North Hollywood shop builds 'modern vintage' Porsches

NORTH HOLLYWOOD, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- If you ask people what new car they'd love to have, many will tell you a Porsche. But for some, the vintage ones are the best.

The first-generation Porsche from the 1950s and early 1960s was called the 356. And at Emory Motorsports in North Hollywood, the early cars are turned into modern-day masterpieces.

"For me, it's all about building the cars Porsche would have built if they had a little better parts and technology at the time when they were building them in their workshop," said Rod Emory, the founder of Emory Motorsports.

Many shops restore cars, but Emory is a third-generation gearhead whose grandfather customized cars and his father became a Porsche aficionado and parts dealer.

Combine those two things together and you get Emory's distinctive brand of vintage Porsche. Customized, but staying pure, using many newer Porsche parts.

"I give them a better driving experience by bringing in newer parts that gives them a lot better power, handling, drivability, better brakes, and overall improve the safety and quality of the car," added Emory.

The changes he makes to the cars are subtle. For example, he'll often use distinctive wheels on the 356s he modifies. They look period-correct, but are aluminum, and hide modern disc-brakes.

Detail after detail is sweated to create customer-specified cars as the vehicles take about a year to build. The wait to get one started is about six months.

Emory is obviously proud of the cars he creates, but he's also proud of the fact that he's a local business who employs craftspeople, many of whom worked their way up from the bottom of the ladder.

The company also tries to source local parts and materials whenever possible, for a true "made in Los Angeles" product.

So what's the tab to have the best of both old and new? It's not cheap.

"The starting price is about $225,000, and some of the ones I've done can run up to $450,000," Emory explained.

And even at those prices, he's currently flooded with orders.
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