Caffeine&Machine cultofmachine Yard Visitor It’s good to be bad: Emory’s Porsche 356 Outlaw

It’s good to be bad: Emory’s Porsche 356 Outlaw

Before Singer, before Magnus Walker, before Gunther Werks, before pretty much anyone else thought to challenge the status quo of what an air-cooled Porsche should be, there was Rod Emory. Just as the 356 itself was Porsche’s genesis, Emory’s 356s are ground zero of the Porsche restomod scene.

It’s hard to believe now, when every other day seems to bring with it another company operating out of an LA backstreet garage or a blustery British airfield offering to backdate, modernise or overhaul any number of pre-’97 911s, but when Rod and his father Gary began tinkering with 356s in the 1980s, they were snubbed.

In a corner of the car world obsessed with purity and originality, they were branded ‘outlaws’, a title that’s since been reappropriated by a certain sector of the air-cooled cult that delights in raging against those notions.

One of three distinct lines of car that Rod now builds under the Emory Motorsports banner, no two Emory Specials are alike; each one is built around the distinct visual cues desired by its commissioner.

Before it arrived at Emory Motorsports, this black coupé was a rust-riddled 1958 356 A, and at first glance, that car’s ubiquitous profile appears relatively unchanged. Look closer, though, and you’ll begin to spot little elements of Emory’s handiwork that combine to form a distinctive whole – the thickened pillars that lie flush with the de-chromed windows, the bullet-like aero mirrors, and the intakes that sit fore of the rear wheels.

They feed the 2.5-litre, ITB-equipped ‘Outlaw-4’ boxer motor, a ground-up design in collaboration with Porsche engine gurus, Rothsport Racing.

One original 356 element is the vertical radiator grille, on which proudly sits the Outlaw badge that adorns every car that leaves Emory’s workshop – a subtle reminder that sometimes, it’s good to be bad.

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