The 944 in ‘One we found’ on the opposite page could be your last chance to buy a classic Porsche for peanuts before prices rise beyond reach.
That it’s been in storage is a worry, though. A 944’s rubber seals and belts, and its alloy engine, need a regular workout or they’ll deteriorate. Many sellers who say their 944s have full service histories stop maintaining them the moment they go into storage, as if a rest doesn’t count. In this case, it does.
On the other hand, if this 944 is as good as its seller says, it could be the basis for a project and a nice little investment. There’s certainly enough interest in these cars.
The 944 was launched in 1982 to provide a much-needed bridge between the 924 and the 911 SC.
Its Porsche-developed 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine, fitted with balancer shafts for smoothness, produced 161bhp, while its rear-mounted transaxle (made by Audi) helped achieve a near-perfect weight balance. Buyers could choose between a standard five-speed manual gearbox or a three-speed automatic. Most chose the former.
It was joined three years later by the 944 Turbo, with essentially the same engine but now with 217bhp.
A limited-edition, 247bhp Turbo S arrived in 1988. Today the Turbo is the rarest and most sought-after 944.
Both standard – called Lux – and Turbo models were a roaring success, inspiring Porsche to roll out a raft of improvements for the 1986 model year. They included revised suspension, a new, f lush-mounted windscreen and new ‘phone-dial’ alloys. Inside, the interior gained a curvier fascia and seats from the 911.
The 944 S arrived in 1987 with a 2.7-litre 16-valve engine producing 187bhp (look for the optional ‘16 Ventiler’ badge behind the indicator repeaters). Unlike the 2.5, which relied on torque, this engine was a revvy unit that liked hard work but which most drivers didn’t rate. These days, with good examples of all 944s thin on the ground, buyers can’t afford to be so sniffy.