Off-Roading A Porsche 911 With 10-Inches Of Ground Clearance Is Heaven


Or one of the closest things to it.

It may have started out as a 1985 Porsche 911 Carrera, and it still very much is today, only it looks somewhat different. This latest episode of Jay Leno’s Garage features this ’85 Rally Porsche 911 Carrera, the so-called brainchild of three-time ALMS GT and 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Patrick Long. He’s only 35 years-old and one of only ten Porsche factory racing drivers. In fact, he’s the only American in that already small group. Not surprisingly, he’s a Porsche guy, and one day he happened upon this 911 from a owner who was tired of driving stick.

A deal was made and what started out as an idea over coffee with friends became a reality: build a 911 inspired by the East African Safari Rally. Long conveniently had a donor car good to go. By the time the four month transformation was done, the 911 had a 10-inch ground clearance, along with a number of other modifications. Rally cars are awesome.

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Obviously you’ll spot the luggage rack and two spare tires almost immediately, but also note the new side mirrors; they’re literally fused to the A-pillar to prevent them from being ripped off. Even the headlights were given additional protection. Step inside and there’s an awesome fully hand-made rollbar integrated into the shock towers. As for the 3.2-liter flat-six? It’s mostly stock, and has around 200 hp. And in case a future owner, for some reason we can’t fathom, wanted to return the 911 to stock form, it’s totally possible, mainly because there were mostly suspension modifications made over anything else.