Hot Rodding A Porsche 356

Choices – that’s what it all comes down to. Imagine for a moment that you happen across an abandoned Porsche 356. It’s completely rusted out, weathered down to nothing more than a hunk of corroded panels with a gutted-out interior. What do you do? Of course, with the right sort of skill and investment almost any car can be brought back from the brink of death, but when you’re embarking on a project like this you’re automatically aware that there are various ways in which you can go about things.


And that’s the choice the owner of this particular car was faced with. Yes, he could have attempted to bring the iconic Porsche back to stock condition with a ground-up restoration, but he had other ideas. He wanted to do something unique – something that with an interesting twist would make the car stand apart from every other 356 out there. This is the result.


Sitting low on a set of polished Fuchs replica wheels, the Porsche was hard to miss at The Check Shop’s recent Track & Show event at Fuji Speedway.


The car was brought up from Hiroshima especially to be shown off at the event, and I had the chance for a quick chat with the owner before he disappeared from under my eyes as I was shooting his creation. The grey primer finish provides quite a contrast against the factory chrome details that dot the exterior, and I really like how the 356 was left bumper-less, with a guard to protect the underside when the car rides low on its air bags.


More protection comes in the form of these Speedster headlight grilles, stripped of their chrome and left bare to add a personal touch.


The rear has been given a similar treatment – the bumper scrapped in the pursuit of smoothness and the pure shape of the 356 left to do most of the talking. There’s an undeniable Outlaw feel about the Porsche, which is exactly what its creator was trying to achieve.


The single grille engine cover proudly wears the Stuttgart crest.


This is what the car looked like in late 2013 when the build began. There was nothing much to it, and as such parts had to be sourced from all over the world.


The engine was completely stripped down and then rebuilt with fresh new components.


And then there’s the interior. If you’re anything like me, you might be left momentarily speechless.


It seems the Outlaw influence has been combined with a few ideas from the world of hot rodding, all pulled together with a modern air suspension touch. It’s a curious mix, and a different take on a car that is loved by so many.

But if your a purist, you might be deeply offended. Tough luck!

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino



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That wheel and airbags combo is a crime on that poor 356. Otherwise it's a spectacular resto-mod.


Those wheels ruin it for me....... But the rest of the car is very cool.


You can't really ruin an old rust bucket. If you've ever tinkered on a really old car that's seen better days, you know that it usually wouldn't be worth the investment to make it a purists/ concours car. A proper restoration requires removal of ALL outer panels to treat the rust not only on the outside, but on the inside as well = big time $$$... If you want to save a rusty shell, hot rodding is the way to go. If this started out as a good condition 356, I would be thoroughly erked, but seeing where it came from, I can dig it. No, LOVE IT.


Luckily it's not a LSx-swap. The interior is acrimoniously clean!


I´d love to see some bumpers on that car, give it a taller ride height, and push out those wheels a bit. 

And for gods sake, when are people going to realize that mesh filters only keep trees and babies out of the carburettors! Get some filters that actually cleans the air! I use foam filters, and just pull them off for shows.


pou OJKD

I do build my own cars, not a 356 at the moment, because hot-rod worthy 356s are as rare as hen´s tooth on a goldfish. Nevertheless, I believe that tucked bumpers and some slight changes to wheel fitment would make this even better. Maybe the owner reads the article, and agrees. I hope so, because it might save his or hers engine as well. Really like the interior though, might use it as inspiration.


Man!, would twist my neck if I met this on the road!,,


Haha! Any video around? Looks great!  Even from a purist's
perspective, it's a way of preserving the car, it could still be brought
to it's original state in the future, certainly looks better than in
that pic in the phone.
These guys do all sorts of things with old Porsches:


Somehow, those over-sized wheels works...


Really cool Dino. I love seeing builds like this that buck trends and turn out exactly how the owner of the car wants it - not how the style police would have it. Keep them coming brother!!!


Looks like the one T2d built.


OJKD  Damn -- Guess you don't know Porsches and VW run sealed engine compartments, so unless your running down a dirt road screens/filters are not needed


As far as the owner agreeing that your thinking is better after he has built his dream car ????? NAH I don't think so

I'm still speechless on beautiful the car is and especially the interior -- The owner and you, DIno, both did good


koko san There is a video of the car that I think it was when I first saw it. I know it is not the same but, could be one inspired by the other?


I'm slightly confused about what's been "hot rodded" here. The stock engine in a 356 is a very underpowered unit, and there doesn't seem to be much, if any, performance modification going on with this car. It's certainly a very cool custom and I love most of the style cues, but a hot rod is built for performance - this seems more like a custom car by way of comparison (and relying on classic terminology).


@Abomb Huh, will you look at that! And the one you linked actually IS a hot rod in the true sense of the term.


gliebau this 356 has a larger cc air-cooled motor those carbs are 44-48 webber or dellorto carbs and if i could take a guess im bona say the engine is a 2110 to 2332cc and with how light the car is its definitely been "hot rodded"


can we have a look at that infiniti at the back please


are we sure this car isn't the same one featured everywhere else? Maybe it was sold and finished in Japan?


Forget the porsche (though its not bad) and cover the Infiniti in the back.



great feature... i like this type of cars... those who didn't take a life to restore... "hot-rod" or not... it is an awesome ride... looking where is this coming from... i like that the builders did this... and for all of those people who says that is wrong, bumperless is wrong, about the rims... if you dont like it... thats your problem, the owner SAVED  a great piece of machinery... 

greetings hunters!


uh purists? more like people with common sense that aren't going to spray paint any car let alone a vintage Porsche with a spray can, the interior while sparse is relatively well done, there is no reason to screw up the exterior.


@Furthermanu koko san LOL not sure inspired is the right word.


Thats a unique aproach to such a clasic. Nevertheless It looks awesome. At the end of the day is all about individuality. Thumbs Up!!


Thanks Mr. Dino! Great story and awesome subject. .....and not about drifting,Yea!


motorness it works here, and he can take it out in the rain.


Tenkishi please no.....


OJKD move to a less dusty place.....


Tenkishi lol I was thinking the same thing


motorness It's his car, so its his choice.  Although I do subscribe to the stewardship vs, ownership idea in general, he did nothing that couldn't be "fixed" by a subsequent restoration.  At least he didn't go for a full rat rod effect and put a powerstroke in the trunk.  And it is (back) on the road at all which is a beautiful thing period.

-A BMW 2002 fanatic


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