Classic Porsche 911s Become Baja Contenders With $135K Safari Kit
The package includes a race-ready custom suspension, body kit, wheels and tires—but not a car.
It wasn’t long after TJ Russell’s customers asked for more of his Baja builds that the light when on.
“Baja builds are no-holds-barred cars. And their price reflects that,” he said.
Russell would know. His Russell Built Baja 964-generation Porsche 911 rings up a tab north of $650,000. His newest offering, the recently released Russell Built Sportsman Safari commands $135,000 on top of the price of the donor car.
“The going rate for any safari means it’s pretty impossible to build an off-road equipped 911 for any less than $200,000—car included. Full race-ready is $500,000, easy,” he said.
That’s not to say that the Safari Sportsman is Baja-lite. Russell says the components were developed first, then tested last year in the grueling NORRA Baja 500 in Jeff Gamroth’s entry. Gamroth not only verified the suspension components’ durability, but he’s also responsible for the engines Russell Built uses in customer cars and is no stranger to off-road Porsche racing himself.
Read: Russell Built Sportsman Safari is no sticker package. The Sportsman Safari package includes a heavy suspension overhaul with purpose-built parts. The “base kit” is the entire suspension, wheels, tires, and body kit, “everything you need to drive the car,” Russell said. The 911’s wheelbase is extended by two inches, and its wheel travel increased to 10 inches. The track is wider, too, with longer axles to match.
There’s an extensive a la carte list available, too. Rally lights, roof rack, and roll hoops are on the list, and so are parts you can’t see. Russell offers transmission upgrades, including rebuilds and new differentials. The 911’s rear-mounted engine can get treated, too, with rebuilds, revised intake and exhaust, and ECU upgrades. According to Russell, up to 400 horsepower can be stuffed in the Safari Sportsman’s tail.
For now, Russell offers the package installation only at his Southern California Russell Built shop, but he has an eye toward the future. He said he would eventually like to offer the Safari Sportsman as a turnkey kit, delivered to their doors and installable anywhere.
That’s what they asked for.