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A stunning expression of Porsche’s technical excellence and unwavering commitment to racing domination, the 959 continues to amaze sports car enthusiasts worldwide today. Conceived following the 1980 installation of Peter Schutz, who as Porsche company president favored intensive development of the 911, the 959 was rooted in the all-wheel-drive 911 concept debuted at the 1981 Frankfurt show, followed there in 1983 by the twin-turbo Gruppe B, itself inspired by the all-out and short-lived FIA rally class.
Racing provided the ideal environment to develop the all-wheel drivetrain following Porsche’s shift from the World Rally Championship to long-distance rallies. Success was quick with the 953, a highly modified 911 driven to the 1984 Paris-Dakar victory by René Metge and Dominique Lemoyne. For the 1985 Paris-Dakar, Porsche debuted the 959-type six-speed gearbox with the Carrera 3.2 engine, and by 1986, the works Paris-Dakar cars neared final 959 specifications with a twin-turbo engine powering Lemoyne/Metge to another victory. These wins heightened potential 959 buyers’ anticipation, which reached a fever pitch at its 1985 Frankfurt debut.
The 959 was based upon a highly modified galvanized body shell derived from the 930 Turbo. Lightweight composite body parts included the first automotive production use of DuPont Kevlar, with aluminum for the doors and front lid, plus a polyurethane nose cap. Extensive wind-tunnel testing yielded zero lift, high downforce, and optimal cooling airflow. Underpinnings featured three ride-height positions, three shock-dampening settings, microprocessor-controlled ABS brakes with ventilated, cross-drilled discs, and “run-flat” tires. The 959’s 2,849 cc flat-six featured water-cooled cylinder heads, twin sequential turbochargers, and intercooling to deliver 450 bhp. Power was transmitted through electronically controlled all-wheel-drive. Top speed nudged 200 mph, with acceleration from rest to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds. According to Excellence magazine, Porsche built 339 examples, including 242 Komfort street models. Even with a sticker price of $300,000, the production cost was double, rendering the 959 “Porsche’s gift to its favorite customers.”
Completed on August 8, 1988 and originally finished in striking Code S7 Silver Metallic paint over Code SJ Wine Red leather, this 1988 Porsche 959 was delivered new to the UK and optioned with Sport Seats with electric height adjustment and Bridgestone factory-specification high-performance tires. Another UK collector acquired the car in 1997. By 2000, a US Porsche enthusiast purchased the 959 and imported it under “Show Display” rules, then sent it to G&K Automotive for EPA certification. Next, it was sold to a private individual in 2003 and then to the current owner, a Northeastern US collector, who acquired it in 2011.
During 2012 and 2013, the 959’s engine was completely rebuilt and resealed and a new clutch was installed by the Porsche marque experts at Callas Rennsport in Torrance, California; detailed invoices documenting this work are included with the car. During 2016, the 959 specialists at European Performance Engineering of Natick, Massachusetts, examined the car for the fastidious owner. Accordingly, the 959 was completely serviced and repaired as needed – again at Callas Rennsport, including the installation of a new set of brake discs and pads. Detailed invoices on file for this work exceed $235,000 and support the outstanding condition of this exceptionally well-sorted 959.
In addition to the aforementioned service invoices and documents including the Show or Display approval, this 959 includes a Porsche Certificate of Authenticity, an owner’s manual in English, and a rare warranty book within their original leather document pouch, plus a tool kit, an air compressor, wheel tools, and a key with Porsche fob. Less than 22,000 km (13,670 miles) are documented.
As dedicated Porsche connoisseurs are well aware, proper, original-specification 959s are extremely rare finds in the US today, particularly low-mileage examples with well-documented service histories by respected marque specialists. Accordingly, this very well-preserved and maintained 959 provides an exceptional opportunity to acquire one of the finest available.