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I have decided to forego the traditional Speedster seat in favor of something with more comfort and better looks. I found a company called GTS Classics out of Austin, Texas that make a beautiful line of custom classic car sport seats. They will customize their seats with any color leather of your choice and will adjust the frames for width and height if needed.

Two of the models that I really like and I am thinking of using for my car are their Sport S model and their Monte Carlo model. The Sport S is a copy of an early 1970 Porsche 911 sport seat. The Monte Carlo is a little more modern looking version of a sport seat. I like both, but am leaning toward the Sport S because it looks more period correct.

I plan of buying them with the square style headrests and not the traditional 356 style round headrests. I am still deciding on the exterior and interior colors so I have not decided on what color leather to get them in or whether to get them with grommets or without. However, I do think the grommets give the seats a very classic look.

Has anyone used either seat? Tell me which seat you think will be more comfortable and which one you think will look better in the Super Coupe?

Sport S:



Monte Carlo:

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Thanks Lane. The mid-engine car is great. But for me, the extra space I am getting with the rear engine location was really important. But even if the mid-engine had the same extra space I would still pick the rear engine layout. I like the look of the interior with the rear seats better than the mid-engine layout with no rear seats.

Also, the rear engine layout allows you to open the rear engine lid and see an engine. Something I like. It is closer to the original in looks. Even though it is "rear engine", it is more forward than the original, and has a modern suspension, so it will handle far better. However, the mid-engine will handle even better because of the weight distribution. So if you are not too tall and plan on racing the car, the mid-engine would be a better choice. But since I am 6'2" and not really planning on racing, the rear engine car was a better choice for me. Comfort and looks were more important than handling for me.

So, like everything else in life it  really comes down to personal choice. .

Your car is great. Having the first one is also extra special.

On the seats, Carey said the same thing as you. I am very torn between the two different styles. What do you think about the grommets and the headrests?

Thanks guys. While Florida is very sunny, I don't plan on leaving it out in the sun too often. Plus, its a Coupe and I think the grommets are just too cool looking to pass up. I can keep a towel in the car in case I park it in the sun or get one of those windshield visors to block the sun.

Stone Gray was the color I first picked, but then I thought it was too light and a little Green. I want something a little darker, but I think the Slate Gray is is too dark. There is always Silver. A classic and with a Black leather interior and the Black gauges I picked on a Silver dash and Black and Silver Fuchs it would look great.

Everyone is telling me to go with the Monte Carlo seats (even my wife). So it looks like that will be the seat (with grommets).

@Joel Roth posted:

Thanks Lane. The mid-engine car is great. But for me, the extra space I am getting with the rear engine location was really important. But even if the mid-engine had the same extra space I would still pick the rear engine layout. I like the look of the interior with the rear seats better than the mid-engine layout with no rear seats.

Also, the rear engine layout allows you to open the rear engine lid and see an engine. Something I like. It is closer to the original in looks. Even though it is "rear engine", it is more forward than the original, and has a modern suspension, so it will handle far better. However, the mid-engine will handle even better because of the weight distribution. So if you are not too tall and plan on racing the car, the mid-engine would be a better choice. But since I am 6'2" and not really planning on racing, the rear engine car was a better choice for me. Comfort and looks were more important than handling for me.

So, like everything else in life it  really comes down to personal choice. .

Your car is great. Having the first one is also extra special.

On the seats, Carey said the same thing as you. I am very torn between the two different styles. What do you think about the grommets and the headrests?

@Joel Roth have you sat on the seat?  Once you do you will know. Also how your using the car can dictate how comfortable you need them to be 😎

@Joel Roth posted:

Thanks guys. While Florida is very sunny, I don't plan on leaving it out in the sun too often. Plus, its a Coupe and I think the grommets are just too cool looking to pass up. I can keep a towel in the car in case I park it in the sun or get one of those windshield visors to block the sun.

