1988 Porsche 959

Before the Ferrari F40, before the McLaren F1, almost before the term “supercar” was invented, there was the Porsche 959, an expression of extensive development, technical competence, and competitiveness that brought a new excitement to road-going automotive pursuits.
The Porsche 959 odyssey started in 1983 and involved many pioneering techniques, most notably molded composite bodywork. It was the first automotive production use of DuPont’s Kevlar aramid fibers. The suspension has three ride height settings, as well as three dampening settings for the shocks. Its sophisticated antilock braking system is controlled by high-speed microprocessors augmented by run-flat Bridgestone tires.

The 2,849-cc, twin sequential turbocharged and intercooled flat-six engine runs a maximum boost of one atmosphere and uses water cooling for the six individual cylinder heads. The result is a maximum horsepower of 450 at 6,500 rpm. This power is transmitted through an electronically controlled all-wheel-drive system. Top speed is 198 mph and 0-62 mph is achieved in 3.6 seconds.

The list of the Porsche 959’s specifications could go on and on. Suffice to say that it was a tour de force in any number of areas and was the first of a new breed of ultra-high-performance supercars.

Some 200 “Komfort” models were built and allocated to preferred clients throughout the world. The example offered here is the first 959 delivered in Italy and is offered by its original owner. Finished in metallic gray with triple-gray leather interior, it is original throughout and in excellent condition. The car shows 59,500 km from new, has never had an accident, and the service book is stamped accordingly. It comes with its handbook, tools and a title from the principality of Monaco.

Important automobiles to own, and even more satisfying to drive, well maintained Porsche 959s rarely become available on the open market. There is perhaps no more revolutionary automobile in the latter half of the 20th century. As the original supercar, it represents a technical achievement that may never be surpassed.

Jim Schrager

Jim Schrager - SCM Contributor - %%page%%

Jim wrote for the 356 Registry and SCM for over a decade, was a Contributing Editor for Porsche Panorama (the magazine of the Porsche Club of America), and wrote for Excellence and the Porsche Market Letter. He has written two popular books on vintage Porsches: Buying, Driving, and Enjoying the Porsche 356; and Buying, Driving, and Enjoying the Early Porsche 911. He owns about 20 vintage Porsches, which he attempts to keep on the road through all kinds of weather. He is a clinical professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, where he teaches a popular course on strategy. He actively races his family’s 41-foot sailboat with his two boys on Lake Michigan.

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