When is a Modified Porsche an Outlaw or Hot Rod?

The recent purchase of a modified 1968 Porsche 911 raised the question of when is a Porsche 911 an Outlaw versus a Hot Rod? The car was advertised as a Hot Rod. I preferred the term Outlaw because it implies more refinement and historically is tied to modified Porsches.

Porsche Outlaw or Porsche Hot Rod - Which is Which?

But, which one term is really correct for this modified 1968 Porsche 911; an Outlaw or a Hot Rod?

Dean Jefferies' Outlaw | Jack Walker

The term Outlaw first came to the Porsche world in the 1950’s when customization pioneer Dean Jefferies modified his 356 Carrera’s body while working at Barris Kustoms’ shop in California. He “broke the laws” of what a Porsche 356 was and the term stuck and is strongly associated with a modified Porsche 356. It is a given that a modified 356 is an Outlaw, you won’t find the term Hot Rod associated with a 356.

Magnus Walker extended the term Outlaw to the 911 world as he created his personal brand of the Urban Outlaw for his modified 911”s that broke the rules of what an air-cooled Porsche should be.

More often than not, a modified Porsche 911 tends to be called a Hot Rod. So, what is the definition of a Hot Rod?

Merriam-Webster defines a Hot Rod as “A car that has been changed so that it can be driven and raced at very fast speeds.” Wikipedia defines a Hot Rod as “typically an old or classic American car that has been modified with a larger engine for more speed and acceleration.” The Wikipedia definition further states that it is “a car that’s been stripped down, souped-up and made to go much faster.”

A quick search of the Internet shows that there is no doubt that the term Outlaw is attached to modified Porsche 356’s while modified Porsche 911’s tend to favor the term Hot Rod.

Similar to Associated Press (AP) having a stylebook, Air Brigade is defining what is a Outlaw versus a Hot Rod in the Classic Porsche world:


Hot Rod: A Porsche 911 Hot Rod may look like a normal Porsche 911 but had been modified for more power and better handling with a bigger engine and/or modified suspension for better handling.

Porsche 911 Hot Rod

Outlaw: An Outlaw may not be any faster, but has been modified different than a stock Porsche. This goes back to the origination of the term Outlaw when Dean Jefferies customized the bodywork of 356 and likewise, Magnus Walker tends to focus more on the visual appearance of his 911’s modifying them from stock but he generally does not modify the powertrain.

Porsche 911 Outlaw? | What is underneath this cool exterior?

Based on these definitions, the #68 Porsche new to Air Brigade is a Porsche Hot Rod as originally defined in the ad as opposed to an Outlaw. The look is that of a stock Porsche 911 but the powertrain features a larger modified 911S engine from a 1969 Porsche with a 1971 transaxle and 911S brakes. These are all the characteristics of a Hot Rod: more power and speed.

Air Brigade is taking it one step further by playing off Porsche model nomenclature of a 911 being an L, an E, T or S and will define its #68 Porsche 911 Hot Rod as a Porsche 911HR.

Going one step further, a modified Porsche 356 will be defined as a Porsche 356 Outlaw and in most cases modified Porsche 911’s will have various definitions depending on whether it is a cosmetic appearance modification making it a Porsche 911 Outlaw or whether it is increased powertrain modifications often with cosmetic changes making it a Porsche 911 Hot Rod.

So, let me introduce the Air Brigade Porsche 911HR.


Tags: Porsche Outlaw, Porsche Hot Rod

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