1990 Porsche 964 C4 - Safari

Recently, air cooled Porsches have been rising in popularity and value at a staggering pace. To own one in good condition is a privilege, and usually becomes a car that is only driven on the very best of days, and spends the bulk of its life under a fresh coat of wax in the garage.

We were given a 1990 Porsche 964 C4, and told this car needed to be the antithesis of that. This car needed to be as at home on rutted log trails, as it was on the highway. We were thrilled  at the opportunity to build yet another off road Porsche that was not just about “the look,” but could really get the job done! The one thing Jeff Stone, owner of Kelly-Moss, is all about is that form must follow function – no poser cars here.

Wheels and tires are very important when building a car meant to really go off road. Good suspension travel, good grip, and burley wheels were needed. We settled on Pirelli PZero gravel spec Rally tires wrapped around custom made Braid rally Dakar wheels.

We knew in order to get the suspension travel we needed, it was time to modify the fenders and quarter panels. The Kelly-Moss Body Shop craftsmen were led by Stone’s vision to create the custom flares and modified original rocker panels to allow more clearance for the long travel suspension and wider track. This is very important when the car comes back to Earth after flying through the air during serious off road duty.

If this car was going to be going over some extreme terrain, we needed to be sure it could be done safely. It was necessary to relocate and increase the oil cooling capacity. Our guys relocated the oil cooler and re routed the oil lines to keep them out of harm's way and then added a thermostatic switch controlled fan, anticipating long days in the desert.

Triple-tube, 3 way adjustable , long travel Kelly-Moss Racing spec dampers were fitted, as well as modifying some suspension links to allow for more travel, and higher strength. This is the same suspension used on the top FIA World Rally cars and allows for 9″ of travel with exceptional compliance for on and off road use.

In an effort to make this car the most fun to drive possible, of course, we added a true rally spec hand brake to break the rear of the car loose in tight corners .

Part of Jeff Stone’s vision that he admitted from the start could turn out to be a "love it" or "hate it" when we were done with the bumpers. Nothing like this has ever been done and of course that is good and bad. Since you are cutting new ground with an idea like this, it could be received with mixed emotions. Jeff said, "We are doing it this way and if everyone hates it, I’ll take the heat for it. But it’s going to be awesome – trust me." The front and rear bumpers were made in-house. Fabricated from 6061 T6 aluminum and tig welded, these were built to be strong, light, and stylish. Mounting points on the bumpers were custom built to provide the most robust system possible. Towing shackles and a Warn winch were added…Just in case… It is pretty easy to see now that the bumpers were a huge hit and they will play an important role in protecting the car should the driving get a little too far to the hooligan side of things.

Having a lot of experience in off road driving after racing the Baja 1000 6 times, Stone could not stress how important lighting is for a build like this. Going through backroads at night requires the best visibility possible. Extremely bright LEDs were placed on the front and rear bumpers. A light pod was added on the hood with 4 state-of-the-art HID Hella lights reminiscent of the old Porsche Paris-Dakar rally cars.  The lights are wired to be controlled in a number of different ways from the cockpit.

Finishing touches were mud flaps and custom fender liners, as well as a Martini graphics package.

This is the second Rally style Porsche Kelly-Moss has built. There is nothing better than the classic 911 design to lay the framework for a car truly built to conquer everything. This build is reliable, robust, and one of many unique builds to come out of our shop.

Oh yeah, keep an eye out for the “original” KMR Safari car that started all this recent interest and tribute Safari cars done by others. While the Safari 2.0 has been under way, we have been doing a big upgrade package to the original Len Eder KMR Safari car including longer travel suspension, custom a-arms, a 993 Vario Ram engine, Titanium exhaust, special gearing with a fully REM polished gearbox, modified fenders for even more travel and a bigger tire package. This car is going to be an animal and will be back on and off road in the next few weeks.

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