The Porsche 959 was arguably the finest supercar of its era (1986-1989). Beneath its fiberglass-reinforced Kevlar and aluminum body panels hid some of the world's most advanced automotive technology, including an innovative all-wheel-drive system, a twin-shock suspension offering adjustable ride height and damping, four-channel ABS and run-flat tires. With the power of its rear-mounted twin-turbocharged 2.8-liter flat-six, developing 450 horsepower, the Porsche was capable of hitting 60 miles per hour in less than four seconds and a top speed of nearly 200 mph – performance numbers that are still highly respectable today.
If you've always wanted to get your hands on one (legal issues kept Porsche from importing the $225,000 coupe to the States in the 1980s), now is the time. Barrett-Jackson will be auctioning a 1986 Porsche 959 factory prototype at its Scottsdale event next week. This particular vehicle, a V-series prototype based on a 930 Turbo platform, was used for chassis development, brake engineering and high-speed testing. Porsche built 29 prototypes like it, but most were scrapped after the program ended. According to Barrett-Jackson, it is one of just two running prototypes and one of only four survivors.
Before you whip out your checkbook and plan your 959 summer road trip, you should know that this prototype isn't certified for public roads (and its odd stance suggests that it needs a bit of work to get back into running shape). Regardless, with a history this interesting, its value is only going up.