Possibly the most odd looking supercar iteration of the iconic Porsche 911, the Porsche 959 was initially designed as a Group B rally car. While regulations and homologation rules turned the Porsche 959 away from motorsport, apart from the fact that the cost of all the new technology was much more than motorsport could absorb back then, the Porsche 959 was still one of the most significant Porsche to have ever been made. It was the car where Porsche experimented with all-wheel drive technology for the first time in a high performance car, perfecting the technology to be used in future 911 generation, and to be made standard in the turbocharged versions.
In fact, even the twin turbo system developed by Porsche for the 959 was to be later used in Porsche sports cars. While Porsche’s technological master was still competing in motorsport before being available as a road car in 1986, the company took it to the Paris-Dakar rally, where it won in 1986 in the hands of Jacky Ickx. This Porsche 959 that you see here is the car that started it all. It is the very machine that Porsche developed for racing back in 1985 to take the challenge of participating in its first ever Paris-Dakar Rally.
This Chassis No.010015 is one of only three examples that were ever built for the 1985 Paris-Dakar Rally. This 1985 Porsche 959 that is going on sale at the RM Sotheby’s auction stage at the PEC Atlanta, was driven in the 1985 Paris-Dakar as #186 by René Metge (winner of the Paris-Dakar in 1981, 1984 in a Porsche Type 953 911, and 1986 in a Porsche 959) and Dominique Lemoyne. Of the 552 entries in the rally, just 146 completed the 14,000km race. Sadly, 010015 had to retire due to oil line failure, while the other two 959s were involved in accidents. While this car didn’t finish the race, it by all means served as a testbed for the next three 959s that were entered by Porsche in the 1986 Paris-Dakar where they dominated by finishing 1st, 2nd, and 6th overall. More on the 1985 Porsche 959 Paris-Dakar car, head over to RM Sotheby’s. Photos by Robin Adams, courtesy RM Sotheby’s