Cars being off-roaded that were never intended to be off-roaded are the very best cars in the world and I’ll hear no argument otherwise. What could be more hilarious than somebody fitting AT tires on a Prius and trying to get that thing loose in the desert? What could possibly be more awesome than this hero taking a Ford Crown Vic rock crawling in Moab?
Until recently I’d have thought the answer was “nothing,” but then I ran across the greatest vehicular thing I’ve ever seen. This beautiful 1990 Porsche 964 (964 was the internal Porsche designation for that particular generation of the 911 model) transformed into an offroading beast by famed Wisconsin racecar builder Kelly-Moss. Porsche 911s rejiggered for the dirt aren’t exactly new. Since the 60s, 911s have kicked up plenty of dust and drifted through miles of gravel as rally cars. These “Safari 911s,” as they’re known, are beautiful little spitfires, but the Kelly-Moss build—which they’ve designated the “Safari RS 2.0 (it’s their second go at this), is something else entirely.
“This car needed to be as at home on rutted log trails as it was on the highway,” the builders explained. By the looks of this thing, driving it on the highway would be a crime.
The all-wheel-drive beauty rides around on a custom suspension setup that affords nine inches of travel to soften the blows from all the careening into roots and rocks and all the raucous air-catching. It has a wider, slightly meaner stance with custom fender flares to let the tires bounce to hell and back without breaking anything.
And because this car is clearly designed to crush any obstacles in your path in a post-apocalyptic hellscape, it wears some truly badass custom-fabricated bumpers that, for some reason, were considered stylistically risky when they decided to add them, according to the builders. The front bumper sports a Warn winch, as it should, with plenty of shackles and mounting points to help rescue this priceless piece of art, or, more likely, to pull less-equipped vehicles out of danger.
A full-on battery of high-powered LED lights adorn the front and rear, with the signature bar of four lights fixed to the hood, reminiscent of Porsche rally cars of the past.
The engine appears to be stock, so all of this off-road incredibleness is powered by an air/oil-cooled flat six, pumping out 247 HP. More than enough to climb near-vertical trails and power through snow, sand, the envious stares of people on the trail riding in non-Porsche offroad vehicles.
I love a rigged-out truck as much as the next off-road enthusiast, but toss a few fishing rods under the hood, strap a tent and sleeping bag to the roof, and I’d take this Porsche to the fishing hole over my Toyota Tacoma every single time. And, yeah, used 911s typically run north of 40K and can go much higher than that, but you can also find older project vehicles for under 15K. Not chump change, but not a deal breaker, either.
This is not the same Porsche build, but just look at the possibilities!
Photos courtesy of Kelly-Moss
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