Although the appeal of the budget speed of the 944 Turbo is certainly large, the actual driving experience around town can sometime be a bit lacking and the expense of 25 year old turbocharged technology can be a turnoff. Luckily, Porsche offered its own solution with the 944S2. Well covered on these pages, the S2 offers early Turbo levels of performance from its 3.0 16V motor, with no turbo lag. I’ve said it was perhaps the best all-arounder Porsche has ever built, and I think overall that’s a realistic look at the S2; if all-out speed wasn’t your goal, the S2 offers practicality, lower ownership costs and enough power to take advantage of one of the best handling chassis ever made. Take a look at this 1989 example:
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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:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Porsche 944 Turbo on eBay
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:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Porsche 944S2 on eBay
The 1985 Porsche 944 we featured last month has been relisted at $1,000 more, strangely enough. Still, if there’s some flexibility on the reserve, this could turn out to be a water-cooled bargain.
THE BELOW POST ORIGINALLY APPEARED ON OUR SITE FEBRUARY 14, 2014:
It doesn’t always take a lot of money to have fun. However, in an era where Volkswagen Mk1 Golfs and GTIs and your garden variety BMW E30s are trending upward, it may seem a bit daunting to maximize your classic car dollar. But there’s always those old standbys, and one that ranks high on my list is the Porsche 944. If you opt for the “basic” version, you can keep the initial outlay reasonable while allowing room for upgrades and repairs. This 944 for sale in Portland, Oregon has well under 100,000 miles on the clock and provides a good baseline for those new to the P-car hobby.
Click for more details: 1985 Porsche 944 on eBay
Back in December, I wrote up a 944 LS1 swap. I was disappointed that the S2 motor was gone and the car had some questionable wheels and graphics, but overall the smile per dollar ratio was pretty high. Today, I have another LS1 swapped 944; this time, it was a Turbo, and now it’s a track monster. With near perfect 50/50 weight distribution for that sub-3,000 pounds, instant torque and a stiff racing setup, this car is ready to beat just about anything you show up in: