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5,000 kilometres, 37 minutes

The Cherangani Hills is usually what they are called. Because “hill” is perfect hoax – these things demeanour like a Zugspitze: 3,000 meters above sea level. The night from Maundy Thursday into Good Friday is representation black, usually as it should be out here in a wilderness. At a bottom of a slope Roland Kussmaul and Jürgen Barth are sitting in their Porsche packaged full of gangling parts. Kussmaul grown a convene cars of a form 911 SC for this safari, Barth wrote a master plan, according to that 7 VW buses and dual Land Rovers whizz opposite a nation and keep both convene cars using along a 5,000-kilometre route.

Now a dual Porsche organisation are watchful for a Porsche 911 SC to seem with internal favourite Vic Preston Jr. and his co-driver John Lyall. Preston had reported by radio: “The front right startle absorber is broken!” Finally a three-litre naturally aspirated engine roars by a pleasant night, a Porsche plunges down a high sand road, stops brief during a time control, and rolls a final 50 metres opposite to Kussmaul and Barth. Kussmaul recalls: “We had to get a whole steering knuckle out given a check wasn’t relocating any more. Everything was so prohibited that we couldn’t hold anything. We told Vic and John to greatfully pierce 20 metres divided from a car. We had no H2O to cold down a damper, a stop and a circle mount. So we sloping 20 litres of petrol over a whole thing and afterwards did a repairs.”


Kussmaul screws what he can, given he knows that each notation above a aim time is a chastisement point. The actor with a slightest chastisement points in a finish wins.

The change is finished in a flash, though to start with it casts a Porsche with a start series 14 out of a tip organisation after a initial of 3 stages. The Swede Björn Waldegård had some-more fitness over these initial 1,800 kilometres in a works Porsche series 5. In a early night Waldegård’s 911 was among a 5 cars that managed to get over a stream channel before a floods became too torrential. The others waited for low H2O or drowned their cars. However, a second stream channel was really scarcely a finish of a before year’s personality Waldegård: he drives in, a stream catches a 911, a tail swings around like a vessel in a rapids. Björn quietly keeps his feet on a accelerator and brings a Porsche safely to a shore. At midday on Good Friday, after a long, soppy night as a heading male he comes behind to Nairobi, where a follow will continue on Saturday shortly after sunrise. A brief mangle for a works teams of Porsche, Peugeot, Mercedes and Datsun; also a possibility to take a exhale for a dozens of frankly pang convene amateurs and their smashed equipment.

Overnight a convene cars rest in a vast retard during a Kenyatta Conference Centre in a center of Nairobi. The Peugeot 504 V6, a Datsun 160 J, a Violet and Mitsubishi – during initial peek family cars that nonetheless all have one thing in common: gigantic can-do qualities – a toughness that they need here. In 1974 a Lancer pushed Björn Waldegård in a Carrera RS into second place, and in 1975 a 504 degraded a super convene automobile Lancia Stratos. Mercedes now brought out a 280 SE, though weighing in during dual tons it seemed too heavy.


The Swede Björn Waldegård won a convene in 1977, 84, 85 and 90. He was a initial World Rally Champion in story in 1979.

Heavyweight cars can casually mangle down on a hair-raisingly heartless slopes and 200 hp seems small for dual tons. With an unladen weight of 1,180 kilos, a 911 SC Safari grown by Kussmaul, on a other hand, seemed rarely promising. The kilos are total with 250 hp from a tried-and-tested three-litre naturally aspirated engine of a form 911/77, that had already powered a 911 RS and RSR expostulate given 1974/75. A six-millimetre aluminium underguard runs from front to rear. Kussmaul: “Because of a brief wheelbase, a automobile nodded and dipped heavily. A vast mill during a wrong impulse could have severely shop-worn a empty plural or a engine. In addition, a automobile can slip by low sand or dirt on a aluminium as if it’s on skids.”

The automobile physique and framework are reinforced, a behind spindle pitch arms done of die-cast aluminium armoured with dual layers of CSF and 1.5 mm steel plate. The engine cover is hermetic with froth tape, given “…the excellent dirt wears down even a piston rings. We therefore done certain that a engine usually took in atmosphere by a griddle above a ducktail. Behind a spoiler there was so most dirt due to a turbulence.” The purchase is mutated for severe use, a delivery was given an additional oil cooler and a somewhat extended fifth rigging by Kussmaul. 28 centimetres of belligerent clearway and vast open deflections are a hallmarks of a reinforced Africa chassis. Massive wipers strengthen a steel stop callipers from mud, that rubs them well-spoken during exam runs in Kenya. Typical convene reserve embody a hurl cage, dual gangling wheels – one underneath a front lid, one behind a seats – a outrageous jack, a 110-litre petrol tank and 16 litres of windscreen washer liquid on board. Needless to say, Kussmaul tested a Safari automobile with large exam kilometres on a tank exam site and rapid pushing over buried railway sleepers in Weissach.


