She’s ported and relieved and she’s stroked and bored

The current official transport here at Soho the Dog HQ is a 1999 Honda Civic, dented on all four fenders, scraped and scratched on all four hubcaps, and the repository of countless CDs, empty coffee cups, and muddy pawprints. I love this car.

But if it ever gives up the ghost, the leading candidate for its replacement has got to be Herbert von Karajan’s 1988 Porsche 959, currently being offered by the Swiss classic-car dealer Kidston. The conductor was a notorious fast-car addict, and he had a long-standing predilection for Porsches, to the point where, in 1975, he could have the company custom-make a unique 911 RS Turbo for his personal use. When the 959s were about to go into long-delayed production, Porsche sent one over to the 80-year-old Karajan for a test-drive, which was filmed for television. (Karajan’s wife can be heard on the reports telling her husband, “You’d better sell more records.”) Fewer than 300 of the 959s were made, all largely hand-built.

Zero-to-sixty in 3.6 seconds, a top speed of 198 MPH—yeah, that would be fun on the Pike. Kidston is coy on price, but this site pegs it at £153,000, or just over $300K. That Met commission can come in anytime.


  1. One falls off every so often, but that’s the one with the most charm, so I stop and pick it up. (This, I think, should be Honda’s new benchmark of quality and durability. “The hubcaps stay on!”)In Boston anyways, it tends to be side mirrors that get taken out. I lost track how many times we’ve had one or the other replaced. (This, I think, should be Metrowest Boston real estate agents’ new pitch: “That driveway will pay for itself with what you’ll save on side mirrors alone!”)

  2. God, I miss my ’54 356 speedster.And as long as we’re bragging about our cars, My wife’s ’83 Volvo wagon turns 300,000 this afternoon. Musica dolce.

  3. Robin once purchased a car that broke down on the test drive, purely because he loved the look of it, the stereo, and the power of the engine…(When it worked.)It must have had quite a hold over the male sex, as we later sold it to a friend, that had carried out many repairs on it!

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