The 1959.5 “Transitional” Porsche Speedster Is Drop-Dead Gorgeous
This Emory build saved a 356 coupe from certain doom.
The rift between purists and hot-rodders will never be completely mended, no matter how common the car or how large the investment. There is one small patch of middle ground, however; in the case of the unsalvageable, both sides usually agree that a repurposing is better than sending the car to the scrapper. Legendary Porsche shop owner and 356 Outlaw mastermind Rod Emory skillfully straddles the fine line between spectacular and sacrilege better than anyone, and it's with that in mind we check out his newest 356 creation.
Emory calls it the 1959½ "Transitional" Speedster, as the production Speedster was phased out in 1959 for the lesser-known Convertible D. Don't worry, Emory didn't chop the hat off a pristine, untouched car for this Speedster, instead saving a wrecked 1959 coupe whose roof was deemed unsalvageable. So, instead of parting out the car or sending it to the crusher, this basket case has a new lease on life as one of the greatest examples of the 356 Outlaw breed.
Of course, this being Emory Motorsports, the changes go way, way beyond some paint and interior trimmings. Aside from subtle body modifications like the "racing-inspired" aluminum tonneau cover and headrest fairing, there are proprietary bumpers and shaved exterior trim. Inside, the interior is all new, but retains the Speedster's minimalistic aesthetic with Hydes red upholstery and charcoal-colored carpets.
A punched-out, hopped-up 2.4-liter air-cooled flat-four from Rothsport Racing shoves out a meaty 205 horsepower, the output routed to the skinny, 195/65-15 rear Tecnomagnesio wheels through a 901 four-speed transmission. The suspension is Emory-ified as well, with a modified 901-style IRS in the rear and adjustable Koni dampers at all four corners. For extra decelerative might, custom rotors and calipers provide "911-levels of stopping power."
Want one? Too bad—like all Emory Motorsport creations, this is a one-off, customer-specific build, but we're sure Emory would love to work with you to create the Porsche of your dreams.