Porsche 959 'Sport' (1988)

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One of just 29 "Sport" 959's Built and with just 2,500 Miles this Guards Red example is surely one of the finest in existence.  

One of Just 29 Sport Examples - Very Low Mileage

United KingdomLocation: United Kingdom
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A Porsche 953, a normally aspirated 911 with four-wheel drive, won the Paris-Dakar rally in 1984. This victory marked a significant achievement for Porsche and encouraged the company to set its sights higher. Porsche, with chief engineer Helmuth Bott, began work on creating a 'Super Porsche'; an all-wheel-drive, turbocharged Porsche with ride-height adjustment. The 959 has long stood as Porsche's answer to Ferrari's 288 GTO, the original supercar, and their first attempt at a Supercar. Unlike the 288, it introduced technological features that were unheard of in the automotive market, and provided an excellent platform for Porsche to prove their engineering mettle. On top of that, Porsche's 959 was not only classically beautiful, but most importantly it was usable.

According to Porsche, and other authorities, the ROW (rest of world) Sport production was seven in 1987 and one in 1988. Also in 1988, 29 special sports were built for the US market. The 959 was built using the standard 911's galvanized steel body shell but with fiber Kevlar reinforced plastic wings, rocker covers, roof panel, and an aluminium bonnet and door skins. Compared to Porsche's other ventures in the 1980s, particular attention was paid to aerodynamic efficiency in the 959, including a flat bottom, resulting in a 0.31 coefficient of drag (compared to the same year 911 Turbo, which scored a 0.40 Cd). That slippery shape was also aided with a very powerful engine. The komfort 959's 2.85 litre flat-six shared little with the 930's 3.3 litre, and was more closely related to the one found in contemporary 956/962 racers featuring water cooled cylinder heads, dual overhead cams, and 4 valves per cylinder. Using a pair of turbochargers, one aiding the other, the komfort produced 450 horsepower and 367 lb-ft of torque.

The transmission had six forward gears and there four-wheel ventilated disc brakes with hydraulic assist and ABS. Top speed was achieved at 196 mph. The transaxle tube included Porsche's PSK variable-centre differential, which managed the torque divisions between the front and rear axle. A second PSK was fitted in the rear axle to work as a form of limited-slip differential. This setup allowed the driver to adapt to road conditions by selecting between 'traction,' 'ice and snow,' 'wet' and 'dry' settings.

All of this conspired to shove the komfort 959 to 62 MPH in 3.9 seconds, and on to a top speed of 197 MPH. While the 959 is an extremely rare car with only 337 produced, this particular example is a 1988 "Sport" model, of which there were only 29 produced. Over the Komfort models, the 959 Sport versions have different seats incorporating racing-style harnesses, no rear seats, an "S" steering wheel, a factory fitted leather-wrapped roll bar structure, and a more standard-fare coil over strut suspension, rather than the often problematic height-adjustable air suspension.

Power and reliability was boosted in an effort to pass the car off as a track car by fitting new specification turbochargers and redesigned wastegates. Cam timing was optimised, and the fuel, ignition and engine management systems were upgraded. Legend has it that the USA 959 S was created as a US only car for the close friends of Porsche racer, Al Holbert. The idea was to bring in 959S as a track day / race car, thereby side stepping all of the DOT and EPA regulations that were never met by Porsche. When the first 10 arrived in the US the US government agencies inspected the cars, and after a trip to the Nazareth Speedway, they determined that the 959S was not a track car and that they were, "too nicely appointed to be a racing car". They were all shipped back to Porsche and were never federalized in period like the Ferraris. It was not until the Show and Display law was passed in 1998 that they could legal be taken into the US.

This car was originally contracted to George Gillett of Florida, USA. It is thought that the car was never delivered to George but remained in Europe and was purchased by its first owner Mr Gabel from Berlin. The specification is believed to be as it left the factory whereby the exterior is red and the interior is grey cloth; the speedometer is measured in MPH (a reflection of its original intended destination). Mr Gabel kept the car until 2006 when the car was sold by a dealer in Berlin to only its second owner with whom the car has remained with until today. At that time the car had covered an indicated 1,400 miles from new and was described as having a "Stage 2 engine kit" giving the car more torque and power.

Today the car has covered just 2,200 miles from new and has just received a full inspection and no expense spared service at Porsche Great Britain. The condition of the car is superb throughout and absolutely as one would expect for the mileage. The car is UK registered and available to view by appointment only but immediately.

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  • Porsche 959 'Sport'
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  • DK Database ID: #530

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