When Porsche debuted the 959 in 1986, it was quite easily the most technologically advanced car in the world.
Its ride height and dampening suspension were electronically adjustable by knobs mounted in the center console. It featured the first tire pressure monitoring system in a production car, and an electronically controlled four-wheel-drive system that would adjust torque output to the rear axle depending on the mode it was set in. Its engine was based on that of the Le Mans winning 956, but featured a revolutionary sequential turbocharging system with valves controlled by the engine computer’s microprocessor that would regulate the transition from single to both turbochargers operation.
Despite its original intent while being developed in 1983 was to compete in Group B rally, the production car became the world’s fastest road-legal car, rivaled only by the Ferrari F40.
Naturally it caught the attention of the automotive world, including Microsoft cofounders Bill Gates and Paul Allen. They both ordered 959s- along with fellow Porsche aficionado Jerry Seinfeld- despite Porsche having no plan to federalize the 959 for importation into the USA. The cars were impounded as the model had not been crash tested or certified to pass emission laws. Not to be dissuaded- they pushed for an exemption to the era’s importation laws and after thirteen years and the assistance of individuals such as Bruce Canepa, the “Show and Display” amendment was passed in Congress. It granted eligibility for importation of cars without passing crash testing, emissions or other tests if it “is of such historical or technological significance that it is in the public interest to show or display it in the United States even though it would be difficult or impossible to bring the vehicle into compliance with the federal motor vehicle safety standards.”
This 959 Komfort is the one purchased by Paul Allen, and one of the cars which initiated the push for the amendment to the United States Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.
The infamous 959 which initiated the Show and Display act through Congress
Comes with books, tools, and comprehensive documentation
One of 294 959 Komfort examples produced
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