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Porsche Classic Restores Nick Heidfeld’s 959 S

Porsche Classic recently completed a factory restoration

Nick Heidfeld holt seinen aufbereiteten Porsche 959 bei der Porsche Classic Werkstatt in Asperg ab / Porsche AG / Redaktion: Nadine Toberer | Nur zur redaktionellen Verwendung | No Model Release | Foto: Jörg Eberl | www.eberl-photo.de | T: +49 152 01788990 | joerg@eberl-photo.de

Porsche Classic recently completed a factory restoration of a very rare super sports car: the Porsche 959 S. The Porsche 959 is a known trump card by car enthusiasts from the 80s and 90s. It had the best of both worlds; it is a rare super sports car with the performance to match. It had a top speed of 315 kph and Porsche only produced 292 examples. Former Formula One driver Nick Heidfeld owns an even rarer version, the Sport model of which only 29 were made.

Compared to the 959, the Sport version is much more powerful. It boasts of 515 PS with a recorded top speed of 339 kph. Heidfeld’s 959 S also boasts of having a very low mileage. When Heidfeld brought the car to Porsche Classic back in the summer of 2017, it only had 4,183 kms on the odometer.

Despite having been barely driven, the 959 S needed an extensive technical overhaul. Porsche Classic Head of Factory Restoration Uwe Makrutzki shared, ““If such a technologically innovative car is not driven regularly, storage damage is, unfortunately, unavoidable. The powertrain and chassis have to be overhauled in their entirety; experience has shown that any reduction to the scope of work leads to problems down the road.”

All classic Porsche owners, like owners of a 959, have access to the unique expertise and equipment of the fully integrated Porsche Classic department in the company. Porsche Classic took ownership of all the testing and restoration tools that the factory used in the production of the super sports car when production ceased. Of course, it goes to say that the company have the expertise when it comes to their cars, even the rarest models.

Nick Heidfeld holt seinen aufbereiteten Porsche 959 bei der Porsche Classic Werkstatt in Asperg ab / Porsche AG / Redaktion: Nadine Toberer | Nur zur redaktionellen Verwendung | No Model Release | Foto: Jörg Eberl | www.eberl-photo.de | T: +49 152 01788990 | joerg@eberl-photo.de

“Almost all 959s have been with us at least once in their life. So we have had a lot of practice. Thanks to the highly complex technology, however, a 959 overhaul is always a very special and wonderful mission,” Makrutzki added. For Heidfeld’s 959 S, one of the main things revealed in the diagnosis was that the engine management system was modified. After some consultation with the owner, it was then up to the Porsche Classic staff to restore the Motronic unit back to its original condition.

In December 2021, the Porsche 959 S was ready to hit the road, much to the excitement of its owner. Heidfeld shared, “I’ve had the privilege of driving many high-performance cars, but driving this high-tech legend is something special for me. I was a teenage car fan in the late 1980s, and to me this Porsche was always extraordinary. At the time, the 959 was the fastest production car in the world and by far the most advanced. So even today, it doesn’t drive like a 30-year-old car, but like a much more modern vehicle.”

To ensure that the 959 S is kept in tiptop shape, Makrutzki recommends that the example be driven more. Makrutzki shared, “Covering around 100 kilometres in mixed operation at least once a month provides protection from damage due to standing still. That’s also what the feedback from our customers has shown.”

The newly restored Porsche 959 S example had the following specification when it was built back in 1987.

Porsche 959 S
Length/Width/Height mm 4,260/1,840/1,240
Wheelbase mm 2,272
Kerb weight (DIN) kg 1,350
Engine # of cylinders/arrangement Six-cylinder drive
Gearbox/powertrain 6-speed/all-wheel drive
Displacement cm3 2,848
Power output kW/PS at rpm 379/515 at 6,900
Torque Nm at rpm 561 at 6,500
Acceleration 0-100 kph Sec, 3.7
Top speed kph 339
Base Price (1987) DM 420,000
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