Low-Mileage 1988 Porsche 959 “Komfort” to Be Auctioned in January

Porsche’s first supercar, the 959, is on the wish list of every car enthusiast. Now, a 1988 example of this piece of automotive engineering will be auctioned by RM Sotheby’s in January 2016.
Porsche 959 K 9 photos
Photo: RM Sotheby's
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The Stuttgart-based company originally intended to build the 959 to win the FIA’s Group B World Rally Championship. One of the most important rules of this series was that, if you wanted to compete in the Group B, you would have to build some roadgoing examples of the rally car, to prove its legitimacy as a production model, and get the FIA homologation.

Porsche did the same with the 961, but when the FIA suddenly canceled Group B, the car was already in production, so now engineers were facing a dilemma. They then decided to go ahead with the project and sell the cars to Porsche's wealthy customers. Even though it is said they were losing money on every car built, they pulled it off and sold all the very expensive 959s.

The 959 chassis has been borrowed from the 911 and was made from Kevlar, aluminum and carbon fiber. The front end was extended and flattened, and it had specially designed headlamps with extensive ducting for cooling the brakes and the oil radiator. The rear of the car also suffered some modifications, as it was stretched rearward and had a full-width rear wing installed for better drag.

The suspension was double-wishbone, race-derived, with coil springs and double shocks. It also featured adjustable shock damping and ride height and an electronically-managed all-wheel-drive system. Thanks to this innovative technology, the torque between the front and rear axles would vary under hard acceleration.

The Porsche 959 was powered by a turbocharged flat-six engine with air-cooled cylinders and four-valves water-cooled heads, and it was a tamed-down version of both an IMSA GT race car and Porsche’s Indy open-wheel project. German engineers figured a way to reduce turbo lag by mounting two sequential turbines. One small turbo would produce boost at low rpm, while a bigger one began spooling at about 4,500rpm and kept going until 6,500rpm, when a maximum of 450bhp had been reached.

The car featured a six-speed Borg-Warner manual transmission, with a very low first gear for off-road conditions, which was very useful for the 961 rally car. The 959 can go from a standstill to 60 mph in under four seconds, do the standing quarter-mile in just over 12 seconds, and it reaches a maximum speed of 200mph.

Porsche built a total of 329 examples of its first supercar between 1985 and 1992, and it dominated the auto world until Ferrari launched the F40.

This particular example is finished in Grand Prix White, blue leather interior and heated and electrically height-adjustable bucket seats, and was first registered on May 6, 1988. The vehicle later entered Switzerland, in 1991, and is a matching-numbers example with Porsche Certificate of Authenticity, according to RM Sotheby’s.

The price is yet unknown, but the car has a very low mileage, just 25,428 kilometers (15,800 miles), and it is described as being in a very good condition. In other words, you should expect a six or even seven-figure sum.
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