1988 Porsche 959
- Year of manufacture1988
- Car typeOther
- Lot number046
- Exterior colourOther
Ramón Alberto Imery Arroyo, Caracas, Venezuela (acquired new from Porsche AG in 1988)
Private Collection, Switzerland (acquired circa 2005)
Road Scholars, North Carolina (acquired from the above)
Private Collector (acquired from the above)
Current Owner (acquired from the above)
A stunning expression of Porsche’s technical excellence and unwavering commitment to racing, the 959 continues to electrify car enthusiasts worldwide. The 959 demonstrated the basic 911’s amazing potential with incredibly sophisticated specifications, exotic lightweight materials, cutting-edge aerodynamics, and shattering performance. It evolved after Peter Schutz became Porsche company president in 1981, as he favored intensive development of the 911. The initial result was a one-off, all-wheel-drive 911 shown at the 1981 Frankfurt Auto Show, followed there in 1983 by the twin-turbo Gruppe B, inspired by the wildly popular FIA rally class.
Racing provided the ideal environment to develop the all-wheel drivetrain, following Porsche’s change in focus from the FIA World Rally Championship to long-distance rallies. The unflagging experimentation was validated by 1984 Paris-Dakar winners René Metge and Dominique Lemoyne, who won with Porsche’s 953, a highly modified 911. 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 the final 959 specifications, with twin-turbo engines propelling Lemoyne/Metge to another victory. These high-profile international wins heightened anticipation, reaching fever pitch as the 959 debuted in 1985 at Frankfurt.
The 959 was based upon a highly modified body shell derived from the 930 Turbo, but radically modified and updated. Lightweight composite body parts marked the first automotive production use of DuPont Kevlar aramid fibers, with aluminum utilized for the doors and front lid, plus a polyurethane nose cap. Extensive wind-tunnel testing resulted in zero lift, high downforce, and optimal cooling airflow. Underpinnings featured three ride-height positions and three shock-dampening settings. Brakes included microprocessor-controlled ABS, augmented by ventilated, cross-drilled discs. Tires were of run-flat design.
The 959’s 2,849 cc flat-six engine featured water-cooled cylinder heads, twin sequential turbochargers, and intercooling, resulting in 450 bhp at 6,500 rpm, with power transmitted through an electronically controlled all-wheel-drive system. Top speed was nearly 200 mph, with acceleration from rest to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds. Only 242 Komfort street models were built. Even at $300,000 new, the per-car cost was actually twice that, inspiring the 959’s status as “Porsche’s gift to its favorite customers.”
Sold new in April 1988 and accompanied by a copy of the sales invoice from Porsche, this 959 is a German-market vehicle, originally finished in Silver Metallic over a Dark Grey all-leather interior. While already incredibly well equipped, this 959 was further optioned with left and right sport seats and an alarm system. Service records on file show the 959 accumulated just 4,977km of use through January 11, 2001. By September 2005, the 959 resided in Zurich, and received comprehensive service during 2005, 2006, 2011, and 2014 by noted specialists AMAG Automobil und Motoren AG and the Swiss Porsche Center at Schinznach-Bad, with mileage recorded on service invoices and totaling only 7,240 km on April 30, 2014. When the 959 was offered for sale in 2015, Porsche expert Rolf Sprenger completed a pre-purchase report. Within his report, Mr. Sprenger stated, “First of all, the car is in very good condition optically ... and technically. It is very seldom nowadays to find a 959 with such low mileage and in such good condition.”
The car was shipped to the US and then sent to Callas Rennsport in Torrance, California, where it was again inspected and any items requiring care rectified, with invoices detailing the expert “cost no object” care this 959 received. The consignor purchased the 959 in 2016 and has used the Porsche sparingly, while enjoying it as part of his extensive collection.
As astute Porschephiles are well aware, unmodified, original-specification 959s are extremely rare finds in the US today, particularly low-mileage examples with well-documented service by respected Porsche specialists. This impeccably preserved and maintained 959 provides an exceptional opportunity to acquire one of the finest available.