A 959 Porsche is a very rare bit of kit, with just 292 made because they were primarily designed as Group B rally cars — and homologation rules meant at least 200 had to come off the production line.

They’re worth about $1.5 million nowadays, but how about one that’s been in a serious prang?

Well, such a 959 fetched an eye-watering $638,000 in Australian folding stuff when it went to auction at Monterey this week.

The Mecum auction house was pretty spot-on with its estimate, even though its catalogue somehow failed to mention the significant damage the car’s front had sustained.

The focus was the n 2.8-litre flat-six boxer motor and the 331kW it produced.

It was the world’s fastest street-legal production car when introduced, capable of 320km/h with a few tuned to reach 340km/h.

A few more cars were built in later years and all up 337 came out of the factory.

In the 1980s the 959 was considered the most technologically advanced road-going sports car ever built, and one of the first high-performance vehicles with all-wheel drive.

The car on auction was listed for sale through a broker last year when it had 3500 miles on its odometer and an asking price of $1.78 million, originally sold in Japan with gauges changed from metric to imperial for its US buyer.

Whoever the purchaser was probably failed to realise the 959 was a hairy supercar, devoid of all the driver-saving electronic devices of today.

You had to be a full hands-on driver to control the beast.

So, just 250km later it arrived at the Mecum auction with a severely bent nose. However, the engine and transmission appeared to be undamaged.

Another worry for the unnamed buyer is that this particular 959 was a Komfort model, which came with adjustable suspension, which would certainly need expert (very expensive) repairs to its mashed front end.

Still, if you have the cash, it’s probably a sound investment. Just drive with great care.


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Bill Buys, probably Australia’s longest-serving motoring writer, has been at his craft for more than five decades. Athough motoring has always been in his DNA, he was also night crime reporter, foreign page editor and later chief reporter of the famed Rand Daily Mail. He’s twice been shot at, attacked by a rhinoceros and had several chilling experiences in aircraft. His experience includes stints in traffic law enforcement, motor racing and rallying and writing for a variety of local and international publications. He has covered countless events, ranging from world motor shows and Formula 1 Grands Prix to Targa tarmac and round-the-houses meetings. A motoring tragic, he has owned more than 90 cars. Somewhat of a nostalgic, he has a special interest in classic cars. He is the father of Targa star Robert Buys, who often adds his expertise to Bill’s reviews.