at the start of the movie Rain Man the Tom Cruise character is complaining about the approvals needed for him to import super expensive foreign sports cars.
Yes, but your Wikipedia cite points out that Gates’ 959 was stored for thirteen years until the Show or Display exemption was passed.
It was exempted from those crash standards. We can guess that it probably would have passed. The standards weren’t that demanding in the 1980s and the standard 911 did just fine but the 959 was never tested and we don’t actually know how it would have fared.
I’ve still never seen one running. Now I have another reason to be upset that I missed the Historics. I’ll make it there some year.
True but I never said that importation under show or display was easy. I just wanted to refute Amateur Barbarian’s comment that Gates was never allowed to register or drive it. He was.
I didn’t say never. I meant at the time they got them; nice to be so rich you can buy a $1M car that can’t leave your garage.
You an always drive them on the track. I have a friend who owns a racing car that can’t be registered but he drives it on the track all the time. Whether Gates did so I have no idea, but clearly he’s rich enough to do so if he wanted to.
Thanks for the clarification. I had somehow gotten in my head that it passed crash testing as a 911 variant.
I didn’t see the 959 actually go anywhere, it was just the pit car for someone on the Canepa team. It just sat there drawing zero attention. Sharing the visual field with a 917K and a 250 GTO will do that.
I recall seeing something a while ago on why Ferraris were more popular than Lamborghinis in the U.S. for a number of years. The reason being that Lamborghini refused to let their product be destroyed for the crash tests, while Ferrari allowed it - so there were more of their product available. Not sure if that is the case any longer.
Found this article. Relevant passage:
*Ultimately, the people who buy Porsches and other high-end vehicles have to take the manufacturer’s word on questions of safety. These vehicles usually don’t have an accepted measure of crash safety. The two U.S. groups that carry out extensive crash-testing—the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety—rate only vehicles that sell in relatively high volumes, and the European New Car Assessment Programme doesn’t crunch Porsches either.
Cost is a major factor. The Euro NCAP pays for some of the cars it tests and allows manufacturers to “sponsor” certain other models. NHTSA and IIHS, meanwhile, make a point of buying every car they test, which makes the return on a Porsche review pretty crummy considering the limited number of buyers. Ironically, the driving masses who can’t afford such an opulent ride have far more assurances about the safety of their more mundane vehicles.*
Gates can afford to build his own track if he really wanted to.
He didn’t even have possession of the car though…