Just Do It with this ex-Acropolis Rally Porsche 911
If, when you think of Greece, the Acropolis rally springs to mind sooner than Keftedes or broken china, then you’ll appreciate this Porsche 911 SC, which contested the ‘Rally of Gods’ thrice in the early 1980s.
The stifling dust, blistering heat and gruelling special stages of the rally have clearly taken their toll on the car’s bodywork, though there is something indescribably alluring about its ‘decommissioned’ state. It’s as though, after it crossed the finish ramp at its final event, the decals were half-heartedly peeled off and it was simply left as a reminder of its competitive heyday, warts ’n’ all.
The 911 was campaigned in a small number of rallies by Greek privateers including Giorgis Raptopoulos and Ioánnis ‘Jigger’ Vardinoyiannis, who’d received backing from Avin, one of Greece’s leading oil companies. It was subsequently adorned with Nike stickers, though it’s unclear if the sports-clothing giant had any notable involvement.
In Greek mythology, Nike was the winged goddess of victory, though judging by this car’s reliability issues and average results, she clearly wasn’t shining down on the Greek pilots at the time. Given its current state, the time warp Porsche could do with an intervention from Aphrodite, the goddess of love, instead. That said, it would be criminal to flawlessly restore this car, and effectively wipe its history. Its battle scars are all part of the charm, each dink, dent and crudely painted logo a story to be told.
The versatility of the 911 was such that, when Vic Elford persuaded Porsche’s reluctant competition manager Baron Huschke von Hanstein to lend him one in 1967 for the Tour of Corsica, where he finished an impressive third, the car was destined to write motorsport history.
Despite fierce competition from the likes of the Audi Quattro and the Lancia 037, the Works-backed 911s were still competitive in the 1980s – particularly in the Middle East – and proved four-wheel-drive wasn’t the be-all and end-all. Funnily enough, we’re beginning to see specially prepared modern 911s competing in World Rally Championship rounds once again – a very welcome sight indeed. One thing is for certain: you would feel like a (Greek?) driving god behind the wheel of this 911 on a loose gravel Acropolis special stage…
Photos: Rémi Dargegen for Classic Driver © 2016 / Early 911S