Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Black Pearl: 1988 Porsche 944 LS1

The Porsche 944 is a fantastic car on paper -- and it ruled the 80s as a mid-market sports car with an engine up front and a transaxle out back for excellent weight distribution and handling.  However, with only 4-banger power available, it was always a bit poky -- and is slow compared to today's family sedans even when equipped with a turbocharger.  It might be cliche to say this, but what the 944 was really missing from the factory was an LS1, and thankfully someone has fixed it for us.  Find this 1988 Porsche 944 LS1 here on eBay bidding for $6,300 reserve-not-met with a $15,000 buy-it-now located in Siloam Springs, AK Arkansas with a few hours to go.


Porsche has always built cars that look good in black, starting with the 356, continuing to 930 Turbos, and the 944 is no exception.  This is one of the few cars that I might consider dealing with the annoyance of owning a black car (hot in the sun, shows dirt/swirls/imperfections/dings) because it looks really nice.


Under the hood is a 5.7 liter fuel injected Chevrolet V8 known as the LS1 (say out loud: ALL HAIL THE LS1) which would have been rated at 345 horsepower and 350 ft-lbs of torque when it was born in a model year 2000 C5 Corvette.  It should transform the 944 into a real 911 killer.


The interior features a giant danger red shifter and some sweet grey patterned seat and door inserts.  It doesn't look perfect, but this is a car with 85k miles on the odometer.


See another black LS1 powered menace? tips@dailyturismo.com

11 comments:

  1. Fleetwood T. BroughamNovember 10, 2015 at 6:53 AM

    Cool car, but point of minutiae.....AK is Alaska...AR is Arkansas. The lack of working A/C is understandable in the former. In the latter, I'm willing to bet it's a primary motivator for the sale of this car.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Arkansan (transplant) here ~20 miles from where this car is being sold. Neither my 240z nor my S70 have functioning A/C. Can confirm, it's hot from June - early October without A/C, though it is far from what I'd consider miserable. Windows down, 20 - 50mph, it's not awful.

      I would imagine this would be a touch worse being a dark-painted car, but overall it's quite do-able sans-A/C if the payoff is an LS1.

      Delete
    2. 10-4....I'm right up the road in TN. Had a 2002 without A/C, but it was white, and it was barely tolerable for the dog days of summer. I guess there are a few semi-mountainous areas of AR, no? Is this one of them?

      Delete
    3. Coming from Southern CA I'd call this place flat, however I guess technically there are some hills here.

      Temps in the Bentonville/Fayetteville area are typically a few degrees cooler than they run in the rest of Arkansas. Not enough of a difference to make it easy w/o A/C in a black car in the summer, but every little bit helps.

      Its no Dallas (100f+ temps in the summer) but it does crest 90f enough that the interior of a parked car can exceed 130f and my CX-5's air conditioner has trouble keeping up in stop-n-go traffic on recirc with 15% tint.

      Not worth $15k, but not a hillbilly special, either.

      Delete
  2. Hopefully that black fluid stain under the rear of the car is from an MG or something and not the trans axle. Would be a ton of fun to drive but not sure how much power that trans could take before it blowed up real good.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The 944 turbo tranny and torque tube are solid up until around 400bhp/400ftlbs. The NA 944 had a less stout torque tube that can't handle v8 grunt. If this started as a NA 944 and at least the torque tube hasn't been upgraded to a turbo one, it might not last long. Torque tube is the weak link in these, not the transaxle.

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  4. Interior is all of my favorite colors from the German rainbow, very cool.
    Me thinks it needs bigger back tires.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Putting in an LS1 is all fine if that is what you want to do. But this statement:
    "and is slow compared to today's family sedans even when equipped with a turbocharger."
    Is just completely untrue. A Porsche 944 turbo had a 0 to 60 time of about 6.5 seconds. That is not poky compared to today's family sedans.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No pokey, maybe, but definitely not any faster.

      Delete
  6. Putting in an LS1 is all fine if that is what you want to do. But this statement:
    "and is slow compared to today's family sedans even when equipped with a turbocharger."
    Is just completely untrue. A Porsche 944 turbo had a 0 to 60 time of about 6 seconds. That is not poky compared to today's family sedans.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A V6 Camry / Accord will run neck and neck with a 944 Turbo through the 1/4 mile, and come fairly close spec-wise in braking and skidpad. And those aren't even considered "sporty". I'm sure dynamically the 944 wins hands down... but the comparison made was on acceleration, and in that measurement, they're very close.

      It's not so much an indictment against the 944 as it is a reflection of the fairly incredible current automotive reality within which we live.

      Delete

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