Back in the 60s
Porsche has a long history dating back to the 1960s of competing in Rallye racing. Most noticeably – with ‘Quick Vic’ Elford stealing the silverware for 1st in the on-road/off-road Rallye Monte Carlo of 1968… all the way through to the manufacturer ringing the bell in air-cooled cars upon 1984 and 1986 with wins in the ultimate (if not toughest) off-road race, Paris-Dakar.
When I was a wee lad in his gleefully troubled youth, I would sit down with my father to watch a bit of auto racing. In 1973, during the month of October, we saw a televised race called International Race of Champions (IROC), whereby 12 of the world’s greatest drivers were tossed in specially-prepped Porsche RSR race cars, with massive whale tales on rear hiding worked 3-liters that were used to sling these gents around track, with numerous shunts off-road that seemingly did not matter as they quickly came back on to Riverside Raceway track. You could say from that point on, Porsche was tattooed on my brain!
Martini’s All Around
Later as young lad in High School, I became even more intrigued with Porsche’s off-road prowess when I poured through a British auto magazine that discussed the manufacturer taking two 911SCs off the assembly line in 1978, building the cars with rollbars, race seats, light pods on front, turning up torsion bars on the suspension to give it lift, tossing on a set of rallye tires upon 15-inch Fuchs wheels… then along with sponsor Martini, campaigning the East African Safari Rallye that same year. Had both cars not crashed hours before the end hard pedaling the 7-day race, they would have come in 1st and 2nd (instead they came in 2nd and 4th). Add one more brain tattoo!
Most noticeable in the magazine article however, was that after that near win, privateer punters in Europe started buying the cars, building them similarly, and off to the off-road racing they went. Which is exactly what I did several years ago with a 1978 3.0-liter 911SC I was lucky to locate nearby!
Flash forward a good bit of time, a dash of cash, and tens of thousands of miles flogged both racing SCCA Rallycross events as well as taking the car off-road adventuring… it could be said with Cheshire grin that this vile bit of kit is nothing short of boundless fun. Better still, the car is a conversation starter that has led me to meet more punters like myself, as not a week goes by where I don’t get hit up on Instagram (@jcgoodlett2) by someone either thinking about, or having already started a 911 Safari or Rally build.
It has also opened doors to meet icons like Ray Shaffer, who shepherds the Porsche Classics division. Or having the honor of being on a discussion panel with legendary Jeff Zwart, who is 8-times record holder on Pikes Peak International Hillclimb Challenge (in Porsches). And – converse & conspire with Leh Keen on a Porsche 911 Rally Appalachia event in May of 2018. Many will know Leh as the chap who has won many a pro race and GT championship including for Brumos Porsche!
Because free time is but a premium given my work, I can often be found daily driving it, including when it ‘steers itself’ across to the Isle of Hutchinson so I can go play off-road for minutes before or after work. Better so – since the day it was finished with paint, it has never been washed… save for the occasional thunderstorm or dash through muck holes adding to the patina.
It should however be relayed, that I do indeed find great valor for those who restore vintage cars… taking them from barn finds to near perfect restorations. But that life nor patience needed has never been mine, as I find greater favor giving these Porsche 911 cars a right good SLIDEways thrashing as the more surely lads did back when. I believe that ethos was also in the lore of Ferry Porsche who has been quoted saying…
“The 911 is the only car you can drive on an African Safari or at Le Mans, to the Theatre or through New York City traffic”!
Last brain tattoo found I do believe!
1978 PORSCHE 911SC
Motor to Suspension
3.0-liter flat-6 boxer motor
Custom air snorkle
MoTeC engine management
Custom race oil cooler
Dansk race exhaust custom muffler
Bilstein P930 shocks
22mm torsion bars
Pirelli KM6 Works Rally tires
ATS CookieCutter wheels
Bosch rally lights
4 Pod exterior kill switch
Custom full cage
Custom brake bias lever
Momo Model 07 steering wheel
Momo Supercup race seats
Planted seat rails
Schroth 6pt harness
Stilo WRC DES intercom
Stilo WRC DES composite helmets
Stilo WRC DES headsets
1978 era correct Heuer
Scribe by Jim Goodlett Photos by Jonathan Oppenheim