The 2009 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance featured more than 30 classes, including the Race Cars of 1963 to 1972.
In a class that included many incredible race cars, our highlighted cars – 1971 Porsche 911 STR and 1972 Datsun 240Z – stood out from the class (and Concours) as the only off-road rally cars.
While the Porsche and Datsun both incorporated reinforced suspensions and drivetrains, the manufacturers tend to differ in the details.
Porsche opted to include all of its lighting on the front hood, whereas Datsun goes even further with a spot light n the roof. Porsche chose to use whitewall Michelin tires supplied from sponsor Sears, while Datsun went the more traditional off-road route of beefy Bridgestone tires.
The dual mud flaps on the Porsche are ingenious. The FIA reportedly required intact mud flaps at each checkpoint, forcing teams to scramble to replace them once they fell off the car. However, once that happened on the 911, the team would simply release the second pair of mud flaps and be on their way, picking up valuable time.
Another interesting feature were the handles on the rear shoulders of the Porsche. These were installed to assist spectators in pushing or rocking the 911 when it became stuck in one of the sticky situations common to rallies.
The details go on and on…
2009 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance Rally Cars – Picture Gallery
1971 Porsche 911 STR – In 1971, the Porsche factory prepared five special rally competition cars for use in the East African Safari Rally. The East African Safari Rally was first held in 1953 as the East African Coronation Safari in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, as a celebration of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. In 1960 it was renamed the East African Safari Rally and kept that name until 1974, when it became the Safari Rally. The event was part of the World Rally Championship calendar for many years until being excluded due to lack of funding and organization in 2003.
The factory prepared 911s were equipped with a raised suspension, skid plates, special suspension reinforcements, light weight seats, roll bar, rally computers, Heuer stop watches, and a 2.3-liter twin-plug six-cylinder engine – Type 911/20 developing 240 hp.
All of the cars were originally painted white, but some were later painted green for the event. This particular example is the #33 Waldegaard car driven by Juergen Barth, who was in charge of the Safari effort. It has been restored to its original factory condition and specifications. Click here for a video of the 1971 East African Safari Rally. Our featured Porsche and its brothers make a brief appearance at minute 1:34. Interestingly, a Datsun 240Z driven by Edgar Herrmann and Hans Schuller took overall honors at the 1971 East African Safari Rally.
1972 BRE Datsun 240Z – This is the Datsun 240Z that Peter Brock and Lee Midgley ran in the 1973 Baja 500, and which later that year ran the Baja 1000. Brock Racing Enterprises (BRE) was contracted by Nissan Motors to develop and demonstrate the competition potential of Nissan’s line of Datsun vehicles as sold in the USA from 1968 through 1973. The road courses of the SCCA, the Trans-Am Series and the off-road courses of the Baja were the proving grounds.
Off-road racing was Peter Brock’s favorite form of automotive competition. BRE prepared a Datsun pickup for 1967, and then in 1968 through 1972 BRE raced Datsun 510s, and finally, this 240Z was built for the 1973 season.
This is the only 240Z that Peter Brock both built and drove. Delivered from the factory in September of 1972, this 240Z is similar to the Nissan factory works FIA Pro-Rally cars that ran the East African Safari Rally. Click here to read more about BRE’s Baja racing adventures.
[Source: Sports Car Digest]