Prototype Porsche 959 heading to auction
One of the few surviving Porsche 959 prototypes will headline RM Sotheby’s Porsche 70th Anniversary Auction. This car escaped destruction and fled to the US
The Porsche 959 is a car that came to define the supercar breed. Just like the F40 is to Ferrari, this Porsche is the Holy Grail, a true high watermark for the brand from Stuttgart. Listed in our classifieds right now is a very special prototype Porsche 959 that will hit the blocks at RM Sotheby’s Porsche 70th Anniversary Auction.
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A Porsche 959 on its own is interesting for many reasons; it was being developed alongside a Group B motorsport program to help accelerate its technological advancement, for example. But this one is a little more special than the rest, being one of the few surviving prototype cars.
Development of any car requires several stages of testing and this particular example is known as an F-Series, making it one of the earliest test mules. This particular car is the seventh known as F7, one of only two Ruby Red test cars in the F-Series stage, and used for hot weather and electrical testing. This very car can bee seen in Jürgen Lewandowski’s book 959: The Art and Car where it is pictured being rigorously tested in multiple configurations.
Most of the F7’s siblings were destroyed after the Porsche 959 was completed, but F7 managed to escape. How? When returned to the Stuttgart factory after its torturous testing program, this 959 was set to be restored and converted to production specification. However, when Porsche importer Vasek Polak was told that one of his allocated 959s would be an ex-preproduction test vehicle, he bought it outright and ordered that no alterations were to be made. Porsche agreed on the condition that the car could never be road registered or taken racing without the conversion to production spec.
It’s a well travelled car as after being displayed at Vasek Polak’s US headquarters for a couple of years, it went to Japan and was displayed as part off the Matsuda Collection for seven years. Polak passed away in 1997 and the car was sold by his estate to a new Belgium owner who kept it until 2000. It then travelled to the UK where it was road registered and changed hands several times. A chap named Phillip Taysom bought the car in 2002 and spent around £50,000 getting the 959 back into running order after years on display. Another new owner in 2007 and a complete service by Porsche Centre Reading totalling £25,000 brings us to the present day.
RM Sotheby’s estimate that the prototype will go for between $1,300,000 - $1,600,000 due to its provenance and rarity. This is a very unique opportunity to buy a genuine part of Porsche 959 history. We’ll be keeping a close eye on this car as it goes up for auction on 27th October 2018.
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