We’ve featured our fair share of Porsche 928s over the past few days, so it’s time to turn our attention back to that other favorite front-engined transaxle, the 944. This 944 Turbo for sale in Ohio has seen just 55,000 miles, painted in classic Guards Red with those famous phone dial alloy wheels. With the dawn of a new turbocharged four-cylinder Porsche upon us in the form of the 718 Boxster, the time is ripe to analyze another four cylinder Porsche from 30 years ago.
All posts tagged 944
With a winter storm heading into the Northeast this evening, I thought it would be nice to end the day with a bit of sunshine and thoughts of warmer temperatures. Enter this 1987 Porsche 944. In the rest of the world, the color of this car was “Lemon Yellow”. But, of course, launching a car in the United States with any hint of the word “Lemon” would result in sales about as good as the urban legend of the Chevrolet Nova (“Doesn’t Go”) in Mexico. So, Porsche called the color “Summer Yellow” here. It was reportedly available only in 1987, which is verified by at least one site. And, at least in my eyes, it looks lovely and is a nice departure from the usual black, red, and silver these sporty coupes appeared in:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Porsche 944 on eBay
For those that haven’t had the pleasure of driving a 944 Turbo S, allow me to describe the sensation. If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to be the stone in a sling shot, it’s a pretty good analogy. My first drive in a S saw me pull up to a merge onto a secondary highway. The slightest gap opened in traffic, and since I was in a Porsche I naturally thought that half a car length with the closing traffic at 65 m.p.h. seemed doable. Clutch out, foot on the floor, and….nothing. I thought I stalled the car. I had just enough time to look down in disbelief, feel the blood draining from my head and look into the mirror, uttering “Oh…shi” when BAM – the car came on boost. Like the intro to Star Trek – The Next Generation, the front of the car stretched towards the sky and elongated as I rocketed forwards. How that manifests itself on track leads towards a very odd driving style. At my favorite track, Lime Rock Park, for example, in the Turbo S you need to be on throttle when you should be off throttle. Otherwise, if you wait for the car to be where you would normally hit the throttle, you’re halfway down the straight. The best example of where this odd throttle usage comes into play is in “Big Bend”. A decreasing radius corner, if you nail the throttle after the first apex, normally you’d spear straight off the road. The last thing you want to do when those front tires need to bite in a car with 250 horsepower is lift the nose up. But when you nail the throttle in the 944 Turbo, it doesn’t have 250 horsepower. It has 10. Maybe 12. So, you plant the throttle, turn in and as you’re about to hit the apex BAM, the boost comes on, helping to rotate the rear end and you can throttle out of the corner. Perhaps it was Porsche’s way of imparting 911 “don’t lift” DNA into the front engine turbocharged wonder! Regardless of how you drive it, though, these 944 Turbos make great friends for track adventures:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 Porsche 944 Turbo S on eBay
Having stopped by the local Porsche dealer two weeks ago, I came across a rather mint 1997 911 Turbo with a gulp almost $200,000 price tag. As outlandish a figure that might seem, such is the world of air-cooled 911 values we live in, scary enough to make me stand about five feet back from this specimen. There are still plenty of options out there for those P-car fans of more modest means. This 1989 Porsche 944 for sale from our reader Joey in Florida is a well kept example in a not often seen hue of Bamboo Metallic. Looking for an entry into the realm of vintage Porsche ownership? There are few better chances than what we see here.
Click for details: 1989 Porsche 944 on Pelican Parts
While there are faster cars, cheaper cars, flashier cars and cars that are easier to drive at the limit, few manage to be quite the combination of speed for dollar input as the 944 Turbo. Naturally almost perfectly balanced and with seemingly endless amounts of tunability and tweaking, the 944 Turbo is effectively now a 35 year old design that somehow still seems fresh. Every time I see a new 944 Turbo build I smile, as each time they just seem so naturally suited to the track-biased modifications. Today’s example is no exception and comes from a group who recently have been doing many of the best looking track builds, Motor Werks Racing. They’ve turned up these 944s and then dressed them in period livery that makes for one heck of a great looking package: