Few car brands in the world can hold a candle to Porsche, especially given the history of the Porsche 911 Safari. While still popular today, the 911 Safari played an important part in motorsports history dating back to at least the 1970s. They inspired some big changes in car development that can be seen even today. Here is a deeper look at the history of the Porsche 911 Safari.
A Stock Off-Road Sports Car
The 911 Safari starts its claim to fame at the East African Safari Rally. It is said to be one of, if not the toughest races in the world, mainly because it goes through the African wilderness. It’s an off-road race, which is surprising for Porsche, considering that it is an on-road sports car company. However, Porsche took the racing world by storm by entering a 911 in the race.
Going Stock for the Race
What also makes this so fascinating is that the 911 for the race was almost entirely stock. There were a few modifications made to the car, such as:
- Extending the suspension to raise ground clearance
- Adding additional lighting
- Adding body protection in key areas
- Installing a roll cage for driver protection
Modifications were minimal for basic safety precautions, but no unnecessary performance enhancements were made. In a race where many companies make thorough upgrades to every part of a car for better performance, Porsche believed in its performance so much that it didn’t feel the need to make modifications.
The First Run Went Well
The first run of the 911 Safari in the East African Safari Rally went well. In fact, the two teams scored second and fourth. Perhaps the only reason they didn’t get first is because the second-place car suffered a major impact that broke a key piece of the rear powertrain.
Not to be deterred, Porsche 911 Safaris have been entered in every rally ever since. In 2011, the #14 911 Safari won the team’s first first-place win. The #14 car has been restored and is on display in the Porsche museum to this day.
The 2012 Porsche 911 Vision Safari
After its big win in 2011, Porsche decided to make a more city-driver-friendly version to commemorate their win. This led to the development of the 2012 Porsche 911 Vision Safari. It maintained much of the design of the #14 911 that won the year before, including the roll cage and off-road capabilities. It was even tested in Africa before reaching final production.
Porsche continues to compete in the East African Safari Rally, and it continues to develop new design features for commercial versions of the Safari as well. Things like a raised suspension and enhanced body stylings that you can find on modern 911s are the direct result of its performance in the East African Safari Rally, and other events. It just goes to show that a well-designed car with the right equipment doesn’t need heavy modifications to perform well. All you need is a good stock car made by one of the finest sports car manufacturers in the world.
Explore the Exciting History of Porsche with Porsche Hangout
Porsche is an exciting brand that is more than just its on-road performance. It makes high-quality cars that can go anywhere in style. The company’s history is riddled with interesting events and stories you may not believe. Join us at Porsche Hangout to learn more about the exciting history of Porsche and how it grew into the automotive powerhouse that it is today.