It’s no great revelation that values of the transaxle Porsches are all over the place. I looked at two of the most expensive you could buy recently with the twin low-mileage Turbo S Silver Rose examples:
Double Take – 25,000 Miles Total: 1988 Porsche 944 Turbo S Silver Rose
In impeccable condition, it was no surprise that the asks were out-of-reach for nearly all enthusiasts. On the other end of the spectrum sits the lowly 924; you recently had your choice of either of these very clean examples for about $4,000, both special in their own way:
Face Off: 1980 Porsche 924 Turbo v. 1988 Porsche 924S Special Edition
But I have to say, the one I covered recently that bothered me the most was the $20,000 ask for the 1988 944 Special Edition, or “Celebration”, model. Sure, it had one of the coolest interiors offered by Porsche in the period, though it’s soundly outdone by the Silver Rose.
1988 Porsche 944 ‘Celebration’ Special Edition
But I just can’t wrap my head around why you’d want to pay a premium for one. For the 924S Special Edition, it makes sense, in a way. The delta between normal and SE values is small and there are tangible performance gains for the Special Edition. But the Celebration was effectively just a loaded 944 with a neat interior. Surely, there must be a better option?
Alongside the appearance package offered on the regular 944, Porsche introduced the “Super” 944. The new M44/40 double overhead cam motor upped power output substantially to nearly 190, but outside of the subtle “S” badge on the rear and the embossed “16 Ventlier” on the side trim, there were no signs of the performance gains under the hood. There was a substantial change, however, to the base price, which cut the middle ground between the ~$32,000 944 and ~$40,000 Turbo at around $37,000.…
In the late 1980s, the front-engined Porsche lineup started to get a bit convoluted – especially amongst the 4 cylinder variants. In 1986, you could choose between the the base 944 with the 150 horsepower 2.5 liter inline-4 8 valve motor that had reinvigorated the revised 924 chassis into the 944 for 1982, or if you were gunning for the big boys you could select the 217 horsepower Turbo model. To bridge the gap in performance between the two, Porsche introduced a mid-range model in 1987; the 944S. Based in part on the development of the 924 and 944 GTR Le Mans race cars from a few years earlier, the M44.40 double overhead cam 16 value motor split the difference between the two previous offerings; essentially half the 928S motor, the new “Super” produced 190 horsepower slotting itself almost perfectly in the middle of the other two offerings. Added to the S were a host of Turbo items, including springs and parts of the brake system, as well as some exotic parts such as the use of magnesium in the engine bay to keep weight down. Outside, only discrete “16 Ventiler” badges on the front fender trim differentiated that this was a special model. Coupled with the reintroduction of the 924S model, Porsche now offered four different variants of the 4-cylinder transaxle cars for enthusiasts of differing budgets. The 944S’s base price was around $5,000 more dear than the 924S, but it was considerable $8,000 less than the Turbo model’s base price. Add some options in and these 944Ss could easily crest $30,000, around what it would have cost you to walk out of the dealer with this particular example:
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:
Pablo from flüssig magazine is back once again to take a look at this clean, lower mileage 1987 Porsche 944S for sale in Pennsylvania.
It began with mild curiosity.
My then-future wife already knew of my close-minded, air-cooled superiority complex, but didn’t understand why I thought her 944S didn’t figure into my Porsche passion…then she took me for a ride. I was hooked. This car made me a believer; in fact, it was this very car that would inspire me to start a magazine called flüssig ten years later.
What was it about this little car that nudged, no shoved, me into the world of early water-cooled Porsches? The smoothness. This is a character trait my beloved 911 didn’t possess. In fact, that air-cooled fossil is very much like me; rough, uncouth, noisy…a little bit dangerous, a little bit friendly, but generally behaving like an oaf—a sophisticated oaf.
The S was the exact opposite. Its character mimicked that of my wife, Diane. Well mannered, svelte, elegant. Perfectly bulged hips, thin at the waist, and strong enough to shove you back when provoked. No wonder I was attracted to both.
