Mechanix invites us to Emory Motorsports for a crash course in metalworking


by Glenn Oyoung

The invitation from old friend Victor Carillo from the ID Agency came through a circutious e-mail chain that ended up with a “it’s a small world” moment. In this small world I received an invitation to check out Emory Motorsports and bang on some metal thanks to Mechanix Wear and the launch of their new  M-Pact (you guessed it) impact gloves. I reached out to my pal Steven Lam from RPM Garage as he shares my innate curiosity about anyone who is an automotive artisan and we headed out to Emory Motorsport’s new shop.

Our gracious host Rod Emory is known worldwide for taking vintage Porsches and doing things to them that make boy racers like me drool — and for many years, straw-hatted-and-blue-blazered purists wince. A third-generation gear head, Rod and his wife Amy started Emory Motorsports in Oregon in 1996 to restore vintage Porsches, build Porsche race cars, and provide trackside support. Not long after they built the Emory Special to prove the haters wrong — and Emory Motorsports was off to the races (pun totally intended) with their incredible souped up “Outlaws.”

Fast forward a couple of decades and Rod and his team have become the place to not only buy a super fast 356 Outlaw or Emory Special, but also to have your classic Porsche restored.

If you’ve been to Porsche Experience Center Los Angeles (PECLA) last year you probably were stopped dead in your tracks by the beautiful  Porsche Gmund SL 063 which won its class in Le Mans in 1951. Client Cameron Healy commissioned Emory Motorsports to bring this work of art back to its former glory.

After learning the history of Emory Motorsports and seeing the steps it takes to make an Emory Special or 356 Outlaw, I got the chance to get some hands-on experience shaping a 10×12 sheet of metal into a bowl/plate/hat (I’m a multi-tasker and so are the things I make, thank you very much) after donning a pair of M-Pact gloves.

Heretofore my Mechanix gloves had only protected me from used oil and pesky brake dust. I hadn’t done anything remotely approaching this level of danger to my digits since using the animated walking ant border in PowerPoint 2010. So to be quite honest I was a little bit anxious about getting involved in the cutting, grinding, and banging going on all around me.

Look Ma, I still have both hands! And I made a plhat (plate-hat)!

My coaches at Emory Motorsports egged me on as I bashed, grinded, and jack-hammered the hell out of my metal plate.

Sparks flew at one point, around the same time I realized that I could literally slice my abdomen open if I lost my grip. Eventually my confidence grew and my “plhat” was born. It’s a plate and a hat. Very useful for El Niño years.

After touring Emory we stopped by LA Department of Water and Power’s Headworks Reservoir construction site to see M-Pact gloves in action. From 356 Outlaws to graders I had a great day and I had a set of M-Pact gloves and my shiny plhat to remember it  by.