1988 Porsche 959S
Finished at the Porsche factory on October 4th, 1988 this car was originally contracted to American businessman, George Gillett of Florida. As with all the 29 US bound 959S this example was not authorized for import by the DOT after a failed attempt to import them as track cars. It would be kept in France during its first years.
5021 was purchased by a Mr. Gabel of Berlin, Germany in 2008 at 1,430 miles. Gabel would eventually sell the car, now with 2,141 miles, through the German dealer, E. Theisen, to Fawaz Al-Hasawi, a Kuwaiti businessman. Al-Hasawi had an exceptional collection of cars housed in London, England and moved the car there in July of 2014.
In February of 2015 Al-Hasawi sold a large part of that collection in a historic sale referred by the press as the 'Aladdin's Cave of Classic Cars'. All 27 cars, which included the 959's period competitors the Ferrrari 288 GTO and F40, would move from London to their new owner John Collins who runs the Ferrari specialist Talacrest, in Ascot, Berkshire, England.
Not being a Porsche specialist, in July of 2015 Collins would pass the car to DK Engineering, who are more familiar with the 959. They would have Porsche Great Britain do a $15,000 full service to the car, and engage Canepa's 959 experts to remotely rebuild the car's traction control module.
Canepa would purchase the car earlier this year and finally bring the car into the US only 28 years after its original purchase date. Since its arrival our 959 team has inspected the 2,200 mile car from stem to stern and found it to be an excellent original example of one of the best sportscars ever built. Fully concours prepared this legendary, as-new Porsche is ready to anchor any car collection, or for the indulgent, ready to be driven and experienced.
About the 959
The Porsche 959 was by far the most technologically advanced sportscar when it was introduced in 1985. Their timeless design, state-of-the-art systems, and superior driving characteristics make them one of the greatest sports cars of all time.
In the early 1980s, to the joy of race fans worldwide, FISA introduced its new Group B road regulations. To qualify for homologation, manufacturers would have to produce and sell 200 road versions of their cars. Only two stepped up to the challenge: Porsche with its 959, and Ferrari with its 288 GTO.
Porsche developed the ultimate powerplant; a twin-turbocharged six-cylinder boxer engine with an air-cooled block and water-cooled heads, displaced 2.85 liters, about half a liter less than a contemporary 911 engine. The motor had originally been developed for the "Moby Dick" race car and then been redeveloped slightly for the short-lived Porsche Indy Car before being "tweaked" a last time for use in the 961, the 959's racing counterpart. The water-cooled cylinder heads combined with the air-cooled block, 4-valve heads and sequential turbochargers allowed Porsche to extract 450 hp from the compact, efficient and rugged power unit. The engine was coupled to a unique manual gearbox, which was the first 6-speed manual transmission sold in a streetcar.
In an attempt to create a lightweight shell, Porsche adopted an aluminum and Aramid (Kevlar) composite for body use along with a Nomex floor, instead of the steel normally used on their production cars. The vehicle's weight of 3,190 pounds (1,450 kg) helped to achieve its high performance level.
Porsche also developed the car's aerodynamics, with automatic ride-height adjustment and "zero lift" aerodynamics. The 959 also featured the most advanced all-wheel-drive system available in a production car. Capable of dynamically changing the torque distribution between the rear and front wheels, the PSK system gave the 959 the adaptability it needed both as a race car and as a "super" street car. Under hard acceleration, PSK could send as much as 80% of available power to the rear wheels. It could also vary the power bias depending on road surface and grip changes, helping maintain traction at all times. The magnesium alloy wheels were unique, being hollow inside to form a sealed chamber contiguous with the tire and equipped with a built-in tire pressure monitoring system.
The 959S was created as a US 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. They took out the A/C, installed a roll cage, put in a traditional coil over suspension, installed 4-point seat belts and special seats, and boosted power by about 30hp in an effort to pass the car off as track car. 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. They were all shipped back to Porsche to be sold to different regions outside North America.