The Porsche 959 is iconic in both design and execution. Pristine examples are now commanding nearly seven-figures or more at auction. But a car nearly 30 years old will show some age, and with only 292 examples ever built by Porsche, keeping them in tip-top shape is a challenge. That is unless you’re Bruce Canepa, an exotic car dealer.
He’s offering a modest $750,000 restoration package – on top of the cost of the car itself – that takes your standard Porsche 959 and turns it into a modern supercar. That seems outrageous until you dive into all the details. This isn’t a good wash and some new spark plugs.
“This represents 4000-plus hours of labor, and then parts and materials on top of that,” Canepa told Road & Track. “At this point, we're taking every component apart and disassembling it, and making sure it's like new.”
Pick a color and Canepa and company will tear down the 959 to its tub, repainting the car with the owner’s chosen color. The interior is re-trimmed in new leather from top to bottom, and every metal part of the car receives new zinc plating. But that’s not all.
Under the hood, Canepa takes the standard 2.85-liter flat-six and its measly 450 horsepower – which was a massive amount of power in 1988 – and turns the engine up to 763 hp and 635 pound-feet of torque. The added power is done through a host of modifications that include removing the factory sequential turbo system and installing an all-new parallel twin-turbo system with turbos from Borg-Warner. There’s an upgraded fuel system, a modern engine management system, a new wiring harness, high-output ignition, an upgraded alternator, a new stainless-steel exhaust, and much, much more.
The new powertrain gets help at putting down the power to the ground with an upgraded suspension. The 959 Sport Canepa – as it’s officially called – receives titanium springs and modern dampers. The original wheel supplier is even making new 18-inch magnesium wheels that can accommodate new Michelin performance tires
So far, 10 customers have opted to give their Porsche 959 the Sport Canepa treatment, according to the publication. It’s like a spa day for your car – except it costs at least six figures. You can supply your own 959 or Canepa will source one for you. Either way, that’s a lot of money to spend – but if you can afford it, it’s probably worth it.