Now, before we get too far ahead of ourselves, I want to point out the historical significance of this car.
For 1987, there were some changes in store for the Porsche 944. On the Turbo front, this model would become the first production vehicle to be equipped with driver and passenger side airbags as standard equipment. Lower down the range, there was the introduction of the 944S. This model had a 2.5 liter, twin cam, 16 valve four cylinder under the hood. With improved engine management and higher compression, this powerplant was good for 189 horsepower and a run to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds. Even in today’s environment, these are stellar performers, with great power to weight ratio and impressive handling prowess. This 1987 944S for sale in Connecticut is in great shape and looks to have lived a very easy 80,000 miles.
If you want a water-cooled, front engined Porsche collectable, there are several bulletproof standbys to look at. There’s of course the always popular 944 Turbo and Turbo S, a performance bargain that’s sure not to last much longer. Then there’s the curvy 968 and it’s lesser appreciated brother, the 944 S2. Enthusiasts in the know love them and seek out clean examples that challenge and exceed Turbo pricing. Those on a budget or less interested in the box-flared 44s look towards the short production 924S – a hidden gem of affordable Porsche ownership. Heck, even the lowly 924 Turbo has a cult following, as do the niche models like the 924 Carrera GT and GTS. But for your hard-earned money, there are two very rare models that 944 enthusiasts seem to forget. These models are slightly more affordable than their more-sought after brethren, but as the market climbs it may just be these lesser known models that appreciate more. These models are the 1987-1988 944 S 16V and the 1989 only 944 2.7. Today there are two clean examples, one of each model, on Ebay. Let’s start with the 16 Ventiler:
Model: 944 S
Engine: 2.5 liter inline-4
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 96,664 mi
Price: $8,990 Buy It Now
RARE FIND! 1987 Porsche 944 S with only 96K orginal miles. With only 2 previous owners in the last 26 years this car comes with a long list of service records that date back to the original owner, Engine was rebuilt few years ago from previous owner, we just recently serviced this Porsche with New A/C Compresser, New battery, New Windshield, New brakes, New Power Steering pump, New Fuel Filter, New Fuel Pump, New Plugs, Wire and Caps, New Transmission Seals, New Gasket Seals, New Axles Seals and much more!
The affordable Porsche. It’s been the topic of much discussion around automotive enthusiast circles for years. And who wouldn’t want to own a one of the famous sports cars from Stuttgart? But which one to buy as your starter car? While the 911 seems tempting, the 944 is the true bargain of the bunch. With a balanced chassis, robust four cylinder engine and wide fendered eighties good looks, it’s an attractive buy for beginners to the marque. For 1987 Porsche introduced the 944S, with a 2.5 liter, 16 valve four cylinder engine with 188 horsepower. This 944S in Texas is looking sharp in red and truly belies its age and mileage.
Simply unique and pristine one of a kind 1987 Porsche 944 S. Finished off in Porsche’s beautiful Guards red with no fading, the exterior is flawless with no dings, scratches or imperfections of any kind. The interior is near new as well, the seats are light beige, with no wear. Bolsters have no cracking and carpets and leather are free of dirt and stains. Dashboard is like new with no cracking. This 994 S is not only the car you dreamed of back in the day, but a fun and fuel efficient car for today. Featuring a smooth shifting 5-speed. Manual transmission it runs through the gears strongly with no hesitation or shimmy of any kind.
This is a 2-Owner local Texas car. Fortunately, the prior owners kept the car so pristine since day one, we have a stack of chronological order service documentation totaling $25,000.00 in just recommended Porsche scheduled maintenance. This car is like new! Tight-driving suspension, firm Porsche sport seats and all the books, records and extra keys to make this car a complete original.
There’s plenty of lower mileage 944s available out there these days, but I’d wager to say that with almost 100,000 miles on the clock, a 25 year old car that looks this good is going to send positive vibes to potential buyers.…