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Microsoft Money Leads To Street-Legal Porsche 959s

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the worthy-cause dept.

Toys 585

Ken Greenebaum writes "Soon there will be a 'new' Porsche 959 racing down highway 520 in Redmond. This article in autoweek describes how Bill Gates, Paul Allen and Ralph Lauren teamed up with Bruce Canepa to make the 959 street legal. Best quote: Gates 'suggested to Canepa that perhaps they could federalize the car by buying a number of sacrificial 959s to "crash and test."' They modernized and increased the performance of the already super car to: 575HP making the 15 year old cars race to 60 in 3.3 seconds with a top speed of 215MPH."

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tagging bills together (5, Interesting)

zeoslap (190553) | more than 11 years ago | (#6972889)

The thing that struck me about this article was how screwed up the US political system is whereby bills are all bundled together, I won't even get into the fact that with enough cash you can get your own laws considered. This particular law was denied twice (which in of itself should see it permanently denied) but on the third try it was ushered through because the bill it was riding on was a sure fire winner, lame.

All that being said it's cool that they finally got the cars into the US, only wish I could afford one :)

Re:tagging bills together (2, Insightful)

16K Ram Pack (690082) | more than 11 years ago | (#6972940)

It's also pretty screwy that someone went to the bother of trying to get a bill passed, with all the inherent costs so that a few multimillionaires can drive ludicrously fast cars.

Still, I suppose some senators won't have to worry about where to get their designer suits and computer games from now on.

It's obvious why M$ pulled this shit (5, Funny)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 11 years ago | (#6972954)

Once they heard Ford was switching to Linux they figured they had to do something to compete in the auto market.

Re:tagging bills together (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6972999)

As somebody who works in the political sector, I regard "bill bundling", as you call it, as a good thing. It's just another way to iron out compromises in the often bitterly partisan legislative process. Without riders, there'd be no way to make sure that a party would stick to a deal and pass some unpopular legislation.

In this case, I don't see what all the fuss is about. A car going at 100 mph isn't any less likely to kill anyone than a car going at 215 mph. Personally, I'm somewhat envious of Bill Gate's ride...perhaps that is the motivation behind this outcry?

- W G

Re:tagging bills together (2)

andrewski (113600) | more than 11 years ago | (#6973094)

You, sir are on crack. A car going at 215 MPH is much more likely to kill somebody. That much less reaction time.

Riders are also bad because there could be cooperation and not pork. Riders are 95% pork.

Re:tagging bills together (3, Informative)

FJ (18034) | more than 11 years ago | (#6973015)

Bundeling unrelated things together in congress is nothing new. It is a favorite way to get pet projects and a way to manuver things in your way. Both parties do it and all presidents hate it.

They tried to change this a few years back by giving the presedent a line item veto. It was declared unconstitutional because it gave the executive branch too much power over the legislative branch. The only way to change it legally is for a constitutional amendment.

The funny thing is that most state governments allow for a line item veto.

Billy doesn't want another run-in with the law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6972890)

Else he'll end up on The Smoking Gun [thesmokinggun.com] ... again.

Re:Billy doesn't want another run-in with the law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6972914)

It's BECK!

Oh wait...

well (5, Funny)

toddhunter (659837) | more than 11 years ago | (#6972892)

suggested to Canepa that perhaps they could federalize the car by buying a number of sacrificial 959s to "crash and test."
How about spending that crashing and testing time on windows instead???

Re:well (5, Funny)

Scorchio (177053) | more than 11 years ago | (#6972897)

But they're trying to find something that will crash faster...

Re:well (2, Funny)

justzisguy (573704) | more than 11 years ago | (#6973002)

What do you call Longhorn on Itanium 2's?!?

Re:well (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6972902)

It's FUNNY because it makes fun of Microsoft!

meanest? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6972933)

As Porsche celebrates the 40th year of the 911, the 959 can easily be called the meanest 911 ever.

Nope, I'd say 2001 should be called the meanest 911 ever...

Re:well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6972985)

'Cause crashing windows is for free, and lord knows they feel the need to burn through cash...

