Thursday, August 7, 2014
Foose Outlaw Porsche 356
Generally I like Chip Foose's work. And I was impressed when he stepped off his beaten path to do a Lotus Europa on Overhaulin'. It was a brilliant build. So I was curious to see what he'd do with a 356.
Some of his changes were predictable, like tucked bumpers. They look just as good on a 356 as they do on any other car. And I can see "the look" he was going for: a homage to the early 356's. Thus the small, oval, rear window from an early Beetle, the small round quad taillights, and wheels reminiscent of the Glocker Porsche. The white paint harks back to German racing cars of the 1920's (and was the owner's choice). The interior is a nice nod to 1950's German cars in general and early 356's in particular:
But the rear window doesn't quite work. Even the earliest 356's had rectangular rear windows. The 356 C (which this car began life as) had an enlarged rectangular rear window and an engine cover with a straight upper shut-line to echo it and the larger twin deck vents. The car would look better if the standard rear window and tail lights had been retained. But then it wouldn't look much different from a regular 356 C. Compared to Foose's best work, the car is a Cookie Monster: good, but not delicious.
Part of the fun of researching this post was looking at the Emory Motorsports website and reading the threads on the Pelican Parts website that commented on the Foose build. Emory, which did most of the mechanical work, built its reputation on Outlaw 356's, and still likes to tweak Porsche Purists. In the Pelican Parts threads, the outlaw/purist battle seems largely to be over. Or the purists have just gone dark for now. There were posts about how much a commenter likes (or doesn't) Foose's work, or Magnus Walker's outlaw 911's. There were detailed comments on the Foose 356 itself. But not much gasping about the travesty of modifying a 356--especially the cancerous frame Foose was dealt.
Of course Pelican itself has done some Outlaw builds. But I've noticed that Outlaw Porsches are now welcome even at Porsche Club of America events--although they have to park in the back of the lot. ;-)