Emory Motorsports: Outlaw Porsches Are A Family Tradition
By the time he was ten years old, Rod had spent countless hours in the shop with his father and grandfather as they pulled bumpers, louvered decklids, and painted numbers on the sides of Porsche 356s. Eventually, family friends dubbed the Emorys “outlaws,” referring both to the cars themselves as well as to the their relegation to the parking lot during big Porsche events.
When the Sunoco Ferrari 512 M first appeared at Daytona in 1971 it was a revelation. Manned by a dream team, the car combined Ferrari’s pedigree with Penske’s legendary attention to detail in everything from his crew’s uniforms to the polished wheels. Slated to run at Daytona, Sebring, Le Mans, and Watkins Glen, this 512 M was the odds-on favorite every time it rolled onto the starting grid.
Revived in 1988, today’s Carrera Panamericana is still dangerous, fast, grueling, and addictive, as driver Conrad Stevenson can attest. Stevenson got his first taste of the race in a friend’s Studebaker in 2001. After a couple more years of participating in friends’ cars, Stevenson decided it was time to build a car of his own, in this case a 1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint Speciale.
In the late 1970s, Audi engineers started toying with the idea of pairing a turbocharged engine with the Volkswagen group’s four-wheel-drive platform. The result, in 1980, was the Ur-Quattro (Ur being German for “original”), a car that would ultimately change Group B rally racing and, in time, the way sports cars were prepared.
“There was a guy who lived up the street from me who had one,” Geoff Ombao remembers of his boyhood. “And every time he drove by, it was like watching Santa Claus driving the ice cream truck.” Santa’s ice cream truck, in this instance, was a DeLorean DMC-12, a stainless steel, gullwinged car that–thanks to the Back to the Future film franchise–would be forever associated with time travel in the popular imagination. For Ombao, however, the car’s appeal lies in the marque’s short-lived, tumultuous history.