Thursday, April 11, 2013

5k: Red Red Wine: 1989 Porsche 944 S2 Cabriolet

The Porsche 944 falls in the no-man's-land between appreciating classics and depreciating new cars.  This is exactly what we look for in a weekend car, as the maintenance costs won't kill you because you won't drive it much and should be able to own one for a few years and basically sell it to the next guy for the same price.  This is a much better financial arrangement than doing something stupid like buying a new car, the only exception being when you commute a lot and gas/maintenance costs will eat up the depreciation difference, but you will be driving an awesome classic instead of some electronically neutered econobox...but that is another story.  Find this 1989 Porsche 944 S2 Cabriolet for sale in San Diego, CA currently bidding on ebay for $2,026 reserve-not-met with 2 days to go (buy-it-now $6,900).

The S2 version of the 944 was introduced in 1989 and featured a 3.0 liter inline 4 that was the largest displacement 4-cylinder production engine and was equipped with dual overhead cams and a 16 valve head.  In stock form the 944 makes 208 horsepower, more than enough to keep up with the latest MX5/BRZ/FRS/PDQ/ZZZ.

The cabriolet 944 was also introduced in 1989 and is one of the prettiest convertibles from the late '80s / early '90s still on the road today.  This one has 165k miles on the odometer and still looks in decent shape - not exactly a show car, but certainly a decent driver.

This 944 is wearing large set of Turbo II style wheels (17" or 18"?), but we'd swap on a set of the cool looking "Phone Dial" OE wheels and leave everything else just the way it is.

See another sweet topless classic for cheap? email us:


  1. ~ the 944 Cabriolet and the 968 Cabrio are without question my favorite Porsche road car designs. i don't expect to ever see prices drop much below their current range.

  2. +1 on Phone Dials. Love the look.

  3. Exactly how terrifying are these, maintenance-wise? That giant 4-banger must have an interesting blat at WOT. Who doesn't enjoy a good WOTblat?

  4. ^that. the only thing that's keeping me from hitting the buy it now is this fear. of money pit.

  5. Somebody got a very rare car for a bargain price. Out of the less than 2500 cars imported into the USA for the three year run (1989 thru 1991), only 16 1989 944 Cabriolets were produced for the US market. That limited production number will make it a collectors dream in the not too distant future. To the new owner, "Drive it like you stole it", cause you did.

  6. the Porsche 944S2 Cab never was sold with Phone dial wheels. only the 7 spoke flat dish wheels.

  7. The 1989 Porsche 944 S2 Cabriolet that was sold here 4 years ago in April of 2013, is surely going to be overlooked and totally misunderstood by the (so called) Porsche experts or layperson who would have no idea what they are looking at in reality...
    a Porsche that the manufacture made and sold on the open market only 16 examples of worldwide.
    (actually they were only offered in North America, shown in American Auto shows and Automotive Press Junkets and such)
    Most have no clue as to how rare the 1989 (batch of) 944 S2 Cabriolets actually were then; and even more so now some 28 years later including the "experts".

    But a cursory look at Porsche's historical very Limited Production runs for all of its models ever produced will validate this discussion in detail without exception.

    On the weight that just 16 models of the 1989 944 S2 Cabs were ever made
    ("in proposed mass production") by Porsche alone defies logic.
    Fascinatingly, the 1989 Porsche 944 S2 Cabriolet exceeds in higher rarity than 7 of the 10 cars that were listed on Car & Driver Magazine's Top 7 Rarest Production Porsche Ever Manufactured list.
    It is only eclipsed in greater rarity from your Ten of the Rarest Factory Porsches Ever Built by:
    1) The One Off (1) Porsche 356B Abarth Carrera GTL
    2) The One Off (1) Porsche 935 Street
    3) The Two (2) Porsche 914-8's

    Of course, all of these three (3) super ultra rare Porsches are priceless and worth millions upon millions of dollars without question and without doubt!
    Conversely, if they could even be had at all by the well heeled astute Porschephile collector.
    It would be those of the Jay Leno and Jerry Seinfeld DNA bank account gene pool and essentially out of reach for most desiring Porsche collectors.
    In fact, a Porsche of such rare importance is probably in the realm of Porsche Museum territory in it's importance...
    falling in the space of "design study" or prototype realm for a mass produced automobile.

    Here's what Car & Driver Editor Chris Perkins had to say about the halcyon 1989 Porsche 944 S2 Cabriolet:

    Hi Dr. Nehemiah,

    I had no idea so few 944 S2 Cabs were built in 1989; it's a sadly forgotten car in Porsche's history in general.
    I can imagine there is little doubt we'll be seeing one of these enigmas from Porsche roll across the block and sell for a million+ dollars in the near future.

    Glad you liked the list and thanks for sending all of this fascinating info!


  8. But where does the 1989 Porsche 944 S2 Cabriolet actually rank within in the pantheon of those other seven rarest factory Porsches ever built you ask?
    Let's take a look at the production numbers and see where it would fall in the order of
    Car & Drivers Ten of the Rarest Factory Porsches Ever Built.

    #7 is the Porsche 993 Carrera with 1000 built from Porsche.
    #6 is the Porsche 924 GT with 426 produced out of Stuttgart.
    #5 is the Porsche 356 Carrera Speedster only 151 of them crafted.
    #4 is the Porsche 964 Turbo S Flachbau just 93 examples turned out.
    #3 is the 73' Porsche Carrera RS 33 of these rolled out of the factory.
    #2 is the Porsche 911 GT Strassenversion at only 25 ever made.
    And the #1 rare mass produced Porsches is the 1967 911R which only 23 of these bespoked their way out of Stuttgart into production and FIA Rally history.
    And so there it is...
    (If Included On Car & Driver's List) The 1989 Porsche 944 S2 Cabriolet would come in at #1 as the rarest of all of the rarest Limited Mass Production Factory Porsches ever having been built in history by Porsche to date.

    Given its staggering low production number of just (16) sixteen of these rare examples they are (essentially) prototype Porsche 944 Cabriolets all 16 of them manufactured by the legendary automotive giant and sold to the general public...
    Thus vaulting it in rank to the # 1 spot over all mass produced Porsches in the prestigious history of the company and only being exceeded by the likes three Porsche models that are in of itself beyond the comprehension of "One of One" (or 1 of 2) rarity.

    Porsche's limited production history alone tells you all you need to know of how rare and priceless this 1989 Porsche 944 S2 Cabriolet is and in fact, it could be worth millions upon millions of dollars because of its stellar rarity alone.

    It was recently rumored that one of the rare 1989 944 S2 Porsche Cabs recently sold at a private sale for $1,650,000 dollars to eccentric car collector and The Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah; who is said to have three (3) of them in his vaunted priceless collection.

    I suppose that the Sultan; who has the most massive rare car collections in the world is quietly buying up these little 1989 Porsche 944 S2 Cabrios as fast and as off the radar as he and his curators can.
    It's staggering to the mind that here was one of these uber rare Porsche cars that sold for less than 7K on Ebay!
    I wonder did the Sultan of Brunei steal this one and is laughing his car savy ass off at the rest of us who missed this little gem of a 944 sleeper.

    ~Joe DeMeo
    3 Time Porsche National Concours Champion & Porsche Preservationist and Historian


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