Lot 335

Dare to Dream Collection

1987 Porsche 959 Komfort


$1,100,000 - $1,500,000 USD  | Offered Without Reserve

Canada | Toronto, Ontario



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To be offered on Saturday, 1 June 2024
  • Just two recorded owners since new; one of three 959 examples imported to the United States and federalized for street use in 1992, under special decree of the US Government
  • Purchased new by Norman Clement Stone and retained by him until 2014; fastidiously maintained during his ownership by Porsche specialists Andial and Canepa Design, including 2013 Canepa Suspension Upgrade
  • Further benefits from comprehensive cosmetic restoration and mechanical upgrade to Canepa “Phase II” specifications under current ownership in 2015 at a cost of $285,000, as shown in extensive accompanying maintenance and restoration documentation
Please note, this lot is registered in Canada and import duty will be applicable to all countries outside of Canada, including the United States. RM Sotheby’s will assist buyers with importation and for residents of the USA, in obtaining a US title.

It is hard to overstate just how truly ahead of its time the Porsche 959 was when it debuted in 1985. It unequivocally redefined the supercar market at its very highest end, where there are no compromises on performance or limitations on cost. The 959’s distinctive styling, mind-bending performance, and novel technological breakthroughs immediately made it a “poster car” for an entire generation of automotive enthusiasts.

Helmuth Bott and Manfred Bantle’s team of engineers at Porsche were given free rein to pursue an enviably open-ended brief: To create the world’s most advanced—and capable—supercar. In every department, Porsche engineers utilized innovative technologies, no matter the cost, to unlock unparalleled levels of performance. Sequential turbochargers, cutting-edge adjustable suspension, an intelligent four-wheel-drive system, Kevlar composite body panels, and hollow-spoke magnesium wheels made the model nothing short of a game-changer.

After testing the 959 with Bantle, noted journalist Csaba Csere remarked, “The most disturbing flaw of all is that you can't buy a 959. Not even if you have enough money…Porsche has sold out the entire production run…none of which was built to American specifications.”

Nonetheless, a group of three extremely determined American enthusiasts still dared to dream of a 959: Ralph Lauren, Larry Hedrick, and Norman Stone. Together, these three men negotiated a special exemption with the US government so that they could enjoy their 959s on public roads. By the time negotiations were finalized during October 1992, the three had each paid $50,000 to the NTHSA, a much larger sum to AmeriSpec Corporation of Danbury, Connecticut to modify the cars for EPA emissions compliance, and a veritable mountain of cash to a Washington, DC lobbying firm.

Offered here from the Dare to Dream Collection is one of the special 959s that featured in this fascinating tale of automotive enthusiasm. The 59th of 207 Komfort-spec examples produced by Porsche, it was completed at Zuffenhausen on 17 March 1988 and sold new to dealer MAS Meyer Automobile Service KG in Bonn, where it was briefly registered with the vanity plate “BN-KM959.” Three months later, this car was sold to Dr. Norman Clement Stone, a noted Bay Area art collector, psychotherapist, philanthropist, and Porschephile who local media say—and as the story of this 959 rightly affirms—“was always early to a trend, in either investment or fashion.”

Documentation illustrates that Stone took delivery of the car on a Tourist’s Pass in Germany, after which it was imported to the Port of New York alongside Ralph Lauren’s 959 on 27 June 1988. Both cars were then sent under bond to Amerispec and modified for US emissions testing, and it is understood that the instrument cluster and odometer were changed to miles at this time. Following successful testing, Dr. Stone picked up his 959 from Connecticut and proceeded to drive it cross country to his home in San Francisco while using a California dealer plate which Porsche specialist Andial had loaned him. Amazingly, by January 1989 Stone had added nearly 9,000 miles to this 959!

Over the following 25 years of his ownership, he had the car religiously maintained by both Andial in Santa Ana and Canepa Design of Scotts Valley. An exhaustive trove of service invoices dating back to 1989 leaves zero doubt that this special Porsche was enjoyed and cared for with equal enthusiasm. Fearing a shortage of parts available from Germany for his beloved 959, in August 2001 Stone had Andial order $45,000 of spare parts directly from Porsche to be kept as his own exclusive stash.

The 959 has long been renowned by privileged enthusiasts as an eminently usable vehicle, with many examples of the model now having covered comparably high mileage to other supercars of the era. Even Porsche CEO Ferdinand Piëch, as well as Championship-winning Audi Group B works driver Walter Röhrl, daily drove examples of this remarkable model. In fact, Stone used this 959 as his daily transportation for more than 15 years, and when he consigned it to Canepa in 2009 for a suspension overhaul and mechanical diagnosis, the odometer indicated more than 68,000 miles. In 2013, the car benefitted from the Canepa Suspension Upgrade package, replacing the complex OEM hydraulic adjustable suspension with Penske custom-valved shock absorbers and titanium coil-over springs, among other improvements. This was carried out in concert with other service work for a total in excess of $51,000.

In June 2014 Stone sold this 959 to the consignor, and he immediately returned it to Canepa Design for the beginning of a comprehensive 14-month interior and exterior restoration and upgrade regimen to the tune of $285,000. A substantial and detailed accompanying file of invoices follows each step of the car’s revival and subsequent transformation to Canepa’s vaunted, 640-horsepower “Phase II” specification. Included in these extensive upgrades was an exclusive Motec ECU and new wiring harness, a custom exhaust system, new pair of high-efficiency turbochargers, Canepa Design headlights, upgraded ignition and electricals, intercooler and wastegate modifications, and a laundry list of further improvements which have rendered a faster, more direct, and more comfortable roadgoing character to an already legendary supercar.

Put simply, the Porsche 959 is amazing. Any collection would be immensely privileged to count an example of this legendary model among its ranks. The performance, technology, aesthetics, comfort: All combine to create an exceptionally outstanding vehicle of great importance.