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Car and Driver: Safari 911! Watch Leh Keen’s Porsche Splash and Slide


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Leh Keen Safari 911

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Deep into the development of its monstrous 959—which ultimately would earn its fame on the sands of North Africa in the Paris-Dakar Rally—Porsche teamed up with David Richards’ fledgling Prodrive operation to field the homologation-special 911SC RS in Group B rallying competition. Sports-car racer Leh Keen’s 911 SC is a rational, daily-driveresque tribute to the cars of that magnificent era. And in the video below, produced by Will Keown and Clint Davis for the Porsche Club of America’s in-house magazine, Porsche Panorama, Keen slides the thing around and drives it into a river.

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Leh Keen Safari 911

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Just like the racing machines, Keen’s 911 is armed with a rack of period-correct off-road lights mounted at the leading edge of the SC’s hood, although whereas the RS wore a wider, 911 Turbo-sourced body shell, Keen’s car retains its narrower SC bodywork. The 3.0-liter flat six exhales through stainless SSI pipes into a Dansk exhaust can, which is a pretty standard-issue setup on an air-cooled Porsche. Given Keen’s apparent penchant for fording streams, the stainless heat exchangers make a whole lot of sense.

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Leh Keen Safari 911

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The lifted suspension comes courtesy of the Porsche suspension experts at Elephant Racing, and echoes the high-riding Baja Buggish stance of the racing machines. Unlike the SC RS, which wore a gigantic decklid ornament reminiscent of the 1980s “teatray” rear spoiler, Keen opted for a smaller ducktail unit from the classic ’73 2.7 RS. He also had the shocks on the 5-mph bumpers shortened to tidy up the car’s look.

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While not as chest-puntingly fast as the WeatherTech 911 GT3 R Keen pilots on race weekends, the Safari 911 comes of as a rational, stylish, and different kind of Neunelfer built for a different kind of fun. We can think of more than a few fire roads we’d love to blast down in the thing.

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