Including the car that got Group B banned.
The best Porsche of the 1980s visits Jay Leno’s Garage
Jay Leno has the draw to bring in important cars and significant people, and on the latest episode of Jay Leno’s Garage, he gets a visit from the greatest Porsche of the 1980s—the 959, an all-wheel-drive wonder car touting 450 horsepower. That is enough power that this 30-year-old engineering experiment is only 10 horsepower below a new Mustang GT.
Of course, to compare the 959 to a Mustang GT is unfair. The Porsche is a svelte supercar, the Mustang a brawny muscle car. Also, that horsepower number is just one aspect of the German marvel. The all-wheel-drive system and use of exotic materials put this ultimate rear-engine Porsche over the top.
The candid conversation is part of the fun of Jay Leno’s Garage. One example is the dimple on the Porsche’s door, which Jay at first doesn’t want to mention for fear of insulting the owner, Alex Grappo. The story of the imperfection, though, warrants a note. The doors are constructed from aluminum, and when the side mirrors were installed, the outside panel deformed slightly. According to Grappo, all original 959s have this slight imperfection, and it’s often lost on re-painted or restored cars.
To learn more history and see a well-sorted 959 going down the road, be sure to watch the whole episode. After, tell us if you would rather have a 959 or a new 911 Turbo in the comments below.