Sometimes, it is possible to make the proverbial sow’s ear into the finest of silk purses. Crafting a terrible situation into a great outcome takes skill, talent, effort, and time in equal measures. Never before has this been truer than in the case of this topless 959. The only one of its kind, this 959 started life as a standard 959, if you can even call a 959 “standard”, but has been transformed into a unique and interesting example.
The story goes that this particular 959 was delivered in Germany to an amateur German racing driver late in the production run. Less than 24 hours after driving away from the factory, the car was hurtling down the Autobahn near 140 miles per hour. It was at high speed when an unsuspecting Opel pulled out to pass a semi in-front of the Porsche driver. The 959 swerved to avoid a car-to-car collision, but ended up going off the highway and rolling over. The damage done to the car was primarily to the roof and front sections, but the car was deemed a total loss. The driver was understandably devastated after having waited for so long to receive his new pride and joy.
Not wishing to look at his damaged pride and joy, the car was sold almost immediately after the crash to a German Porsche collector, who had the car delivered to Raceline Feustel in Westfalia. Feustel is known for their quality work, and this piece was no exception. The 959, relieved of its damaged components, was then reconstructed without a roof to make the world’s only Porsche 959 Speedster. At the same time, the car was prepared to receive a standard 911 Cabriolet top and windscreen frame as well. The original damaged top was then crafted into a hardtop for the 959. This Porsche had, due to terrible circumstances, become a bespoke three-pronged attack on the senses.
This 959 remains completely stock from the waist down, with only the top and windshield area having changed. The factory 2.85 liter sequential twin-turbo engine remains in perfect condition. The factory four-wheel drive is retained. The original 3.7 second sprint to 60 is still possible, and the top speed of 200 miles per hour is still, theoretically, reachable.
The 959, in Speedster guise, was shown at the 1989 International Automobile Show in Frankfurt on the stand of Automobile Becker. From there, the car has resided in a private collection for several years in Northern Italy. Recently, it has surfaced for sale on a Netherlands-based private trade site for a cool 999,999 Euros (roughly 1.3 million dollars), which is negotiable. This price is far and away the highest 959 asking price I’ve ever seen, with most selling in the $400 to $700k range.
The car is currently fitted with the 911 Cabriolet toupee, but comes with all of the items necessary to convert to hard-top-coupe or Speedster, as well. Personally, I vastly prefer the Speedster iteration to your average run-of-the-mill 959 coupe. There is something about high-speed top-down fun that makes me grin like a school child. If money were no object, and I had no expectation of collector value, I’d pay the price and have a unique car that nobody would ever see again. I’m no collector, and I don’t particularly care about originality, so take what I say with a grain of salt.
In the real world, this is no longer an original, perfect example of a 959, and nobody should be expected to pay as though it were. While the work is quality, the car has only clocked 5000 miles and the conversion was done with 100% factory parts, I just can’t see this car fetching MORE than a well-kept standard 959. If brought to market at an auction house, I would not expect this example to exceed $150,000 [then again, it could be worth more than that in parts value alone]. I’ve been known to be wrong in the past though, so if this floats your boat to the tune of a million Euros, by all means, let your wallet do your talking.
Other Porsche Blog Posts You Should Read
Porsche 959 Sells for $770,000
This Video of Helmuth Bott’s Porsche 959 Prototype is a Must Watch
Porsche 911 Limo For Sale… Again
What do You Think of This Porsche 997 Converted to a 959/979?
Porsche 959 Prototype Sells for $440,000. Watch a Replay of the Auction
[Story idea via carscoops. Original facts via Porsche 959 by Stefano Pasini]