It's not the money (1)

Felinoid (16872) | more than 11 years ago | (#6973000)

It's not a matter of throwing money at the problem.
Every time Microsoft redesigns Windows they repeate the same basic mistakes over and over again.
The reason is becouse Bill Gates has his own ideas on how an operating system should work and refuses to accept the fact that those ideas are the cause of Windows problems.

It would be more akin to trying to make the space shuttle streat legal while refusing to make it smaller.

The feat they did preform is more akin to making Minux stable and reliable. No simple feat but that is exactly what Linus was attempting to do when he first started working on his Linux kernel.

Re:well (1)

ice-monk (646562) | more than 11 years ago | (#6973008)

So you have to test if they crash? In my experience they just crash

Re:well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6973020)

It's that kind of attitude - that corporate officers should spend their personal time and money on company matters - that's leading to all the stress, burnout and mismanagement at the top. This can't be good for a compnay, and it's no doubt been a factor behind notorious disasters like Enron & Worldcom.

I say let Bill Gates do what he wants in his personal time and he'll be a much better CEO during company time.

- W G

OH MY GOD! (2, Insightful)

Krach42 (227798) | more than 11 years ago | (#6972893)

OH MY GOD! They did WHAT to those poor Porsches?

Re:OH MY GOD! (1, Informative)

turgid (580780) | more than 11 years ago | (#6972963)

They're only crappy old Porches. Don't get too worried. It's not as if they're high-tech [mazdarx8.co.uk] or truly innovative [wikipedia.org] .

Re:OH MY GOD! (1)

noewun (591275) | more than 11 years ago | (#6973065)

I'll take the car made by the company which has won Le Mans sixteen times.

Re:OH MY GOD! (1)

turgid (580780) | more than 11 years ago | (#6973142)

Oh well. Each to their own I suppose.

Well... (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 11 years ago | (#6972978)

If there's any justice in this world, with any luck Mr Gates might just write the car and himself off on the first corner...

Re:Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6973051)

If there's any justice in this world, with any luck Mr Gates might just write the car and himself off on the first corner...

My wife is a God person. She says that the Devil looks after his own.

I would have thought... (4, Funny)

tarquin_fim_bim (649994) | more than 11 years ago | (#6972894)

they'd have been crash testing Fords.

And no Skyline? (5, Funny)

Dancin_Santa (265275) | more than 11 years ago | (#6972896)

Microsoft Money doesn't help me buy anything. It does tell me that I'm way over budget and will be bankrupt within 3 months of the start of the fiscal year.

Re:And no Skyline? (0)

Second Vampyre (700228) | more than 11 years ago | (#6972916)

skyline's are already available, you big dummy.

Re:And no Skyline? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6972931)

At current specs? Not that I'm aware of.

Re:And no Skyline? (1)

tuba_dude (584287) | more than 11 years ago | (#6972956)

It does tell me that I'm way over budget...

There's a reason for that...you bought Microsoft Money...either that or you didn't and it's sending info to the BSA right now.

SLASHDOT MYTHS VS. REALITY (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6972899)

MYTH #2: "New, innovative companies won't start up overseas."

Really? What do you think these laid-off chip designers [eetimes.com] are gonna do when they get back to Chennai? Sell trinkets to tourists?

MYTH #3: "R&D jobs don't go overseas. Hell, they don't even leave the US east and west coast, for the most part."

REALITY:

MYTH #4: "If you're truly working on something high-tech, today's high-tech, you'll never have to worry about your job moving."

Per nasscom.org, "A recent study on the biotech market by business intelligence firm, Ernst & Young, has shown that India has the potential to become a leading hub [216.239.39.104] of biotech projects. Indian companies have the capability to enter segments such as manufacturing biogenerics, contract research services, clinical trials and even areas such as bio-informatics."

MYTH #5: "Ultimately, what xenophobes need to realize is that writing shitty code doesn't make anyone "high-tech." You're no more entitled to an inflated salary than the auto workers who saw their work moved overseas - if someone with no education can do your job cheaper, you don't deserve your job."

