Would you drive a Porsche 911 through the desert? Probably not, unless you could blast through the dunes in a 911 Safari, a purpose-built rally car with big, knobby tires and over a foot of ground clearance. Lucky for you, a 1978 example that’s dying to hit the trail just went up for sale.
The Safari started life as a standard 911 SC sitting just a few inches off the ground on low-profile tires. It’s now riding on light truck tires, which is the kind of rubber you’re more likely to find on a Chevrolet Silverado than on a classic German sports car. It has received a long list of off-road-focused modifications including a limited-slip differential and an upgraded gearbox with shorter gear ratios, which helps with traction and power delivery. The transformation also added a thick skid plate that prevents rocks from finding a new home in the 3.2-liter flat-six engine.
“This car drives through anything. Rocks, sand dunes, river beds, it will even go over ditches! You can pretty much go wherever you want to go,” said Bert Houtmann, the Porsche’s owner, in an interview with enthusiast magazine 911 & Porsche World.
The car has already proven itself. About a decade ago it participated in the Transsyberia Rally, a grueling 14-day event that took participants all the way from Moscow, Russia, to Ulan Bator, Mongolia. The 911 didn’t win the event, but it survived. The risks of getting stuck in a ditch in the Ural Mountains, or getting caught in the current while crossing a river in Mongolia, are very real.
This Porsche sounds nothing short of awesome, right? There are some caveats, of course. First off, it’s priced at 129,900 euros, a sum that represents approximately $150,000 at the current conversion rate. For that price, you can buy a brand-new 911 — and a very nice one, at that. Second off, the car is located in Belgium, so unless you live in Europe you won’t be able to drive it home.
The good news is that it’s 39 years old, so importing it to the United States is a straightforward process. It looks like it’s street legal, too. So, what are you waiting for? Hop on the next flight to Belgium!
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