For the first time in history one of Porsche's Paris/Dakar racing 959s will be offered for sale publicly during RM Sotheby's auction, as well as one of the original factory prototypes for the exotic model. The sale will take place during the celebration of Porsche's 70th anniversary at One Porsche Drive in Atlanta, and this pair are just two of the exciting Porsche lots available for bidding. This is shaping up to be quite the auction, with a ton of significant Porsches. While the full lineup isn't available yet, this is a promising start.
The Dakar-entered 959 is one of only three cars built in 1985. These examples were built with a naturally aspirated Carrera 3.2 engine for simplicity and longevity in the desert racing venue, plus an advanced all-wheel-drive system, a high rise suspension, and 959 body panels. Chassis no. 010015 was driven in the 1985 Paris-Dakar as #186 by René Metge and Dominique Lemoyne. Metge won the Paris-Dakar in 1981, '84, and '86. Unfortunately, while aboard this car, he was forced to retire early with an oil line failure. 1985 was not a good year for Porsche, as the other two 959s entered suffered accidents. While the car didn't actually finish the Dakar journey, it provided much-needed development for the 1986 running of the event, where Porsche placed 1-2-6 overall. Since retiring from competition, it has been shown at many vintage events, including Goodwood and The Quail, as owned by Jacky Ickx.
Known as prototype "F7", the seventh of 12 959 prototypes, this car was used for electrical systems testing and hot weather testing, having been driven to far-flung places as central-valley California and Australia by the factory. Painted in Ruby Red with pearl white hollow magnesium wheels, this 959 might be one of the prettiest ones ever built. It's also fitted with the three-tone silver interior. As a prototype, it is trimmed out to Komfort specification, but has fixed rate dampers, rather than the later production models height-adjustable hydraulic setup.
Pre-auction estimates place the Dakar racer at between $3 and $3.4 million dollars, while the F7 Prototype 959 is thought to be worthy of a winning bid between $1.3 and $1.6 million. We'll bring you full coverage of the October sale as it happens.