Story by Retromod Staff
Photos by Zach Mayne
The 1953 Porsche 356 pictured here may have been completed about ten years ago years ago after a lengthy six year build period but it still stands as one of the finest Outlaw-style 356’s ever created. Envisioned and built by Colorado’s Fred Veitch, the Porsche is in a class of its own, both in regards to the quality of the work and the mind boggling attention to detail. Vietch recently unveiled his latest Outlaw during the 2016 Monterey Car Week, so we thought it was a great time to take another look at his maiden attempt at building a singular 356.
Veitch is no stranger to Porsches, having owned everything from 912s to 930s as well as more modern examples like the 996 GT2 and 996 Turbo. He's also raced the German marque for his entire adult life, most recently entering a Porsche Cayman in the 2016 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. For the four prior hill climbs he raced a 996 Turbo. Porsche race fuel seems to pump through his veins, making it all the more appropriate that he was the mastermind behind this stunning blue 356. Vietch set out to build a car that was similar to the 356 Outlaws that the Emory family have perfected, but with an aesthetic all its own. “I wanted to create a “look” with design continuity,” he says. “The goal was to create a car which keeps its 356-ness but uses modern technology.”
The starting point of the build was a 356 coupe that had been gifted to Veitch and his wife as a 25th wedding anniversary gift from his close friend and fellow Porsche nut David Jenkins. The 356 had been sitting in a barn far 16 years after being used as a parts car for a 356 Speedster restoration. Many of the cars original parts were missing but that didn't matter since just about every component on it was going to replaced with custom parts anyway. In the early phase of the build Veitch says they discovered that the car had never been wrecked and was also remarkably rust free.
Once the car was stripped to bare metal at Mark Brandt's Spectrum Powder Works in Colorado Springs, the transformation from stock Porsche to 356 Outlaw began in earnest. A fiberglass hood from GT Racing was installed. Rivets were installed around the hole for the fuel filler neck so the piece would look like aluminum. There are fascinating details all over the car. The hood prop for example is a modified engine push rod mated to a piece of Weber carburetor linkage. Inspired by factory 550 Spiders and Abarth Carreras, an oil filler opening was added to the passenger side of the car with rivets around it to echo the fuel filler opening. At the back is an alloy engine lid mounted with 911R style hinges. The completed body was painted a custom blue that Veitch called Grablau and that is a darker shade of the factory Azure Blue.
The finished body was then reassembled with dozens more custom details. The custom bumpers are made of titanium, a nod to bicycling, another of Veitch's hobbies. Vintage driving lights were than fastened to the bumpers. Roof-mounted windshield wipers were installed as well, which use VW Thing wiper linkage controlled by a motor on the passenger's side inner roof. The headlights are HIDs mounted in H-4 assemblies while the rear lights are LEDs. Side marker lights are re-purposed aircraft wing tip lights that just happen to look identical to the pit lights used on factory Porsche 962 racers. Rather than use stickers, Mark Brandt was enlisted to airbrush the Pegasus emblems on the front fenders.
Mounted to the exterior and the dash are custom, water-jet cut emblems that read Gesetzloser, which translates from German to mean Outlaw. Inside, Veitch's quest for authenticity and uniqueness continued. Custom GT seats in a wider size were fabricated to accommodate Veitch's larger frame were made by Fibersteel in California. BMW seat heaters were installed in the seats. A small, quartz airplane heater was installed in the dash in lieu of the original heater. The interior also boasts drilled aluminum pedals, custom boxes in place of the rear seats that hide the engine management computers for the engine. Covering the door panels and seats is a waxed, brown leather that looks identical to that used on bomber jackets, while the carpet is German square-weave complemented by a wool headliner. The roll bar and shift box were fabricated from titanium. Inside the shift box are stainless still components from a 996 Cup racecar. Even the 356's key is a custom CNC machined piece that was drilled to look like a Porsche 917 and 908 key.
For the mechanical aspect of the project, Veitch relied heavily on the input of well know Porsche tuner Dieter Inzenhofer of Andial fame. Since Veitch lives at a high altitude in Colorado Springs, he decided to go with a turbocharged motor to compensate for the thinner air. In this case, Randy Bowen of Sports Car Service was enlisted to build a forced induction engine based on a VW AS 41 case. The engine consists of an 82-mm billet stroker crankshaft that actuates Carillo H-beam connecting rods and 90.5-mm Mahle pistons and cylinders for a displacement of 2110-cc. An aggressive 120 cam from Engle was used along with Scat race lifters, ported and polished heads and heavy duty SCAT valve springs.
Fitting the CB Performance turbo system in the tight confines of the 356's engine bay took some work and included custom made engine cooling tin and headers that were raised up to provide the needed clearance for the low-mounted turbo. The turbo is a Garret T3 unit backed up by throttle body fuel injection, electronic engine management, larger fuel injectors an adjustable wastegate. Gorgeous custom, polished aluminum pressure boxes on either side of the motor feed air to the throttle bodies. A GT3 Cup car intake was used in place of the kit's intake. Spent gasses exit out of a ceramic coated, aluminized exhaust system. The ignition consists of a Bosch distributor, Compufire ignition, MSD plug wires and NGK plugs. All of this is controlled by a complex fuel management system. All told the motor produced 203 hp to the wheels at 5700-rpm and 185 ft-lbs of torque at 5400-rpm. That generous power figure propels the light, 1680-lb Porsche quite nicely.
For additional cooling, the builders decided to convert the engine to a dry-sump oil setup. In order to accommodate the tank for the oil cooler the drastic step was undertaken of moving the firewall forward by 13-inches. "The oil tank carries in excess of 15 quarts, so that even under boost it's always running cool," notes Veitch. A custom fiberglass engine shroud works with a Porsche 911 fan assembly. Rancho Performance supplied the VW racing transmission. The clutch uses a Kennedy Engineering pressure plate, a Kushlock disc and a 200-mm, 12-lb flywheel.
To keep the 356 safely on the road, the original front beam was modified to allow for ride height adjustment while the 4-leaf springs were replaced with stiffer 5-leaf springs. Boxed steering arms work with a 19-mm front swaybar while the rear uses Koni red adjustable shocks bolted to modified mounting points. There are also 30-mm torsion bars and a Vic Skirmants camber compensator to maintain proper suspension geometry. In keeping with his "factory performance special" approach by using actual Porsche parts, Veitch used four 928 spare wheels that measure 16x6.5-inches. These were modified on a CNC machine, adding an extra row of holes for a more vintage appearance, which is a brilliant solution. The wheels are shod with 195/50-16 Khumo Ecsta tires. Braking is handled by Wilwood calipers and rotors at all four corners. The stoppers even feature adjustable bias control and dual master cylinders.
By utilizing the incredible skills of a multitude of highly experienced craftsman and combining it with an unerring understanding of what is aesthetically correct and proper, Veitch has built a 356 Outlaw for the ages. It will most definitely stand as a source of inspiration for many other attempts at building this type of custom Porsche.