As far as last hurrahs go, Ben Coombs certainly thought larger than most. An engineer by trade, Coombs decided that prior to selling his Alpine White Porsche 944, he’d—along with his friend, Laura Reddin—enjoy one final adventure with it. This was no weekend trip with a few six packs and some firewood; for Coombs, his vision would take him much farther afield. When it got to driving time, he pointed the 944’s nose south from his home in England—to Cape Town, South Africa.
The journey kicked off in 2007, by which point Coombs had been using the 944 as his daily driver and added 100,000 kilometers (roughly 62,000 miles) to the odometer. With the car showing a total of 320,000 km (nearly 200,000 miles), it was hardly in mint condition. But what’s another 13,000 hard miles for the trip of a lifetime? Despite being a novice mechanic, Ben felt that the 50-millimeter suspension lift and home-spun, plywood-bodied rooftop tent would be sufficient to see them through to the end.
Naturally, plans shifted somewhat sideways, even after driving through Europe, Syria, and Egypt. The crew lost their exhaust in the Nubian Desert, battled muddy roads in Kenya, and finally ground to a halt in the Namib Desert thanks to a blown ball joint. With ratchet straps and cable ties, they feebly lashed everything back together, soldiered on for a while longer, then broke down again. Eight attempts later, their amateur repair work finally held long enough to putter out of the desert at 20 mph, back onto pavement. They were able to complete the journey from there, arriving in Cape Town after 62 days of travel.
It was far from a smooth journey, but would it be an adventure everything went to plan? Even still, that a Porsche 944 with nearly 200,000 miles even stood a chance over two months, 26 countries, and five deserts is damn impressive. Be sure to click through the slideshow below to see some of the incredible sights and varied landscapes that Coombs and his co-pilot experienced.