Porsche unveils retro liveries for 911 Dakar

911s were winning rallies long before its Dakar success – time for a 70s sticker celebration

By Matt Bird / Tuesday, 10 January 2023 / Loading comments

Although the Porsche 911 Dakar is named after perhaps the most famous rally there is – and certainly one of Porsche’s most notable motorsport victories – the 911 was being raced away from the beaten track not long after production started. Back in the 70s, in fact, there were forays into the East African Safari Rally (the classic version of which Tuthill races in), an era now being celebrated by new decal sets for the 992 Dakar.

1971, 1974, and 1978 are the years being reprised here. The number 19 cars are intended to evoke the earlier rallies; Rallye 1971 is the car without a stripe down the side, the car with is Rallye 1974. Rallye 1978 is surely the most recognisable of them all, with its obvious Martini homage.

If the 1971 look seems a modest rally livery, then that’s very much the point. It was the first time Porsche had taken on the East African Safari Rally, competing with the Porsche 911 S, and nobody wants to turn up to anything for the first time with an attention-grabbing look and then perform badly. It’s just embarrassing. But for a car not really designed to withstand 5,000km of abuse across Kenya, the 911 gave a good account of itself; the number 19 car this evokes came fifth at the hands of Sobieslaw Zasada and Marian Bien. Those that want it for their new Dakar will be asked for €4,165.

The 1974 event was brutal, even by the standards of the East African Safari Rally, with just 16 finishers from 99 entrants. One of those was Bjorn Waldegard and Hans Thorszelius in a 2.7 RS; they would have won, starting the final section of the rally with a 36-minute lead. But a damaged wishbone cost them more than an hour, so second place had to suffice. The new decal set resurrects the white with light blue and dark blue stripes seen on the original Kuhne & Nagel livery, and is available also for €4,165.

Waldegard was back for 1978, this time with a Group 4 911 SC purpose-built for Africa. However, his Martini-liveried car was both shaken and stirred (sorry) over the course of the rally, with so much damage – including to drive shafts, dampers and wishbones – that he could only finish fourth. Therefore, the Rallye 1978 decal set pays tribute to the second place #14 car of Vic Preston Jr. and John Lyall. This wrap costs €5,950.

All the historic decorative wraps for the 911 Dakar can be ordered now via Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur. Those content with either the ’71 or ’74 can buy them at Porsche Centre as part of the Porsche Tequipment range. Hopefully with some kind of contract that says a Porsche 911 stickered up like a rally car must be driven like one – no hiding these away in the barn, please.

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