Is this Porsche 959 Clone a Joke…or the Deal of a Lifetime?
It used to be a 1977 911, and now it could be too cheap to pass up.
Do you remember when most air-cooled Porsche 911s could be had for under $20,000? Pepperidge Fa… er, Rennlist remembers. About 15 years ago, the most desirable classic sports car in the world could be had for relative peanuts. What’s more, there was a healthy aftermarket built around updating the cars. While backdating 911s is de rigueur today, back around the turn of the century, it was more common to see older cars facelifted to look like 993s. Or, say, 959s.
That’s what we’re looking at today, thanks to Mecum Auctions. This 1977 911, with its 2.7-liter flat-six, is now modified to look like Porsche’s 80’s-era technological powerhouse. From certain angles, it looks pretty good – after all, the 959 is based on a 911 body shell. But there isn’t any Kevlar or Nomex here. And you won’t fool many people at next year’s Luftgekühlt with this one.
For starters, the front end is just off. Its steep rake doesn’t quite capture the elegance of the real 959. Ditto for the back, but the Porsche-branded heckblende makes the car look even more like an impostor. Inside, the leather buckets and dirty carpets are driver quality at best. We’d make sure to check out those wires hanging down from the dash too.
Under the hood, you’re even farther away from a 959. The naturally-aspirated 2.7 in 1977 was available in 163 and 175 horsepower variants, so you aren’t hitting 211 miles per hour in this thing. You only get five forward gears here too, not the six found in the real deal. And as you may have guessed, that power is going to the rear wheels, not all four.
So that’s the bad. The good? Well, this ersatz 959 is being offered at Mecum’s Las Vegas auction on November 15 to 17. And its estimate is a real throwback: Just $15,000 to $20,000. To turn this back to a base 911 or make it a more convincing 959 clone is going to cost some coin. But when was the last time you’ve seen a solid running and driving air-cooled 911 for this cheap? If you bought this, you could keep your pride and joy in the garage and use this as a daily driver. Or, you could out-Outlaw the Outlaw guys and take this to Porsche shows. Either way, we can’t help but love this bootleg 959.