Today was a good day, spent hanging out at Tuthills watching the finishing touches going on a brand new Safari car.
This 911 is destined for Kenya in November, but the Swedish owner will run the car at in the 2013 Morocco Historic from May 13-18 as an African ice breaker.
Tuthills have three cars in this year’s Moroccan event: all three will go on to race the Safari. They have all just been prepped for North Africa at the Wardington workshops, and this is the first to depart. Driver Phil trailered this one to Calais today, where the owner will take over moving it to Morocco.
We often think of 911s as soft little flowers: those slender side pillars and sculpted door handles imbuing a sense of finesse. Tuthill Safari cars retain those classic 911 motifs, but are the hardest Porsches I know.
Eight hundred hours or more goes into every Safari shell to ensure it’s stiff and strong. The suspension is bespoke – none of your revalved Bilsteins here. Engines are built from powerful, reliable components, most run MFI and are tuned to over 300 horsepower. Transmissions are custom built, with specially calculated ratios to suit the modified gearing and tall wheel/tyre combinations.
Inside is a workspace. Nothing surplus: all is function. Under the front is the oil cooler pipework, a custom fuel tank and a pair of full-size spare wheels, each ready to be changed in under a minute if you know what you’re doing.
Now costing £160,000 plus VAT a piece to build, Safari cars are easily my favourite 911s. I never get tired of looking at, listening to or riding in them. The ultimate do-anything Porsche!