Porsche’s 959 mastered the grueling Paris-Dakar desert rally from France to West Africa in 1986, ending 1-2 within the 8700-mile endurance contest. Now the runnerup Jacky Ickx/Claude Brasseur machine—which completed proper behind the similar 959 of winners René Metge and Dominique Lemoyne—is able to be pushed as soon as once more. A cmprehensive recommissioning has been carried out over the previous few months by the Porsche Heritage and Museum staff along with their colleagues from Porsche Traditional.
The multi-part documentary “959 Paris-Dakar” on the Porsche YouTube channel gives insights into the recommissioning course of.
The beginning line-up of the ’86 Paris-Dakar Rally was dominated by vans and all-terrain autos. The three Porsche 959 vehicles from Zuffenhausen stood out—the third, a service automobile pushed by undertaking supervisor Roland Kussmaul and Wolf-Hendrik Unger, took sixth place. To at the present time, the Porsche Museum has preserved the whole trio as a part of its assortment.
“The profitable automobile stays untouched and we preserve it in a type of time capsule, so to talk, with all the bodily traces of the rally preserved for so long as attainable,” explains Kuno Werner, Head of the Museum Workshop.
The staff spent two years within the early Nineteen Eighties reworking the 953 and later 959 into rally vehicles, reinforcing the suspension with double shock absorbers on the entrance axle and fitted all-terrain tires. If the floor didn’t require all-wheel drive, an electro-hydraulically managed heart differential on the 959 distributed the ability variably between the entrance and rear axles.
Racing director Peter Falk recalled Porsche’s first three Paris-Dakar makes an attempt—1984 with the Porsche 953 and the next two years with the 959: “It was actually nice that we received all of the vehicles throughout the end line and gained the race at our first try [in ’84]. Then Mr Bott mentioned, ‘We’ve got to go once more, as soon as isn’t sufficient.’ However in 1985, all three of our vehicles dropped out. That was devastating. We have been decided to race once more, although we have been all a bit sick of the entire thing after dropping every thing.
“In 1986 we did it once more,” Falk defined. “All three vehicles completed and we had a 1-2 victory.”
“[In recomissioning the second-placed 959] we wished to maintain the unique situation and solely flippantly overhaul the automobile whereas eliminating any technical flaws,” mentioned Werner. There have been simply over 11,000 miles on the clock of the 959 which, like its sequence manufacturing counterpart, was powered by an air-/water-cooled flat-six engine with compound turbocharging. Because of the low-quality gasoline, the output of the six-cylinder engine was diminished to 395 hp, however it was nonetheless able to 130mph speeds.
“The automobile was in superb situation, with no main defects or corrosion,” mentioned Uwe Makrutzki, Head of Porsche Traditional manufacturing facility restoration. In the course of the 959’s disassembly, the staff found aseveral kilos of sand and filth from the African desert as its physique and mechanical elements had by no means been separated.
“This was not an on a regular basis factor for us. It was fascinating. Mud and filth confirmed us that the automobile had gone by means of rivers and gotten water in its inside,” mentioned Werner.
Small areas of corrosion the place the Kevlar physique elements floor in opposition to the metallic body as a consequence of the bodily pressures of high-speed rally driving have been conserved relatively than repaired in an effort to protect the historical past of the automobile.
To re-tell the 1986 story, the Porsche Heritage and Museum staff invited Belgian star Jacky Ickx to the automobile’s reveal following its overhaul, its former pilot giving it a run in a close-by stone quarry.
“Within the automobile, the recollections got here again to me instantly as I remembered the individuals who made all of it attainable again then,” Ickx mentioned. The staff on the time numbered simply 18 individuals. “It’s improbable that I get to be part of this story,” he continued. The rally was an unbelievable problem and in addition the proper testing floor for all-wheel drive.
Virtually 4 a long time later, Ickx summed up the ‘86 race in three phrases: “Recollections, feelings, ardour.”
For Kuno Werner, Head of the Museum Workshop, the reveal was one thing very particular: “The 959 stood idle for a few years earlier than being given the chance of an entire new reunion with its authentic driver on this snow and grit. This has been a supply of delight for our total Porsche Heritage and Museum staff.”
From February 23 to 26, guests can see the automobile in Stuttgart on the Retro Classics occasion, as a part of the ‘75 Years of Porsche Sports activities Automobiles’ particular exhibition within the atrium / east entrance to the exhibition heart.
For these unable to go to in individual, insights into the recommissioning course of can nonetheless be loved, with the six-part ‘959 Paris-Dakar’ documentary now obtainable on Porsche’s YouTube channel.