“Outlaw” Porsche 356: The Ultimate Tough Customer

I have to admit, aside from a rare few 356 Speedsters, I’m really not an “antique” car guy. I’ve looked at thousands of old cars in my life, but they never really seem to do a lot for me. Some people love the history an antique car represents and long for the good old days of low tech, simple driver’s cars. Personally, I love create comforts, the latest stereo equipment, seats that haven’t had the life worn out of them, technological advances such as nav, etc.


I don’t remember where, but at some point in the last couple of weeks, I stumbled on a movement that seems to have started in Southern California where guys are turning their Porsche 356s into “outlaws”. The result is some dang cool cars.

As a side note, it’s worth mentioning I’m not really into heavy customization, freaky car aerodynamics, or in your face colors. These cars though are such a great blend of old meets new creating a thing of beauty.

You might be asking yourself at this point, “What in the heck are you talking about? Outlaw 356?” I think this thread on TheSamba.com is nice summation:

DT: Just what is a outlaw 356? what makes it a outlaw?

MP: Bigger/modified engine
lowered/modified suspension
typically non stock paint color
typically non stock wheels
typically non stock interior
sometimes deleted bumpers, possibly nerf bars

I always think of a 356 hotrod…

GL: Usually not a stock or “period performance”, but all out performance.

DT: so just about anything that the good Doctor didn’t put on or take off when they were built makes them an outlaw.[Via TheSamba.com]

Of course this drives the Porsche purists nuts to say the least. It seems like most of the guys “building” outlaw 356s have their heads on the shoulders though. They’re not taking rare, historically significant or otherwise untouchable 356s and chopping them up. They’re customizing the cars that are more common or too expensive to consider restoring. It seems like there’s a line that isn’t crossed.

The first “outlaw 356” appears to be a 1956 356 Carrara customized by Dean Jeffries in 1957. As soon as he purchased the car, he started modifying it to showcase his abilities as a custom car builder. When asked years later why he customized a Porsche, he answered, “Because, back then only the sports car guys had any money. All of the hot rodders were broke.”

The next significant person on the “outlaw” scene seems to be Gary Emory. In fact, his friends call him “the Outlaw” because of his extensive customizations to Porsche 356s. He spent ten years prepping and showing cars in concours events, but an interesting thing happend over time:

…it gradually dawned on Gary Emory that his passion for polishing was waning rather than waxing. He was starting to take that hike down the Porsche highways from concours to consumption, and nothing was going to turn the tide back ever again: “I wanted to build cars I could enjoy more, and drive more, We were so busy toothbrushing “em that we were afraid to drive them anywhere. In those days, we used to drive them to concours, then work for hours getting them all cleaned up. When we were all through, we’d say, ‘You know, that wasn’t so much fun.’ After ten years of that, I decided to get into fun cars, especially vintage cars.” [Via PartsObsolete.com]

That’s probably the thing I love most about the Outlaw 356. A vintage car that is actually fun to drive. One that takes advantage of more modern components to build that old meets new vibe I talked about initially. By the way, Gary and Family are still at it today. Check out EmoryMotorSports.com to see their work, some cool video and lots of Outlaw 356 pictures.

By far my favorite Outlaw 356 to date is the one pictured at the top of this post. It’s a black 1964 Porsche 356 owned by Chris Toy. Aside from a few cosmic updates and the word “Outlaw” in gold on the glove box and engine cover, you’d think this was a nice example of a classic car. Until, that is, he fires up the 1979 930 Turbo engine dropped into the car. Patrick Paternie, who rode in the car with Toy said, “This is a 356 with the soul of a Porsche 911 Turbo.”

Oh mama!!!……..

Toy intentionally kept the car relatively stock looking. He wanted the car to be a sleeper. I’d say he accomplished that mission. Bottom line, he brought a lot of the best things found in many Porsche models into one vehicle. If I were to ever embark on a project like this (and you better believe it’s going on my dream list), I’d be ecstatic if I ended up with something like Chris Toy’s car.

Here’s another couple of cool “outlaw” pictures:

Who’s ready to start an Outlaw 356 project?!

Further Reading
Some great Outlaw 356 pictures: BruceClement.com
A nice writeup about Dean Jeffries and the first Outlaw 356: Kustom Karrera
Gary Emory’s site: EmoryMotorSports.com
A lengthy article on Gary Emory’s “outlaw” Porches: PartsObsolete.com


  1. Beautiful…

  2. I think that you could really only drive one of these cars if you owned a bowler hat and smoked a pipe, otherwise you would just be bringing down the luster of this fine automobile.

