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This year marks the 50th anniversary of Porsche’s dynamic and durable 911. Despite being a tarmac legend, the 911 did venture off-road on occasion. Case in point, this Porsche 911 SC ‘Safari’, designed for the 1978 East Africa Rally with long-travel suspension, bull bar, classic Martini & Rossi livery, and a locking rear differential. Despite being two-wheel-drive, having the engine (and weight) out back over the drive wheels, made it potent off-road performer.

The ‘Safari’ was displayed at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed in conjunction with the 911’s 50th anniversary celebration. Here’s a press release from Porsche describing the car and the rally.

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There’s something very cool going on. All over the world small shops are taking advantage of the fruits of industrial production (like an abundance of vehicles and interchangeable parts), injecting them with fresh ideas, and rebuilding them through small-scale production. ICON in Southern California does it by turning old Land Cruisers into highly capable, high-spec wonders. Another So-Cal company, Singer, does it by reimagining the air-cooled 911.

Singer strips the car down to its frame, then cherry picks the best oem and specialty components from the model’s long history, to create the ultimate 911. They even go so far as to reshape the curves and forms of the car itself. They do what we all do when we modify our trucks: that is, build a vision of the perfect vehicle.

It’s industrial design taken back to the level of craft. That is, the design takes place, not in a remote studio, but in the same place where the thing is built. Design and manufacture are fused together. The results are extraordinary.

It’s pretty amazing to see what this mostly stock 911 can do off-road. Finally having the engine in the back makes sense.