If Mad Max were German he’d probably drive this sinister-looking Porsche 356 RSR with its 400hp and pair of Garrett turbos bolted to the mind-blowing thrill seeker.
Emory Motorsports is based in North Hollywood and has been building ‘the most iconic, yet personalised Porsche 356s on the planet’ since 1996. Their words, not ours but none have pushed the boundaries of both engineering and the sensibilities of classic Porsche enthusiasts quite like this particular 356 RSR.
Porsche 356 RSR
Beginning its tired life as a lovable and rusting 1960 356 B coupe, this now desirable classic was given a new lease of ‘life’ by Emory and his team as they set about the German icon with everything they had.
Using their unique fabrication skills, the team set about replacing the original car’s rusted bodywork with wider, more aggressively profiled aluminium panels — certain sections being hand-rolled on an English wheel, a process similar to that used by fabricators in the original Gmünd factory.
This all-new body was then carefully mated to a 1990 964 C2’s chassis, allowing Emory to fit aggressive KW coil-over suspension, wider, grippier tyres and larger 964 brakes to ensure the car could handle the power from its 911 derived, near 400hp four-cylinder, twin-turbocharged engine.
Owner, Rod Emory said of his work:
“The RSR is a no boundaries little hot rod. Too many people are worried about what others are going to think. I want to build cars in the way that I want — some are going to love it and some are going to hate it, but at the end of the day, I think people will appreciate it no matter what because of the level of detail, workmanship and craftsmanship that went into making it.
“We wanted to pull all the best pieces from various models and years of Porsche and bring them together in a package that is fun, exciting and kind of mind-blowing.”
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You guessed it, the engine, just like the removable aluminium body, is a completely custom design. Designed and built in conjunction with Oregon based Rothsport Racing, the architecture of the motor is all 964, but a new case and crank were developed to allow the team to downsize the engine to four cylinders — it is a 356, after all — while two Garrett turbos make up for any loss in power.
Those two turbos are mounted in an exposed location at the rear of the car in the style of a Porsche 935. Something, as it turns out, is no accident. As Emory leans down to take a closer look at his creation, he’s keen to point out that the RSR takes inspiration from a number of iconic Porsche models:
“There’s styling that’s reminiscent of the old Abarth Carreras, there’s the 935 tail section, a bit of 996/997 stuff going on in the front with the fender slope and headlight area; we even built special 935/956 style centre-lock Momo wheels for it.”
And the details don’t stop there. The air intakes and dashboard are all formed from amber fibreglass, like in a 917, there’s a knurled boost control knob from a 935 located to the right of period-correct dials, while the custom made bucket seats feature a Nomex style fabric, similar in aesthetic to that of the material used in the original 908.
The result is a car that pays tribute to Porsche motorsport history while also managing to remain distinctly Californian. Indeed, the location of this sixth running of Luftgekühlt — the debut event for this special build — is particularly special to Emory, not simply because he and 5000 of his “best friends” have access to the Universal Studios backlot. It’s much more than that.
Yes, it’s way over the top but its also beautifully crafted. The ‘Marmite’ Porsche 356 RSR splits the purist camp straight down the middle and if the truth was known, was intended to do exactly that.
Even diehard Porsche Fans can’t ignore its tenacious ability to lure even the haters into the driving seat…
Images courtesy of Porsche and original article here.