Conceived in the early 1980s as a four-wheel-drive Group B competitor, the Porsche 959 was first displayed in concept car form at the 1983 Frankfurt Motor Show and despite the subsequent abandonment of the events for which it had been intended, entered limited production in 1987. Representing the ultimate in automobile design, the 959 successfully adapted state-of-the art racing technology for road use, and even today its specification remains unparalleled.
At the cars heart was a unique, 2,849cc version of the classic, six-cylinder, air-cooled boxer engine equipped with water-cooled, double-overhead-camshaft, four-valve cylinder heads. The latter had been developed initially for the 1981 Le Mans-winning 936, and were further refined on the even more successful 956/962 that triumphed at La Sarthe every year from 1982 to 1987. In 959 specification this formidable twin-turbo-charged unit produced 450bhp, an output which, combined with the lightweight composite bodys drag coefficient of just 0.32, proved sufficient to propel the 959 past 195mph and on to the front rank of all-time supercars.
The 959s sophisticated four-wheel-drive six-speed transmission paved the way for that of the Carrera 4; computer controlled, it provided variable torque split with alternative programmes for dry, wet, icy or off-road conditions. Ride height was electrically controlled, the ABS brakes delivered race-car levels of retardation and the run-flat tyres were monitored for pressure loss, all of which made for a car faster than just about anything else on the road yet, in the Porsche tradition, was comfortable, practical and reliable. Indeed, with its electric windows and mirrors, climate control, electric heated seats and superb stereo system, the 959 rivalled many a limousine for luxury.
Although its Group B raison d-être had ceased to exist, the Porsche 959 did achieve one major competition victory, René Metge and Dominique Lemoyne winning the gruelling Paris-Dakar Rally in 1986 in their works 959 with similar cars in second and seventh places, while the race-developed variant finished seventh at Le Mans that year, winning the IMSA GT2 class. In total, fewer than 300 of these exclusive supercars were made - the official factory figure is 292.
Sold new in Germany and first registered on 10th June 1988, this left-hand drive, two-owner 959 has covered circa 15,000 kilometres from new and was acquired by the vendor in September 2000. An accident-free example, it was last serviced in December 1998 and has been off the road for the past three years; a full service is advised before any extended driving is undertaken. Presented in very good condition in every department, the car is finished in Porsches classic silver livery with Bordeaux leather interior featuring Porsche Design seats in four-shade silver, and comes complete with tool kit, owners wallet and German registration papers.