Porsche knew the wonder it possessed with its 959 supercar from the '80s, and to further ingrain its awesomeness into every child and adult's mind, it took it to the famous Paris-Dakar Rally with a lifted example of the marvelous speed machine in tow. Knobby tires, a rugged appearance, and the treasured Rothmans livery instantly made the P-car one of the most coveted ever, something which still stands true 33 years after its entry in the long-distance enduro. Listed with RM Sotheby's, that same car driven by three-time Dakar winner René Metge sold for $5,945,000 during Porsche's recent 70th-anniversary auction.
Originally developed for Group B rally, the burly 959 faced several alterations from the concept phase to production. It was initially intended to sport a Formula 1-derived forced induction engine but later was fitted with a Carrera-based, 3.2-liter, naturally aspirated unit. Power was electronically sent to all four wheels, displaying the technological know-how of Porsche during the era.
While the road-going 959 could nearly hit the 200-mile-per-hour mark on tarmac, this variant could run 130 mph on any terrain. Porsche built just seven of these cars in total, making this example even more exclusive especially given that it's one of two that belong to private collectors.
Although this car, chassis number 010015, retired early in the 1985 race due to an oil line failure, its placed in history was solidified. Porsche then took first, second, and sixth at the next year's Paris-Dakar.
The auctioned example has campaigned worldwide with heroic driver Jackie Ickx piloting it up the Goodwood Hill Climb after it won its class at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance and Quail Motorsports Gathering.
Another noteworthy Porsche, the "Project Gold" 993 continuation, was also auctioned at the event, fetching $3.1 million. Not a bad way to celebrate your birthday, eh?