What is even more exclusive than owning one of 300 Porsche 959? One of three or four street legal prototypes. For example this one: Number F7.
For the testing of the 959, Porsche had built twelve prototypes of the F series, which were intended for different tests. At the end of their careers, these prototypes were mostly scrapped.
Sold to Porsche importer Polak
Not so the ruby red prototype with the abbreviation F7: Porsche sold the 959 intended for heat and electrical tests to Vasek Polak. After emigrating to the USA in the mid-1950s, the Prague-born racing driver worked as a mechanic for the well-known car importer Max Hoffmann. Starting in 1958, Polak began importing and repairing Porsches with his own company in California. Later came Audi, VW, Saab, Volvo and Subaru. Polak didn't want Porsche to change anything about the 959. In return, he was not allowed to register the car for the road or use it in races. So the ruby red Porsche stayed in the Polak showroom from 1988 to around 1990. Around 1990 the 959 was shipped to Japan and displayed in the Matsuda collection.
After Polak's death in 1997, the car was sold to Belgium from his estate. Three years later, a Briton bought the car and registered it on the road. Apparently, Porsche's bid no longer applied. However, there was one concession to the approval: the British authorities demanded that spray water nozzles be retrofitted. A missing windshield washer was one of the features that differentiated the prototype from the production car. Others include the lack of power steering, the fuel cap, a height control, the rear seat back, and the right outside mirror. Also, according to one of its British owners, the prototypes had white magnesium wheels and no alarm system. All prototype features can still be found on the car today.
Five-digit workshop invoices, seven-digit price
Two more changes of ownership followed in Great Britain - and in the mid-2000s two workshop stays at Gantspeed Engineering and the Porsche Classic Center in Reading west of London. The bills totaled around £50,000. In the summer of 2018, the 959 again came to the Porsche Center Reading for a major service, this time around £25,000 was invested. That same year, RM Sotheby's sold the car for $1 million during an auction in Atlanta, Georgia.
Now the ruby red 959 prototype is for sale at the mechatronic sister company Cartique. The price is 1.17 million euros net. The mileage is given as 26,520 kilometers.
The Porsche 959
Porsche originally intended the 959 for Group B. A first study with all-wheel drive and a turbo engine at the IAA in 1983 was followed by a double victory at the Paris Dakar Rally in 1986. In the same year, Porsche presented the 959 to journalists on the Nordschleife. After the end of Group B, the homologation model will become a production sports car, of which 292 will initially be built. Eight more will be created later from existing parts. With a top speed of 315 km/h and a basic price of 420,000 marks, the 959 was one of the fastest and most expensive cars in the world at the time. The customers are often prominent: Herbert von Karajan, Martina Navratilova, Aga Khan and Bill Gates are among the owners. The 959 is also the first production Porsche with all-wheel drive.
The opportunity to buy a prototype doesn't come along often. Number F7 has not been driven much - at least for the last 30 years - but has seen a lot: the car has seen the west coast of the USA, Japan and Great Britain. What is special about this ruby red 959, however, is the beginning of the story as a test vehicle for Porsche and later as a display vehicle for the Californian importer Polak.