This Porsche 911 Carrera ‘Safari’ is an incredible bespoke build, boasting remarkable off-road performance and superb attention to detail, and which is in excellent condition throughout. Tested at the end of 2019 for 911 & Porsche World magazine, Editor Steve Bennett answered the question of whether he had ever had more fun in a 911, stating: “I don’t think I have. In fact I don’t think it would be possible”.

Built up from the stripped-down bare shell of a UK-market 1984 Carrera 3.2 – which had previously been modified for use as a track day car – this jacked-up Safari conversion was designed to be a more luxurious take on the ‘off-road 911’, which the builder says is more like a classic Range Rover Vogue than a Land Rover. Rather than being a pared-back motorsport creation, the creator wanted this project to produce something that could be driven to and from an adventure in comfort. To that end, it features leather and cloth trim for the seats, a leather dashboard and door cards, and a fully carpeted floor.

At the heart of the build is the 3.6-litre air-cooled flat-six from a 993, producing 293bhp, coupled to the earlier five-speed 915 manual transmission with a limited-slip differential. So endowed, the tractable 993 engine gives this Safari 911 wonderfully accessible performance – it is as easy to drive in urban environments as it is off-road. The engine also has a custom exhaust system that is tucked up under the car, so it will not ground out or restrict approach and departure angles.

The 1984 Carrera shell was treated to a complete new roof, new front wings and new door skins. The shell has been reinforced at critical points, and carefully prepared and sealed to prevent water ingress. It is enhanced with reinforced sidebars that are mounted into the jacking points, as well as front and rear protection bars mounted to the chassis and suspension pick-up points. There is also full underbody protection with guard panels, and all of the chrome and door frames are new or refurbished items.

Its bodywork and paint were entrusted to Riviera Autobody in Wallingford, and it now presents in restored condition, though certainly not restored specification. The ‘Safari rally’ look is further achieved with a classic ‘ducktail’ engine lid, and four bonnet-mounted Cibie spotlights. The bullet-style door mirrors are the same items used on 911s reimagined by Singer Vehicle Design. This car also features a colour-coded roll cage in the cabin for additional strength, built by Steve Monk of BodyWerks, as well as a full installation of sound-deadening material.

Its suspension is another obvious modification, though in fact it uses the original specification Bilstein struts, which have been lengthened by four inches at the front axle, with Von Shocks internals from Elephant Racing. There are also longer-travel Von dampers at the rear. It is equipped with larger torsion bars for rigidity, and all of the suspension rubbers and bushes have been replaced with high-grade items from Porsche suspension specialist Elephant Racing.

In the cabin, there is a pair of composite Recaro SPG bucket seats, which have trimmed in a custom blend of tan leather for the bolsters and headrest sections, and striped ‘Carrera’ script fabric for the centres and base cushions. The tan leather also appears on the door cards, which have fabric door pulls and release straps, while the ‘Carrera’ cloth is inlaid across the black leather dashboard. All of the upholstery was commissioned to Porsche interior specialist PF911 in Wales. The ECU and wiring has also been moved and re-routed to prevent exposure to water.

Ahead of the driver is the classic collection of VDO instrument gauges, as well as a genuine 993 GT2 Clubsport steering wheel, trimmed in synthetic suede with a blue top centre marker. Mounted in the dashboard is a Continental CDD7418UB head unit, with CD player and DAB digital radio, as well as USB and Bluetooth connectivity.

A layered and polished wood gear knob, sourced from the same supplier used by Singer Vehicle Design, sits atop a partially exposed RenShift gear linkage, perfectly complementing the striped tan trim, as well as the colours of the carpets. As a special heritage addition, the hazard light switch was taken directly from the 1985 Porsche 959 ‘Safari’ factory car driven by Jacky Ickx – giving it a dash of Paris-Dakar provenance.

The vendor will carry out a service before new owner takes delivery, and reports that the car also comes with lots of history, including its original service book. The wheels – genuine 16x7 Fuchs alloys – are shod in 215/65 R16 BFGoodrich All-Terrain ‘Baja Champion’ tyres, which are all in excellent condition.

The most recent MOT test was carried out on 22 October 2020 at 157,803 miles, which resulted in a first-time pass with no advisories whatsoever. Over the last 14 years, the car has covered some 16,000 miles, and the online MOT history shows a very impressive record.

This Porsche 911 Carrera ‘Safari’ is an outstanding bespoke commission, which the builder and owner states “will go anywhere”; while in his 911 & Porsche World article, Steve Bennett called it “a Tonka toy in full size”. For someone who has always seen the allure of a 911 with the off-road string added to its bow, this is a compelling opportunity to acquire a beautifully finished and tried-and-tested example, and one which is certain not to disappoint.

The description of this auction lot is, to the best of the seller's knowledge, accurate and not misleading. Collecting Cars requests a range of detail about the lot from the seller, and performs a level of due diligence through HPI checks and MOT history where available. However, bidders must satisfy themselves as to the accuracy of the description, and conduct any research they feel is necessary before committing to a bid. Please see our Terms and Conditions for full details.

All UK-registered cars and motorbikes on Collecting Cars are run through an online HPI check. This vehicle shows no insurance database markers for damage or theft, and has no finance owing.

Please note: the cherished plate shown on the car is not included in the sale. It will be switched back to an age-related registration plate in the event of a successful auction.

Car Overview

  • 157,803 miles
  • manual
  • RHD
  • Blue
  • Tan leather
  • 3.6L
  • VINWP0ZZZ91ZES103131

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Lot Overview

  • Lot #01682
  • private Sale
  • Henley-on-Thames, United Kingdom


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