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Jay Leno Takes Porsche’s 80s Icon 959 For A Spin

The 959 was really Porsche’s rolling laboratory for automotive technological advancement. The truly astonishing thing about the 959 is that it was truly the first daily-driver supercar. Sadly, most of these cars have not been blessed with driving mileage, as they’ve been shoved in collections and garages for years. This car has 49,000 brag-worthy kilometers, or about 30,000 miles. There’s no reason why this car couldn’t go just as far and as comfortably as any other 911. If I were lucky enough to be able to afford one of Porsche’s finest, I’d absolutely drive it up to a six-figure odometer reading. These cars were built to be driven long, far, and at high speed.

This video is quite long at nearly 30 minutes, but you might learn a thing or two about Porsche and the advancements made by the 959 in its day. These cars have really exploded in value over the last decade or so, well beyond the reach of mortals like me, but it will always have a place in my Porsche dreams. While the visuals are relatively staid and subdued by standards of even a decade later—looking a bit like a stretched out 993—this thing must have looked like an absolute rocket ship in the mid-1980s.

As nice as the 959 is to drive, with hydraulically adjustable ride height, all-wheel drive, and waves of turbocharged torque, the inside is still relatively familiar to anyone with a Carrera 3.2. Aside from the « Porsche 959 » embossed into the steering wheel, and the « G » on the shift knob to delineate a low crawling gear, you’d be hard pressed to find a way to tell you were even driving something more special than a « regular » 911. The greenhouse is the same, and the seats feel the same, which helps that feeling along. But, as soon as you slam down the accelerator, you’ll know.


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