A use area on a corner of a city somewhere in Kenya. Helpers refuel Vic Preston jr.s Porsche.

The Saturday arrives and brings Björn no luck. After 2,500 kilometres – that is, during a median indicate – he is still heading a field, when in a Taita Hills on a approach down to a Indian sea a behind spindle pitch arm gives adult a spook notwithstanding a armour. It takes Kussmaul and Barth roughly an hour to strech a damaged down automobile along a towering marks in a training 911 converted into a rapid gangling tools store. The correct is finished in record time, though they’ve mislaid a lead. Later, Waldegård and his co-driver Hans Thorszelius confront a low-flying vulture. The scavenger is hovering during roughly accurately a tallness of a windscreen when a Porsche hits it. Kussmaul: “When we reached Björn, there were a few tools of a vulture in a behind of a automobile and they smelled utterly strong. But especially a bird was stranded to a windscreen.”

Thanks to quick-release fasteners, in a few mins Waldegård’s automobile was propitious with a windscreen of a Kussmaul/Barth Porsche. The tour continued, with Kussmaul and Barth now resounding by a night during 180 km/h though a windscreen, though with motorcycle goggles on: “You wouldn’t trust how most it hurts when a beetle a distance of your ride hits your face during 180 km/h”, Kussmaul recalls. The new windscreen shortly arrives from a air: above a play of a Safari, a Porsche-chartered craft is circling.

The conduct of motorsport Peter Falk and a personality of a try Helmuth Bott take it in turns on board. They hunker over stacks of cards and Barth’s use plan, give instructions by radio and have incomparable tools on board. Barth radios Falk, who asks a commander if he can land on a highway below. No problem, says a pilot. Barth and Kussmaul retard a road, and a Cessna lands. Everybody celebrates, has a discerning chat, afterwards continues on their way.


Ingrid Steeger lived for some time in Kenya. In 1978 a singer also watched some of a Safari privately.

Raging rivers, insurmountable sand holes, roads cleared away: a approach behind to Nairobi is arduous. In half an hour Waldegård repairs a damaged startle absorber himself. Preston, meanwhile, has had his feet pulpy down keenly on a accelerator pedal and arrives behind in Nairobi in third place behind dual Datsuns.

On Easter Sunday during 4:00 pm a screen rises for a final act. Heading north-west from Nairobi, a convene initial plunges down into a oven of a Rift Valley, where Waldegård’s stifle linkage is remade for 45 minutes. Then a Safari climbs adult a Mau Escarpment adult to 3,000 metres and continues north to a city of Isiolo, where a Trans-African Highway leads into infinity. This is where small mortals enter their names and series plates in a book in box they get mislaid in a savannah.

At a finish usually 13 of 72 cars will be left in a ranking.

Preston loses time by twice carrying to change a half shaft. But a Safari is not usually tough on a Porsche drivers: during a finish usually 13 of 72 cars will be left in a ranking. Timo Mäkinen bows out with his Peugeot on a approach behind to Nairobi due to half missile damage. The personality Harry Källström causes his Datsun to tumble detached on alighting after an over-optimistic prolonged jump; tools of a disadvantage were apparently flung some-more than 300 metres.

Rauno Aaltonen is pushing another 160 J as if hexed and is shutting in on a now heading Jean-Pierre Nicolas, until his co-driver sends him on a road in a wrong direction. And so they tumble into place.

Nicolas is 6 kilometres from a finish line when a internal unexpected decides to perform a branch stratagem right in front of a Peugeot. The 504 is badly dented on a front and engine coolant gushes out. Nicolas puts his feet down and brings his mutilate to feat forward of Preston Jr., who indispensable 37 mins longer for a 5,000 kilometres. Björn Waldegård takes fourth place. Porsche bids farewell to a Safari adventure. But a subject of “Africa” is not finished with. A few years later, initial a 911 and afterwards a 959 win a 14,000-kilometre convene from Paris to Dakar. The chairman obliged for a cars is Roland Kussmaul.


Champagne, even if it’s a small second place bottle. Co-driver John Lyall splashes a changed water, Vic Preston jr. and a brood are happy with it.

Porsche 911 SC Safari

Engine: 911/77 six-cylinder prosaic engine
Displacement: 2,994 cm3
Bore x stroke: 95 x 70.4 mm
Maximum power: 250 hp during 6,800 rpm
Power transmission: 915 five-speed modified, differential lock
Unladen weight: 1,180 kg

Info

Text initial published in a repository “Porsche Klassik 13”.

Text: Wilfried Müller // Photographs: McKlein Photography

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