This is a 1986 Porsche 944 which has been completely rebuilt to “Safari Rally” specification. It now has 11 inches of ground clearance thanks to its raised (and fully adjustable) suspension, and it has a front-mounted winch in case you get stuck.
The Porsche 944 model series proved highly successful in motorsport throughout the 1980s on both sides of the Atlantic, and today it is an increasingly attractive option for those looking to enter in the world of Porsche ownership.
Briefly – A Porsche 944 “Safari Rally”
- The Porsche 944 was introduced in 1982 as a new mid-range Porsche that sat above the Porsche 924 and below the Porsche 911 and Porsche 928.
- The 944 is largely based on the previous 924, it has wider wheel arches and a host of upgrades to differentiate it from its less expensive sibling, and it would later form the basis of the Porsche 968 model which succeeded it.
- All 944s were powered by inline four-cylinder engines ranging in displacement from 2.5 to 3.0 litres, the top-of-the-line Turbo models were the fastest – and today the most desirable.
- The “Safari Rally” specification Porsche 944 you see here has received many modifications to make it an off-road racing car. It now has nearly a foot of ground clearance.
The Porsche 944
The Porsche 944 was released in 1982 as an upgraded version of the Porsche 924 and it was sold as a new model alongside its sister.
The 924 was originally developed as a Porsche/Volkswagen project as a new affordable sports car, VW would eventually cancel the deal, but Porsche bought the design rights and put it into production itself as entry-level vehicle.
It is possible that this decision saved the company as the 924 and 944 sold well. In fact, up to that time in history, the 944 was the most produced sports car in Porsche history, with over 163,000 built.
The 944 is believed to have been closely based on the styling of the aggressive Porsche 924 Carrera GT released in 1979. It was a standout racing car which competed in both rallying and circuit racing, it has was developed for Group 4 competition and it was powered by a turbocharged and intercooled version of the 924 inline-four.
Porsche would keep the 944 in production from 1982 to 1991. It became one of the true classics of the 1980s and remains popular with Radwood faithful today. Thanks in part to their high production numbers, it’s still possible to buy 944s for relatively little money, though the Turbo and “S” models still fetch a bit more.
The Porsche 944 “Safari Rally” specification pictured here
The Porsche 944 you see here now benefits from a wide range of upgrades to make it the Safari Rally car we all wish Porsche had built in the 1980s. The original suspension has been removed and replaced with a raised seat fully adjustable at all four corners.
This gave the car a full 11 inches of ground clearance, and it now rolls on a set of 15-inch white “Teledial” alloy wheels, fitted with BFGoodrich K02 Baja Champion tires. A basket type roof rack has been fitted, this contains a red ATS “Cookie Cutter” spare wheel and matching K02 tyre.
For better nighttime visibility, a bespoke light bar is fitted to the front bumper, it houses four 9-inch Hella 4000 rally lights and there is a rocker switch in the cabin to turn them on. A functional 2,500 lb winch is also mounted in the front bumper to help you out of tight situations.
The car now wears a period Rothmans color scheme, the same used on the legendary Paris-Dakar winning Porsche in 1986. Inside you will find a burgundy interior which has been fitted with two Braum Racing Elite seats X burgundy and red Sabelt harnesses, and the dashboard is now upholstered in Alcantara.
If you want to learn more about this car or register to bid, you can visit the listing here on Collecting Cars. It is sold in Los Angeles, California.
Images courtesy of Collecting Cars
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