1988 Porsche 959
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 duPont’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 example has a possibly unique colour scheme according to the factory: Steingrau metallic (metallic stone grey, to match a sample provided by the ordering client- Porsche code #944) with charcoal leather upholstery and 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 was acquired by Italian collector Gualtiero Giribaldi, scion of a business dynasty based between Milan and Monte Carlo, as part of his extensive stable of supercars including Aston Martin V8 Vantage and PoW, Bugatti EB110 and others. We handled the sale of this collection (as Bonhams Europe) at auction in May 2005 in Monte Carlo, Signor Giribaldi retaining the Porsche 959 until the following year when Kidston SA oversaw its purchase by another significant Italian collector. Since then it has been comprehensively ‘gone through’ to check all systems work as intended, ensuring reliability and enjoyment of use. This work was entrusted to the Porsche factory in 2007 (at 24,687km) and 11 pages of invoices totalling € 55,0000 detail what was done. The car is Italian (EU) registered, has ASI (Italian Classic Car Federation) homologation and a comprehensive set of books and manuals.
With just 27,501km now recorded, significant factory work, a distinctive specification and excellent provenance, this must be one of the finest examples of Porsche’s defining über supercar and a classic whose performance still stuns drivers and passengers alike, almost 25 years after it was first announced. The car will be serviced by Porsche Milano prior to delivery.
Please note that for the owners accounting purposes a sale can be agreed but not completed before 1st May 2011.