The Porsche 959 is known as a road-going technological tour de force from the 1980s. It featured four-wheel drive, twin turbochargers, and a top speed nearing 200 miles per hour. And then in 1986, in won the Paris-Dakar Rally.

The 959 was initially developed by Porsche to take part in Group B racing, which was a set of standards devised for both track and rally racing. It allowed for huge amounts of horsepower and not very much relatively in terms of safety, so when it became primarily rally-focused and then banned altogether Porsche just kinda went "aw screw it" and just developed the Porsche 959 to be the best Porsche 959 it could be, gosh darn it.

But that didn't stop some from harboring 959-y rally dreams. So starting in 1985 three were entered in the notorious race across the vast expanses of the desert, the Paris-Dakar Rally. All three cars failed to finish, but in 1986 two 959s were back, and they finished 1-2.

Not bad for a race historically dominated by big trucks, smaller motorcycles, and Mitsubishi Pajeros. Seeing the 959 on ridiculous fat tires and ridiculous raised suspension is absolutely beautiful, and is something its main competitor, the Ferrari F40, could probably never do. By the time the 959 went into production, it was built in pretty much no way for rallying, but that didn't stop brave people from taking one offroad anyway, and winning.


So what do you think is the craziest unlikely rally car? Let us know in the comments below!

Photo credit: big ashb