15-16 January 2015

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Lot 263

1955 Porsche 356 Pre-A 'Emory Special' Coupe

  • Chassis no. 54089

Sold for $258,500

137 bhp, 1,507 cc SOHC horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine with two Weber 48 IDA downdraft carburetors, five-speed manual transaxle, four-wheel independent suspension, and four-wheel disc brakes. Wheelbase: 82.7 in.

  • Unique 356 “Outlaw” built by Emory Motorsports
  • Fitted with a 1.5-liter, four-cylinder 911 “Polo” engine
  • Featured in the November 2003 issue of Excellence
  • A crowd-pleasing concours winner

The Porsche 356 has become an icon, and today, almost every example is deemed a candidate for salvation. Many are rebuilt as pleasurable drivers, while others are exactingly reconstructed and contend in international concours. However, more than a few owners dismiss the idea of a just-like-it-left-the-factory restoration. They enjoy customizing their Porsches in ways that Zuffenhausen could and would never have conceived. Their non-conformist ideas have roots in the true hot-rod and custom shops that had emerged in Southern California.

Gary Emory’s father, Neil, owned Valley Custom Shop, one of the best-known, but Gary’s interests carried him to those strange little German cars. For years, he ran the parts department of a major dealership, immersing himself in all the nuances of the marque. He liked to add small custom touches to his own cars, as well as customers’, and he even created a small badge with a Maltese cross to replace the 356’s stock rear torsion bar cover. He called his cars “Outlaws.”

His own son, Rod, also had the Porsche bug. Together, they began creating a pair of highly modified 356s. The first was a stunning cabriolet built for Rod’s use and the other was a 1955 coupe that was intended to be Gary’s personal ride. The cabriolet was finished in time for Monterey’s tribute to Porsche in 1998, but the coupe was put aside, that is until a Florida airline pilot named Jeff Hathorn called. He’d seen Rod’s cab featured in Excellence magazine and wanted something just like it. He bought the Emorys’ coupe and financed its completion. The car was fitted with a full roll cage and sub-frame, and the body was cleaned up to minimize drag, which included adding a removable roof panel. The suspension was modified and lowered to enhance handling and performance. Four-wheel disc brakes with Brembo calipers from an early Boxster were installed, along with distinctive 16x7 “Special” wheels.

The new drivetrain employs one of Dean Polopolous’ ingeniously engineered four-cylinder SOHC “Polo” engines. The powerplant was based on a sectioned 901/911 five-main-bearing six-cylinder that had the central pair of cylinders removed, and it is fitted with a Velasco billet steel crankshaft, J&E pistons in Mahle cylinders, Elgin camshafts, and twin plug heads. It breathes through a pair of Weber 48 IDA downdraft carburetors and a custom Bursch exhaust, creating 137 brake horsepower. The five-speed 901 gearbox has a 904 mainshaft and custom gear ratios.

The “Emory Special” project was a success, as the little coupe set a new unofficial one-way E/GT class speed record of 151.52 mph. Afterwards, the engine was completely rebuilt, the body was stripped and repainted, and the chassis was set up by Heritage Motorcar Restorations in St. Petersburg, Florida.

This unique Porsche 356, the epitome of the “Outlaw,” was featured in Excellence in November 2003, won First Place in the Concours at Brumos Porsche Octoberfest in 2004, and participated in the Daytona Rennsport Reunion in 2004.

This unique Porsche 356 was acquired by the current owner from Mr. Hathorn in 2007, and it is being offered here today to the next rebellious driver who is willing to take this Outlaw on the run.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more