A Sunset (Boulevard) Safari

Not all city cars are innate equal. Well, not according to YouTube star and world-renowned automotive journalist, Matt Farah. Shortly after relocating out to a west seashore of America from New York, Farah realised that a exploding infrastructure in LA done his daily expostulate some-more like an speed down a back-country route than a normal city commute. From a grievous enlargement joints on Interstate 405 to a burst roads in downtown Venice Beach, usually his Baja desirous pick-up lorry was means of smoothing out a several lumps and bumps. 

”Although we are sanctified with places like a Angeles Forest and Malibu Canyons, dual of a excellent places on Earth to expostulate a sports car, a city itself is a nightmare,” Farah explains. “The infrastructure is crumbling, repairs are frequency thorough, a turnpike enlargement joints are a sports automobile owner’s misfortune nightmare, and for a city as ‘spread out’ as LA is, it’s extremely swarming all a time. It can be a genuine plea in low, complicated sports cars.” 

Photo: Larry Chen

Which is since his Raptor pick-up with a off-road cessation set-up and outrageous sidewalls was, as he puts it, a “gamechanger”. But of course, while Baja-inspired trucks float well, they’re eventually too unwieldly for parsimonious city streets – even in car-friendly LA. So what was a solution? For Matt, a answer was easy: “I wanted something like a Raptor, though smaller, so a apparent answer was a convene car. Once we gathering Leh Keen’s personal Safari 911, it was like a light tuber moment.” 

“For a city as ‘spread out’ as LA is, it’s extremely swarming all a time. It can be a genuine plea in low, complicated sports cars.”
Matt Farah, automotive journalist

A dual time Grand Am Rolex GT Champion and lifelong Porsche fanatic, Leh Keen has spent a final half a decade conceptualizing and building Safari 911 for people who wish a ultimate go-anywhere vehicle. Matt, being a rather well-connected chap, got a event to expostulate Leh’s initial Safari build (that’s right, automobile No. 1) for his uncover on a /DRIVE network and nonetheless Matt admits a concept, “is totally opposite to what many people cruise we should be doing with a 911” he was sold. “I sent him a deposition check roughly immediately afterwards.”

As partial of what is famous as ‘The Keen Project’, Leh is happy to possibly source a donor automobile for a patron (the bottom automobile contingency be a G-Body 911 from 1979 to 1989), or they find their own. Matt went with a latter choice as he wanted to select “the colour, a year and a interior.” 

For Matt, it was quite critical to have a 1987-1989 G-body with a G50 gearbox as “it has a some-more approach change feel”, so he staid on an ’87 3.2 Carrera in distinguished Cassis Red; a singular and retro paint that he motionless to safety with an Xpel automobile wrap, rather than repaint – something a infancy of buyers select to do when relocating to a convene spec. 

Photo: Larry Chen

It was a preference Matt wasn’t certain about during first: “The colour was indeed a bit of a controversy. we had creatively designed to paint any automobile we found Dalmatian Blue, that is substantially my favourite Porsche colour of all time. we was only looking for any purify coupe with a G50 gearbox and true body. As fitness would have it, a man we bought a automobile from was not accurately Annie Leibovitz, and photographed a automobile during high noon, that creates Cassis Red demeanour horrific; like Cyndi Lauper’s mouth gloss. we was arrange of down on a colour on Instagram and pronounced we was going to paint it, that caused a bit of a ruckus with a purists. It was labelled inexpensive and seemed to have zero else wrong with it. When we got there to collect it adult and saw that a colour was indeed incredible, we motionless immediately not to paint it. we frequently get ‘I told we so’ from a fans. Honestly, I’m gonna take some credit for a fact that Cassis Red is cold again.” 

After anticipating his scarcely primitive donor car, it was shipped true out to Keen in Atlanta for a new interior and a fitment of a Baja-inspired hardware. The tools list reads like a Tamiya brochure: whack bars, movement plates, convene light pods, shaved side doorway mirrors, tucked bumpers, Braid motorsport Fuchs wheels, Elephant Racing Safari suspension, a Quaife limited-slip differential and BF Goodrich K02 tyres – a same tyres, coincidentally, that are used on his pick-up truck. 

Photo: Larry Chen

For a cabin, Matt opted for what he describes as an assertive interior design: “Leh indeed found a blurb class LA city train fabric and when we saw it, we was sole roughly instantly. The automobile came with bureau Burgundy full leather, and was in implausible condition, so we were means to keep a headliner, doorway uppers, lurch upper, and bottom carpet. We were shaken if a train fabric was going to work with a Burgundy leather, though it worked out. The hardest partial was a relating leather MOMO Prototipo steering wheel; apparently it took a man like 20 tries to make it work, and we had a proxy black steering circle for like 6 months. But it’s fundamentally a Pasha judgment unequivocally incited adult to crazy, and it’s also super organic since that fabric is designed to final 20 years in a bus; it’ll substantially exist a rest of a car”. 

After some engine work on a return, a automobile was prepared for a road. The finished build couldn’t be serve private from what many drivers would cruise to be a ‘city car’, though for Matt, it is perfect. “It is literally my daily driver. we recently installed 3 bushels of firewood behind a back seats. we meant – it’s not meant for aggressive a canyons or going to a racetrack, it’s meant for going to a shops, pushing to my office, using errands and afterwards holding to a mud for some fun. It unequivocally is a best tools of a Baja lorry and a best tools of an air-cooled 911.” 

It seems city cars don’t have to boring. They only have to be fit for LA’s civic safari.

Photo: Larry Chen


Photos: Larry Chen