Stone Gray was the color I first picked, but then I thought it was too light and a little Green. I want something a little darker, but I think the Slate Gray is is too dark. There is always Silver. A classic and with a Black leather interior and the Black gauges I picked on a Silver dash and Black and Silver Fuchs it would look great.

Everyone is telling me to go with the Monte Carlo seats (even my wife). So it looks like that will be the seat (with grommets).

Alan just warns people about the hot rivets but he never shows us a picture of him wearing the shorts in which he got burned so I searched the internet and I think I found the picture:

1469616869_269fa463be_b

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Last edited by Robert M
@Joel Roth posted:

No I have not sat in the seats. The company is in Austin, TX and I am in Miami, FL. I don't think I will be able to sit in them until I buy them. That's why I am asking if anyone has sat in them and can tell me how they feel compared to the Speedster seats

Joel, GTS is the company that’s building Marty his Alfa seats. From what Marty has posted, they seem pretty amenable to making the customer happy.
I’d call them and ask someone if they have a dealer in Miami. I can’t believe there isn’t some resto/repair/speed shop in Miami that stocks GTS seats.

Last edited by dlearl476

On a different note, I was thinking of using a turned engine metal product to cover the face of the dash. I have not seen anything like this in any 356's I have seen, but I would think that someone has done this before.

It was a popular treatment in a lot of luxury cars and hot rod cars in the 50's and 60's. If you  are not failure with this treatment it consists of machining a series of overlapping circles onto the face of metal. It is sometimes also referred to as jeweling. You do not see this finish too often today. Mostly in high end cars or customs. They make it in different size circles from 1/2" to 1 1/2" for car interiors.

It is very time consuming to do yourself. But today they sell pre-made sheets of stainless steel or aluminum that are not too expensive. Maybe $150-250 to cover the face of a dash in a 356. But the look you will get will be amazing. They also sell a metallic vinyl that is very inexpensive, but I rather spend a little more for the real thing. The company that makes this product will even cut it for you as well as make the cutouts for all the gauges and switches if you send them a pattern with the location of the cutouts.

Let me know what you think?

Here is a picture of the product:

Image result for turned engine metal dash

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Last edited by Joel Roth

Joel:  There's a wrap for that!

Someone on here did that treatment to a 550 Spyder dash insert.  My only caveat would be that 356 lower dash is curved under slightly - If you can get the aluminum sheet to follow that curve, you're golden.  

Try googling "Engine Turned Wrap" or "Engine Turned Aluminum Wrap" and you should get a bunch of hits. Make a paper template of where you want it to be, cut it out to fit, peel of the backing and stick it on.  Easy-Peasy and few, if any, will detect that it's a plastic wrap.  Even the later Pontiac Trans-Am dash was a plastic, engine-turned insert.

Here's the first one that popped up:

https://www.amazon.com/Engine-...-Curve/dp/B0057YJOBK

Last edited by Gordon Nichols

Thanks. I saw the vinyl/plastic products but I am concerned that they will start to peal after a few years. Plus, they will not have the same feel as the real stuff.

I know the metal sheets they use are very thin and will flex to follow simple curves, so, I think it will work. I may ask Carey to flatten the face of the dash first to have as flat a surface to work with to start. I was thinking of using it across the entire dash including the glove box and radio area.

Joel,

First, let me start by saying that I'm really impressed with you and with the choices you are making with this car. Deciding to go with the rear engine is absolutely the right thing, in my unwashed opinion. Yes, it means the balance is compromised, but the space that is gained will make the car far, far more useful for the kind of "GT" application a coupe seems to be designed for. A good driver in a rear-engined car can run circles around a lesser driver in a better balanced car, and most guys here can't (or don't want to) really drive hard anyhow - so I'm unsure how and when this became a thing.

There's also the "essence" of the car to consider. How much of the original soul of a car do you want to preserve? Keeping the rear engine layout, and going with a Porsche mill is going to keep the flavor of the original car strong.

