Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Atlanta, Georgia | October 27, 2018
Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s
It seems like many people love their Porsches in Gulf Oil colors. Don’t get me wrong, it’s one of the best racing liveries there is, not to mention they are great colors. But when it comes to racing Porsches, the Rothmans livery is where it’s at.
And speaking of “where it’s at” – this car is where it’s at. Let’s start with the 959. It was Porsche’s first true full-bonkers supercar. It was the most technologically-advanced car in the world at the time of its introduction. They went on sale to the public in 1986.
This 1985 car is called a 959 and what it represents is Jacky Ickx’s intent to take a Porsche to the world famous Paris-Dakar rally. But let’s back up. Porsche introduced a concept car in 1983 called the Gruppe B. It was essentially the 959 in concept car form.
Ickx entered three Porsches in the ’84 Paris-Dakar. They were based on the contemporary 911 SC RS. For 1985, Porsche offered up three purpose-built 959 rally cars. This is one of those cars and it’s powered by a naturally-aspirated 3.2-liter flat-six 911 Carrera engine with all-wheel drive. It was sort of an “almost-959.” All three cars failed to finish the race, including this one piloted by Dominique Lemoyne and René Metge.
It all came together in 1986 when Porsche put the 959-spec engine in the next batch of rally cars and ended up with a 1-2 finish at the Paris-Dakar. Only seven 959 rally cars were built, three in ’85, three in ’86, and one Le Mans prototype. Porsche kept five of them and one was destroyed in a fire. This is the only true 959 rally car in private hands.
It’s a pretty awesome opportunity to acquire a Porsche that most hardcore Porsche collectors will never have the chance to own. Oh yeah, and it also sports that Rothmans livery. It should bring between $3,000,000-$3,400,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
If we consider the dawn of the supercar to begin sometime between the Lamborghini Miura and the Ferrari 288 GTO, then the Porsche 959 is among the more grandfatherly supercars in existence. What most older supercars have in common is this: they were all hard tops. Drop top supercars didn’t gain much traction until the Lamborghini Diablo Roadster and the Ferrari F50.
The 959 was the most technologically advanced motorcar available for purchase when it debuted in 1986. It was the fastest car in the world too, topping out at 197 mph. It is powered by a 2.8-liter twin-turbo flat-6 making 444 horsepower. With a complex all-wheel drive setup and active suspension, this car was years ahead of its time.
So we come back to the elephant in the room. What’s with the drop top? Porsche never built one… so what is this? Well, Porsche sold one of the 337 959s to racing driver Jürgen Lässig who, well, had a slight incident in this car while racing down the Autobahn. He sold what was left of it to Auto Becker, a German used car company. They meticulously rebuilt the car but decided, since it wasn’t original anymore anyway, to make it into a convertible. It’s pretty crazy and pretty cool. Sure, it’ll never be as valuable as a traditional 959, but it is rarer… and sunshinier. Yes, that’s now a word. A removable hardtop is included as well.
This wonderful piece of someone’s imagination is estimated to bring between $1,300,000-$1,600,000 at auction. Click here for more info and here for more from Coys.
Offered by RM Auctions | Milan, Italy | November 25-27, 2016
Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s
Porsche has been building sports cars since the tail end of the 1940s. In there, they’ve sprinkled in a variety of race cars and even an off-roader. But it wasn’t until the mid-1980s that they decided they’d get into the supercar game, which in fairness to Porsche, was really just beginning to kick off in earnest.
The 959 went on sale for the 1986 model year and was sold through 1988 (though a handful were built in 1992 and 1993 as well). It was a technological wonder upon it’s introduction. Conceived to help Porsche crush it in Group B rallying, the 959 has a traditional-for-Porsche rear-engined layout but all four wheels are powered via a ground-breaking torque-distributing 4WD system. The engine is a 2.8-liter twin-turbo flat-6 making a serious 450 horsepower.
Sixty mph was achieved in less than four seconds (remember, this was the 1980s) and the top end was 195 mph. The body was made of a complex aluminium and Kevlar mix to keep weight at a trim 3,200 pounds. This car is being offered at a huge 850-lot single-collection liquidation sale and it is one of the higher-mileage 959s you can probably find, having covered nearly 30,000 km in its life. But hey, at least someone was using it. Only 329 959s of this type were built and you can find more about it here. Click here for more from this sale.
As supercars go, the Porsche 959 was the pinnacle of them when it debuted for public sale in 1987. It was the first of its kind in many ways, utilizing technology over pure power and force. Its advanced all-wheel drive system would set the tone for 4WD supercars to come. And its composite body was a benchmark for lightness and strength.
The engine is a 450 horsepower 2.9-liter twin-turbo flat-6. This car is actually one of 37 pre-production cars (prototypes included) built. This was one of seven prototypes used for ABS development (it’s crazy that they built seven cars just to test anti-lock brakes – and that we know which of those were which). It was sold to a private owner in 1989. It spent most of its life in collections in Japan before coming stateside a few years back.
This is one of about 10 surviving 959 Prototypes and it still wears its original tires. Only 337 of these cars were producing in total, so they’re rare to begin with and adding the fact that this is a Porsche-factory tester only makes it more special. It can be yours for between $600,000-$700,000. Click here for more info and here for more from RM in Monaco.