Porsche’s new web-series – 911: Magazine – features the story of Dr. Erik Brandenburg, who’s hand-restored more than 20 classic 911s over the last 30 years and continues to race them in classic rallies to this day.
“Society is crammed with car polishers who clean their cars all day. Crazy. They wait to drop down dead and never experience anything. That’s not me. We have to live now, full speed. Life could end tomorrow.”
If the above quote hasn’t already convinced you, Dr. Erik Brandenburg is not one for letting life slip by, and not just because he’s an endoscopic practitioner. He’s also the owner of a 1975 Porsche 911-Safari, one he spent two years building and in which he has contested historic rallies for close to three decades. It’s also one of more than 20 he’s built by hand.
Under the bonnet lies a 3-litre naturally-aspirated six-cylinder that produces 260bhp (max. speed 235kph). The livery is a period-specific Martini livery, the accompanying MAN car transporter done out in Rothmans blue and white as a further tribute to Porsche’ motorsport history. Not for the good doctor then are anti-lock brakes or traction control, systems too complex to be fixed with a spanner and some elbow grease, as he discovered on possibly his most difficult rally to-date, the 2007 Trans-Siberian Rally:
“Deserts, rocks, desolation. Hardcore. We said it was war without murder. We were driving 20 hours a day. We worked all night, every night, fixing things.”
Simple though it may be by today’s standards, this 1975 example still packs a roll cage (which consists of 50 yards of steel white tubing), safety harnesses, two electric winches with remote control and land anchor, and a fire extinguisher, Dr. Brandenburg having discovered at just 18 years old how quickly careless behaviour on road or the stages can bite you. Having borrowed around $5000 from his father to buy a damaged 911 from a scrapyard, Dr. Brandenburg was involved in a near fatal road accident that left him a nine-day coma. Life could end tomorrow. That opening quote is suddenly starting to make more sense now, right?
Dr Brandenburg’s story is just one in a brand new web series from Porsche entitled ‘911: Magazine’, focusing on its heritage, its fans and its future. And, yes, if you’re wondering, the run-time of each video will be 9m 11s.