"Accenture in India has also been moving into front office work such as doing clinical data management for its pharma clients. Accenture's pharma team here, which consists of doctors, dentists and biologists [indiatimes.com] , analyses data from tests and helps its pharma client to gain `time-to-market' advantage. "Normally, for a BPO, back office activities are the target, but we are beginning to spot opportunities in front office activities as well," Cole said."

Bah.... (1)

AugstWest (79042) | more than 11 years ago | (#6972907)

Get a 914, you pansy.

Microsoft money buys laws (4, Insightful)

vought (160908) | more than 11 years ago | (#6972910)

The article comes right out and says that Gates' money paid for a high-priced attorney to work directly with NHTSA, EPA and lawmakers to fashion legislation that would permit their nice little rich guys' plaything. It's a cool car, but I have trouble working up sympathy after reading this story. Why does anyone have trouble believing Gates and Co. wouldn't do the same thing when it comes to matters involving billions of dollars? That antitrust case sure went out with a whimper, didn't it?

Re:Microsoft money buys laws (5, Interesting)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 11 years ago | (#6972921)

What has always struck me as idiotic is that the 959 wasn't street legal in the US while other, non-crash-worthy super cars like the Ferrari F40 and F50, Pantera and Shelby Cobra have been.

Re:Microsoft money buys laws (5, Insightful)

WalterSobchak (193686) | more than 11 years ago | (#6972988)

Would you have a list of the various legal and non-legal "non-crash" cars? What are the requirements.

And if I please may rant a little bit: The 959 is good enough for the Autobahn, it is good enough for you. Crash data for the car exists, the Kraftfahrtbundesamt has strict specs for giving the "street legal" verdict.

Alex

Re:Microsoft money buys laws (5, Informative)

abmurray (599514) | more than 11 years ago | (#6973088)

What has always struck me as idiotic is that the 959 wasn't street legal in the US while other, non-crash-worthy super cars like the Ferrari F40 and F50, Pantera and Shelby Cobra have been.

Whether or not a car is 'street legal' in the US is entirely up to the manufacturer. The car must adhere to emissions and safety regulations. The car must also be crash-tested and all relevant information throughly documented. There's a host of hoops the manufacturer must jump through that can add significantly to the cost of the car.

It's not the government that was keeping the 959 from being street legal, but Porsche itself.

--
a.b. murray

Re:Microsoft money buys laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6972947)

if we are really lucky mebbe they will buy their way into a face plant with a tree at 200 MPH

The Fast and the Furious III (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6972915)

Bill Gates in a Vin Diesel like role? The influence, the respect, the mystery...

Robert Love as the guy undercover as the Porshe employee investigating Microsoft's under-the-table dealings with Porshe, to see if more than "Microsoft Money" is involved...

Natalie "Hot Grits" Portman as his love interest who is also a Porshe racer...

Steve Ballmer, who screams "On your mark, get set, go" over and over like the crazed monkey he is...

Darl McBride running around, making sure the cars are using street-legal parts else pay him a special fee to make sure their cars don't "have problems" before a big race?

Who knows... It wouldn't be any worse than if Hollywood tried to make this!

Re:The Fast and the Furious III (1)

VanillaCoke420 (662576) | more than 11 years ago | (#6973001)

Bill Gates in a Vin Diesel like role? The influence, the respect, the mystery...

I think it would be good for geeks worldwide to have our ubergeek to be an actionhero...

Natalie "Hot Grits" Portman as his love interest who is also a Porshe racer...

Hm, I would like to add in Jessica Alba, Jennifer Garner and Katie Holmes. If that's not possible, I would just keep them for myself then :)

Steve Ballmer, who screams "On your mark, get set, go" over and over like the crazed monkey he is...

Have to tell you, those filmclips that he appeared on were just pure gold. I'm wondering if his coca cola was spiked with ecstacy or something.

nonononono..... (3, Interesting)

E1v!$ (267945) | more than 11 years ago | (#6972920)

this is just stupid. why bother with that when you can have THIS [porsche.com] .

