This is a 1986 Porsche 944 that has been given a comprehensive rebuild to “Safari Rally” specification. It now boasts 11 inches of ground clearance thanks to its lifted (and fully-adjustable) suspension, and it has a front-mounted winch just in case you ever get stuck.
The Porsche 944 model series proved highly successful in motorsport throughout the 1980s on both sides of the Atlantic, and today they make an increasingly attractive option for those looking to enter the world of Porsche ownership.
Fast Facts – A “Safari Rally” Porsche 944
- 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 earlier 924, it has wider wheel arches and a slew of upgrades to differentiate it from its less-costly sibling, and it would later form the foundation of the Porsche 968 model that would succeed it.
- All 944s were powered by inline-four cylinder engines ranging in displacement from 2.5 to 3.0 liters, 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 a slew of modifications to turn it into an off-road capable racer. It now has almost 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 sibling.
The 924 had originally been developed as a Porsche/Volkswagen project as a new affordable sports car, VW would eventually cancel the deal but Porsche bought the rights to the design and put it into production themselves as their own entry level vehicle.
It’s possible that this decision saved the company as both the 924 and 944 sold well, in fact up until that point 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. This was an out-and-out race car that competed in both rally and circuit racing, it 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 until 1991. It became one of the true 1980s classics and it remains popular with the Radwood faithful today. Thanks in part to their high production numbers its still possible to buy 944s for relatively little money, though of course the Turbo and “S” models always fetch a bit more.
The “Safari Rally” Specification Porsche 944 Shown Here
The Porsche 944 you see here now benefits from a wide range of upgrades to turn it into the Safari Rally car we all wish Porsche had built in the 1980s. The original suspension has been removed and replaced with lifted, fully-adjustable suspension on all four corners.
This has given the car a full 11 inches of ground clearance, and it now rides on a set of white 15 inch “Teledial” alloy wheels, fitted with with BFGoodrich K02 Baja Champion tires. A basket-type roof rack has been installed, it contains a red ATS “Cookie Cutter” spare wheel and matching K02 tire.
For better nighttime visibility a custom-built light bar is mounted on the front bumper, it hosts four 9-inch Hella 4000 rally spotlights and there’s a toggle switch in the cabin to fire them up. A functional 2,500 lb winch is also mounted within the front bumper to help get you out of difficult situations.
The car is now carrying a period correct Rothmans color scheme, the same one used on the legendary 1986 Paris-Dakar-winning Porsche. Inside you’ll find a burgundy interior that’s been fitted with two burgundy Braum Racing Elite X seats and red Sabelt harnesses, and the dashboard is now covered with Alcantara.
If you’d like to read more about this car or register to bid you can visit the listing here on Collecting Cars. It’s being sold out of Los Angeles, California.
Images courtesy of Collecting Cars
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