This livestream originally aired at 7 PM ET on Tuesday 5 May - you can…
Watch Rod Emory and Courtney Hansen discuss craftsmanship and the allure of automobiles
After last week’s debut of The Love of Cars (with guests McKeel Hagerty and Jay Leno), cohosts Justin Bell and Tommy Kendall of The Torque Show have returned for more interesting conversations with fascinating car people.
This week, Bell and Kendall chat with Rod Emory, the genius behind Porsche Outlaws, who discusses his life’s work with 356s, and television host Courtney Hansen, who talks about her new show on the History Channel.
The Love of Cars, presented by Hagerty, can be seen via livestream every Tuesday at 7 p.m. Eastern Time.
Emory, who has been building and restoring Porsches for 30 years, grew up in a hot-rodding family. His grandfather was a builder and his father a parts manager who created the original Baja Bug, the car that captured Rod’s heart and imagination at the age of 5.
Emory refers to himself as the “lead singer of a heavy metal band,” but his normally bustling and noisy workshop has been a lot quieter since he sent his 15 craftsmen home on March 19 due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Still, Emory continues to work alone—with the tunes turned up, of course.
“We’re trying to carry on the traditions that were set forth by the people like my grandfather and many of the European craftsmen,” he says. “It’s just practice and putting in the time and being willing to just get after it every day and not be afraid to make mistakes. Because at the end of the day it’s just a piece of sheetmetal, and you’re doing two things with it—you’re either stretching it or shrinking it, and the rest is kind of just finishing.
“If it wads up into a ball and doesn’t turn out the way you want, there’s somebody in the shop that can help you straighten it out. Or we pitch it into the scrap bin and start all over.”
Porsche Outlaws gets it right more times than not, considering the long line of customers waiting for their turn. The shop builds about 10 cars per year, and there isn’t an opening on the schedule for the next three and a half years.
Courtney Hansen also hails from a gearhead family. She’s the daughter of Jerry Hansen, winner of 27 SCCA National Championships, and spent countless hours in the pits while growing up. She ultimately used her car knowledge and enthusiasm to join Chip Foose as co-host of Overhaulin’. Hansen’s new show, The Ride That Got Away, is scheduled to begin shooting its second season on June 1, depending on the status of the pandemic.
“I had no expectations of this happening,” Hansen says of her television career. “I never dreamed it would. I just loved being around cars and growing up in that world.”
The Ride That Got Away reunites “deserving people”—like veterans and first responders—with the dream cars they had to let go of in hard times (or one that’s the same year, make, and model). Hansen, whose favorite car growing up was a 1957 Ford Thunderbird, knows the emotional power of an automobile.
“It’s therapeutic to get out and drive,” Hansen says. “Cars are an extension of who we are, and they make me happy.”
Scheduled to appear on next week’s episode of The Love of Cars are former Major League Baseball pitcher C.J. Wilson and well-known concours judge Donald Osborne, CEO of Audrain, LLC.