Wednesday, September 9, 2015

A Cut Above: 1987 Porsche 944 Turbo

Out of all the cars built in the Porsche front engine era (starting in 1976 with the 924, then 928, 944, & 968 through 1995) the Porsche 944 Turbo (aka the 951) has to be the best driver's car.  It is also the most likely to be collectible in some distant future if our artificially intelligent overlords deem such a thing as collecting cars to be acceptable.  If Hollywood is right, we'll probably all have shaved heads and dress in drab robes like a group of colorblind Hare Krishnas but...BUT you'd better stock up on the remaining good examples of the 944 because they are being turned into track cars at an alarming rate.  Find this 1987 Porsche 944 Turbo offered for $15,500 in Boise, ID via craigslist.  Tip from Chris.


The 944 was designed by Harm Lagaay (who was also the designer of the 924) looks a lot like the 924, particularly the 924 Carrera GT with its big wheel arches.  However, where the 924 looks dainty, the 944 looks muscular, determined and ready to pound on the road ahead.  This particular example has only 92k miles on the odometer, not the lowest mile 944 around, but with only 3200 miles per year it is lower than most.


The Porsche 944 Turbo was powered by a 2.5 liter version of the basic 944 engine that has been turbocharged and intercooled to produce 217 horsepower and 243 ft-lbs of torque.  The turbo also added a revised front fascia, bigger brakes all around, stiffer suspension and a strengthened gearbox.  


On the inside this thing looks nicely preserved; no roll cages or stupid aftermarket racing seats, just basic Porsche amenities from 1987 in decent shape.  The only real question is -- will the current seller take a reasonable offer? 


See a nicer condition Porsche 944 Turbo? tips@dailyturismo.com

6 comments:

  1. There's been some big movement on these in the past year. This time last year, this was a $10-12k car. How do I know? Because I started looking for a nice $10-12k example right after they moved to $15-20k. Pretty sure I missed the very last mint $12k one offered on Craigslist.

    These are moving upwards quickly, and unlike air cooled 911's, are worth every penny and still probably undervalued. On the other hand, I have to differ from DT in that I'm not seeing these used as track cars nearly as much, now that values are rising.

    ReplyDelete
  2. My history w/the 944 goes all the way back to 1981, when I was living in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

    One morning, on my way to work, I spied a very interesting beast parked in front of our apartment building.

    In the wee morning hours, I walked around the car... gazing at its lines... peeking under the chassis....peering inside.

    It was beautiful.

    Kinda looked like a poster I'd seen of a 924... only BETTER.

    When I returned home from work that day, it was gone.

    Never saw it again.

    A few months later, I was talking to a neighbor about this mystery car, and they mentioned their roommate worked at Car and Driver magazine (also conveniently based in Ann Arbor).

    Turns out this was the very first 944 brought into the US, visiting the EPA for emissions testing.

    C/D had apparently been allowed to take the 944 out for a spin afterwards. The staffer just parked it on the street when they got back home that night.

    Years later, I became the proud owner of a 944 (in "Arrest Me Red"), to replace my aging 924. While I loved both cars, the 944 was an entirely different beast. With good tires, the 944 was the most tossable car I've ever owned. Not much in a straight line, but I've never been that kinda guy (I like the twisty bits).

    I bought the car from a client for $11,5K w/48K miles on it, and drove it until the odo stopped working at 105K.

    Well, I drove it a few thousand miles more than that... I just don't know how much...

    Wasn't cheap when it broke (a new windshield wiper motor cost $400 for just the part!), but it honestly didn't break very much. Had friends back then w/Bimmers who were spending a few K a year keeping their cars roadable. Not me. Over the 8-9 years I owned the car (it was my daily driver), I spent about $6,500 on maintenance and repairs, including all the tune-ups performed by a licensed Porsche mechanic.

    (I had tried doing a few repairs on my 924, and learned the hard way not to work on the car)

    I actually drove the 944 off road (briefly) one night. But that's another story...

    ReplyDelete
  3. As a former Porsche employee and Multiple Porsche Owner (35+ including a 944), these are P-Cars following the Wave of Crazy Porsche Prices. I really loved my 84' 944 and my 89 944 S2 Company Car, but they suffered from problems back then which don't make them desirable today. Constant Timing Belts/Adj - Water Pumps, HUGE Clutch Replacement Costs. These are Money Pits - I can't tell you how many people have offered me FREE 944s. They break down and nobody wants to pay a instant $3k repair - these require $3-4,000 a year in Maintenance .

    The Porsche Market is out of control! Cars that I sold 5 years ago for $15k are fetching $60K, one car I sold for $12k just sold for $420k. Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda, but I'm not your typical Porsche Guy, I wrench! This Porsche Price Bubble will Crash! Because All of these cars that are fetching big numbers have Flaws. And when a Newbie finds out he needs a $15k Engine Rebuild on top of the Rust Repair that was hidden, these cars will start to get dumped!

    T.C.

    ReplyDelete
  4. As a former Porsche employee and Multiple Porsche Owner (35+ including a 944), these are P-Cars following the Wave of Crazy Porsche Prices. I really loved my 84' 944 and my 89 944 S2 Company Car, but they suffered from problems back then which don't make them desirable today. Constant Timing Belts/Adj - Water Pumps, HUGE Clutch Replacement Costs. These are Money Pits - I can't tell you how many people have offered me FREE 944s. They break down and nobody wants to pay a instant $3k repair - these require $3-4,000 a year in Maintenance .

    The Porsche Market is out of control! Cars that I sold 5 years ago for $15k are fetching $60K, one car I sold for $12k just sold for $420k. Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda, but I'm not your typical Porsche Guy, I wrench! This Porsche Price Bubble will Crash! Because All of these cars that are fetching big numbers have Flaws. And when a Newbie finds out he needs a $15k Engine Rebuild on top of the Rust Repair that was hidden, these cars will start to get dumped!

    T.C.

    ReplyDelete
  5. all good points made by the guys above, I own a 1988 924S SE, essentially a track car and it is a ball to drive on curved roads with the right tires (2 + the recomended). The cars were mainly built by Audi until 1989 and the build quality shows it as well. I only drive mine 8 months of the year and the underbody is galvanized. I have no creature comforts and can live with that as the driving fun makes up for it and 160 HP is ample for me. I agree that the Porsche price buble will burst soon, I think it is caused in part about the problem with the first generation 6 cylinder engines in 1998-2005 which can and do self-destruct at any time and cost $20K for a rebuild. The VW bean counters should never decide on Porsche quality! They should never have merged, bad for Porsche to dilute the brand! Canuck

    ReplyDelete

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