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Friday, April 15, 2016

This $275,000 Porsche 911 Rally Car is the Stuff of Dreams

BOLD RIDE

Copyright © 2016 Bold Ride LLC.
 
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The Porsche 911 is a bit of a car world conundrum. Over its 53 year existence, it has proven to be a tantalizing road car, a nigh unbeatable track star, as well as a proven off-road rally machine. It’s like a Swiss army knife made with full-size tools—why buy anything else? 
 
It’s this brutal all-rounder performance that cements the 911’s spot in the history books, and it’s a notion that’s embraced by this unique car—a custom 1985 Porsche 911 Carrera, built to channel the hallowed Safari rally cars.

Once a low-slung tarmac stormer, Porsche devotees Patrick Long and Howie Idelson decided to transform this 911 Carrera into a rally-style gravel basher. It was recently auctioned off at the Luftgekühlt (“air-cooled”) Porsche event—selling for $275,000—of which all proceeds were donated to the Autumn Leaves Project, a charity funding pancreatic cancer research.

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So what does it take to pull off the 911’s epic off-road rebirth? A lot of help apparently. Long and Idelson got together with a team of industry professionals to give the Carrera a custom suspension overhaul. In came new subframes, control arms, tie rods, and more, plus a set of custom long-travel KW dampers, which give the car nine inches of suspension travel and the same valving as some of the iconic Rothmans’ Porsche 911 rally cars. Heady stuff.

With the suspension sorted, the team turned to the Carrera’s revvy 3.2-liter boxer engine, giving it a full service and toughening it up with a new Sachs clutch, custom headers, and sports exhaust. Power now flows to a limited-slip rear differential, via the original Getrag five-speed.

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From the outside its new looks are commanding and purposeful. The 911 dons a pair of racy pod lights next to its standard beams, and each come wrapped in protective grilles. From front to rear, a full skid plate runs underneath and comes bookended with tube bumper bars, protecting its vulnerable underbelly. Rally-spec Pirelli rubber finds a home wrapped around gorgeous BRAID monoblock competition wheels. And really, who can turn their nose to a sports car with a roof-mounted tire carrier?

Inside, it’s much the same—elegant, functional, yet simple in execution. The rally star fits a custom roll bar, Recaro sport bucket seats, Schroth Racing harnesses, a bespoke gear shifter, and an OMP rally steering wheel.

The end result is a car that the team says can be both daily driver and off-roader. Truth be told, whether it’s driving to the shops or bombing through the desert… it will continue to dazzle.

Photo Credit: Jeff Zwart