Watch: Porsche Outlaw builder Rod Emory races a 935 and Elva
At the recent Porsche Rennsport Reunion, the father of Emory Outlaw's modified Porsche 356 models took to the track in some special cars
As far as dream jobs go, Rod Emory has it pretty good. His company is responsible for some of the most tasteful restomod Porsche 356s out there, so he spends his day often tinkering or designing classic Emory Outlaw sports cars.
Obviously it all took a lot of hard work, but what a job for someone who loves the German marque. Rod ‘took a day off’ to attend the Porsche Rennsport Reunion where he raced a pair of iconic models.
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Rod actually gave up racing in 2008 to focus on building his business, but the Rennsport Reunion presented an opportunity too good to turn down. For those not au fait with the American heritage racing calendar, the Rennsport Reunion is a unique event that runs on a high-octane love for Porsche. Cars gather to be displayed and raced at this living breathing event hosted at the Laguna Seca track in America. People and cars travel from all over the world to attend.
Itching to get back behind the wheel, Rod took to the track in a 1964 Elva Porsche and a Group 5 Porsche 935 racing car. Before the event he said “I never really get nervous racing, I think just because I spent so many years racing. I think I’m just excited and grateful. I’m really looking forward to being on track with a lot of my friends, and be at a track that I love so much.”
The Porsche 935 is a serious piece of kit and, while based on a 911, its extensive aerodynamic package and iconic Turbofan wheels highlight its motorsport DNA. 935s were highly successful when racing in period with many customer teams opting for the sports car off the back of proven victories.
Its most famed incarnation was the Le Mans prepared ‘Moby Dick’ that incorporated extended body work for a higher top speed. Recently Porsche revealed a modern-day track-only 935 that harks back to that very car.
As fascinating as the 935 is, the Elva Porsche is even more so. The Elva gets its name from the French phrase ‘elle va’ or ‘she goes’ coined by the Elva chassis designer Frank Nichol. This car was the brainchild of Midwest Porsche distributor Oliver Schmidt who wanted to enter a unique sports car into the United States Road Racing Championship.
By combining the lightweight Elva chassis and a compact Porsche engine, this agile racer was born. It won outright on its first outing and the planned 15 examples were soon sold — including one to Porsche itself. Despite enjoying success with the car, famed racer Edgar Barth stated that it was a ‘death trap’ due to its instability. Today the Elva Porsches are a rare breed indeed.
Got a few more minutes on your hand? Keep watching the video for a throwback to Walter Röhrl's attempt to win the 1981 Rallye Sanremo at the wheel of a 911 SC – a rear-wheel-drive machine going up against Audi's mighty trio of Quattro monsters.
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