Matt Farah had a revelation after driving Leh Keen’s original Porsche 911 Safari build in the woods of North Carolina. In it he found a vehicle that was fun to drive. It had style. And if it could handle Carolina fire roads, it would handle Southern California’s bad roads with zero issues.
Matt often said that he loved the Ford Raptor he once owned. That’s because of the way in which it handled the roads and highways. Still, it was too big to serve as a proper daily driver. The Safari 911 would give him the compliance of the Raptor in a package that can zip around traffic and fit into a garage.
One aspect of Matt’s project that I like most is that it causes aneurysms to people on BAT and other forums. The type who think that it’s heresy against the one true belief system that all cars must (MUST!) be restored to exactly as they came from the factory. Any deviation from that should condemn you to hell or worse.
In Southern California, a 911 is as common as a Camry. It’s to the point where they’re effectively invisible. Yet Farah’s 911, with its Safari style and Cassis Red paintwork prompts a head snap and a “…the fuck did I just see?” reaction.
If this had been my project would I have done things differently? A few minor things. I wouldn’t have done the Fuchs. I’d skip the rally mirrors (Matt’s not a big fan of them either). Perhaps I’d opt for a different rally light set up, and I would have pulled the interior trim back some. The seats, yes, the dash, sure, but I would have used the bus interior material as an accent on the door cards. Again, though, this is done the way Matt wanted it.
While Safari style cars and Safari 911 have been a thing for a while, it’s this car in particular that once again brings the style to the mainstream. It will also be the car upon which others are benchmarked. And that is why Matt Farah’s Safari Porsche 911 deserves to be the 2018 HCOTY.