Mention Porsche 911 to most people, and images of a canyon-carving, road-going sports car come to mind. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that, because 911s are freaking awesome on the street but it also means people often forget about this car’s rally pedigree. We haven’t forgotten by any means, and neither has Matt Farah of The Smoking Tire fame. In fact, he just got a classic rally-spec 911 of his own that apparently is his new daily driver. Not going to lie – we’re a bit jealous about that.
If this car looks strangely familiar, it’s because we’ve seen similar off-road 911s like the before. It’s a Keen Project Safari 911, built by pro race driver and Porsche connoisseur Leh Keen. He’s built only a handful of these cars, and they aren’t just 911s with light pods and knobby tyres. Farah drove the first build and decided he needed one of his own, and the result is this 1987 911 Carrera.
Gallery: Matt Farah Keen Project Safari Porshce 911
Aside from the obvious changes to the tyres and lights, the 911 gets a four-inch lift with Elephant Racing suspension. The torsion beam setup in the rear remains so it’s not a full-on coilover arrangement, but it’s still plenty awesome for tackling the rough-and-ready streets around LA. The car was rebuilt front to back, and a fresh 3.2-litre flat-six from BBI Autosport sits under the rear wing. It’s not a power monster – Farah estimates it only makes a few more ponies over stock – but it’s enough to have fun.
Inside, we’re not sure about that funky print which Farah calls a bus design, but the greenhouse looks wonderfully minimalistic and cozy. The driver seat is fitted to him and bolted directly to the floor; the rear seat is out with a classic style rollbar in the back, and there’s a nifty stereo to belt out tunes while navigating California streets or dusty desert trails.
This off-road-ready 911 certainly wouldn’t be out-of-place in a proper stage rally event, but yes, Farah actually intends to use his Project Safari Porsche as a daily driver. That’s quite a ride for jetting around the city, but honestly, the suspension is compliant and it looks like it would be a comfortable ride. And with that kind of ground clearance, we suspect there isn’t a speed bump or steep driveway in the world that could stop it.
Source: The Smoking Tire via YouTube