For those in their 30s and 40s, the Porsche 959 is likely a hero car from their childhoods. Built from 1984 to 1986 for Group B rally racing and homologated as a road car that was built from 1986 to ’93, the 959 could approach 200 mph on the street and reach 130 mph off road. The 959 was a truly amazing car for the era.
The greatest version of the 959 is, and always will be, the Rothman’s liveried Paris-Dakar racing version. Now, for the first time in history, one of those amazing machines will be sold at a public auction.
Built in 1985 for driver René Metge, this 959 was just one of three cars produced by Porsche to take on the grueling Paris-Dakar rally. The 1985 rally didn’t go well for Porsche, unfortunately, as this very car retired early with an oil line failure, and the other two cars crashed. Many a lesson was learned, however, as Porsche took first, second, and sixth in 1986.
Porsche produced only six examples of this race-prepped rally rocket. Five of those remain and it is believed that two or three reside in private collections. As a 1985 model, this car boasts a naturally aspirated 3.2-liter flat-6 out back.
This car lived a different life after it was done racing. Former owner Jacky Ickx took the car to the Goodwood Festival of Speed, and it’s also shown up at the Royal Automobile Club in London and earned a Best in Class win at The Quail event during Monterey Car Week. Now it’s set to change hands once again. The winning bidder will likely need to pay somewhere between $3 million and $3.4 million, according to pre-auction estimates.
With the way people have been paying out for iconic Porsches, however, this one might actually bring in a bit more than that. We’ll find out on October 27.