Watch These Vintage Porsche 911 Rally Cars Blast Across Africa
New documentary captures the grit and beauty of the East African Safari Classic Rally.
When it comes to incredible road trips, it's hard to beat driving across a continent—especially if you're driving across Africa in a vintage Porsche 911 rally car specially prepped for the journey. And that goes double for doing it with two dozen of your pals. Sounds like a dream? Well, for Tuthill Porsche, it became a reality.
Back 2012, the British rally-prep workshop began building a team for the 2013 East African Safari Rally. Over the next 18 months, a crew of 24 people would spend roughly 14,000 hours constructing no fewer than 17 Porsche 911 SC 3.0-liter rally cars. It took eight 40-foot shipping containers to move the cars and their entourage of wheels, tires, and gear over to Africa.
They arrived in Mombasa, Kenya, three weeks before the November 21, 2013, start date to establish a base camp and prepare the cars. The total Africa support team included 120 people in all; according to Tuthill, the assembled group was the largest rally team in history. Each rally Porsche was paired with a long-wheelbase Land Cruiser for support and the team had 10 more assorted 4x4s to carry other much-needed people, such as medical personnel.
The trip was an epic journey, but in the end, 15 of Tuthill's 17 cars completed the 3,100-mile rally. Nine made the top 20, including one Porsche that placed third and another that took sixth.
And after the dust had settled, Tuthill promised us a movie about it. Most of the world forgot about it, Tuthill went on to compete in the 2015 Rally (the organizers run it every other year), and has started preparation for 2017.
But someone, apparently, was still pecking away at the movie, quietly working behind the scenes. Because out of nowhere late last month, it appeared in its entirety on YouTube.
It's one of most interesting behind-the-scenes rally videos ever produced, a genuine documentary rather than a puff piece. We could all probably live without the obnoxious background music, but it conveys the scale and difficulty of coaxing old Porsches over a total of approximately 18,000 miles of broiling African roads. Check it out below. You'll wonder how they did it, and you'll want to sign up for next year.