Meet The Man Who Turns Porsche 911s Into Off-Road Rally Rides
29 January 2019 - Motor1
His name is Leh Keen, and his company is The Keen Project.
The Porsche 911 is truly unique among supercars. In a sea of mid-engines monsters, it remains true to its original rear-engine platform. Ordinarily that would be enough, but for the purpose of this feature, we're drawing attention to another unique 911 aspect. Whereas other supercars – and supercar owners – seek to avoid anything other than dry pavement, the classic 911 almost begs to take the road less traveled.
That's where Leh Keen comes in, and if that name sounds familiar, it's because we've talked about him before. He's the brainchild behind the Keen Project Safari 911, and though we've talked a bit about the cars, there hasn't been much info on the man himself. Business Insider conducted an interview with him recently, and dropped the video on YouTube for all to see.
Keen isn't just a guy with a hankering to play with Porsches in the dirt. Actually, he sort-of is, but he's also a professional race car driver who knows classic 911s backwards, forwards, and sideways. And it's not like he invented the concept of a rally-spec 911 – Porsche was involved in stage rally for many years and lest we forget, the epic 959 was originally designed to compete with the infamous Group B cars of the mid-1980s.
Keen offers a complete turn-key service for customers jonesing for an off-road 911. He'll source the car – ideally a classic 911 from 1980 through the start of the 964 series in 1989 – and perform a complete restoration of primary components before the rally conversion even begins. From there, upgraded suspension components, skid plates, bumper bars, light pods, and of course the aggressive off-road rubber turn the car from a canyon carver to a trail tamer. The custom treatment also includes a wide range of exterior colors and crazy interior designs that, as far as we can tell, have no boundaries when it comes to creativity.
Should you be in the market for such a machine, know that it is a tad pricey. Depending on what all you want in your classic rally Porsche, expect to pay around $120,000.