There are very few cars we can all agree on, and I think this is probably one of them. It’s a 1975 Porsche 911 Carrera MFI that was built to safari rally specification by the world renowned experts at Tuthill Porsche in Britain.
The car has an extensive competition history, the pinnacle of which was an outright win in the East African Safari in 2017 in the hands of suitably named racing driver Ryan Champion. In total this car has so far raced in four East African Safaris, finishing every one, in 2011, 2013, 2015, and finally with that win in 2017.
The car was built by Tuthill Porsche specifically for racing, with an eye on the biennial East African Safari Rally. The team at Tuthill have been building high-performance Porsches both for the road and for racing for over 35 years, they’re based near Oxfordshire, England and they’ve developed a global reputation for their race winning 911s – particularly their safari rally builds.
Over the decades, cars built by Tuthill have won the London to Sydney Rally, the famous East African Safari Classic Rally three times (2011, 2015, 2017), and the 2015 FIA R-GT Cup to name just a few.
Above Image: The East African Safari Rally is a grueling event that tests drivers and their machines to the limit.
The 1975 Porsche 911 Carrera MFI you see here was converted into a rally car in the 1990s and raced extensively by legendary Irish tarmac rally driver Billy Coleman. It would be after this that it was purchased by Tuthills who rebuilt the car to race in the then-new “Post Historic” class (for cars from 1965 -1977).
Francis Tuthill and his team had already built a slew of race winning pre-1965 Porsche 911 2.0 litre cars that were dominating historic rallying throughout Europe, and the car you see here was a prototype of sorts to enter into the new class.
The car was first driven by Nick Whale in the 1998 RAC Historic Rally, he would buy the car by the end of the year. The next year Whale would win the 1999 Safety Devices Rally Challenge outright as well as the first British Historic Rally Championship held in 2000 over eight rounds – all driving this car. He would later go on to take the outright win in the Ypres tarmac rally in 2001.
In 2002 the car came onto the market, it was bought by its current owner who carried on rallying the car for the next 10 years or so before sending it off to Tuthill once more for conversion into an East African Safari spec rally car.
Above Image: Although technically air-cooled, Porsche 911s have been known to employ external mud-based posterior engine cooling systems during certain stages of the rally.
As a Safari-winning car, it receives an automatic entry to the Goodwood Festival of Speed rally stage, where it won in 2018, and also made a guest appearance at the RAC Club on Pall Mall. It was also selected by Porsche Club GB as one of 30 specially invited cars to attend and participate in Porsche’s 50th Birthday celebrations at Brands Hatch circuit in 2018.
The car is accompanied by its history file which includes an MSA Competition Logbook, MSA papers and an FIA HTP as well as a raft of invoices and history.
It’s now being offered for sale as a potential entrant in future vintage rallies like the East African Safari, with Tuthills estimating that it would cost approximately £40,000 to bring the car up to front-running specification.
If you’d like to read more about this car or register to bid you can click here to visit the listing with Silverstone Auctions. It’s due to cross the auction block on the 27th of March with a guide price of £150,000 to £175,000 which works out to ~$208,500 to $243,000 USD.
Images courtesy of Silverstone Auctions
Articles that Ben has written have been covered on CNN, Popular Mechanics, Smithsonian Magazine, Road & Track Magazine, the official Pinterest blog, the official eBay Motors blog, BuzzFeed, Autoweek Magazine, Wired Magazine, Autoblog, Gear Patrol, Jalopnik, The Verge, and many more.
Silodrome was founded by Ben back in 2010, in the years since the site has grown to become a world leader in the alternative and vintage motoring sector, with well over a million monthly readers from around the world and many hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.