As with the Porsches sent up Nevado Ojos del Salado in Chile, the “Porsche 911 Safari” was less of a bespoke rebuild of the classic sports car than a standard 911 given the basics of off-road functionality. Per RennList, the 1978 911 Safaris weren’t built from the ground up for rallying like the upcoming Dakar. They were classic 911s. Barring a roll cage and a few extra racks of lights, the two 911 Safaris came to the East African Safari Rally straight-up stock.
The Safari Rally is something of a legend among rally enthusiasts. It makes extraordinary demands of its racers — pathfinding in tough, unclear conditions, rigs ready to handle dust, mud, forests, and storms, plus the occasional need to evade a herd of curious giraffe.
When Porsche came to Kenya in 1978, it was making a point. The company wanted to demonstrate that in the right hands, in this case, Vic Preston Junior and John Lyall in one car, and Björn Waldegård and Hans Thorszelius in the other, the 911 could go anywhere and do anything.