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Thursday, January 7, 2016

Hot Wheels Porsche 356 Outlaw



Hot Wheels has been on a gauntlet making Porsche, along with BMW, more noticeable now that Ferrari is out of the picture for now.  However, despite the new onslaught of 911's, racing Porsche's, and other models the original Porsche, the 356, seems to be left out.  Originally Hot Wheels was going to resolve that problem with a new casting, the 356 roadster in black for the Retro Entertainment series "Top Gun" movie.  The casting was done and ready to go and then....nothing.  Turns out Hot Wheels cancelled the model at the last minute, but why?!?!?!  Turns out Hot Wheels had something even more better for 2016, an opportunity that it could not pass up.



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The original idea for the Porsche started with the original VW Beetle that was designed for Adolf Hitler as a commuter car that would be practical on the new Autobahn in Germany.  Ferdinand "Ferry: Porsche designed the car and used parts from his father's Beetle to create the 356 as a sports car with great handing for the track that the Beetle could not offer.  After a few revisions the 356 was sold to the public under the new Porsche name.  The car was popular for the track as it was light, nimble, and with an engine that was actually placed over the rear axle better weight distribution.  The car would continue until 1965 as the 356C which started to take some styling cues of its successor the 911.  What's so special about the Outlaw?  This was designed by Magnus Walker, a well-known British car enthusiast that specializes in modifying the classic 356 with more power and better handling while still keeping the classic parts (no rest-mod here).  Start with the engine: instead of the 1.6L flat-4 boxer engine it uses the 912 3.6L flat-six motor with modifications done inside and out of the engine block to produce 185 hp. through a 5-speed manual.  Emory Motorsports originally crowned the Outlaw 356's back in the 1960's and now Magnus Walker does it his own way to make some more modifications to create his Urban Outlaw.


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Walker designed this casting so there are a few differences from his real Urban Outlaw 356 and the Hot Wheels versions shown here.  The front has the large round headlights with signal lights below and no bumpers front and rear whatsoever.  The front has cooling ducts that are not on the real car, but the hood straps are and they lead up to a cool feature: the exposed gas cap for the fuel tank.  No more having to always open the front hood to filler up!  The flat black treatment is nice and goes along with the red and gold stripes with the lower side stripes just like the RS stripes with Outlaw inside and the UO logo on the doors.  The Magnus Walker union jack flag appears on the front fenders.  The rear side windows have louvered vents, while the rear has the fastback roofline, vents on the rear trunk, round taillights and dual exhausts to spruce up the rather flat area.


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Inside the dashboard is nicely laid out with banjo 3-spoke steering wheel ahead of three round gauges, a flat face with central radio and switches, shifter on the floor and in comfortable reach, and front bucket seats with a little more bolstering.  The rear seat is available but is mostly useless and rear visibility is poor, but it is one fun car on the track.  The only problem I found on the track is that the car's wheels are pushed in and that results in body roll which then in turn causes the car to get a bit squirlly and tend to buck the rear end out, yet it is still controllable and still fun to drive!


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While most are upset that Hot Wheels dropped the 356 roadster this 356 Urban Outlaw is ten times better and more fun to look at and play with.  And heck even Hot Wheels will release the roadster eventually at one point so don't worry about that and just enjoy the Outlaw!

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