The Paris-Dakar Rally racer helped redefine supercars.
The Porsche 959 road car remains one of the most sought-after old school supercars right up there with the Ferrari F40. But the 959 was originally developed as a Group B rally car and reached production and homologation in 1987, though only after it took first place in the 1986 Paris-Dakar Rally. The production car was built from 1986 until 1993 and surviving examples enjoy mass popularity and high values to this day.
But it was the racing program that served as a testbed for some truly advanced technologies for the time, such as computer-controlled systems and features and, of course, an all-wheel-drive system, which later found its way to the Porsche 911 Turbo and, eventually, the Carrera 4 models.
The 959 was powered by a twin-turbo flat-six engine totaling 444 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual transmission routed that power to an electronically controlled all-wheel-drive system. Porsche had never used such a system in a road car before but was confident of its capabilities following the rally car's success.
Porsche realized it was time to pay due respect to the legendary 959 Paris-Dakar with a new Top 5 highlights episode focusing on its then-advanced chassis setup, the AWD system, engine, necessary rally adjustments, and the rally course itself.
The surviving 959 rally cars Porsche chose not to retain its private museum collection have fetched extremely high sums in recent years. One example was a 1985 959 that took in nearly $6 million at auction in 2018. It still remains one of the most valuable Porsches ever sold at auction and it's easy to understand why, especially after watching this latest video.
Street-legal 959s are still highly sought after as well and unless you have around $350,000 to $400,000 laying around, don't even bother inquiring. Expect those prices to only increase each and every year.