The seats you are considering are really cool, eyelets and all. The difficulty in a protracted build process is in determining the ethos of the car and keeping an eye on the prize. The car (when finished) will not be a collection of pieces, ideally it will be a seamless whole. Individual choices bolster that whole, or detract from it. Some cars just ooze their purpose - Jim Ignacio's car nails this, as does Marcel's (over on the other side of the pond) most recently. On those cars, everything that should be there is there, and everything that should not be there isn't.

It's much, much easier to pull off if you know what you want the car to be. You are asking our opinion on things, but we're just getting a sense of what it is you are after. What we are seeing from the other side of the screen are some pretty cool individual parts, but whether or not they work with your particular build is something only you can really know - because it is you who has the idea what you think the car should be.

A guy can make these cars into almost anything, but not into EVERYTHING all at once. It's just as easy to do too much as not enough.

If I understand the idea (the essence, the ethos) of your car, I wouldn't do the turned metal dash. I think it'd look busy and a little too "precious".

But the important thing is what you see. If it fits with your vision of what this car will be, what you'd like it to say, how you'd like to use it - then go for it. You do you. We'll be out here, at the other end of the wire, watching it go together.

Thanks for bringing us along for the ride.

Last edited by Stan Galat

Stan:

Thank-you for your kind words. I understand exactly what you are saying. I am trying to build a car that captures the look, but more importantly the spirit of a Porsche 356 Outlaw Coupe. There are certain "key" elements that most Porsche 356 Outlaw Coupes share, but they are not all them same. There are various degrees of "Outlaw" from mild to let's say "wild". And within that framework there are a lot of individual choices one can make like paint color to wheels to engine and still have what is clearly an "Outlaw" Coupe.

I am looking to personalize it for me to reflect my particular vision. As you said, a "great" car is not just a collection of its individual parts, but it is the overall effect of all these individual items and choices and how they come together that make the car. You can certainly "overdo" it, by trying to do too much.

That is what everyone who builds and/or designs a car has to guard against. You have this vision and this idea of all the things you like and want in a car, but putting them all into one particular car may not work. In the end the car needs to be a harmonious collection of its parts. It needs to be whole. By trying to stuff everything you like and want into the car you may lose the spirit of what you are trying to achieve. I get it.

In this case, my thought process with building this Outlaw Coupe, is less is more. That is the spirt of the thing. That is its essence, its beauty and purity. And that is why this forum is very important and very helpful to me. I really appreciate the comments and feedback. To talk about these things with people who have this car, who built this car, who love and appreciate this car is invaluable. It helps me with making individual decisions and also to see the line and if I crossed it.

I will give you one example. I love gauges. I love the look of an aircraft cockpit interior. Initially, I was thinking I wanted to replicate this look for the dash/interior of my car. So, initially I thought I would use two 4" gauges above the steering wheel for the speedo and tach, and then add six other 2 1/6" gauges in the center of the dash for fuel, water temp, oil temp, oil pressure, volts and the clock. I quickly realized (with impute from Carey) that this would not work. It probably would not fit, even if I moved one of the gauges in between the tach and speedo. Even if it did fit, it would make the dash too cluttered and too busy. Something was being lost. So I went back and reworked the gauge layout. Now I plan on using three 4" gauges: tach centered above the steering wheel, speedo to the right and one 4" quad gauge with water temp, oil temp, oil pressure and volts to the left, and one stand alone 2 5/8" fuel gauge in the center of the dash where the clock traditionally would go. I am not going to use a clock in this layout.  This layout copies the original layout but is modernized and given an Outlaw feel with the use of Black face gauges with Black bezels and white numbers and red tips on modern analog gauges.  The look and spirt of the original car is preserved and captured.

