The Twelve Drives of Christmas - 05. The AfricanPorsche Expedition.
I'd owned my Porsche 944 for years - since before I did the Mongol Rally and this whole adventurous road tripping became a 'thing' for me. And once it did become a thing, there was only one fate for the Porsche. Its time with me was always going to finish on a big trip.
And this was the first truly big trip I ever dreamed up and made happen. A drive into the unknown, the full length of Africa:
Car: 1986 Porsche 944.
Cost: £3800 in 2002
Modifications: Raised suspension and roof tent.
Route: England to Cape Town, then up to Mozambique. Via Europe, Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, The Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Botswana and Namibia.
Breakdowns: Lots. From a full engine failure a few weeks before we left, to a wheel falling off and leaving us stranded in the middle of a desert, the trip wasn't short of drama.
Ben's rating: 8/10. The Porsche liked pretty at home amid the wilds of Africa, and made it through one of the toughest trips I've ever undertaken. It just lacked that last bit of charisma which elevate the very best trip cars above being mere transport.
I've written so much about the Porsche's trip that you're probably bored of hearing about it by now, but in case you're not, here's a quick trip report and some photos from the trip:
Or for the full fat account, you can get the book here:
What I've not really put out there yet is some photos of the Porsche from before its African adventure. I owned it for five years before the trip, and took the mileage from 135,000 to 207,000 in that time, so there are a lot of memories there. Below are a few pictures from those fun years, many of which it was my daily driver, and in which it did everything from work trips to Ireland, to camping trips to France and Scotland.
And in case you're wondering, it never came home. at the end of the trip, I sold the car to a bus driver in Mozambique for 60,000 Metacas (about £300). And then the trail goes cold. It's probably a chicken coupe on the outskirts of Maputo by now...