Need a Solid Desert Ride? Grab Jacky Ickx’s 1985 Paris-Dakar Porsche 959

Porsche’s multi-million dollar race car can be yours with some additional sand at no extra cost.

byMáté Petrány|
Porsche News photo


One can spend hefty sums on a crashed Porsche 959, hunt down extravagant one-off like this convertible, or approach the Rothmans Porsche rally car question the budget in mind, opting for a humble yet fun SR/RS replica instead. However, Porsche only built seven Paris-Dakar prototypes, only three of which left Stuttgart so far. If you're gonna buy a rare 959, why not one that's been through battle with some famous figures behind the wheel?

Joe Macari of London is offering a Porsche 959 that competed in the Paris-Dakar Rally, chassis no. 014 to be specific, and it's the 959 entered as no. 185 with Jacky Ickx and Claude Brasseur behind the wheel.

Desert-spec spare tire above your head? Of course., via Joe Macari

Here's the backstory. After Porsche's surprise Paris-Dakar win in 1984 with the 953, the company moved on from what was essentially a 911 Carrera with the experimental all-wheel-drive system to a prototype already showing the 959's body, yet still retaining the 3.2-liter naturally-aspirated powertrain. The trio of 1985-spec cars also came with 53-gallon fuel tanks, along with an upgraded chassis featuring beefier suspension parts.

Unfortunately, all three cars failed to finish in 1985, leaving the podium to a pair of Mitsubishi Pajeros and an equally modified Toyota FJ 60. Porsche ended 1986 with a 1-2 by René Metge and Jacky Ickx, and by now, two of the three non-turbocharged 1985 Paris-Dakar 959s made are in private hands. In fact, the factory sold chassis no. 015 just two years ago for a whopping $5.9 million. 

Being one of just six surviving development rally 959s, chassis no. 014 held the overall lead in 1985 until it hit a rock hidden in the sand. Extensive front end damage sent it straight to the Porsche Museum's warehouse, where it remained until 2014 in its original form. Porsche then sold Jacky Ickx's '85 machine to an American collector, who soon shipped it to Florida's Gunnar Racing for a nose job. After #014's respectful front end rebuild, the car toured the Rennsport Reunion in 2015 and 2018, Luftgekuhlt the same year, and even the Peterson Museum’s “The Porsche Effect” exhibition, which celebrated 70 years of the brand.

Jacky Ickx came second in 1986 with his turbocharged 959, but with #014's equally DNF sister car selling for nearly $6 million in 2018, no doubt serious collectors will also take notice of this '85 example. Driven by Ickx, the next naturally-aspirated Dakar Porsche with the 959's all-wheel-drive system was called the Lada Samara T3, good enough for seventh place in 1990.

It's a fine machine that deserves a good home. If you want to put a few extra miles on it in the desert before you put it on display, I certainly wouldn't blame you.

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