Re:nonononono..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6972941)

because the 959 is faster?

Re:nonononono..... (1)

marshall_j (643520) | more than 11 years ago | (#6972952)

Yeah but that's a dime a dozem compared to their cars. Porsche equivilent of a civic that can do 9 sec quater mile

congrats, you found (1)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 11 years ago | (#6972953)

the bastard child of a porsche and a ferrari, ugh...

Re:nonononono..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6972965)

Porsche already made a few cars that surpass the 959, but the fact remains - none of them are 959's. Its the rich boys dream car. Sure other cars are cheaper, faster and street legal but then that exclusivity is gone. Rice boys are the same way with the Skylines.

Re:nonononono..... (3, Insightful)

toopc (32927) | more than 11 years ago | (#6972972)

this is just stupid. why bother with that when you can have [a Porsche Carrera GT].

Because a 959 has history associated with it. If you don't understand that, you're either a kid, or someone who doesn't appreciate cars.

Just because something newer and faster comes along, doesn't mean older cars no longer matter. The 959 is one of the most significant Porsche's ever made. Maybe one day the Carrera GT will be too, but I doubt it. 20 years from now I bet a 959 is worth much more than GT.

Elsewhere... (5, Funny)

mcpkaaos (449561) | more than 11 years ago | (#6972923)

John Carmack is seen hastily building a new rocket, loaded with weapons-grade plutonium, mumbling something about being "one-upped" about his Ferrari and some reference to a "last laugh".

Easy, Ashcroft, I was kidding about the plut++++NO CARRIER

Seems to me... (3, Insightful)

fruey (563914) | more than 11 years ago | (#6972935)

... like more time, thought and money went into getting a car street legalised than my poor little principles can handle. Add to that getting a law passed specifically for it, and really you're showing just how enough money can get you almost anything in the US.

Cool cars maybe, but this is obscene. Nobody gets anything out of this except a few rich kids fans of 80s porsches, and indeed the cars aren't really anything like what they were before (as classics) because the turbos, ignition system, and fuel injectors are all completely changed in the process.

Another case where the lawyers make more money than the rest of us.

Re:Seems to me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6972950)

Become a lawyer. Or get an MBA. If you want to make money, go to where the money is. It sure isn't around for whiny engineers anymore. Well, it is, but only if you speak Hindi or Urdu.

Re:Seems to me... (1)

fruey (563914) | more than 11 years ago | (#6973025)

I'm happy being poor (indeed, I'm not even poor, except relative to Bill Gates and most lawyers) and I don't think I'm really whining. I'm not jealous of those who make money by deceit, obscene hourly charges, and by putting down the man on the street.

I'm not chasing the money dragon, but I think those that do are obscene. Pretty much all of them.

And don't think those Indian developers to whom you refer are making big bucks. They're living at a lower standard than even me, a "whiny developer".

Gates driving style (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6972960)

If Gates drives his Porche like his software drives my computer, get your children inside and stay of the roads...

Re:Gates driving style (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6973039)

And if cars were designed like open source software, you'd try to take them to a mechanic and get handed a spanner and told to fix it yourself.

Re:Gates driving style (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6973069)

There are moments I wish I had mod points, and there are moments I wish I had mod points. This is one of those moments. Bravo, Sir!

Re:Gates driving style (1)

jpu8086 (682572) | more than 11 years ago | (#6973047)

thats the stupidest analogy i've heard of late. in honor of that lame comment:

"if cmdrtaco eats the number of times he reposts the same story, get your children to grow some food for the world's survival."

seriously, grow out of your gates-envy. he is not that bad for being the devil.

Suddenly... (2, Funny)

fruity1983 (561851) | more than 11 years ago | (#6972967)

Suddenly all those jokes about gas guzzling speed cars making up for an inadequate penis seem so much more obvious.

Fast Post! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6972975)

OK, so I'm not a subscriber and had to wait for it to appear on the non-subscriber edition :-) And I took the time to read the article before posting. It's still 0:23 postings in 16 minutes...

And yes, Gates and friends used money and influence to buy their way around the laws they wanted, but other than the pollution laws, which they got the cars upgraded to meet, the other laws are basically "consumer protection" laws, and if you're a consumer who doesn't *want* to be protected, nobody's forcing you to buy a Porsche 959 and you shouldn't have to pay protection money to do so - it ought to be your choice.

Besides, this is yet another case of the government stepping in and banning hobbyists from doing what they want and only dealing with big industrialists in large volume - as hackers, we're supposed to be opposed to that sort of thing. A couple of years ago, the Stanford Electric Car Show had a really nice little Norwegian prototype car that I'd have been happy to buy right there - but they were only allowed to bring a small number into the country, and were required to *crush* them after six months. What a waste.

Too expensive (4, Funny)

Powercntrl (458442) | more than 11 years ago | (#6972990)

I'd rather get a Honda Civic and cover it in Type-R stickers... With each one adding 5 extra horsepower, I'd surely end up with a faster car!

Do they come in BLUE? (2, Funny)

Vampyre_Dark (630787) | more than 11 years ago | (#6972996)

Is it me, or does is there something really wrong when a company that is world famous for CRASHING gets involved in the automotive industry?

Re:Do they come in BLUE? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6973005)

Is it me, or does is there something really wrong when a company that is world famous for CRASHING gets involved in the automotive industry?

It's just you, you fucking karma whore. No one else gets the irony. Thank god you were here to help us out!

Re:Do they come in BLUE? (1)

Vampyre_Dark (630787) | more than 11 years ago | (#6973099)

But it seems you are still in need of help! You need a spine, and a set, then maybe you won't be an annonymous coward.

Re:Do they come in BLUE? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6973147)

No, I'd just need a login and password.

YOU LIKEWISE FAIL IT!

I am shocked and appalled (1, Insightful)

flopsy mopsalon (635863) | more than 11 years ago | (#6973006)

In a country where thousands die annually [wrongdiagnosis.com] in automobile accidents. here three billionaires are deliberately crashing cars just so they can have overpriced playthings to go joyriding in.

This whole fiasco is a metaphor for everything that's wrong with Microsoft, and by extension, America.

Only not street legal in the United States! (4, Informative)

avidday (671814) | more than 11 years ago | (#6973009)

The 959 was always street legal, expcept in the US, because of Porsche's refusal to supply the required vehicles (up to four if memory serves correctly) for the mandatory crash test. People have been happily and safely driving their road specification 959's (Porsche had to build 200 road going examples for FIA Group B homologation purposes) in many other places since deliveries began in late 1987.

Informative!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6973081)

Duh! HENCE THE CONTENTS OF THE ARTICLE DUMBASS!

Getting these cars street legal was the WHOLE POINT OF THE ARTICLE RETARD!

Read the fucking article you shithead!

crash test dummy (1)

flacco (324089) | more than 11 years ago | (#6973012)

Gates 'suggested to Canepa that perhaps they could federalize the car by buying a number of sacrificial 959s to "crash and test.

i nominate billy to sit behind the wheel when this goes down.

This is how America works (4, Insightful)

Qrlx (258924) | more than 11 years ago | (#6973014)

This story should be made into a movie. Perhaps a documentary.

"...We formulated a law--that if 500 or fewer cars were produced, if they weren't currently produced, if they were never U.S.-legal, and if they were rare--you could import them without having to pass DOT standards. As long as they met EPA standards and were driven no more than 2500 miles per year, they'd be legal."

...The supercar proviso became law when President Clinton signed off on it. After eight years of struggle, the real hassles were about to begin for the 959 project. "The next step was to reduce the bill to writing so DOT could administer it. At first they weren't happy about it. Their attitude was 'We're short-staffed as it is, so how are we going to deal with this?' But the government worked diligently to help our cars pass inspection."

There's so many things wrong here. For starters, Federal tax dollars (aka "your money") are being spent to push the paperwork on a car that only the super-wealthy will ever drive. Then, there's the fact that someone(s) in Congress (aka "your representative") felt s/he was acting appropriately when the attached this rider to the transportation bill. Finally, we've got the lawyers, who dreamed up this scheme where we have to pay (see "your money" above) so the super-wealthy chase their small-penised dreams.

