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Marketplace: Porsche 944 “Safari Rally Specification”

Professionally built by Rindt Vehicle Design

Mud and rain welcome

This is a Porsche 944 that’s been converted to Safari-specification by the team of specialists over at Rindt Vehicle Design, with increased ground clearance thanks to its adjustable Nitron suspension, a sump guard, a triple spotlight pod, and a slew of other rally modifications.

The Porsche 944 won a slew of championships back in the 1980s including the 1986 SCCA Escort Endurance Series Championship, and both the 1988 and 1989 SCCA GT2 titles. It’s proven to be a potent car in vintage motorsport competition, and the 944 is typically a lot more affordable than its 911 stablemate.

Fast Facts – The Porsche 944 “Safari”

  • The Porsche 944 was released in 1982 as a major upgrade over the earlier Porsche 924. Immediately recognizable by its wider wheel arches the 944 was an instant best-seller for the German automaker, and helped keep the company solvent through the 1980s.
  • The 944 borrowed the steel unibody chassis of the 924, it was fitted with a front-mounted inline-four and a rear transaxle which gave the car nearly perfect 50/50 weight distribution and famously balanced handling.
  • The original 2.5 liters 944 was upgraded over time, first with a 944 Turbo version that was considerably more powerful, then with the 944 S version with four valves per cylinder, and finally the 944 S2 with a more powerful 3.0 liter inline-four.
  • In the years since its release the 944 has been popular with people looking to get into motorsport, the car was a multiple-championship-winning sports car back in its day, after all. One of the rarer conversions is the Safari-specification, designed to make the car better suited to competitive off-road use.

The Porsche 944: A History Speedrun

The story of the Porsche 944 begins with its predecessor, the Porsche 924. Launched in 1976, the 924 was initially developed as a joint venture between Porsche and Volkswagen. However, Volkswagen ultimately decided not to pursue the project, leaving Porsche to take over and release the 924 as their own entry level sports car.

While the 924 was a commercial success and served as an affordable sports car for the German brand, though it did face criticism for its underpowered Audi-sourced engine. Porsche engineers knew they needed to address these concerns and began developing the 944 as a more powerful, and more refined successor.

Introduced in 1982, the Porsche 944 was an immediate sales success. The new model featured a 2.5 liter inline-four cylinder engine that was essentially half of the 928’s V8, which provided a significant power increase over the 924.

The 944’s engine, designed and built by Porsche, produced 161 bhp in its naturally aspirated form, which was a notable improvement over the 924’s 110 bhp. The power levels would rise over the production run, up to 187 on the 944 S, then to 220 bhp on the Turbo, the later 944 S2 would make 211 bhp, and the 944 Turbo S made a hefty 250 bhp.

The changes between the 924 and the 944 didn’t just stop at the engine however. The 944 also received a thorough redesign, boasting a more aggressive look, flared fenders, and a rear spoiler, making it visually distinct from the 924, likely inspired by the motorsport focused 924 Carrera GT.

The car’s upgraded suspension and wider track width also enhanced its handling capabilities, which contributed to its reputation as a driver’s car that only continued to grow over its production run (and beyond).

The 1980s were an interesting time for Porsche, the 911 was still in production after the 928 had failed to replace it as was originally intended, and the company was working on the ground-breaking new Porsche 959 supercar as well as the four-wheel drive Porsche 953 that won the Paris Dakar Rally in 1984.

The strong sales of the Porsche 924, the 944, and the closely related Porsche 968 helped to ensure the company had enough cashflow to develop important new models, like the 959, the 993, and the 996 which helped set the tone for the future of the company as it headed into the 21st century.

The Porsche 944’s legacy endures even today, as it is still regarded as one of the best handling sports cars of its era. Its combination of performance, style, and relative affordability has made it a popular choice for collectors and enthusiasts alike, offering vintage sports car thrills at a reasonable price point.

The Porsche 944 Safari Shown Here

The car you see here is a 2.5 liter Porsche 944 from Rindt Vehicle Design that’s been given a comprehensive rebuild which includes adjustable Nitron suspension, a Brantz Rallymeters timer, center console spotlight toggle switches, a bespoke sump guard, an aftermarket roof rack with twin SiM spotlights, a triple spotlight pod up front, and front and rear towing eyes.

The car rides on a set of 15 inch Teledial alloy wheels finished in gloss black, these are period correct for the car, but they’ve now been fitted with Maxxis Worm-Drive A/T tires designed for spirited off-road use.

It’s finished in a classic Porsche color of Irish Green over a beige cloth and vinyl-trimmed interior, with pinstripe seat inserts front and back, a Sabelt Alcantara-trimmed steering wheel, and a Kenwood CD stereo.

This 944 is an original right-hand drive UK-market example that was first registered in June of 1987, it currently shows 132,967 miles on the odometer, and it’s powered by the original 2.5 liter inline-four cylinder engine producing around 161 bhp which is sent back through a 5-speed transaxle with a limited slip differential.

The vehicle was last serviced in March of 2023, which included new engine oil, spark plugs, and filters. It’s now being offered for sale out of Berkshire in the United Kingdom with a folder of historic maintenance invoices.

As a Safari-specification version this Porsche 944 has lifted suspension, a sump protection plate, a roof rack with dual spot lights, and a triple spotlight cluster between the pop-up headlights.

Vehicle Listing

Go HERE for information.


Check out this other 944 Safari build to see its capabilities