One of just six 959 Paris-Dakar models ever produced sold for $5.945 million during RM Sotheby’s Porsche 70th Anniversary Auction on the weekend.
Pre-auction estimates suggested that the car would probably sell for between $3 million and $3.4 million. Evidently, the car generated much more interest than any one could have expected.
Porsche initially built the 959 for the Group B championship. To compete, the German marque was required to build 200 road-legal examples and it did just that. Unfortunately, the FIA dropped the Group B series in 1986 after numerous deadly accidents. With a fleet of rally cars in storage but with no series to race them in, Porsche made the brave call of entering the Paris-Dakar rally.
A mere six examples of the 959 Paris-Dakar were built, each one using the same adjustable suspension and all-wheel drive system as Porsche’s Group B rally car.
Interestingly, the 959 Paris-Dakar models didn’t use a twin-turbocharged flat-six engine like the road-going model. Instead, it was powered by a 3.2-liter naturally-aspirated flat-six from a 911 Carrera.
The 959 Paris-Dakar in question competed at the 1985 edition of the famous rally. It managed to win two stages but was withdrawn from the event after rupturing an oil line. The car was soon retired from racing and went into private ownership – and as you can see, it retains its iconic Rothmans livery.