A six-speed manual gearbox relays power to all four wheels through a Porsche-Steuer Kupplung (PSK) all-wheel-drive system with electronically controlled drive settings. Additional features include an electronically adjustable suspension system, drilled and ventilated anti-lock disc brakes, 17” hollow-spoke magnesium alloy wheels, a tire-pressure monitoring system, heated and power-adjustable sport seats with gray tri-tone leather accents, air conditioning, and a Blaupunkt Bremen cassette stereo. Work performed between 2018 and 2023 has also included replacement of the clutch, a refresh of the suspension hydraulics, refurbishment of the wheels, and a rebuild of the radiator. This 959 is now offered on dealer consignment in San Diego, California, with a Porsche Certificate of Authenticity, a stamped service booklet, registration documents from previous ownership, invoices from current ownership, photos from recent mechanical work, owner’s manuals, a tool kit, a clean Carfax report, and a clean Montana title.
Development of the 959 was initiated in 1981 after Porsche chief engineer Helmuth Bott received the support of then-new Managing Director Peter Schutz to design a 911-based Group B World Rally Championship contender. The initial Group B prototype was unveiled at the 1983 Frankfurt Motor Show, with the road-going prototype debuting at the Frankfurt show in 1985. The model was never homologated for Group B due to the class’s demise, although 959s took first, second, and sixth place at the 1986 Paris-Dakar rally before the first road-going cars were delivered to customers in 1987.
Construction of the 959 was carried out at Karosserie Baur in Stuttgart, Germany, and incorporated a steel shell with fiberglass-reinforced Kevlar body panels, Nomex floors, a polyurethane nose section, and an aluminum front trunk lid and doors. Styling was designed to eliminate aerodynamic lift while minimizing drag and includes flared fenders, covered headlights, a basket-handle rear wing, and intake vents on each flank. This example retains its original shade of Guards Red (G1), and close-ups of imperfections in the finish on the rear bumper and right-side mirror are included in the photo gallery.
The model-specific Speedline 17” center-lock cast magnesium wheels feature hollow spokes to reduce unsprung weight and were refinished in 2021 along with their center caps. Castings of 1987 date codes can be seen on the inside of each wheel in the gallery below. Bridgestone RE71 tires showing 2012 and 2017 date codes measure 235/45 up front and 255/40 at the rear, and a set of matching replacement tires have been ordered. A tire-pressure monitoring system was standard. The four-channel anti-lock brake system utilizes four-piston alloy calipers acting on cross-drilled and ventilated discs measuring 12.7” in diameter up front and 12” at the rear. A refresh of the brake system in 2016 included the replacement of the pads, and the ABS relay was replaced in 2018. A fluid flush was performed in July 2022.
The cabin is trimmed in Dark Grey Metallic leather with tri-tone silver accents over the heated and power-adjustable front sport seats and fold-down rear seats. Additional features include a color-matched perforated headliner, gray carpeting, power windows, air conditioning, and a Blaupunkt Bremen cassette stereo.
The leather-wrapped steering wheel frames VDO instrumentation including a central 8,600-rpm tachometer with an inset boost gauge as well as a 350-km/h speedometer and gauges monitoring fuel level, coolant temperature, oil temperature, oil pressure, and torque split. The six-digit odometer shows 48k kilometers (~30k miles), approximately 133 of which have been added since completion of the engine rebuild in 2022. The trip odometer was repaired in 2022.
Based on the engine used in Porsche’s 956 and 962 race cars, the 2,849cc M959/50 quad-cam flat-six features air-cooled Nikasil-lined cylinders, liquid-cooled cylinder heads with four valves per cylinder, titanium connecting rods, forged alloy pistons, dry-sump lubrication, sequential twin turbochargers, twin intercoolers, and Bosch Motronic engine management. Factory output was rated at 444 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. An overhaul completed in 2022 by Callas Rennsport in Torrance, California, included repairs to the case, honing of the cylinders, reconditioning of the connecting rods, ultraviolet magnafluxing and polishing of the crankshaft, straightening and grinding of the camshafts, and a valve job. Replacement components included the piston rings, main and rod bearings, timings chains and rails, hydraulic lifters, and IMS bearings. The injectors, the high-pressure hoses, and one of the water pumps were rebuilt during the project, while the left-side exhaust manifold was repaired and the battery was replaced. The radiator was rebuilt in March 2023.
Power is sent to all four wheels via a six-speed manual transmission and a computer-controlled PSK system that could route up to 80% of power to the rear wheels. The clutch disc, pressure plate, release fork and shaft, release bearing, and pilot bearing were replaced in 2022, at which time the flywheel was resurfaced. The double-wishbone suspension system features adjustable dampening and ride height, and service over the last five years included replacement of the tandem pump, hydraulic control valve, and hydraulic bypass valve. The Porsche Certificate of Authenticity lists the original colors, component numbers, equipment, and production date. The Carfax report is free of accidents or other issues and lists two records in 2014. The selling dealer states that the car cannot pass a California emissions test, and therefore it cannot be sold to an in-state private party buyer.
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