You can almost see the Porsche aficionados spitting out their lattes when the Outlaw Garage boys drive by in their bare metal 1960 356B. Me on the other hand, well, I would give the pair a standing ovation for their efforts. Style and attitude, this 356 has it in spades.
Scott Brenchley, the owner of the 356, is one half of Outlaw Garage based in the Western Australia city of Perth. The other half is Wayne Pereira, who is also the class act behind WPDI – a design company with a vested interest in creating amazing car concepts. It was Wayne’s style and artistic flair that became the driving force behind this project.
Scott is a massive fan of the 356 shape; he currently has a 356 convertible in the build and a number of other early VWs in various stages of restoration, with this 356 the latest project to be completed. Is this one his favourite? Absolutely. Scott and Wayne have created a totally unique machine, and although it was relatively well planned right from the beginning, the end result has turned out much, much better than the boys ever expected.
The hunt for a 356 that had to fit certain criteria proved a little harder than initially anticipated for Scott. He wasn’t after a restored car or a basket case/money pit, but one that was original, fairly complete, but in need of a restoration. Good mate Greg, who is easily recognised with a cigarette in one hand and a bottle of Coke in the other, is a go-to bloke when it comes to classic cars, in particular, early Porsches.
After a brief conversation, it turned out that Greg had an unfinished project sitting in his Melbourne garage that ticked all the boxes. The car had been partially stripped back to bare metal with the remaining panels still in blue. There was no engine and an unresponsive transaxle, but it did have a partially completed right-hand drive conversion. Scott was working in Queensland on Australia’s East Coast at the time, so he had to fly down to Melbourne to see the car for himself and the deal was done that same day. He finally had a 356, albeit in pieces.Calling The Shots
Scott called Wayne with the exciting news of the purchase, and the pair instantly started discussing a direction for the build. They agreed that it had to be bare metal, carry some tasteful custom mods, and be branded as Outlaw Garage. Every part of the car was considered, and this formed the design ethos for the entire build. Wayne created many detailed renderings to be used as guidelines, so everyone involved was on the same page.
As the car was already in Melbourne, the Australian VW Performance Centre was commissioned to complete the project with Scott and Wayne overseeing the process. The car was completely disassembled and stripped; some minor repairs were undertaken where necessary and the rest of the paint removed to finally have the whole vehicle exposed in bare metal before being cleared over. The bumps, the dents and the weathered patina all added to the beauty of the classic body.Getting The Creative Juices Flowing
Following Wayne’s renderings, the original Lemmerz wheels were widened at the rear and blacked out along with the headlight grilles and 356 speedster side mirror. A set of 356A indicators were also grafted in. The bumpers were lowered and tucked closer to the body for a cleaner look and a single candy black race stripe added to the top of the body for that authentic race car look. Adding even more ‘race’ to the aesthetics is the custom rear valance incorporating the exhaust tips and the vented rear windows that send cool air to the oil cooler in the engine bay and feed fresh air to the carbs.
Twin Weber 48IDF carburettors are bolted to a 2,387cc motor with a heap of goodies stacked inside, and a custom stainless steel exhaust system sings a sweet song. Restoring any 356 motor is a very costly exercise, and more so when you start thinking about decent performance and reliability. So the decision was made to build the bigger Type 1 engine as a drop-in replacement, which also required the original transaxle to be restored and strengthened in order to cope with the added horsepower.
Inside the car is an absolute work of art and Wayne is the man to thank for such an incredible design. It all started with the alloy speedster race seats from Karmann Konnection in the UK, which set the tone for the look that Wayne and Scott were chasing. The fully custom, Italian leather trim job – which includes the roof lining and front luggage area – contrasts well with the metal work spread throughout the cabin. One drive of the Outlaw and I reckon you wouldn’t want to get out of it.Time To Shine
After the 356 was completed, it was taken to the 2016 VW Spectacular for its first shakedown test, and it performed with distinction. The guys also drove it to Raleigh International Raceway for a couple of laps. The engine wasn’t run in as yet, so it wasn’t on full noise, but the guys said it was fast and proved reliable. The car was also exceptionally well received by all at both events – even the purists liked it.
The Outlaw 356 is now back in Western Australia with Wayne piloting it to several local events where possible. The guys are going to continue to refine a few aspects of the car before working on their next project, a ’55 oval window Beetle that is sure to be a head-turner.