  3. This is my favorite off the Bruce Clement site. Very cool car.


  4. mmmm mmmm mmm the first picture is one good looking car. wow

  5. The Black on Ecru 1964 356SC sunroof coupe (Outlaw) [shown in the photo with 993 turbo twist wheels and lowered] is available for purchase. A very special car – now with alloy outlaw wheels and susp. raise some. Awesome car, very well done. Call David Bruski at 425-562-1000.

    • David, that’s a sweet car. Any chance you’d shoot me some of the details and what you’re asking for it through our contact form?

  6. wow i just checked out the emorymotorsports.com and they’ve got some killer stuff, who knew a place like that is only 40 minutes from where i live.

  7. emm.. bookmarked

  8. Wow, nice job. Looks really good

  9. I really like these outlaws. I am part of this old meets new craze. Like you mentioned it is becoming far too expensive to restore a car, and besides I want my car to be for me. I dont buy something to sell it, i buy it to enjoy it. Either way you decide to do your antique porsche I think is fine, it just depends on the size of your wallet and your creative abilities.

  10. I have a ’63 356 S in the family that still runs everyday! Keeping mint vs “outlawing” it has been an ongoing debate for many years. New “comfort” technology like music enhancements, nav, wheels, different leathers make it very tempting…

  11. What a great idea for those of us that cant afford to authentically restore an old beat up Porsche!

  12. a beauty

  13. I really like the looks of the older black model. That actually looks like a cool car that I would own. I probably wouldn’t purchase too many older cars because I like all of the newer goodies too, but that one is cool.
    Great job on the 200th post, Ryan!!!!

  14. A gorgeous car to begin with – and some very classy / well done modifications.

  15. wow! Beautiful!!!

  16. These are beautiful cars and I can only dream …….

  17. It would be nice to see Porsche release a new car, with some of the designs from the past.

  18. Im really digging the beige one with the roof scoop sort of thing, great way to give the impression of “fast classic”

  19. you put the wrong rims on this classic car and
    it ruins it for me.

  20. This is an absolutely beautiful car. Wish I had one

  21. classic.

  22. some great ideas.

  23. to each his own.

  24. some forward thinking ideas.

  25. didn’t go overboard.

  26. wonder how value is changed.

  27. Awesome cars!

  28. The first 356 pic is my favorite. Wish I could find one to restore.

  29. a fine car…… german engineering ceases to amaze me…..this has to be one of my favorite classics

  30. no speedsters?

  31. Jennifer M says

    They’re nice looking, but I don’t think necessary, they probably looked just as nice before they were altered.

  32. I enjoyed the article and pics. They did a great job, but major modifications on a Porsched sends shivers down my spine.

  33. How much do “outlaw” cars go for?

  34. Are there speciality shops that will “outlaw” your Porsche?

  35. grandfathers of modern tuners.

  36. d.e. manning says

    a very artistic subgenre that should not be dismissed by the hard core stock crowd….to each his own!

  37. Whether it’s a “outlaw” Porsche or a stock Porsche, people need to remember that they’re still Porsche cars.

  38. check out “modern day speedster” to see how these guys influenced a car produced today!

  39. Very Nice

  40. i love porches

  41. Lar, thanks for the suggestion. I will check “modern day speedster”

  42. Jennifer says

    Hot car!

  43. Kristina Brown says

    Beautiful cars. Interesting most have no bumpers to spoil the look, and the ones that do have little antenae like hooks.

  44. Galen Wood says

    That is Bond-eriffic

  45. gorgeous car! Is that Brock in the pic with the car?

  46. Laura Adams says

    Very cool car. I can picture Dillinger in it!

  47. These are truly some classics although small they are great to look at.

  48. I am restoring a 1961 T5 Notch Back Porsche 356 and I have my rear quarter windows and I cant seem to find my hinges for them could some please one send me a picture of what they look like or is anyone interested in selling some?

  49. If you mean “fast”, that’s subjective too, but a Porsche is essentially a mid-engine VW, so there are lots of faster cars out there. As a car nut from way back, I say, just pick one you like and stick with it.


  1. […] "Outlaw" Porsche 356: The Ultimate Tough Customer – Another car I can't stop thinking about. The Outlaw 356 pictured at the top is still one of my favorite customized 356 models. Would really like to do an Outlaw 356 some day. […]