The guy who washes his Porsche in his living room
Sihabutr Xoomsai’s home reveals a love of art, architecture and robust, unfussy style. With its glass, steel and exposed brick, the home of the filmmaker and journalist better known as Tenn could easily be in the Hollywood Hills. But there is another element to this unique property that better illustrates the mindset of its owner.
Through an adjoining door from the main living space, a large and colourful collection of cars can be glimpsed. “I seem to have a thing for Porsche; there’s no denying it,” Tenn laughs. “I currently have a few friends’ 911s here – the yellow 993 GT2, for example – but the 911 short-wheelbase is mine, as is the 997 Carrera S. There’s generally a lot of coming and going here.”
Tenn is the founder of Das Treffen, or 'The Meeting' – Thailand’s hugely popular annual Porsche gathering. In the living room, he is currently looking at a silver 930 in a glass case that has levitated from the entrance area by means of a lift system. “It took a while before my wife agreed, but now I can actually wash cars in the living room,” Tenn says with a sly wink. “I must be crazy.”
Far from it, we think. Born in Bangkok in August 1970, Tenn went to school in the United States and later studied filmmaking there. Not quite 20 at the time, he was in Bangkok one summer when a friend of his father’s stopped by in an Amethyst Metallic 911 Carrera. Tenn recalls every detail: “At some point, he tossed me the key to his Porsche and said: ‘Why don’t you go grab us some beer?’ I could hardly believe my luck. I took off right away before he could reconsider and when I got to the store, I had forgotten the money. So I had to drive to and fro again. I’ll remember every moment forever. The sound. The feeling. But what really stuck with me was this: the Porsche spirit isn’t an exclusionary thing, not exclusive. As a true fan, you want to share that excitement. Porsche is for everyone.”
Lost in thought for a moment, Tenn suddenly hops up and says, “Should we head out? I’m really excited.” The reason being, a Taycan Turbo is currently waiting patiently on his driveway. For a man like Tenn, there is no time like the present. And his first drive in the all-electric Porsche is a milestone moment.
The Taycan gamely wades into the hubbub of Bangkok, sprinting with silent assurance from light to light, navigating the city’s tight streets with ease. Crisp braking, precise handling, and again and again that instantaneous thrust. Tenn is increasingly impressed: “Hey, I was a bit sceptical, but the Porsche DNA is there in spades. Design, dashboard, instruments, look and feel—pure Porsche. And the performance is amazing! The Taycan is perfect for Bangkok. I could drive for a week on a single charge before having to think about recharging.”
Even though the 911 SWB and 993 GT2 are along for the ride, Tenn is captivated by this brave new world. “Perhaps that’s the magic of electric cars,” he says. “You want to strike out into the unknown again, rediscover everything, start over from scratch. Techno instead of rock ‘n’ roll, but with the same punch. With incredibly powerful emotions. I’m a fan.”
For Tenn, the Taycan seems to somehow mirror his beloved Bangkok: an incredible mix of the familiar and ever-changing, the completely new. Tenn closes his eyes for a moment, seemingly chasing another memory. “Doing video shoots back in the day, you’d have Bangkok to yourself after three or four in the morning. It’s different now. Bangkok is never tired. The Taycan feels similar. It’s always on. Wide awake.”
Please note: this trip was undertaken before the outbreak of COVID-19. Porsche advises against such a trip at this time, out of consideration for the health and well-being of all.
Taycan Turbo: combined power consumption 26.0 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions 0 g/km