You Can Now Own a 1987 Porsche 959, One of Porsche's First Supercars

You Can Now Own a 1987 Porsche 959, One of Porsche's First Supercars
Courtesy of Car and Driver 

The vehicle will be offered for auction by Broad Arrow Auctions on March 4 with an original engine and only 14,659 miles.


There are many admirers of the Porsche 911, who consider it the definitive sports car of the 20th century. In addition to its competitiveness and commercial success, it has good looks, enduring design, and just plain "fun" to drive. It’s hard to name another automobile that checks so many of the boxes. The “911” moniker is a multifaceted one, as it encompasses every model to be found within its lineage, including the cherished “Project 901” of 1963, as well as race cars that bear the 911 shape but conceal something quite different underneath.

It is inevitable that one or two superstars will outshine the others in a family with so many historical and contemporary characters. Broad Arrow Auctions' March 4 sale at the Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island in Florida will feature one of Porsche's biggest stars, with a loyal following. It's a Porsche 959.

It will be auctioned by Broad Arrow Auctions on March 4 in conjunction with its sale of a 1987 Porsche 959 Komfort. Courtesy of Broad Arrow Auctions

A car with extraordinary power, all-wheel drive, and a curved body, the 959 laid the foundation for the modern 911 era, which began in 1989 with the introduction of the 964. Originally designed for Group B rally competition in the 1980s, the Porsche 959 went on to become Porsche's ultimate road car late into the decade based on its ground-breaking technology.

A flat-six engine derived from the successful 962 race car powers the 959. As the 959's thermal limit could not accommodate the 444 horsepower, water-cooled heads were used instead of air-cooled heads. A sequential-turbo configuration for the 959 was developed based on the turbocharging that first appeared in Porsche's 917/10 Can-Am racer in 1972. 

A self-leveling suspension explored the limits of handling dynamics while computer control provided grip to all four wheels - sophisticated at the time. The 959's aerodynamic body was made of Kevlar composite, including the famous wraparound, basket-handle rear spoiler.

It was painted silver metallic with black leather seats that were heated and electrically adjustable. Courtesy of Broad Arrow Auctions

As the 959 was ultimately designed for road use, it began its career in competition, where it finished first in class and seventh overall at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (as the 961) and first, second and sixth at the Paris-Dakar Rally in 1986.

Despite its fantastic complexity, however, the 959 had a price to pay, according to Rich Report. Porsche is said to have lost $300,000 per car, which sold for $225,000 when new, so the 959 was never a viable product. Even so, it remains one of Porsche's most cherished trophies.

Despite the car's original 2.85-liter turbocharged flat-six engine, Bruce Canepa and his team increased power and torque to 600 hp and 540 ft lbs. Courtesy of Broad Arrow Auctions

“The rise in collectability of 1980s and ’90s sports and supercars isn’t going anywhere, and if the RADwood era has a royal lineup, the Porsche 959 is at the top of the list,” Broad Arrow Auctions senior car specialist Alexander Weaver says. 

“The 959 was essentially created to showcase Porsche’s technological bragging rights developed on the track in the previous decade, and the Komfort package takes the 959 to the next level, with creature comforts for extended driving. Recently serviced and with just over 14,659 miles, this is an example ready to be driven and enjoyed.”

It has been stated in the Porsche Certificate of Authenticity that this example is one of only 292 Porsche 959 Komforts that were built between 1986 and 1988. Based on the Porsche Certificate of Authenticity, chassis number is T9159ZHS900051 with Silver Metallic paint and black leather to sample (code 99) and heated, electric-adjustable sport seats. The engine, on the other hand, remains the same as it did when the car was originally built, with a capacity of 2.85 liters.

There were only 292 examples of the Porsche 959 built in production. Courtesy of Broad Arrow Auctions

With their Stage One engine upgrade, Bruce Canepa's team boosted performance and reliability, bringing it to the United States in 2002 after it was delivered to France. A 959 S coil-over suspension replaced the hydraulically adjustable suspension to boost output to 600 hp, as well as fitting 369 new components. In addition to the California smog-legal car, which is packaged in an interior leather bag matched to the tool kit, it includes a warning triangle and a very rare tool kit. This car is expected to fetch more than $2 million at auction.

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