The sold 1988 Porsche 959 “Komofort” represents one of only 292 standard-production examples and more notably, one of only 31 finished in the less-common Graphite Metallic. When first revealed at the 1983 Frankfurt Motor Show, the 959 was considered to be a technological marvel.
It was Porsche’s bold entry into the FIA Group B international rally championship. With a no-limits policy in this rally series, the 959 emerged as a powerhouse, featuring a chassis similar to the 911 Carrera and a body made from a mix of aluminum, polyurethane and fiberglass-reinforced Kevlar.
However, what really set it apart was its engine, a 2.85L, sequentially twin-turbocharged, flat-six powerhouse, producing 444 horsepower — an impressive figure for the time. The engine was a derivative of those used in Porsche’s IMSA GT and Indy projects and featured asymmetrical turbochargers and an advanced air-cooling system. Coupled with a BorgWarner six-speed manual transaxle and an innovative all-wheel-drive system, the 959 offered unparalleled performance.
Other innovative performance systems included the vehicle’s race-derived suspension, featuring double wishbones, coil springs and electronically adjustable ride height and shock damping. Additionally, the car was equipped with special 17-inch magnesium alloy wheels, run-flat tires and one of the first automatic pressure-monitoring systems.
Even with all of these performance factors built in, luxury was still at the center of the “Komfort” model, which included full leather trim, air conditioning and more. However, despite the vehicle having the best of both worlds, it wasn’t a success at the time of release and ended up resulting in significant loss for Porsche on each unit sold, part of the reason it’s a rare collector’s item today.
The model in question, chassis number 149 was originally owned by a Porsche executive in Italy, later sold to an American collector who restored it to the tune of $140,000 USD and has now been sold for over $1.7 million USD at the recent RM Sotheby’s Las Vegas auction.
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