While yesterday I hinted that the E46 M3 might be the next 944 Turbo, let’s not forget that the original 944 Turbo is still alive and kicking. While generally speaking the 1988 Silver Rose Turbo S cars seem to be the most valuable of the street cars, the 1989 Turbos came in “S” specification, complete with the M030 suspension, more power and those special wheels. I’m lucky enough to have spent a fair amount of time in one of these; my father bought a 1989 just like this, but with white sport seats. It’s an amazing car, capable of effortless acceleration, swallowing huge trips in a single gulp, and yet gets good mileage and is comfortable. It’s one of those strange “fish story” cars; it just shouldn’t be as good as it is, and yet it is still largely overlooked as a performance value. While clean examples of the performance bargains in the 1980s and 1990s have steadily been on the rise, the 944 Turbo remains attainable. Today’s 1989 example is one of the better ones:
All posts tagged 1989
A few weeks ago, I popped this 190E 2.6 up on our Facebook Fanpage; while it looked quite nice at the time, there weren’t many photos and the pricing seemed a bit high. But the big question was “Why?”; why would someone choose to convert the less desirable 2.6 inline-6 automatic model into a fast Benz when you already have a solid starting point in the 2.3 and 2.5 16V models? In part, the seller answers that in their description below; but to me, it doesn’t necessarily matter what the base model is – after all, there are plenty of people modifying Porsche 912s and 944s, there are countless E30, E36s and E46s that aren’t M3s that people choose, and even plenty of Audi A4s that get turned up in favor of the S4. Why not the 190E 2.6, then?
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.6 on eBay
We’re doing our best to keep up with a popular modern classic now migrating to US shores given the 25 year importation threshold has been met: the BMW E30 Touring. By the time they make it to these shores, prices are not exactly bargain basement, nor have they hit the stratosphere like their M3 counterpart. Need a reason to go on holiday to Europe? Why not take a side jaunt to Germany to pick up one? This 1989 325i Touring for sale north of Munich was owned by an elderly gentleman and has the desirable combination of the M20 engine and 5-speed manual gearbox.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 BMW 325i Touring on eBay
Welcome to the latest project car installment, part 2 of my recent GLi purchase. In part 1 I was still giddy with the new acquisition and the car was coming back from Paul at Sports Car Shop with some fueling and suspension tweaks. It didn’t take long before I sent the car back for more work though, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Here is how she looked after getting raised up significantly when I got her back the first time earlier this winter (Instagramed of course):
Soon after we got a ridiculous 18″ of snow in two days, which is unheard of in the Pacific Northwest. The Jetta got sidelined while the trusty Volvo XC70 got us the necessary supplies (snacks and booze).
While the nice shiny lips on the Enkei92′s helped to distract from the overall condition of the car, I’ve never cared for staggered rims on front wheel drive cars. It’s like nails on a chalkboard for me. Plus when these came out originally they were much more at home on late 70′s and early 80′s cars and trucks.
So I set about finding a set of Corrado Sebrings from the G60 model as I’ve always thought they looked the part on MKII’s, and in fact had them on our Golf several years back. This time around though they were harder to source and I actually bought them from a very nice guy on Craigslist in Phoenix, some 1300 miles away. For less than $400 they arrived at my door and really suit me much better with that OEM+ look. Here’s a shot shortly after they were mounted:
The replacement of the in-tank fuel pump, as well as setting everything in the fuel injection back to factory specification, helped the hard starts and idling quite a bit. The primary fuel pump is still making a fair bit of noise so that will be addressed soon as well.
While it was definitely more fun to drive after Paul’s initial tweaks, I definitely had an urge to do more as soon as I could. There is so much potential in this car and every time it comes back from him, it’s closer to the vision I have for the end result. So back it went for more work at the hands of the master. Here’s the list of repairs and improvements this time:
- A new starter was fitted as it was becoming more obvious this would be an issue sooner or later.
- Front brakes and discs, axles, ball joints, motor mounts, and all the related rubber and bushings. Shame on the previous owners for spending more on wheels and cheap suspension than properly taking care of key components on the car!
- Refreshed the shifter and it’s very crisp now.
It’s hard to describe just how much a difference these small changes made and that are often overlooked. With these improvements in place the shitty suspension is almost tolerable. But really I plan to put on an H&R Cup Kit next and this will truly make the car a respectable driver and a pleasure to drive.
After that it’s time to put in the headliner, make sure the grill is appropriately dressed, and fit a proper, period car audio system. Thanks for following along,
I’ve had this post in draft for weeks as I’ve had other distractions preventing me from finishing. Here’s a wallpaper in 1920×1080 of how the car looks right now with all the repairs currently in place.
What has the world come to? Are the days of the cheap 1980s cars dead? We’re in the days of $50,000 BMW M3s, $30,000 Audi Quattros, $20,000 Volkswagen GTis and $10,000 Sciroccos! And yet, there are still deals to be had, if you’re willing to look – and act, quickly. Because while the 944 Turbo and S2 have been on the “down low” for a few years, we’ve been watching clean examples rapidly appreciate, pulled up by their more expensive cousins. That’s as it should be, because frankly, of the lot, arguably the 944 Turbo is the best performance value of the 1980s, and the 944 S2 is perhaps the best all-arounder that Porsche has ever made. Those S2s are better balanced than all the previously listed cars, quicker than all of them, get better fuel mileage than all of them, and – arguably, I agree – look the best of the 944 production line. Yet the S2 has continuously been overlooked, almost taken for granted. Those days are going away, and opportunities to get a 944 S2 like today’s are going to be increasingly difficult: