Contemplating these two cars, two phrases came to my mind. The first is the old adage “there’s no replacement for displacement”; a saying which certainly could be questioned poignantly today given the plethora of high output turbocharged motors that are available. The second is a advertising campaign that Porsche has now utilized for several years – “Porsche – there is no substitute”. Combining these two expressions of automotive certainty and black or white belief systems has been the Porsche 944, which amongst other models has become a popular platform to swap American V8s into. Quick power, good balance and cheap parts seem to justify the swap, and in the case of some of the more recent LS motors the weight difference is negligible compared to the turbocharged inline-4 that came in the 951. What you get is instant power – a lot of it. So for comparison’s sake, today we have two Stone Grey Metallic 944s that take different routes. First is an original 944 Turbo from 1986 followed by an F-body LT1-swapped ’88 944. Which is the better option?
All posts tagged 1988
If you were a sports car racing enthusiast in the 1980s, Group C might have been the top of the heap but there was some great action in the Firehawk support series. Here was a category of cars you could actually go buy, in very close to their original specification. Looking back, they are the cars we often write up today – BMW M3s, Volkswagen GTis and Corrados competing against everything from Camaros and Firebirds to Honda CRXs and even the occasional Peugot 505. The names that raced the cars were just as famous – and some are still active. Jack Baldwin, for example, ran Camaros back then and I believe it getting ready for another run at the Pirelli World Challenge with his Porsche Cayman S in 2015. Names like Scott Sharp, Randy Pobst, Dorsey Schroder, Andy Pilgrim and even Paul Newman weren’t uncommon sights in 1988. But there were other notable race names from the 1980s; BMW fans would recognize David Hobbs, Ray Korman and TC Klein, for example, and for Porsche fans Dave White combined forces with Bob Akin. Both had extensive race history with Porsche, and they took some Porsche 944s with the paint still wet to Sebring in 1988:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 Porsche 944S Firehawk on eBay
The R129 Mercedes-Benz SL was a car met with much anticipation at the end of the 1980s, as the existing R107 SL had been in production since the early 1970s. Few models have had such longevity in the Mercedes product range. In a departure from prior models, both a six-cylinder (300SL) and V8 (500SL) would be offered in the new model. Customers could even opt for a 5-speed manual in the US market with the 300SL, but takers were few, making the early R129s with three pedals quite the rarity. The R107 was available with a six-cylinder engine all along in other markets, culminating with the similarly badged 300SL in 1986 that would cease production along with the rest of the range after the 1989 model year. These two 300SLs here represent possibly the best of the best when it comes to the six-cylinder/manual transmission combo in SLs of yore. We’ll start with this 1988 300SL for sale in northern Germany with a remarkably low 27,000 miles on the clock.
Click for details: 1988 Mercedes-Benz 300SL on eBay
Though personally invested, I’m still skeptical of the recent prices we’ve seen E28 M5s being listed for. It seems like reasonable examples were going for high teens just a few months ago, yet all of a sudden it seems any clean sub-150k mile example is going for over $30k. Today’s example is one of the rare Canadian models with the all-black interior, which is a fun idea but much less appealing (to my eyes at least) than the tan interiors present on the other 99%. It has just 124k miles and appears to be in good working order, but it’s not like the shockingly clean examples we’ve featured recently. It’s lived through 4 owners and the maintenance history is disappointingly lacking. The E28 community seems to express a collective “meh” when black-interior cars are brought up, but some like the color and rarity. Have E28 M5 prices really gone up 100% over the last year?
Click for details: 1988 BMW E28 M5 on eBay
It seems hard to believe that cars from the eighties are considered classics these days. Time flies, as it seems like yesterday that I remember seeing cars like the Porsche 944 Turbo and BMW E24 M6 sitting on the showroom floor, brand new. For a while, these two-door towers of power could be had for a mere fraction of what they cost new. However, collectors are becoming hip to the scene, recognizing these vehicles for their outstanding abilities. First up, we’ll take a look at this 944 Turbo for sale in Georgia with under 60,000 miles on the odometer.