Russell Built 911 Safari Sportsman is a bolt-on Baja-lite overhaul


Former Singer builder TJ Russell left for a solo career a few years ago, his first hit on a Baja-spec Porsche 911 based on the 964 generation that debuted at the 2019 SEMA show. Russell Built has kept working on the trails – and winning. A Rothsport Racing Porsche 911 won its class at the 2021 Baja 500 on Russell Built suspension. While a fully-built Safari 911 from the California manufacturer starts at around $400,000, the company has announced a Safari Sportsman package for the 964-series 911 that gets most of the Baja’s suspension and looks for around a third of the price of the Baja.

The kit starts with the same suspension fitted to the Baja-winning car, completely redesigned from what is found on the standard 911. Up front are parts like heavy duty bearings and hubs, adjustable spacers from UK company EXE-TC, adjustable camber plates, sheet steel and 7075 aluminum lower A-arms for the uprights, tie rods, stabilizer bars and upper strut mounts. Out back, a custom subframe that lowers the roll center contains boxed-plate steel trailing arms connected to in-house bypass King shocks and coilovers, and other goodies like machined-aluminum hub carriers and sturdy hubs. Russell Built says there are ten inches of rear travel in the rear; the 2019 Baja spec had 12 inches of travel up front, 13.5 inches in the rear.

On the outside, a quartet of substantial bolt-on fenders give that Turbo look while leaving room for extended track and suspension travel. There are no engine changes, but modders will be happy to do anything from swapping the gearing to installing a 400-hp 4.0-liter flat-six. .

It wouldn’t be a complete Baja kit without the finishing touches like the six skid plates, new fender liners, steel tube inserts for the bumpers and mud flaps. spare parts, all on Toyo Open Country rubber. Other new flourishes include new brake lines and the conversion of the parking brake to hydraulic actuation. An accessories catalog offers more parts like a roof rack – that fifth wheel has to go somewhere – full steel tube bumpers and more skid plates, rally lights in carbon housings, an interior roll bar and an air compressor.

Russell Built says the Safari Sportsman package is “fully bolt-on,” “requires minimal fabrication” and “minimal trimming of the factory body,” but owners can’t do the bolt-on yet. The store only does in-house builds, starting at $135,000, which covers installation, tuning, and painting. If you’re wondering how to spend your tax return, head to the Russell Built site for some ideas.

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