1992 Porsche 959 S-SpecSOLD

COYS Nürburgring Auction - Saturday 11th August 2007

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Estimate: €290,000-320,000

Sold: €299,510

Manufactured by Porsche from 1986 to 1989 as a homologation special for its 961 Group B rally car, in accordance with FIA regulations requiring that a minimum number of road legal cars be built, the 959 was hailed as the most technologically advanced road-going sports car ever built, and for being the harbinger of the future of sports cars; it was the world's first high-performance vehicle to use an all-wheel-drive system, it provided the basis for Porsche's first all-wheel-drive Carrera 4 model, and it convinced Porsche executives of the system's viability so well that they chose to make all-wheel-drive standard on all versions of the 911 Turbo starting with the 993.

During its lifetime, the 959 was all but completely unsurpassed in terms of its performance, with Ferrari's F40 being the only other road legal vehicle available with performance at this level. Porsche began with an existing engine and moved on with development from there: a twin turbocharged flat six engine, with an air cooled block and water cooled heads displacing 2.85 total litres, about half a litre less than a contemporary 911 engine. The motor had originally been developed for the 935 'Moby Dick' race car, then was redeveloped slightly for the short-lived Porsche Indy Car and several other projects before being adapted a last time for use in the 961. Sequential twin turbochargers, rather than the more usual identical turbochargers for each of the two cylinder banks, allowed for a smooth, seamless delivery of power across the engine rpm band, in contrast to the abrupt on-off power characteristic that distinguished Porsche's other turbocharged motors. It has been speculated that the engine, which was used virtually unchanged in its 450bhp specification for the 959, was capable of over 600bhp in fully modified form.

In an attempt to create a rugged, lightweight shell, Porsche adopted an aluminium and Kevlar construction for the body together with a Nomex floor as opposed to the traditional steel that was normally used on its production cars. The Stuttgart factory also developed the car's aerodynamics for increased stability, as well as the automatic ride height adjustment available on the road car, and its 'zero lift' dynamics were a big part of maintaining driveability across the speed range, essential for a car capable, via a six speed gearbox, of 0-60mph in a mere 3.7 seconds and a 197mph maximum speed.

The 1983 Frankfurt Motor Show had been chosen for the unveiling of the Porsche Group B prototype. Even in the waning hours of October 9th finishing touches were being made on the car, and when the curtain was drawn the next morning the Group B 961 became an instant celebrity. After the first two prototypes, the bodywork was modified to include air vents in the front and rear wheel housings, as well as intake holes behind the doors. In total, only some 250 cars, of which 226 were 959 road models, were produced, including one 959 and one 961 which remain in the Porsche historic hall in Stuttgart.

First registered in April 1993, this splendid example was originally purchased by Autohaus Joest which kept the car until February 1997, after which it passed to Willi Weber, Michael Schumacher's manager, who it is believed changed the car's colour to silver. Some three and a half years later the 959 was repainted in its original red at Porsche's Stuttgart works, at a cost of 23,848DM, before being purchased by the current owner in August 2000.

A further 19,761DM was spent at the factory in January 2001 having the engine uprated to S specification with an output in excess of 500bhp. Regularly maintained at the Porsche factory since, the last service being in February this year when a new windscreen was also fitted, this hugely capable supercar comes with all related receipts and an original repair manual never before offered for sale. Offered in excellent condition, such a limited edition Porsche represents a rare opportunity for the serious collector.

Der Porsche 959 war eine ganze Zeit unbestrittener Sieger im automobilen WettrŸsten zwischen Ferrari und Porsche, war er doch eine technische Tour de Force der Ferrari nur relative archaische Antworten entgegensetzen konnte. Zu lang wŸrde die Liste der technischen Feinheiten dieses Automobils werden, Allradantrieb und ein 450 PS Motor, der das Auto in 3.7 Sekunden auf 100 km/h schnellen lie?, sollen hier genŸgen.

Reference Number 11825

as of 7/28/2007

Car 1992 Porsche 959 S-Spec
VIN 900289