Check Out the ’80s and ’90s Rigs Running the Epic Dakar Rally This Week
Who doesn't love Mitsubishi Pajeros, Nissan Patrols, and Safari 911s off-roading?
The 2022 Dakar Rally, which started on the first and runs through January 14, is underway in Saudi Arabia, and it’s chock-full of sweet dune-hopping hardware. For those who are unfamiliar, the Dakar Rally, previously known as the Paris-Dakar Rally or simply Dakar, is a legendary event that has taken place almost every year since 1978. It has taken place in the arid deserts of North Africa, South America, and since 2020, entirely in Saudi Arabia. It’s known as a rally raid, which is a fun term for a cross-country off-road rally, and has stages that sometimes stretch as far as 500 miles. To make it more intense, every last off-road mile is to be completed as fast as possible in one day. Its various classes are made up of pretty much all purpose-built racing-spec rigs, ranging from motorcycles to trucks to even bigger trucks.
What’s especially cool about 2022 is that it’s the second installment of the Dakar Classic, a special portion of Dakar aimed at racing pre-2000 off-road rigs, most of which are Dakar equipment of yore. I’m talking about Benz G-Wagons, Mitsubishi Pajeros, Nissan Patrols, Toyota Land Cruisers and Prados, aircooled Porsche 911s with iconic liveries, Lada Nivas, and my personal favorites: Range Rover Classics and Land Rover Series IIs. Plus many more iconic enthusiast mobiles. Just take a look at the vast number of sign-ups.
French driver Marc Douton won the first Dakar Classic in 2021 with a Sunhill buggy, and this year he has chosen a 1985 Porsche 911 Safari. The 2022 race is a bit different, however, as he is competing against a larger field of 150 crews. Check out this awesome footage from the event so far:
Keep an eye on the rally’s website, Twitter, Instagram (this is the official account), and YouTube for all the updates and more cool photos. There are also a lot of great photos here. I think it’s really neat that they’re capitalizing on this event’s rich heritage and running all this cool old stuff. I’m curious what kind of times these old-timers are setting up against their modern kin. Queue: many well-spent hours watching vintage Dakar footage throughout the next week
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