- Unique collaboration between Emory Motorsports and MOMO
- Inspired by the MOMO five-spoke wheels used on the 935, 956, and 962 race cars
- Heavily modified 356 shell stretched over a stiffer Type 964-generation chassis
- Twin-turbocharged 2.4-liter flat-four; G50 five-speed manual gearbox
At its inception, the Porsche 356 was anything but an outlaw. In concept, it was a rather unassuming little car—which, ironically, made the 356 something of a rogue in its own right, as it stood in sharp contrast to the comparatively overwrought Alfa Romeo and Mercedes-Benz sports cars that dominated pre-war racing. Ferry Porsche was unlike his contemporaries in that he was enamored with the idea of pairing a relatively high-power car with a simple, lightweight construction. Though the idea seems so obvious today—after all, it is what has made Porsche’s rear-engined sports cars into icons—it was a thoroughly foreign concept at the time. It made for highly usable sports cars that relished enthusiastic driving.
It was also a suitable canvas for creative reinterpretation. When the 356 was new, those same California hot-rodders who modified Fords and Chevrolets turned to the Porsche, ripping off stock bumpers, swapping rims around for improved offsets, welding in Stinger exhausts, and either tackling canyon roads or taking to the track for sanctioned competition. These drivers put the California Custom mentality and German engineering in a blender, and out popped bare-bones sports cars so ferocious that even the staid engineers back in Zuffenhausen eventually relented with the 356 Speedster.
Decades later, however, the scene had changed dramatically. Collectors in the 1970s and 1980s flocked to Italian, and then German, sports cars and restored them to better-than-new condition for concours events and judged shows. Though certainly these early collectors saved countless cars from junkyards, they did not honor this important, creative era in Porsche’s early days.
Gary Emory grew up in the San Fernando Valley outside Los Angeles. There, his father Neil ran Valley Custom, supplying suburban hot-rodders in the 1950s with plenty of go-fast parts. By the early 1990s, Gary was fully entrenched in the Porsche world with Parts Obsolete and was known as the go-to for rare Porsche parts, not to mention an exceptionally deep knowledge base that extends well beyond concours restorations. Gary is the link between these two distinct subsets of Porsche enthusiasts: The purists and the Outlaws.
THE RISE OF THE OUTLAWS
Defining just what makes an Outlaw an Outlaw is one of those “you’ll know it when you see it” situations. Though often imitated—and successfully in many cases—the blend of period-correct style influenced as much by racing as by aviation, architecture, and even whimsy is nearly impossible to perfect.
Gary’s knowhow and attention to detail was passed down to his son Rod, who has refined the idea of an Outlaw into among the most recognizable brands in the Porsche world. Rod Emory’s company, Emory Motorsports, has produced numerous private commissions as famous for stealing the show at gatherings as they are tearing up tarmac.
When Henrique Cisneros, the head of storied Italian automotive accessory marque MOMO wanted to showcase his brand’s capabilities, he turned to Rod Emory, posing the question: If you could choose any component from MOMO’s heritage, and then design a Porsche 356 around it, what would it be? Rod’s answer was simple: His favorite MOMO wheels of all time are the five-spokes used on the in the late 1970s and early 1980s on 935, 956, and 962 race cars.
Simply adding a more modern set of wheels to a vintage 356 was, of course, not enough. The car would require modifications, an upgraded power plant, and revised styling to make it work—essentially, it would require the full Outlaw treatment. Rod always had the desire to build a 356 with competition in mind, an exercise in what a 356 would have looked like had Porsche continued to develop and evolve it from a racing standpoint. This project would bring that dream to life. After much back and forth, with various ideas and concepts tossed around, the green light was eventually given for Rod Emory to build the car.
A COMPELLING COLLABORATION
The Emory Porsche MOMO 356 RSR Outlaw combines so much of what makes Porsche—and especially Emory—so unique. It maintains the basic “upside-down bathtub” look of a 356, but the car’s body has been stretched over a stiffer 964-generation chassis. The exterior is truly stunning, with sliding side windows, flared haunches with external fasteners, and a Kamm-like tail that leaves little of the powerplant to the imagination; the exposed, art gallery-worthy tailpipes harken back to FIA Group 5 racing. Of course, the 356 RSR Outlaw makes use of MOMO’s top-shelf parts. The overall inspiration for the build, MOMO center-lock five-spoke wheels, are on prominent display wrapped in Pirelli P Zero tires and mounted to Porsche 935 race car hubs.
The car’s interior blends modern MOMO while maintaining a retro look. It features red MOMO racing seats with six-point MOMO safety harnesses, MOMO-branded Tilton pedal assembly, and a classic MOMO Prototipo steering wheel framing period instruments. A beautiful retro-styled wooden knob tops the gear shifter assembly, a nod to Porsche’s golden age of racing.
A potent twin-turbocharged 2.4-liter flat-four is fueled by Rothsport fuel injection. The Garret turbos and big intercoolers allow for output that is a tick under 400 horsepower; the resulting five-to-one power-to-weight ratio is something that would certainly have impressed Ferry Porsche. Power is delivered rearward through a relatively modern G50 five-speed transaxle. Underneath, Eisenlohr Racing camber plates and Tarett Engineering anti-sway bars do their best to tame that grunt.
This car’s myriad of details beg a second, a third, and a fourth glance, with each design element speaking to the breadth of Outlaw style. With this unique build for MOMO, Rod Emory successfully embodied a compelling what if: What if Porsche had built a 356 RSR? It very well might have looked something like this.