The 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.
Work began on developing the 959 Group B sports car for racing, which required a minimum of 200 cars to be produced. Group B regulations limited displacement to a turbocharged powerplant of 2.85 liters. Porsche fitted their 959 was two turbochargers of differing sizes and differing intentions The smaller turbo was used for quick and initial throttle manipulation, while the larger turbo was initiated at 4,300 RPM. Total output produced by the engine was 450 horsepower, with the 158 hp/liter capacity making the highest specific output ever realized in a production car.
The transmission had six forward speeds 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-center differential, which manages the torque divisions between the front and rear axle. A second PSK is 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.
Equally impressive as the mechanical aspects of the car, the exterior design brought many firsts and some one-offs for Porsche. The rear of the car, rocker panels, fenders, and roof were comprised of composite materials. The hood and doors were made from aluminum, and the front fascia was fiberglass. The end result was an aerodynamic and rigid bodyshell.
The Porsche 959 was offered for sale to the Public beginning in 1987. In just two years, 284 customer cars were built and sold.
This Porsche 959 is a low-mileage example with just 1,250 miles on the odometer. It is finished in silver over gray leather and includes the expensive, leather trim package, which includes many leather-finished details from gauges to knobs.
The car has benefitted from a Canepa Design Phase II upgrade making it a street-legal automobile with many performance benefits. The Phase II engine system included elimination of the factory-sequential turbo system and installation of a new twin-turbo system, including new Garrett 'Disco Potato' ball-bearing turbos, redesigned waste gate with TiAL diaphragms and titanium heat shields. Camshaft timing was optimized, in addition to blueprinting all intake and exhaust-valve springs. It was given an upgraded fuel system, a modern engine management system with ADL, F1-technology engine-wiring harnesses, a high-output ignition system and various other components. It has a new stainless-steel exhaust system with Porsche original-equipment dual stainless catalytic. The entire clutch system has been modified and upgraded to improve pedal feel and actuation. The suspension was upgraded to 959 S specifications incorporating titanium coil-over springs and Canepa Design's new gas strut.
The engine now produces around 640 horsepower and 570 lbs/ft of torque. Zero-to-sixty is achieved in around 3 seconds with a top speed in excess of 200 mph.
In 2012, this car was offered for sale at the Amelia Island sale presented by Gooding & Company. It was estimated to sell for $400,000 - $500,000. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $495,000 inclusive of buyer's premium.