The Don Davis Collection

27 April 2013

Lot 147

1988 Porsche 959 'Komfort'

Sold for $770,000

  • Chassis no. WP0ZZZ95ZJS900143


450 bhp, 2849 cc rear-mounted, air- and liquid-cooled, horizontally-opposed six-cylinder engine with twin two-stage turbochargers and intercooling, six-speed manual transmission, four-wheel drive, independent double wishbone front and rear suspension with electronically adjustable ride height and shock absorber control, and four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes with ventilated rotors. Wheelbase: 89.4 in.

  • One of the most important Porsches; a technological tour de force
  • Extremely rare in the United States
  • Acquired from and fully serviced by Canepa Design
  • Excellent overall condition, with 17,727 km from new
  • Porsche Certificate of Authenticity


If a company today built a car that could achieve 198 mph and accelerate from 0–60 mph in only 3.6 seconds, it would be something incredible and carry tremendous bragging rights. One imagines that the engineers at Porsche would simply take one look at it, yawn, and go back to work. After all, they turned out a car that could do all that over a quarter century ago. It was called the 959, and it turned the sports car world on its head.

Originally developed for the short-lived Group B rally program, the 959 boasted space shuttle levels of technological sophistication never before seen on a racing car. The body construction incorporated DuPont Kevlar aramid fibers, a polyurethane nose cap, and aluminum doors and front lid, for Formula One-like toughness and lightness. The suspension boasted three adjustable ride-height settings, as well as three dampening settings for the shock absorbers. The sophisticated antilock braking system was controlled by high-speed microprocessors, augmented by run-flat Bridgestone tires. The engine featured six individually water-cooled cylinder heads, twin sequential turbochargers, and intercooling, sending 450 brake horsepower at 6,500 rpm to all four wheels through an electronically-controlled all-wheel drive system.

All of this resulted in performance that, as the old saying goes, shocked friends and terrified enemies.

First, though, one had to acquire a 959, which was not easy. Even at $300,000 each, the factory had a waiting list and lost money on every one of the 283s built, earning the model its nickname of “Porsche’s gift to its favorite customers.” It was such a desirable acquisition that even United States collectors, who could not legally import the cars, sought to do so anyway, leading to a “grey market” for 959s in the United States. The Show and Display law of 1999, championed by Porsche legend Bruce Canepa, finally allowed 959s to be legally imported.

An original German-delivery car, Don Davis’ 959 ‘Komfort’ was acquired through Canepa Design, where it was extensively serviced in early-2012, with all fluids changed, wheels refinished, chassis aligned, and all systems properly checked, in addition to a full detailing. “Stock,” as a Porsche aficionado would want it, it still wears its original Graphite Metallic over a complementary Dark Grey Metallic leather interior, and with just over 17,000 actual kilometers, it shows very little wear and is clean and well-presented throughout—not only on the visible surfaces, but also under the hood and underneath the car. Even the carpets remain in excellent condition under their plastic covers. Opening the front lid reveals all of the original factory accessories that one would hope to find, including a complete tool kit, jack, and small air compressor. The car was accessorized when new with heated sport seats with electronic height adjustment, an alarm system, and Bridgestone tires, and it comes complete with a list of services performed by Canepa and its Porsche Certificate of Authenticity.

In a collection that includes so many of the great performance cars of the last 30 years, and in particular a bevy of fine Porsches, this 959 stands out. Dark and menacing, it seems to know exactly what it is capable of, and 25 years later, it is more than ready to show any modern pretender to its throne exactly what it can do.

Please note that this car was imported to the United States under the Show and Display waiver. As such, it cannot be registered for the street in California unless it is made emissions compliant.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alain Squindo


Detroit, Michigan

Alain Squindo joined RM Auctions in 2007, after graduating from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., with a degree in History. R... read more

Alex Classick

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+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Alex Classick joined RM Europe in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Nottingham University with a degree in Business Mana... read more

Alexander Weaver

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California, USA

Alexander Weaver joined RM Auctions in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born into ... read more

Annette Abaci

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Germany

With post-secondary degrees in Economic Science and Mechanical Engineering, Annette Abaci initially worked part-time at Mercedes-Benz ... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a senior car specialist, after more than a decade in the collector car hobby... read more

Dan Warrener

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+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Possessing a degree in Economics from Brandon University, Dan Warrener spent the initial stages of his career working around the globe... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmauctions.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don Rose joined RM Auctions in 2006, after many years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputatio... read more

Donnie Gould

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+1 954 566 2209
Florida, USA

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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Ontario, Canada

Gord joined RM Auctions in 1998, initially responsible for the transportation and logistics of the company’s auction and restora... read more

Ian Kelleher

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New York, United States

Ian Kelleher began his automotive career immediately following his graduation from Oberlin College, with a B.A. in Politica... read more

Jack Boxstrom

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+1 818 703 2816
Ontario, Canada

Jack Boxstrom joined RM Auctions in late-1996 to assist with the recently acquired, and subsequently record-breaking, auction in Monte... read more

Max Girardo

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+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Max Girardo started his career in the vintage automobile industry in 1998, joining Brooks Auctioneers (now Bonhams) as a car specialis... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Auctions, Mike Fairbairn has a longstanding interest in the classic car industry. Graduati... read more

Peter Wallman

pwallman@rmauctions.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Peter Wallman joined RM Europe in 2007, following nearly two decades in the international advertising industry, read more

Rob Myers

rmyers@rmauctions.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As chairman and founder of the RM Group of Companies, Rob Myers’s entire career has been devoted to the classic car industry. Ro... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmauctions.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, USA

Shelby Myers literally grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to w... read more

Vinnie Mandzak

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+1 310 559 4575
California, USA

Vinnie Mandzak joined RM Auctions’ California office in 2012 as a car specialist, following more than 30 years’ experience... read more