Before the Ferrari F40, before the McLaren F1, almost before the term ‘supercar’ was invented, there was the Porsche 959, an expression of technical competence, research, development and competitiveness that defined the genre and brought a new excitement to automotive development.
The Porsche 959’s odyssey started in 1983 and involved many pioneering techniques including moulded fibreglass/ Kevlar bodywork, the first production use of du Pont’s Kevlar aramid material. The suspension had three ride-height selections in addition to three settings for the shocks. Its antilock braking system was controlled by high speed microprocessors augmented by run-flat Bridgestone tyres. The 2,849cc Porsche twin sequential turbocharged and intercooled flat six engine ran a maximum of 1 atmosphere boost and used water cooling for the six individual cylinder heads, producing a totally reliable 450 horsepower at 6,500 rpm (easily boosted to 650bhp) driving through an electronically-controlled all wheel drive system. Performance? 198+ mph top speed and 0-100km/h in a staggering 3.6 seconds...even in the wet. The list of the Porsche 959’s achievements could go on and on. It is sufficient to reiterate only that it was a tour de force in any number of areas and was the first of a new breed of ultra high performance supercar.
Just 292 Porsche 959s left the Stuttgart factory, all ordered long before production and each one of them destined for wealthy automotive connoisseurs- and that’s despite Porsche losing money on every single car they sold.
This German-market example was collected directly from the Porsche factory in Stuttgart by Herrn Jochen Holy, grandson of fashion pioneer Hugo Boss and heir to one of Germany's 200 biggest family fortunes, on 7th November 1988. He had specified ‘S7S7’ silver-grey metallic paintwork with all-black leather upholstery, with optional equipment listed as electrically adjustable sports seats left and right (M383 and M387) with heating (M139 and M340) and an alarm system (M533).
The car’s servicing book shows maintenance carried out exclusively at the factory, mileage intervals recorded as 407km (December 1989); 3,140km (July 1993); 5,659km (May 1994); 11,700km (September 2008). Since then the car has remained largely unused in the collection of its late owner, a connoisseur whose tastes were varied but invariably discriminating, with superb examples of Ferrari’s 166 Spider Corsa, 250 SWB Competizione, 250LM, Daytona Spyder and much more besides in his stable. All were presented to the highest concours standards and hardly ever driven. The Porsche 959’s mileage is now 12,857km (7,988 miles).
Perhaps most attractive to collectors, the car comes with a wealth of original ‘as delivered’ accessories: guarantee and service book; two owners handbooks; brown leather wallet with first owners name embossed on the corner (very rare); Porsche ‘Wir wünschen Ihnen Gute Fahrt’ polishing cloth; hardback workshop manual in slip case; triangle, jack and wheel wrench in their case; main tool roll, complete and uncorroded, with boxes containing spare bulbs and spare belts; electric tyre inflating pump in its case; delivery letter and compliments slip; and rarest of all, the original hanging tag for the gear lever explaining the gear selection. Few people may remember, but the 959s six-speed ‘box was revolutionary and required the car to be homologated as a five-speed model with sixth ‘off road’ gear…
With very few miles, works maintenance history, rare factory accessories and excellent provenance, this must be one of the most collectible examples of Porsche’s defining über supercar and a classic whose performance still stuns drivers and passengers alike, some 30 years after it was first announced.