John Oates is best known for his contributions to the hit song factory that was Hall & Oates, but behind the voice and the guitar is a dedicated Porsche enthusiast. Oates is such a wild Porsche-phile that Rod Emory of Emory Motorsports built an Outlaw-style 1960 Porsche 356 to the musician’s custom specification. And damn if this project doesn’t look just about perfect.
Emory is a longtime pillar of the 356 Outlaw movement, and this tastefully understated cabriolet is a shining example of how you can take that foundation and make it into something bespoke and individual. Oates’ end goal was a classic-style 356 with custom details and modern performance capability.
“When people hear custom, their minds tend to go to the outrageous, but our work is all about restraint,” Emory said in a statement. “John’s 356 is perfect example. The body began life as a 1960 356B Cabriolet, which has a removable hard top. We replaced the car’s damaged nose with 356A-style bodywork, but leaned it back for a sleeker appearance. We also modified the windshield frame the same way. The removable hardtop was tailored to create a more streamlined roof profile, and we integrated body-hugging 356A-style bumpers.”
Like any resto-mod, this 356 benefits from a bump in power. Using a Rothsport racing block as the base, a 2.4-liter four-cylinder now sends 200 horsepower through a five-speed transmission. The motor takes its inspiration from the dry-sump 3.6-liter 964-generation unit and includes several custom-built components engineered to play nice with original Porsche parts.
Oates’ Emory Special 356 can handle in the canyons, too. Underneath that perfectly proportioned body—which wears unique bumpers, body-mounted driving lights, an Emory-style reverse-louvered decklid, and no door handles—lies an early Porsche 911 independent rear suspension with specially-made trailing arms that are narrower than stock. Emory also added adjustable Koni shocks, disc brakes all around, and black powder-coated 16-inch aluminum wheels with 205/55 Pirelli P Zero Rosso rubber.
The interior is fully custom and peppered with retro influence. Basketweave inserts on the seats and square-weave carpet harken back to the 356’s roots while leather and a competition harness are a reminder that this is a thoroughly modern ride. A bolt-in roll bar hides under the hardtop, just in case a track day comes up.
With 200 horsepower moving just 1850 pounds, this car could certainly be a Maneater. For Oates, however, this hot-rod 356 seems to be just the car to make his Porsche dreams come true. And he drove a pink tractor in a race at Rennsport, so that’s saying something.