We’re not sure if people are preparing for the Apocalipse, but off-roaders are more popular than ever. And while you expect certain vehicle and brands altogether to be in on the adventure, those who haven’t kept an eye on what the aftermarket is doing might be surprised to find out that the interest for Porsche sportscars that can tackle rough terrain is growing exponentially. Which brings us to the 914 Safari, a build that’s literally a Hot Wheels toy for the outdoors.
For decades, Porsche and VW have kept their inextricable connection away from their showrooms, but things didn’t used to be so back in the late 1960s, when the 914 was born. This collab came as an entry-level sportscar for the Porsche range, but fans initially dismissed it over its 80 hp flat-four (can’t argue with that), regarding it as a VW with a different badge.
However, the brilliant chassis of the car, which gave the world a midship configuration and a featherweight one at that (think: 2000 lbs/900 kg), has more recently found its way into enthusiasts’ hearts, mostly thanks to the assets mentioned above, but also as a result of the Porsche cult growing, with enthusiasts now adoring every model of the German marque, especially analog iterations like the 914.
And since Zuffenhausen itself is preparing to distill its 911 rallying heritage into production form—following an ex-generation concept car revealed last year, lifted prototypes of a 992-gen 911 Safari have already been spotted), this might be a good time for the jacked-up madness to reach the 914. Now, if only we had a build like this lying around…
As fate would have it, the 2021 SEMA show that took place last month displayed just that—welcome to the Porsche 914 Safari, a real-life project modeled on a Hot Wheels model released last year.
The vehicle made its first appearance back in September at Luftgekuhlt, an annual celebration of air-cooled Porschas, but it didn’t receive the yellow livery you see here until SEMA.
The man sitting next to the machine in the images is Patrick Long, the only American Porsche factory racing driver and one of the two Luftgekuhlt founders.
A lot of work has been done on this 914-6
To put it simply, the project is a high-riding 914 that’s been strenghtened inside and out and turned into what has to be one of the coolest pickup trucks we’ve ever seen.
Most of the work on the machine has been completed by Florida-based Porsche restorer Gunnar Racing, which had a great starting point—back in the day, Porsche upgarded the midship sportscar with a flat-six from the 911T, creating the 914-6 and this is one of those cars.
However, the details about the creature are still scarce, so while we know that an air-cooled 911 boxer sits in the middle of the machine, we’re not sure about the specs of the motor.
Even so, Long has already completed the dusty desert shakedown of the contraption, with this awaiting you in the first Instagram post below.
The cookie cutter wheels shod in meaty all-terrain rubber? If these don’t convince you the devil is in the details, all the gear riding in the Porsche’s bed (here’s something we don’t write everyday) might just do the trick.