Turning a stock automobile into something more interesting and more fun is limited only by the builder’s imagination. You can accomplish this goal with anything from light mods up to an engine transplant, and anything else in between or even beyond those approaches. One of my favorite ways to modify a car is to start with something that should never see a lick of dirt and then “safari” it. That’s where you raise it up a bit, add some underbody protection, install beefy tires, and then take it off of the tarmac and into the unknown.
That’s what racing driver Patrick Long did with a 1985 Porsche 911. Now, there have certainly been rally-prepped 911 examples over the years, but Long’s Porsche didn’t start out that way. This was your standard 911 Carrera, but it’s been given a new life as a car ready for the East African Safari.
Long built the car for a Luftgekuhlt event–a gathering of air-cooled Porsche enthusiasts–and sold it for charity. Both Long and the new owner, Eli Kogan, brought the upgraded 911 over to Jay Leno’s Garage. It’s there that we learn a bit more about this wonderful machine.
The build gave it 10 inches of ground clearance (even though it doesn’t look like it), KW Suspension parts, skid plates, aggressive bumpers, and Braid Wheels. There’s a roof rack carrying a spare tire, another spare in the trunk up front, and the rest of the car carries supreme style.
This is the Porsche 911 that leaves other Porsche owners dreaming a bit. Their car can’t do this…but it could be made to look like this and drive like this. That’s what is so great about a vehicle that’s received the “safari” treatment.
As per the norm, Jay gets a chance to drive this rally-ready Porsche. He takes it out on the street and heads to a prepped off-road course, where he channels his best inner Jeff Zwart. If you don’t know who that is, look him up. We all want to be like him when we grow up around here.