We've seen this 959 before, on eBay of all places. As we noted earlier this month eBay may not have been the best choice for the retro-supercar, and the seller's choice to move to Bring a Trailer says a lot about the site's growth and the market. Up to this point Bring a Trailer's auction record was held by a Lancia Aurelia Cabriolet which sold in January, though historically Porsches have consistently performed well on the popular auction site. The leap from a survivor 356 to one of the most iconic supercars of all time is a big one, but strong initial bids make it look like BaT is up to the task.
Most of the 959s currently legal in the US are Canepa cars, while apart from a battery cutoff switch this 959 is said to be completely stock. Canepa's process is quite invasive, and in order to attain emissions compliance Canepa comprehensively updates the car's systems. Everything from the engine management and turbochargers to many of the sensors and other underhood hardware are altered for EPA compliance as part of the Canepa process. According to the seller of this 959, the car is fully legal in the US at the federal level, likely thanks to the 25 year rule. Thanks to California's occasionally draconian emissions standards the car is not currently legal in California.
The seller, BaT user @Billnoon [Symbolic Motorcars], has been very active in BaT's comment section and explains the car's import status as follows:
Hi Folks, I am the owner and seller of this one and a huge fan of BAT going back to their very beginnings. I have both bought and sold machines on BAT and every experience has been issueless and perfect.
I will do all I can to make sure this one goes just as smoothy and hopefully makes one person very happy and hope the rest have a chuckle or two along the way. Please feel free to use the contact seller button if I can assist with inspections and test drives as well as address any questions or concerns.
I have had quite a few of these over the years and love them dearly but you have to be ultra-careful to buy only one that has had every service and bulletin update completed per the Porsche Factory maintenance schedule.
We first learned about this one earlier this year but held off buying it as we had another to sell first. Once that one had been sold, we turned out attention towards this one in earnest. After being able to verify all the services and updates were done and fresh and all of the original delivery items were still with the car and that it was accident and corrosions free, we closed the deal and imported it to the States. It has full EPA/DOT/DHS releases and is legal for ownership and use anywhere in the States except California unless you are a registered dealer. A brand new California title has been applied for and is being processed as I write this. Because of the year of manufacture, there are no restrictions on registering and using it on public roads, other than I am sad to say for a retail California buyer.
I look forward to hearing from everyone and helping any potential buyers make the right pass or purchase decision. Kind regards and best of luck to all, Bill
Whether California legal or not, the 959's engine is still a massively impressive and thoroughly modern piece of hardware. The specs of this 450 horsepower mill are fairly well known, and some children of the '80s can still be heard muttering them in their sleep. Though not updated by Canepa, this car has been kept up to date by Porsche standards, including an update to the fully adjustable suspension by Porsche.
We are very interested to see where this one goes, both for our interest in the 959 and to watch the growth of one of our favorite enthusiast-oriented websites. The auction page for this piece of Supercar history can be found here. Be sure to read the comments, as they are both extensive and interesting.