|All photos courtesy of Porsche.|
The roof carried all sorts of supplies necessary for the long journey. At the rear, the Porsche 911 S rally car had an exhaust system that would make an elephant jealous.
To some people, rally racing a 911 S against a field of impressive sedans was pure lunacy. Most teams had three drivers to deal with the grueling task of driving day and night, which was probably necessary considering that the cars had to traverse a dangerous and war-torn landscape through areas such as Iran and Afghanistan. One team even had four drivers. Anyone who's ever ridden in a vintage 911 knows they aren't exactly spacious, which I'm sure made for quite the challenge.
Some of the borders the racers crossed had been closed up for years, thanks to wars that raged between nations. The competition was being hailed as a bringer of peace in a region of unrest, and people would flock to the course in some areas to cheer on the drivers (sometimes throwing celebratory rocks in a kind of revelry I'll never understand).
The race was truly grueling, testing the limits of the machines and humans alike. Sand would clog up the various air intakes, bogging down the engine and brakes. Flying rocks presented an unfortunate chance for damage. Cars would get stuck, but cars weren't allowed to tow each other.
This is a real slice of Porsche history, and fortunately there's work underway to fully restore the original factory car. Once finished, I think the most appropriate spot for it would be in the impressive Porsche Museum, which of course is located it Stuttgart.