Porsche destination Boxengasse is an expression of its owner’s desire for authenticity
Chatting with Frank Cassidy, it soon becomes apparent there’s nothing he champion’s that doesn’t have a degree of pedigree or provenance. Music, clothes, design and of course Porsche are all extensions of this desire for authenticity.
The Boxengasse brand, based around the 100-acre democratic republic of Porsche site, based in Oxfordshire, reflects this attitude and expresses Frank’s love affair with Stuttgart, along with his wider desire to engage and inspire its community.
“Ultimately, I wanted to bring all these great people I’d met on my Porsche journey together. To create a platform for them and their talents, whether engineers or enthusiasts. It’s ultimately a glorified business park.”
Broadly speaking, Boxengasse has three arms. There’s property development and building leasing, - award-winning Porsche restorer Auto Farm is already in residence - the bread and butter, according to Frank. Next up is Boxengasse as a venue, whether this is for events the brand puts on, or for external hospitality or launches, no matter what the marque. Last up is the merchandise side, which includes a clothing line.
“So I’m working across these three aspects. We’re building another 36k square feet on the property development side, so a significant hike in overall footage. One is geared for hospitality, the other for more Porsche related services. Both brands taking residence are Porsche related.”
Describing this grandiose vision as a moment of madness, which eventually turned into a reality, Boxengasse is inspired by various influences Frank has encountered on his journey.
“There are always seminal things that inspire you as you go through life, for me it’s no different. The brand is an amalgamation of those.”
On the subject of Porsche, Frank says the marque’s inclusiveness by design is a factor that steers his hand. “You can buy anything from a £2k 924 up to a multi-million collector car, and I think that should be celebrated. I want to create an atmosphere that reflects this, that is inclusive and approachable. For me, 75% of my enjoyment around cars is down to the people.”
Growing up with a 911 in the family is always going to have an impact (particularly when engaged in hot pursuit through the streets of London in one – see Drive Five below), with ownership for real arriving via a 964, purchased for a reasonable £8k in 2006.
“You bought an air-cooled 911 back then as you couldn’t afford the latest model. But for me it was really about the engaging experience it delivered.” That experience also included meeting other liked minded enthusiasts along the way and helping each other out with parts or knowledge, resulting in a brotherhood forming that exists to this day.
Frank’s preoccupation with air-cooled 911s, which includes his famed 964 ‘Black Betty’ and a highly desirable bright orange RSR, among others, is largely based on that bullet-proof, ‘over engineered’ reputation. An approach that resonates in Frank’s overall philosophy.
“I personally think when it comes to older things, whether its music, cars or watches, there was more love and craftsmanship involved. Which ultimately meant more longevity.
“Nowadays, you have these goliath companies that focus on every aspect of production and cost, as they’re able to calculate to the ninth degree. It’s impressive in its own way, but it doesn’t necessarily promote durability.”
Style's 'Drive Five'
Most memorable road trip?
If you discount the time my mum hot pursued two balaclava’d gentlemen through central London in my dad’s 911 Targa - they’d ran past the car and sped off in their motor just after she’d picked me up from primary school - I’d say Alpine touring with friends. It’s a small Porsche community that I’ve known for a while and the whole experience was fantastic. Great roads, comradery and food through the best mountain passes Europe has to offer.
Favourite stretch of road
The Alpine passes are a definite highlight!
Dream road trip
A classic Stateside adventure. The opportunity to meet the various Porsche specialists and enthusiasts along the way, together with exploring the history of the Blues in the South, in particular New Orleans.
Ideal Porsche for the trip
It would be a modified 964, naturally.
Ideal driving partner
My wife. As much as she’d drive me up the wall with her speed monitoring, having the ability to productively talk about nothing is a rare quality.
The future of Boxengasse will see a further expansion of Frank’s democratic republic, including more events, with a broader engagement of related lifestyle brands, “Including some you may in the first instance think wouldn’t work.”
“There’s a network of inspirational figures and brands from various disciplines out there that crossover and gravitate towards Porsche culture. Boxengasse is just an extension of this.”