Want a Porsche for the road or track? Go with a 911. Want to take one off road? A Jeep it may not be, but you’d be better off with a Cayenne… right? Well, as fans of the 911 Safari would tell you, that’s not necessarily the case.
Safari was the name given to 911s prepared (often by the manufacturer) for rallying – often to dramatic effect: the 1984 Paris-Dakar, the 1970 precursor of the World Rally Championship, and the Monte Carlo rallies of 1968, ’69, ’70, and ’78 were all won in Porsche 911s.
The one you see here is not one of those factory originals. It’s a 1978 Carrera SC that’s been converted for the purpose by rally specialist (and prostate surgeon) Dr. Erik Brandenburg to echo the one he drove in the 2007 Transsyberia Rally that was ultimately won by (you guessed it) a Porsche Cayenne.
It packs a 3.2-liter flat-six good for about 250 horsepower, all channeled to the rear wheels through a specific rally gearbox – no flappy paddles or all-wheel drive here. Just some big tires and a lot of suspension travel. The 16-inch Fuchs alloys wear giant 85-series Hankook mud/terrain light truck tires, and the wheel arches and suspension have been heavily modified to accommodate them. So has the bodywork: while it’s mostly original, it’s all been spot-welded to the point that it doesn’t need a strut brace or roll cage for rigidity, and painted in a fantastic-looking monochrome version of the iconic Martini Racing livery that Brandenburg ran across Syberia.
It has little in the way of luxuries – just a sunroof to sub for the a/c – but hasn’t quite been stripped out to lighten the weight, either: the entire underbody is covered in heavy steel plating to protect the engine and undercarriage.
With over 88,000 miles on the odometer, it’s clearly been driven, and driven hard. And from what we can see, each mile must have been a blast. If it looks like your idea of fun, check out the listing from Belgian dealer Iconiccars, which has it posted on JamesEdition for €129,900 – or about $153k at current exchange rates. For that kind of money, you could almost get yourself into a brand-new 911 Turbo or Cayenne Turbo S. But as fast and capable as either of those would be, we’d bet this one would be even more fun to drive.