It’s the stuff of romantic automotive adventures.
The year: 1984. The car: the Porsche 911 Carrera 3.2 4×4 Paris-Dakar (953).
This very special race car unleashed its power across the desert, winning one of the most grueling races in the world. It was the birth of a legend.
A Porsche legend.
Known as the Dakar Rallye, the race was one of the greatest adventures in the world as well as a challenging test of endurance for the drivers and cars.
And it was the birthplace of a motorsport icon that is still talked about today.
Now, for 2023, that legend is reborn in the form of the 2023 Porsche 911 Dakar. With the Rallye Design Package, the Dakar pays homage to the original car and race and brings history to life.
The 2023 911 Dakar is not only the car you want – it’s the car you need to fulfill your every desire as a driver and as a person.
And what better place to own one than in the Coachella Valley, which is close to an off-roading desert heaven known as Anza-Borrego Desert State Park?
In keeping with the Dakar legend, Anza-Borrego bills itself as “pure desert terrain,” from below sea level to 400-foot elevations.
And within its designated dune-buggy areas Anza-Borrego is known as a four-wheel drive and all-terrain vehicle paradise with what it calls wash-and-ridge terrain. That terrain includes a butte with dunes and a sand bowl, a blow-sand dune, and even springs. Want to really soak in the wild desert atmosphere? You can camp on a former homestead site in the park.
Best of all, if you decide to camp next to your Dakar, the park has pay-to-use showers, picnic tables, shade ramadas, and fire rings. But be sure to bring your own water.
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How do you get there? The park is located in eastern San Diego and in Western Imperial counties.
You can access it via Highway 78, about 35 miles east of Julian or about 20 miles west of Highway 86.
Below is the state of California’s suggested destinations inside Anza-Borrego for off-road vehicles with high-clearance and four-wheel capability or all-terrain vehicles (ATVs). If you bring your Dakar, you are sure to be the belle of the ball, with lots of heads turning wherever you go.
You can spend a few hours or all day visiting these destinations, depending on your pace. If you have limited time, save the remotely located Pumpkin Patch and Gas Domes for another day.
Here’s what park officials have to say about the various locations inside Anza-Borrego that are sure to capture your sense of adventure.
1. Blowsand Hill. Wind-blown sand is a highly effective agent of abrasion, as anyone who has been in a sandstorm will agree. Wind is one of the few agents that can and do carry material uphill. Here, the wind carries sand for miles before piling it up into this huge dune. Perhaps the most popular spot in the park, Blowsand is illuminated by a circle of headlights on many weekend nights.
2. Devil’s Slide. This 200 foot-high granite and sand island are named for the challenge it presents to the OHV enthusiast. It is actually an ancient decomposing mountaintop. A dark coat of desert varnish covers the rocks as a result of exposure to sunlight. There are several old hidden mine shafts along the mountainside. The mines are said to be haunted. People have reported seeing flickering lights near the mines at night after rainfall.
3. Barrel Springs. These mesquite sand dunes are an oasis for wildlife. The springs seep from the ground, especially after heavy rain. Coyotes often dig holes to drink. Part of the area is designated as a cultural preserve. Archeological investigations indicate that several Native American groups and early settlers used the area. The shade and availability of water made it a convenient spot to rest, meet, and trade goods. Some of the dunes have been fenced to allow for natural restoration. Please do not ride close to the edge of the dunes as this kills the mesquite roots. Without these shrubs, the sand dunes would blow away.
4. Shell Reef. Park beneath the reef and examine the soil. You will find not rock or sand but fragments of fossilized oyster shells. Look closer and you will find entire shells and even pieces of the reef that have fallen down the slope. The reef is estimated to be 4 million years old! It was pushed out of an ancient sea during a time of tremendous upheaval when the distant mountain ranges were formed. Please help preserve the reef. Find other “hills” to climb, and encourage others to do the same.
5. Gas Domes. These mysterious waterholes produce large gas bubbles that rise up through muddy water. The water travels to the surface, emerging through a natural crack in the desert floor.
6. Pumpkin Patch. This unique landscape is the result of wind and water continuously eroding the surface soil and revealing these globular sandstone concretions. Such concretions are believed to be formed by the natural cementing of sand particles to a small object such as a piece of shell, a grain of sand, or even an insect. Please help preserve the Pumpkin Patch and the nearby ridges where new pumpkin-size desert “pearls” are emerging.
And the 2023 Porsche 911 Dakar is the perfect car for your afternoon- or weekend – getaway. You’ll have fun getting there and being there.
Expect performance, technology, and endurance that are catapulting the definition of efficiency to an unparalleled level in the auto universe.
This is the ideal luxury sports car for off-road driving and on-road performance.
The new 911 Dakar has stiffer engine mounts that increase the driving dynamics for driving on tarmac, gravel, or sand.
More about the Porsche 911 Dakar here.
With combined rear-axle steering and Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PCCD), the Dakar possesses a perfectly tuned chassis package that masters even the most difficult rally passages safely and comfortably.
The 2023 911 Dakar produces 473 horsepower, which is sent to all four wheels by the 8-speed Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK).
This car is built for a lot more than speed. It has an elevated sport suspension and lift system as well as all-terrain tires (for those dusty desert nights) and you’ll be overcome with a strong longing to move beyond the road onto your next great adventure. Whether it’s gravel, sand, or mud, the stiff engine mounts increase the driving dynamics of the 911 Dakar.
“The 911 is the only car that you can drive from an African safari to Le Mans, then to the theatre and onto the streets of New York.” – Ferry Porsche
Visit us today to inquire about the 2023 Porsche 911 Dakar.