I will spare you the shouting, as James Pumphrey has almost 14 minutes of excitement coming your way. This video isn’t solely about quirks and features, nor is it about turning the 959 to 11. James, like many of us, has never seen a 959 in real life before, and he is taking this one in as Porsche intended. As the turning point between classic Porsches and everything made since, the 959’s importance is hard to overstate. Yet somehow, taken with a jaded 2019 eye, the first high-tech supercar seems almost normal.
As a person born in to a post-959 world, everything that made the 959 exceptional has been normalized by later cars. With the exception of the ultra-low Gelande gear and the height-adjustable suspension with an astonishing 8″ adjustment range, virtually everything else on the 959 has appeared on later 911s. The 993 Turbo of 1995 mirrored the 959’s twin-turbo layout, and the Turbo S of 1997 exceeded its output. Center-lock wheels have been available on GT models for more than a decade, and exotic materials have become the norm.
Unfortunately Porsche hasn’t also embraced four-tone metallic leather upholstery in any other models. If you’re listening, Porsche, I know you have it in you to resurrect the metallic leather.
But, trying to use later 911s to contextualize the 959 just feels hollow. To best appreciate the 959, you must don your raddest shades, and approach in a 1980s frame of mind. Presented with one, there is no denying that most of us would fawn with the same sort of wide-eyed excitement as James, and that is as it should be.