This whole damn situation is so friggin' complex that I am really having a hard time determining who I should be pissed off at.

Personally, if I were that rich, I would just find a way to bring the car in illegally. How hard can that really be? On the other hand, I know Bill Gates gets his most intense satisfaction every time his lawyer-monkeys find a way to make legal something that really isn't.

Re:This is how America works (1)

DaveSchool (154247) | more than 11 years ago | (#6973107)

And if it wasn't for all this crap bureaucracy the cars would've been allowed into the country when they were built.

The only reason the crash-test laws exist is to "protect" the public from cars like the Pinto which are quite unsafe. But these guys aren't poor, single mothers who were tricked by the big, evil corporation into buying an unsafe car. These guy know what they're buying, all the risks, etc... It would have been a lot less trouble if they could have just signed some waiver that acknowledged they knew the cars were potentially unsafe and they hadn't been crash-tested. Problem solved.

But there has to be all this restrictive crap in the way, that prevents ANY new car from being driven in the US unless it undergoes crash-testing.

Ah man.... (1)

2Bits (167227) | more than 11 years ago | (#6973019)

...increased the performance of the already super car to: 575HP making the 15 year old cars race to 60 in 3.3 seconds with a top speed of 215MPH

Jesus died for us, and all I got is this lousy car? Worse yet, I'm not even allowed to go pass 65MPH?

Poor Jesus, died for nothing!

Re:Ah man.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6973053)

Jesus died for us, and all I got is this lousy car? Worse yet, I'm not even allowed to go pass 65MPH?

For about $200 you can take your car to an area track and drive as fast you dare. Completely legal, and as long as you know your limits, relativly safe.

rich people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6973022)

Gates buy new laws, Carmack builds rockets, Allen builds radio telescopes... I wanna be rich too. They seem to have a lot of fun.

Re:rich people (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6973046)

1. ?????
2. Get Rich
3. Have fun

Re:rich people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6973158)

An don't seem to have any guilt over the people they ripped off along the way.

darwin award candidates (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 11 years ago | (#6973030)

Lets see a couple chubby out of touch computer monopolists trying to handle a 500+ HP car? Something tells me Apple and Linux are going to have a bright future after a certain firey crash.

Re:darwin award candidates (2, Informative)

DaveSchool (154247) | more than 11 years ago | (#6973059)

Yeah, I'm sure these BILLIONAIRES can't afford high-performance driving lessons or anything like that. Also, Bill Gates' history would lead me to believe that he's been driving these kind of cars for quite some time (his famous mugshot is from when he was pulled over for going 100+ in a Porsche).

Too bad for them... (1)

grungeman (590547) | more than 11 years ago | (#6973049)

...that the new Porsche Carrera GT [porsche.com] will be out, with 612 HP. That will make them look like a bunch of losers.

But seriously, can anyone tell me what you want with such a car on North American roads? Even on the German autobahn you really seldom have traffic conditions that allow going more than 125mph.

Re:Too bad for them... (2, Interesting)

toopc (32927) | more than 11 years ago | (#6973070)

Too bad for them?

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if Bill Gates or any of those other billionaires want a Carerra GT, they can buy one, or ten. And they won't have to sell the 959 either.

These guys aren't like you or me, they don't have to sell the Corolla to step up the Camry.

Re:Too bad for them... (1)

grungeman (590547) | more than 11 years ago | (#6973181)

But no matter how much money you have, you can only drive one car at a time. So if I once happen to have the money I will buy a GT and wait in front of Bill Gate's house until he enters his 959. Then I will drive by, with my "959 sucks" bumper sticker prominently showing. I guess that's as close to world domination as you can get :-)

Re:Too bad for them... (4, Funny)

mcpkaaos (449561) | more than 11 years ago | (#6973100)

...what you want with such a car on North American roads?


