Let’s admit it. Great ideas brew in individual’s minds usually at a completely unexpected time. The ideal way to figure thing out usually gets clearer picture when you go for a drive, in a deep sleep or even while taking a bath. In Sir Max Aitken, proprietor of the Daily Express’s case, this phenomenon happened while he and his colleagues were having a lunch in 1967. Those were a period of despondency in Britain caused by the devaluation of the pound. They wanted to create an event which their newspaper could sponsor. The blueprint of London Sydney Marathon was born there.
As expected the 1968 rally got immense response from car makers and Porsche got ready for the rally with purpose built 911. Porsche engineers took the ‘purpose building’ on a serious note. They made unusual 911s with gently flowing body of the early years is bedecked with pipes and prison bars, the roof packed to the hilt with tires and canisters, and the rear sports a bizarre set of exhaust geometry. Rather that the beauty associated with the Porsches, the usability and endurance to cover over 11,000km was the key in making this particular 911. The route of the rally from London to Sydney via Paris, Turin, Bulgaria, Istanbul, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and to India then to Australia via sea route promised unexpected adventures.
In the end, three 911 S cars were prepared for rally, though only the one for the Poles Sobiesław Zasada/Marek Wachowski was regarded as a factory car. The identical cars for Terry Hunter/John Davenport and Edgar Herrmann/Hans Schuller were supported by private sponsors.
Rather than the excitement in rallying, there were number of bottlenecks such as flying rocks, day and night tiring drive or with people even pouring into the roadways or throwing rocks thinking what the hell is going on. No barriers, no authorities, and defensive driving were not a solution yet the cars marched on.
The nine day voyage to Australia from Bombay gave the competitors the chance to relax and prepare for the final stretch of over 4000km across Australia. In the end, the 911 of Zasada/Wachowski came on fourth after brake trouble and a calculation error at a time check. Herrmann/Schuller took fifteenth place while Hunter/Davenport had to abandon the race because too much sand sucked in the wrong place in Kabul. A Hamburg based car collector bought this car and cared in pristine condition for decades before a fire destroyed much of the car.
You cannot just sit back and see a legend dyeing. When it is an Iconic Porsche 911 all hand joins together. This iconic 911 is on its resurrection as several Porsche departments contemplating a project to restore it. Soon the purpose built 911 at Porsche Museum will tell. Image credits – Porsche