Bandits of Burbank: Porsche 356 Outlaws

James Walker Jan 7, 2019

The 356 ‘Outlaws’ were born in the back workshop of a Californian Porsche shop owned by a man named Gary Emory. His son Rod ran with his dad’s Porsche passion and now owns Emory Motorsports where you can have one of these works of automotive art built just for you. Rod grew up in his dad’s warehouse building go karts and other contraptions from surplus Porsche parts. At 14 his attention turned to restoring a car of his own, and he chose an old 356 as his canvas.


When Rod revealed his modified 356 to friends they were shocked and amazed. The Emorys had removed the bumpers and added rally inspired fog lights and leather hood straps. They had also lowered the ride height using Porsche parts and their years of experience. One friend remarked that the car would make outlaws of the Emorys at stuffy Porsche concours events and they were absolutely right. The Emory-built 356 didn’t fit into any of the judging categories at the stuffy car competitions and sometimes they were denied entry to the events altogether. Rod didn’t care. This was a car for driving, not polishing and sitting still to be kept nice for its next roll across a golf green.


The puritanical Porsche crowd were soon drowned out by the Emorys’ growing fan base and the Outlaw style really gained traction in enthusiast circles. Rod knew he was onto a win when he overheard one Porsche engineer ask another if the car had been built by the Porsche factory as a special one-off. Today, you can have an Outlaw 356 with the transmission and suspension from a 911 with the middle two cylinders of the donor car’s flat-six chopped out to give your 356 a 200 horsepower flat-four. There’s even an Outlaw category at Porsche concours events nowadays. Not bad for a guy who used to be forced to park outside in the dirt.


James Walker

James Walker is a freelance writer with a passion for four-wheeled things and twisty roads.

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