Well, we could have a Cannonball Run 3. We even have a modern day Dom DeLuise. Sorry Balmer, you brought it on yourself. I guess Gates could be Burt Reynolds, but I doubt he can grow a mustache.

I don't have many fantasies. . . (1)

noewun (591275) | more than 11 years ago | (#6973052)

but one which remains: being driven around Le Mans (without the chicanes on the Mulsanne) in the passenger seat of a 962C at race speed for a coupla laps. Nothing like going 240 mph on the ground.

Failing that, gimme the 962C for a weekend. There's this road in Montana that goes straight mile after mile. . .

Re:I don't have many fantasies. . . (1)

Jonas the Bold (701271) | more than 11 years ago | (#6973174)

What a crappy fantasy. Wouldn't you rather own one, and live somewhere in the midwest with straight highways hundreds of miles long?

A real porsche sportscar (1)

Knos (30446) | more than 11 years ago | (#6973057)

I wonder if that one is street legal in the us:

http://www.962lm.com/index-h.htm

(It is a clone of the porsche 962 that raced at le mans 24 hours race)

Now that's a real sportscar :)

Not that fast (1)

ChrisJC (62147) | more than 11 years ago | (#6973060)

This Porsche 959 - 0-100 is 11.4sec >$400K
TVR Cerbera 4.5 (current production made in Blackpool, England) - 0-100 is 8.3sec from a 4.5litre V8, cost $80K
I think I'd go for the TVR. Not being able to do 215mph (only 195mph from the TVR) is not a big deal.
Of course, you could get the TVR T440R if you really must do 215mph.
Check out tvr-eng.co.uk [tvr-eng.co.uk]

So much ammo... (0)

Xenoproctologist (698865) | more than 11 years ago | (#6973062)

"The 959 just squats and goes."
And finally, after all these years, it can do it on these shores.

Best lines of the article. So very much potential...

"...finally drops anchor on American soil."
"...just shits all over the competition!"

Re:So much ammo... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6973096)

LMAO

215MPH? (1)

turgid (580780) | more than 11 years ago | (#6973068)

If you want to go places at 215MPH why don't you get yourself a damn aeroplane? Cars are dangerous enough at 70MPH. Most countries have speed limits on the public roads.

Re:215MPH? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6973085)

If you want to go places at 215MPH why don't you get yourself a damn aeroplane? Cars are dangerous enough at 70MPH. Most countries have speed limits on the public roads.

Enjoy... [laguna-seca.com]

60 in 3.3 seconds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6973071)

My motorcycle beats this, it's not sponsored nor endorsed by anybody from Microsoft and I paid it with my Unix programmer and administrator salary.
Take this, Bill.

Re:60 in 3.3 seconds? (2, Insightful)

toopc (32927) | more than 11 years ago | (#6973097)

Wow, your motorcycle is faster than a 959.

If only Bill had your money he could afford one too. Oh wait, he does have your money, and x billion times more. I guess the point of it wasn't just 0-60 numbers then.

You think?

EPA are just polluting busybodies (1)

Ignis Flatus (689403) | more than 11 years ago | (#6973072)

After the first eight examples arrived at Holbert's race shop in August 1988, the feds came to inspect them. They found what appeared to be street-legal examples with leather interiors and leather-covered roll bars. The only apparent concessions to race trim were roll-up windows and deletion of air conditioning and radio. Suspecting duplicity on Porsche's part, the inspectors refused to authorize importation.

It really does sound a lot like the same trim that a Ford Mustang Cobra "R" model comes in. And all these elite toys are going to do less ecological damage in one year than a single NASCAR event. Now, add up how much money was spent to jump through the beaurocratic hoops, convert that to gallons of gasoline, and you'll see that less energy would have been wasted if only the regulators had made an exemption up front.

More like 2.15 Mph (1)

mod_parent_down (692943) | more than 11 years ago | (#6973073)

Sorry, but unless this thing is specially fitted to cruise on medians and guard-rails, you're still gonna be counting the inches on the 520 bridge.

Hope you like 1st gear.

