In the world of Porsche 356s, the term “outlaw” originated in the early 1980s in Southern California. It was a name given to Gary Emory, because he was not afraid to push the looks of a 356.
You see, Gary grew up in the San Fernando Valley and was the son of famous custom-car builder Neil Emory of Valley Customs. Surrounded by cars tastefully modified to enhance the beauty of their original designs, Gary inherited his father’s knack for style. He’d watched his dad transform something nice into something stunning, so it was natural that as a teenager Gary was always modifying his own cars.
Gary’s professional life started at Chick Iverson Porsche in Newport Beach, California, in 1961. (Chick Iverson sold the first Porsches on the West Coast and was best buddies to John Wayne, but that’s another story.) Gary began in the detailing shop but quickly moved into the parts department where new Porsche owners came to find accessories to make their cars look a little different than the other guy’s: fog lights, a different exhaust system, a change of wheels and tires, even removing the front and rear bumpers.
Gary spent ten years helping personalize Porsches, but, as time passed, Porsche enthusiasts became more interested in concours-level restorations and many of the cars that earlier had been “tricked out” were restored, some made even more “perfect” than original.
When Gary purchased Porsche Parts Obsolete in Costa Mesa from Iverson, he once again had the freedom to express his roots and initiated, in the mid ’80s, a wave of restyled 356s that shocked the “purists” who’d spent the previous decade picking the lint out of their air cleaners,
So that’s why his buddies started calling him the Outlaw. Of course, the next thing you know there was a group of these crazy 356ers hanging out together and having a lot of fun with their cars.
Gary then crafted his famous “356 OUTLAW” badge, given to cars that shared Gary’s outside-the-box theme. Gary would give his “stamp of approval” by mounting the badge on cars that had been tastefully modified to enhance the beauty of the original 356 design, just as his father had done with the cars he fashioned throughout the ’40s and ’50s.