Thanks,

Joel

Last edited by Joel Roth

As Stan so beautifully explained, his usual style, one should flesh out his vision of what one wants his car to be.  Having been to Carlisle a few times you get to see the expressions of each owner in their cars.  I really appreciated that it brings reality to the hobby and the multitude of likes, dislikes and opinions. You go from 356 CLONE, to outlaw,  to hoopty all in one day. (referencing the hoopty creation here) love it.

BTW, Tanner has a really nice Dash set up with a LARGER tach from a 911 then on both sides the other normal 356 gauges, speedo etc.  If @Tanner Speedster he could post a pict you might like it.  Not SCoupe style but very nice IMO.

I sometime think the multiple guage from a 911 showing 4 items ould be a nice addition on my dash,.. just saying.  Enjoy the ride adon Yoel.

Hi Gordon:

I am going for an overall Outlaw Coupe look. The exterior/interior colors are still undecided at this time. However, the top four exterior/interior combinations in order are:

1. Slate Gray/Oxblood.

2.Graphite Gray Metallic/Tan/Saddle.

3. Nardo Gray/Black.

4. Silver/Black.

For the overall build I am planning on doing an Outlaw Style Coupe:

1. Remove front and rear bumpers.

2. Center Fuel Tank/Gas Cap.

3. Twin front clear driving lights.

4. Stone guards on headlights.

5. Twin front yellow lower fog lights.

6. Fuchs rims with Black centers and polished rims.

7. Twin racing style mirrors.

8. Beehive rear tail lights.

9. Twin tip center mounted exhaust.

10. Interior roll bar.

11. Rear engine (Porsche 911 996 motor with 320 +/- HP with 6 speed manual transmission.)

12. Speed Hut interior gauges with Black faces, black bezels and white numbers and red tips.

Last edited by Joel Roth

Joel:  I've got the picture of the engine turned lower dash in my head and can see where you're going with it, but refresh me with what colors you are planning for the car's exterior and for the interior colors, especially if you have a dash-top cover.   The jewelry-like look of that dash intrigues me no end.

Engine turned looks great even on my recent dune buggy buildblue buggy ad 5 [2)

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Yes, that's basically the same as what I am planning on doing, except I am removing the fuel gauge from the quad gauge and adding an oil temp and then using a stand alone fuel gauge in the center of the dash where the clock would go. Your gauges are the traditional 356 Speedster green. Mine are going to be black faced with black bezels and white numbers and red pointers. More like the gauges in a 911. But yours looks great. What a classic 356 Speedster should look like.

Last edited by Joel Roth

I know. The Speedster has a much smaller dash just like the 550 Spyder. I think the  turned engine material looks good in small areas. But I have also seen it used in larger areas across an entire dash.  So I think it would look good applied to the Coupe dash.

The real question is whether it goes with the Outlaw look I an trying to achieve?

One view is that it is too luxurious and does not go. Yes, I think it can look very luxurious in a luxury car. But I also think it has a kind of industrial look or feel to it that would also go well with an Outlaw look.

Feel free to chime it here.

Joel

Last edited by Joel Roth

Hey your car looks great. And if its what you want then so much the better. Copy away. Look Emory invented the Outlaw look. Everyone who builds an Outlaw is copying something to some extent from his work and designs.

I love his work. However, that said, I do not love everything that he did for my car. This is where you have to pick and chose what you like and do not like for you. Then you get to add things or change things to suit your tastes. One size does not fit all. You do what you want and what you like.

Joel

Last edited by Joel Roth

I kept my dash stock, except for the A/C vents below it.  To capture the outlaw vibe I went with Speedster seats, the roll bar, racing harnesses, the custom steering wheel, and the aluminum pedals, including a dead pedal that Carey added.  I think it captured my desired ambience quite well - emphasis on "my".  I have a feeling you're car, although different from mine, will be equally successful at capturing your desired ambience.

This process is kinda fun, isn't it?   By the way, this Emory outlaw was my inspiration: https://silodrome.com/porsche-356-outlaw-car/

Last edited by Lane Anderson

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