Reimagined Porsche 959 SC Is 800 HP Of Restomod Magic

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Canepa Motors builds stunning 959 SC in the color of money

Just 292 examples of the Porsche 959, excluding the later eight assembled from spare parts, were built for customer consumption. A precursor to the likes of the Porsche 918 Spyder and an icon in its own right, today, the closest equivalent you'll find in the modern Porsche lineup would perhaps be the 911 Turbo S for sheer performance while bearing similarities in its twin-turbo, all-wheel-drive powertrain.

The 959's timeless design, unique engine, advanced suspension, and drivetrain made these cars the definitive 80s supercar and a weapon in Group B rally racing. Despite never being intended for the US market, it was American-based Canepa Motorsport that brought it stateside by lobbying hard for the passage of the US Show or Display law to make them legal here.

The driving force behind Canepa and the man after whom the team is named, Bruce Canepa, has done far more than just make it legal to import the cars stateside in 1999. Canepa is one of many in the Porsche restomod sphere, but instead of focusing on mere 911s, its work focuses on the magnificent 959.

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The Porsche 959 SC "Reimagined" by Canepa is a restomod program aiming for 50 units that will take a pricey, original 959 into the stratosphere where even modern supercars will have trouble keeping up. One of those is now for sale from Canepa in California. Chassis number #003 has been repainted with Porsche "Paint to Sample" Emerald Green, but that's not even the most incredible aspect.

Whereas the original 959 left the factory with 444 horsepower from its 2.8-liter twin-turbo flat-six, the 959 SC by Canepa uses upgraded BorgWarner turbos with internal wastegate in a parallel twin-turbo system and new engine management based around MoTec hardware to nearly double that figure to 800 hp and 600 lb-ft of torque.

The 2.8-liter motor is torn apart and fitted with forged pistons, Pankl titanium connecting rods, and a billet crankshaft. The camshafts have been revised to offer improved low-end torque and mid-range power, and the valvetrain has been redesigned for better responses. Completely revised intake systems, equal-length exhaust headers coated in tungsten ceramic, and a two-stage exhaust system made from stainless steel and titanium give the new engine the bark to match its bite. Furthermore, the system can run on E85.

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The original Porsche 959 had an incredible suspension that featured in-car adjustable ride height and damping. But the system was complex and heavy, so Porsche built a limited run near the end of production of 29 cars in 959 S spec with a unique dual coilover system that rode an inch lower than standard models.

Using this as a foundation, Canepa updates it to the modern era with Penske custom-valved shocks within titanium coil springs. The brakes have also been upgraded to cryo-treated semi-floating rotors with upgraded pads, housed within lightweight 18-inch alloy wheels designed by Canepa (Porsche only sold the 959 with 17s) that pay homage to the original design. These are shod in Michelin rubber to ensure supreme grip in all conditions.

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Each of the 50 customer cars undergoes a full Concours-level restoration.

With the entire car disassembled, the chassis gets acid-dipped and put on a rotisserie. It's unnerving to see a Porsche 959 classic worth north of $2 million in this state, but the restoration in the 959 SC program is that much better than the factory during its 500-hour-plus restoration process. Each panel is individually sanded and prepped to perfection with an underbody and wheel paint treatment that is body colored. And that color is one of Porsche's own factory 150+ Paint-to-Sample color palettes or any color the client specifies.

The cabin of the 959 SC may appear stock, but it's entirely redone. High-quality leathers are cut to original seat patterns, and the leather dashboard is wrapped and sewn with unique stitching. In the case of this unit for sale, it's finished in dark green, with plush carpeting matched to the customer's spec. A handful of high-tech upgrades include LED lighting throughout, an exhaust valve switch, and Porsche's new Classic Radio Navigation system onboard.

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The waitlist of Canepa Motors is typically a long one since they perform some of the most complex and incredible classic and race car restorations in the country. No price is advertised for the Porsche 959 SC conversion because each will have customer-specific variations, so the price will vary.

This isn't your basic restomod and arguably goes far beyond the service others offer. This is a complete teardown affair, where Canepa Motors restores or replaces 3,000 parts and requires thousands of man hours to produce. At present, only three of these cars exist with 47 to follow. Chassis #003 could be yours for an undisclosed price, but we have to wonder how long there'll be availability on the waiting list for the remaining 47.

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