standard road tests.

“I found that a lot of stories were short and lacking detail in mainstream magazines, Duck & Whale set out to deliver a more emotional journey. Our stories go over 16 pages, even our short stories are six pages,” explains Lee.

“For me, Porsche people are enthusiasts that really appreciate amazing engineering and quality attention to detail, so it’s seemed only natural to want to dive deep into these stories.”

This is complemented by Lee’s love for a car that’s been there and done that. “I love a Porsche that’s well driven, had a nice long life that gets used regularly. But what does that say about the owner and their relationship with it? Why have they altered the car in a certain way? That’s what Duck & Whale is about, we’re covering these people and their stories,” says Lee.

“I love the honesty of Porsche people, all the cars have their quirks and I think you can relate to them as individuals, with their own personalities. It’s funny, before social media you’d go on the forums and get to know people via their car’s problems and the trouble or hardships they were bringing. I mean, running an air-cooled can sometimes be a pain in the arse, like a relationship you’ll fight sometimes, but you’ll also kiss and make up!”

The desire for integrity and quality across the board in Duck & Whale even extends to the paper stock, which switches from an initial 40 pages of high-grade gloss, to 40 matt, then back to 40 gloss.

“People are amazed that we’re doing it, they love the quality feel of the magazine, the smell of the ink, the aesthetics – it all shines through, which shows we’re on the right track.”

The genesis of stories are a mix of Australian and global Porsche culture, which reflects the way the public consume information now via social media, says Lee. “It’s brought everyone closer, so Duck & Whale tends to be like that, I get approached by so many people from all over the world and try and encapsulate that world-wide Porsche passion.”

Lee’s personal favourite features include an interview with cult Belgium-based Porsche photographer Bart Kuykens, who mixed his passion for analog Leica cameras with vintage Porsches to create the book A Flat 6 Love Affair. While a focus on the GT2 RS, entitled Road Trip Acid Test, with owner and collector Kim Burke delivered a spacey affair, which took the reader into a different dimension via the GT’s interstellar capabilities.

“That’s the great thing with Duck & Whale, it can take you to places that have yet to be fully explored!”

Porsche Post Duck & Whale

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Duck & Whale VLOG YouTube

By Lee Dean

Duck & Whale Vlog

The Duck & Whale VLOG on YouTube features in-depth video content on Porsche Culture, Ownership, Driving, Photography, Design & Publishing. Let us know what you think in the comments and subscribe to the channel to see the latest videos.

See you there soon!

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Do cars have souls?

By Lee Dean

Duck & Whale Magazine 911

We adhere to rules and boundaries in life, in relationships, at work and even out on the race track. The Porsche world is no different; we place significance on numbers and rarity, drawing a line in the sand over originality and origin.

How much fun could you have with a 911 if you forgot all that…? 
It’s a can of worms question, but in the case of this car, the answer is plenty!

You are looking at my classic 911 ‘73 RS, right? A Jerry Seinfeld one million dollar special. Errr... well hmmm… It didn’t start out life looking this way, hand on heart, it is a 1973 model but this Porsche was birthed as a US car. Its American history file is mainly lost in time. Somewhere along the line it was set up for track duties and made to emulate the RS of the same year. The 2.4-litre’s fate can be left up to your imagination; broken magnesium crankcase, swapped for parts or holding a boat in place maybe? Whatever happened, it is long gone and the much stronger casted aluminum 3.0-litre SC engine, paired with a free-flowing exhaust is now employed at the business end.

Duck & Whale Porsche

Previous owners Paul and Richard from PR Technology in Sydney say they have been looking after the car for the past eleven years of its Australian tour for owners and as custodians themselves. Richard says, “It was designed to be a fun track car, it’s a 3.0-litre engine which produces similar power to the 2.7 Carrera it emulates. The performance is quite good, it’s an un-distressed engine with a tight ratio gearbox and LSD, which is all pretty easy to maintain. With the extra torque the driver is not revving it to 10,000 revs to get it to move. The car produces reliable power and it’ll do that for a long time. It’s not a proper life span 20 or 30-hour race engine, this one could go ten years doing club stuff without the need to pull the engine apart. Provided it doesn’t get over-revved, or anything like that.”

So for the last few decades this hard as nails no-nonsense 911 has been stuck in high school and in the gym teacher’s bad books! Track laps and lots of them is the order of the day. It is set up to pound around circuits, break hard into corners and fly down straights with a wide open throttle. It’s purposefully simple in its approach.

Duck & Whale Porsche

This ’73 911 T originally wouldn’t have had the slightly bigger rear guards it sports now, while the fronts are factory. Richard says, “We put the half cage in the car which suits doing track days but it’s not imperative, it’s not adding substantial stiffness to the chassis but it’s good for harnesses. It ‘s nice to have your harnesses attached close to the seat. We also put the low mounted seats in, we’ve maintained the car for a long time, pretty much everything for the last 11 years, we’ve rebuilt the gearbox twice and destroyed it twice, it’s half-destroyed now. It’s had some rough driving in the past; gearboxes are the single biggest maintenance item on any race car. It’s not engines it’s gearboxes that cost, synchros etc. Some drivers will have a gearbox for years without destroying it; some will destroy it in one session. The driver of this ‘73 before us used to destroy the gearbox in probably 3 sessions.”

Duck & Whale Porsche

Paul adds, “As a track car it’s perfect and you can drive it to the track, it’s not ideal for being on the road as it is so stiff but it does the job it was designed for. It’s manageable, I mean you can go on drives with it; it’s not out of control. I drove it up to the Hunter Valley and drove back via the Putty road and into Wakefield Park and all the way back into Sydney on the freeway and I didn’t really want to drive much further. It’s all ‘at you’ the whole time with no rest.”

After spending a couple of days with this car you can feel it’s lived a life and you can sense its history when you are around it.

Do cars have souls; can human emotions and memories fuse to steel, fabric and leather?

Duck & Whale Porsche

When I parked the car in my driveway my kids came running out of the house to greet it like they would a grandfather, zero inhibitions they just seem to know it.

The driving experience of this ’73 from a Porsche guy’s point of view, honestly, I love it. Rolling out of the driveway at four am with its grumpy ‘why the hell did you wake me?’ idle and race equipped interior I said to myself, “This feels like home.” The mix of tight trackability and 43 years of Porsche nostalgia just oozes cool. It’s intentionally stiff suspension setup is made for long track smooth sweepers, so you must give it some latitude on the road. We found just such a piece of tarmac where the 911 was deep in its element showcasing the talented Porsche’s abilities. On normal roads, you see flashes of brilliance that keep you searching for the next drivable section. It’s buzzy and alive in your hands and the steering is agile and sharp if a little heavy at low speeds. The fairly standard 3.0 litre punches above its weight with responsiveness and it sounds a treat high in the rev range! The sweet spot is between four and six thousand rpm, it sings a raucous flat-six symphony and rewards you for pushing hard.

This ’73 911 is not matching number but it is a car that you cannot get out of without looking back.


Duck & Whale Editor - Lee Dean

Duck & Whale Porsche


Duck & Whale Porsche

Duck & Whale Porsche


Duck & Whale Porsche


Duck & Whale Porsche


Duck & Whale Porsche

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