The fantasy of a lifetime... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6973075)

I wanna be a goatse Unix Geek [gaylonghair.com] .

Acceleration vs. Velocity (1)

nucal (561664) | more than 11 years ago | (#6973079)

The 959 goes from a standstill to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds and reaches 100 mph in 11.4 seconds.

My Subaru reaches 100 mph in about 20 seconds ... that works for me.

They should do this for the Skyline as well... (1)

andrewski (113600) | more than 11 years ago | (#6973104)

Poor Skyline needs legalization too!

Not all of us even want a 959, a Skyline can be blown out much farther.

Linux Mechanic? (4, Funny)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 11 years ago | (#6973106)

Sure, Bill, the brakes look great! Drive faster!

Crash Test Dummies . . . (3, Funny)

Dausha (546002) | more than 11 years ago | (#6973108)

So, will Bill Gates, Paul Allen, Bruce Canepa or Ralph Lauren also volunteer to be crash test dummies? I don't think we should accept all four of them a couple will suffice. After all, you can't have a accurate crash test without end-user testing.

This should be a slashdot poll questions: Who should be the first CTD?

all is forgiven (1)

trouser (149900) | more than 11 years ago | (#6973110)

ssa

So? (1)

Knunov (158076) | more than 11 years ago | (#6973121)

If Microsoft wasn't attached to this story, you would either be happy or indifferent. If you knew the dumbass reasons the 959 was kept off American roads in the first place you'd be more sympathetic.

I bought a poster of the 959 when it first came out - it hung over my first computer.

Now I own a Viper, but I would *love* to own a 959. AMAZING vehicle.

Car lovers everywhere will be happy about this. I hope I pull up next to one in my Viper - so I can race it :D

Knunov

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6973176)

We would probably be indifferent if it were someone else. Or maybe not.

I think it is interesting that it is Bill Gates, if only because he manages to change the law especially for this. As someone else has already pointed out, it only makes you wonder what he would do if billions were involved. Well, it doesn't really make you wonder. It just confirms.

EC

Why isn't anyone pissed about the import part? (5, Interesting)

Excen (686416) | more than 11 years ago | (#6973130)

Currently, it costs $90,000 to import a USED Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 to the U.S. and to make it street legal. For those of you who don't know, it's the silver and blue car that Paul Walker drives in 2 Fast 2 Furious. (Yeah, it's the one with the steering wheel on the wrong side. . . ) Mind you, it costs a third of that in Japan BRAND SPANKING NEW! You can buy a 2-year-old Toyota Corolla equivalent for 6 thousand in Japan, however, due to the asinine import laws governing foreign trade, it costs two times the cost of the car to get the tests done to prove that the car was street legal and emmisions compliant in the first place, and to pay the import duties. To get the car released from customs to do the emissions testing, a bond of 250 PERCENT OF THE PRICE OF THE CAR must be put up to ensure that you will get the emissions done. You get that money back, but who has the cash to pony up like that when you are buying a car?

Anyways, that's my rant on Stupid American Laws.

"No beer until you finish your tequila!"
-Leela's Dad

Meanwhile ... (1)

Bazouel (105242) | more than 11 years ago | (#6973153)

... 99 % of the world have a yearly income inferior to the price of one of those cars.

Re:Meanwhile ... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6973162)

... 99 % of the world have a yearly income inferior to the price of one of those cars.

Sucks for them.

Excuse me now. I'm going to go get a snack from the fridge. A snack that costs more than 99% of people in this world get paid for an entire day's hard labor. We're all such selfish bastards aren't we?

Hmmm... (5, Funny)

wetson (27135) | more than 11 years ago | (#6973164)

Gates 'suggested to Canepa that perhaps they could federalize the car by buying a number of sacrificial 959s to "crash and test."'

...so I assume they'll be installing Windows on them?

As long as... (0, Troll)

agi (17926) | more than 11 years ago | (#6973192)

... Gates plays the crash test dummy, it seems OK to me.

Gates 'suggested to Canepa that perhaps they could federalize the car by buying a number of sacrificial 959s to "crash and test."'
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