Thursday, August 9, 2007

The Porsche 959, part 5

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By sabrebIade at 2007-08-09
The 959 was not street legal in the United States prior to 1999 when the "Show and Display" law was finally passed, although an unknown number were imported via the "grey market" during the late 1980s as show pieces. During the model's development, Porsche refused to provide the United States Department of Transportation with the four 959's they required for crash testing, and the car was never certified by the NHTSA for street use in the U.S. With the passage of "Show and Display" the crash test requirements were removed and importation of the 959 was allowed, assuming the car could meet with the local emissions standards that would have existed as of 1987. The 959 can be fitted with a catalytic converter and a rechipped computer which will allow it to meet those emissions requirements. However most owners refuse to modify their 959s, and the cars remain as collection pieces. While the initial selling price was $230,000, today one of these cars would be worth upwards of a million dollars. Most 959s are currently in the hands of collectors, but the ones that are available do occasionally come to market.

The lessons learned from the 959 in terms of engine management, aerodynamics, suspension tuning, and four wheel drive were what enabled the production life of the 911, once thought to be nearing obsolescence due to the extreme rearward placement of the engine, to be extended to the present day with no end in sight. In this way, the 959 project more than paid for itself many times over, and owners of new Porsche 911s can, to a large degree, benefit from the great strides forward made by this technological tour de force.

technorati tags:porsche ,ferrari ,jaguar ,lamborghini ,lotus ,bugatti ,aston martin,maserati ,alfa romeo,cars,sports cars, exotic cars

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