Only six Porsche 959 Paris-Dakar rally cars were ever built, and one is up for auction.
RM Sotheby’s, renowned prestige auction house, is holding a ‘Porsche 70th Anniversary’ sale in Atlanta, Georgia in October at which the rare rally car will cross the block.
It’s early days, but RM Sotheby’s has already estimated the 959 Paris-Dakar will fetch somewhere between USD$3-4 million, putting it well north of the price of a ‘standard’ 959.
A naturally aspirated 3.2-litre engine (from a Carrera) lives in this particular 959 (which is built onto a 911 chassis as a 959 'prototype'), as well as the AWD system developed for the road car, and specialised suspension for the rally.
This chassis, 010015, was driven by René Metge –who won the 1981, ’84, and ’86 Paris-Dakars – in the 1985 race. He would go on to win a year later in one of the first ‘proper’ 959 rally cars.
Metge didn’t finish in 1985, but the oil leak he suffered proved more fortuitous than the crashes which the other two 959 entries were involved in.
RM Sotheby’s says the car is in “as-raced, highly original condition,” which leads us to wonder whether the dirt on its underside is from its mid-‘80s Dakar outing.
Car specialist for RM Sotheby’s Alexander Weaver says it’s the first time a Paris-Dakar 959 has come up for public sale.
“Just six of these impressive machines were ever built, with five examples surviving and perhaps a mere two or three, including this car, in private hands,” says Weaver.
“The Paris-Dakar presents in as-raced, highly original condition, and is being commissioned to complete running order prior to the sale in October.
“There has been a considerable surge in the popularity of safari-style, rally-spec 911 builds, and the 959 Paris-Dakar is essentially what sparked all of these on/off-road Porsche models.
“For any die-hard Porsche collector and off-roader, this is an unheard-of opportunity.”
A road-going 1985 Porsche 959 prototype will also come up for sale at the auction, another car that pre-dates the official beginning of 959 production.