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PCA Spotlight: Rod Emory and the first Porsche to win at Le Mans

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Porsche Club of America welcomed a special guest at this year’s Tech Tactics West, Rod Emory, founder and owner of Emory Motorsports. He came to speak about the history of “Outlaw” Porsches (as well as a lot of Porsche history) and, crucially, go in-depth about a car he recently restored: the first Porsche to win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, in 1951.

One of Rod’s longtime clients obtained the Gmünd Porsche 356 SL from the estate of its late former owner, who had raced it every single year since 1957 until the day he died in 2009. You may have seen it at the Monterey Historics, but it was unrecognizable. For the better part of 50 years it was a convertible, the owner unaware of the car’s early history at Le Mans, before the roof was chopped off. It was the first Outlaw 356, before Rod and his father, Gary, coined the term while churning out fully customized Porsches decades ago. It was up to Rod and his team to put it back together exactly as it raced at Le Mans in 1951.

Watch the video above — set aside an hour! — to learn about key parts of the restoration as Rod walks us through. It’s a truly fascinating story.

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