Traditionally, SEMA Show cars don’t run, at least not to 100% of its abilities. It’s always a crapshoot, a gamble worthy of Las Vegas’ nature when it comes to choosing a vehicle to feature. With most cars and trucks being pushed in for the show, working with one that is running and driving is a rare occurrence. It makes it a challenge to choose a perfect car to shoot for a story. Not only was the Kelly-Moss Road and Race (KMR) built Porsche 911 VICCI Safari a drivable display but I got to play with it on the sand dunes in Las Vegas after the SEMA Show last year. This time, I got to drive it on the ice.
There has been an interesting trend in Porsche builds lately: the off-road 911. It used to just be a factory rally car thing as it was limited to race only builds. Now, this trend has been starting with 911 street cars converted for off-road. This one, known as the VICCI Safari, is built by Kelly-Moss Road and Race in Madison, WI.
This one in particular is probably one of the more interesting ones that have been built as it was also built with a much higher budget. VICCI is not named for an acronym of any type of Porsche system or the like, but for the Vicci Online Car Auctions owned by KMR’s general manager, Andy Kilcoyne. This Kelly Moss Road and Race built 911 was being listed for $330,000 on the auction site, but every part of it shows why it’s worth that much.
The VICCI is based on a 1991 964 Carrera 4 chassis with a Porsche Carrera 4 all-wheel drive (AWD) system and a five-speed transaxle gearbox. The system has no lockers on the front or rear or any type of exotic differentials, but you could lock the center diff for a true 50/50 split. So, that means the air compressor under the bonnet is just for putting air back in the tires or blowing off sand or snow. The engine is a rebuilt Porsche original, focused on managing heat on the air cooled engine, but features an Eaton supercharger to get more power out of it. The Fabspeed headers and GT3 exhaust make it sound amazing.
So far, I’m the only one fortunate enough to have driven it in the sand and the snow. For me, this is probably one of the most fun cars I have ever driven. What was even better was that I wasn’t told to take it easy with it either time. I was allowed to drive it all out and without hesitation. It was really nice to be able to wring a car out to its limit for what it’s made for.
This car made its debut at the KW Suspension booth at the 2017 SEMA Show and it was directly driven from there to the sand dunes in Las Vegas. That was the first time I got to drive it. It was crazy to me because of the way it acted in the sand, especially compared to what I’ve driven before. It had so much traction but it also had such limited steering angle that I had to turn it using the throttle. I was mostly in first gear but, if I found the right lane, I could go up to second, so long as it was right in its powerband for climbing the dune.
When I got it into the snow, it was a completely different experience. It had more than enough power to drive it up to fourth gear all out, but there was so little traction. We were on a frozen lake with patches of snow three to six-inches deep on top of the ice. Sometimes less, too as there were points where I would get it pitched into an angle and it would continue sliding for what felt like forever. The reason it felt like that was because it was all just ice with no snow. The BF Goodrich All Terrain T/A KO2 tires under the 4.5- and 5.5-inch wider fenders didn’t have studs in them, so that’s why it wouldn’t grip up on those snowless patches.
It was just so cool to experience this in not only the sand but in the snow as well. It is, without a doubt, one of the most fun vehicles I’ve ever driven and I’ve driven a lot of fun and interesting vehicles.