Lot 142

2015   |   Scottsdale Auctions 2015

1988 Porsche 959 Sport

SOLD $1,705,000


$1,500,000 - $2,000,000| Without Reserve



Car Highlights

One of Only 29 Sport Models Ever Built
Rare and Desirable Grand Prix White Livery
Upgraded to Factory Stage II Specifcations
Outstanding Maintenance History Including €55,000 Porsche Classic Service in 2011
Exceptionally Original Example Complete with Books, Tools, and Records

Technical Specs

2,848 CC DOHC Flat 6-Cylinder Engine
Bosch-Motronic Electronic Fuel Injection
Twin KKK Turbochargers
540 HP at 6,750 RPM
6-Speed Manual Transaxle with Variable 4-Wheel Drive
4-Wheel Ventilated Disc Brakes
Fully Independent Double-Wishbone Suspension with Coil-Over Shock Absorbers
Register to Bid

One of Only 29 Examples Built | Extremely Rare Factory Stage II SpecificationWilli Marewski, Frankfurt am Main, Germany (acquired new in 1989)Sigurd Lutz Legner, Hohendubrau, Germany (acquired from the above in 2007)Rolf Häuptli, Thalwil, Switzerland (acquired from the above circa 2008)Current Owner (acquired from the above)

Following the 953’s decisive win at the grueling Paris-Dakar Rally in 1984, Porsche’s chief engineer, Helmuth Bott, declared his ambition to build a “Super Porsche” – a turbocharged 911 variant with all-wheel drive and variable ride height. Over the next three years, Porsche developed a groundbreaking sports car to comply with the FIA’s Group B regulations, which capped the capacity of turbocharged engines at 2.85 liters and required 200 production cars for homologation purposes.

The result of Porsche’s significant effort was the 959 – arguably the most technically advanced and influential high-performance automobile built during the 1980s. Equipped with a race-proven 450 bhp, twin-turbocharged fat six, a six-speed transaxle, state-of-the-art PSK variable differentials, and aerodynamically effective composite bodywork, the 959 was immediately hailed as a technological masterpiece. Even today, the 959 remains the standard by which the latest Porsches are judged.

Though the 959 is best remembered as a landmark supercar, its motor sports achievements are equally significant. In 1986, competition versions of the 959 secured a 1-2 finish at the Paris-Dakar Rally and the one-of 961 Group B racing car finished 1st in Class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans – achievements that served as a profound testament to the incredible versatility and strength of the basic platform.

After constructing and testing 16 prototypes and 21 pre-production versions, Porsche finally offered the 959 for sale to the public. Between 1987 and 1988, just 284 production 959s were built. While available in two configurations, Komfort and Sport, the vast majority were sold as Komfort models.

Whereas the Komfort model was designed strictly for road use, the purpose-built Sport model was intended for the US market, aimed at well-heeled enthusiasts who desired the ultimate dual-purpose supercar.

The 959 Sport featured a more conventional coil-over suspension system (eschewing the complex adjustable ride-height control system) and was factory-equipped for track use with a fully integrated, leather-wrapped roll cage, four-point Autoflug racing harnesses, and cloth upholstery. In keeping with its more focused character, the Sport model was stripped of air-conditioning and many other creature comforts that were standard on the Komfort model, contributing to a total weight savings of approximately 220 lbs.

Of all the 959s built, just 29 Sport models were ever produced, making it one of the most exclusive high-performance automobiles of the modern era.

The 959 presented here is a definitive example of this legendary Porsche supercar – a meticulously maintained Sport model with just four owners and just over 29,000 km (approximately 18,000 miles) from new.

Constructed on August 4, 1989, this late-production 959 is one of only 11 examples originally finished in Grand Prix White (P5). The remaining 18 Sports were finished in Guards Red, the only other color offered for the model. Once completed, the 959 Sport was delivered to its first owner, Willi Marewski, a well-known car and motorcycle collector living in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

In June 2002, still under Herr Marewski’s ownership, the 959 Sport was entrusted to Porsche’s Kundenzentrum (or Customer Center) to be upgraded to factory Stage II specifications.

Developed by Elmar Willrett, the famed Porsche engineer who oversaw the turbo development for the 934, 935, and 961 racing programs, the 959 Stage II power upgrade included improved turbochargers and intercoolers, 961-style camshafts, and remapping of the ECU and fuel-injection system.

In total, this comprehensive factory upgrade increased horsepower from the 959’s standard 450 bhp to approximately 540 bhp. Along with a dramatic increase in power and torque, the Stage II upgrade also contributes to a considerable reduction in turbo lag without significant efects on the engine’s overall reliability and performance.

The consignor believes this car to be one of only three 959 Sports that benefited from this most desirable specification, and the increased power output is fully supported by a Porsche factory dyno sheet.

Following this work, the 959 Sport remained in the hands of its original owner until 2007, when it was sold to his friend and fellow collector Sigurd Lutz Legner. Herr Legner kept the 959 only a year, and it was then sold to Dr. Rolf Häuptli, a Porsche collector living in Thalwil, Switzerland.

Dr. Häuptli used the 959 Sport sparingly until 2011, when he delivered the car to Porsche Classic and instructed the factory to perform a comprehensive service, resulting in an invoice totaling more than €55,000.

Upon delivery back to Dr. Häuptli, Porsche issued a three-page letter confirming all aspects of the service performed as well as a detailed condition report. Significantly, the condition report, prepared by Alexander Fabig and Sven Klapputh of Porsche Classic, clearly states that this 959 Sport “can be categorized as being in good overall condition.” These important factory records are included with the sale of the car, along with certified English translations.

Since the time of this service, the 959 Sport was sold to the current owner, a prominent US-based collector with a passion for the most exotic contemporary Porsches. In his care, the Porsche has been driven less than 2,000 km and, at the time of cataloguing, displayed just over 29,000 km (approximately 18,000 miles).

Today, the 959 remains in exceptional unmodified condition save for a full application of clear paint protection and tinted windows to prevent the interior from fading.

Consistent with its impressive presentation, this 959 is offered with books, tool kit, keys, and an impressive file of documentation that includes the Porsche Certificate of Authenticity, factory dyno sheet, German and Swiss registration papers, as well as extensive service receipts, including the recent invoices and condition report from Porsche Classic.

A very rare find indeed, this 959 Sport is one of only 11 examples delivered new in the preferred Grand Prix White livery, and it is among an even more exclusive group having been upgraded to the ultra-desirable, factory-developed Stage II specifications while in the hands of its original owner.

This is no ordinary 959, but rather a Group B sports racing car intended for the road. It is a truly remarkable and utterly unique machine in that it delivers outright performance to match nearly any contemporary rival while being eminently usable in virtually any driving condition, regardless of weather or road.

After all, the 959 Sport is widely regarded as the perfect supercar. It seamlessly integrates cutting-edge engineering, exotic materials, and real motor sports heritage into the outstanding all-around package that has made the Porsche 911 a world-class sports car for over 50 years.

Presented here is an exciting opportunity to acquire an outstanding example of the Porsche 959 Sport – the very best of an exceptionally rare breed and an undisputed icon of high-performance motoring.