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A Grand Monday: Porsche 944

Published 08 September 2014

Got a couple of grand to spend on your next classic? Keith Moody spots a Porsche 944 S2 that could be a good buy

For a lot us (myself included), the Porsche 944 is almost the ideal classic. Launched in 1982, it’s old enough to be considered a proper classic. And thanks to the badge on the front, it’s also got plenty of heritage. Plus, the galvanised chassis means rust shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

It’s evolved from the same platform as the 924 (which means near-perfect 50:50 weight distribution), but by now the design had been totally reworked by Stuttgart… so the chance of the local pub bore saying, ‘it’s not a proper Porsche’ is reduced. So what if the engine is at the front? Panamera, Cayenne, Macan are all front-engined. Anyway, it has the black horse on the bonnet so of course it’s a proper Porsche.

While the Porsche 924, used the Audi 2.0-litre engine, the 944 got an all-new, all-alloy 2.5-litre straight-four. And by the time the Series 2 was launched, that engine had evolved to a 3.0-litre with 208bhp, making it the largest production four-cylinder in its day.

With a 0-62mph time of six seconds and a top speed of 150mph, the 944 is one of the cheapest ways to go quickly in a classic.

This 1989 Porsche 944 Series 2 that we’ve found in the classifieds for £1850 has an MoT until August next year, although it’s been off the road on SORN since July. It is shabby, but it sounds like it would make a great daily driver.

Finished in Alpine white with a navy pinstripe interior, it has leather front seats from a Porsche Boxster fitted. Inside, it has electric everything: sunroof, mirrors, seats, windows, CD player… you’ll need to check they all work. Also make sure the headlight washers work as well as the heated seats.

According to the advert, the car’s been regularly maintained with a new exhaust rear box and fresh front shocks and springs fitted last year (the rears were done in 2011).

The current mileage is 170,000 with head gasket, timing chain and tensioner replaced at 156k (although there’s no mention of replacing the water pump at the same time). On 944s, the timing belt should be changed every 45,000 miles so there’s plenty of life left in this one yet.

It’s also had new front wishbones, discs, pads and CV joints replaced, as well as benefitting from a reconditioned alternator and starter motor – not uncommon in these cars as the wiring harness runs close to the exhaust manifold, which often causes problems.

The vendor says the sills were welded in 2008 and have been annually rustproofed, but they could still need special attention. The seller tells us the paintwork is flat and the reacted badly. The front valance and sidearch sill trim hasn’t been fitted.

There are also a few other bits and pieces on the body that need attention. There are dents on the rear wing and, as you can see from the photos, there’s surface rust around the windscreen and across the rear valance. The front wing bases and rear bootwell have also been repaired.

If you’re not fussy about looks (and you can satisfy yourself that the body is strong and solid) this should make a great commuter classic.


QD Brown    on 23 September 2014

Sounds like a great 944 with all the work. Most of the time, people buy these cars expecting a race car. They drive them hard, and have to start replacing parts that can get expensive. Had they just enjoyed a spirited drive, and took care of the car, the car would offer years of reliable driving and commuting. No car is cheap if you abuse them. I believe that logo has some convinced it can be abused, and will keep racing.

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