With E30 M3 prices staying sky high it’s time to look for a new German halo car to lust over. I’m going to throw out the often overlooked yet very similar Porsche 944 Turbo. Both the M3 and 944 Turbo were launched in the middle of 1980s and are front engine, rear wheel drive German sports cars that weigh in at less than 3,000 pounds. While the M3 has been described as a ballet slipper for its incredible handling and driver connection, the 944 is more of a soccer cleat. It wasn’t built so much for finesse but rather rugged sprints and the ability to pack a powerful punch.
Here we have a low mileage 951 that looks especially clean and sharp in black. With only 67,000 miles this is one of the lower mileage examples I’ve seen aside from the Turbo S models that tend to be garage queens. Luckily, there’s a stack of service records to go with it which should alleviate any pre-purchase stress.
Model: 944 Turbo
Engine: 2.5 liter turbocharged inline four
Transmission: 5-Speed manual
I took a job in Boston a year ago but left the 944 back in Cary, and I’ve finally decided that there’s no reasonable way to keep the 944 up here. I’ve never driven it in the salt, it’s stayed garaged, and I’d rather see it go to a new home rather than gather rust parked on the street here.
The car has 67k original miles, it’s rust-free, and the paint is overall very good for it’s age. The guys at European Performance (highly reviewed shop where I have my work done) tell me the engine pulls just as hard as the ones they remember when they were new 25 years ago. Less than 2k miles ago, this car had it’s major engine service items done. New kevlar belts rated to last 45k miles before service (I would still change them at 30k), new OEM rollers, new OEM water pump, and everything else that comes with the service. I have a receipt from European Performance for all of the work. It’s also had a recent tune-up for all of the fluids, ignition system, filters, vacuum hoses, gear oil etc. Clutch was done less than 20k ago, also has brand new master/slave cylinders. This car is ready to go for another 30k miles (have the timing tension checked every 15k though, plus synthetic oil changes). It never leaks any oil onto the garage floor. Also, it is completely stock except for replacing the stock center console (aka cassette holder) with one out of the 968 RS (not shown in interior photo). The sunroof, electric windows and pop-up headlights still work flawlessly, unlike many examples out there.
The car has a few faults. The AC no longer works, the brakes will need servicing soon, there’s a slight tear on the shift boot and the driver seat, the driver seat power height adjuster motor is burned out (the main adjusters are manual), the front end has some rock chips and speed bump scrape (visible in photos), the driver side rock guard is almost gone, and there are a few minor scratches. The stock head-unit got really confused by a burned CD and no longer works. Luckily, it’s a standard DINN unit and a new one can be picked up at any car stereo place. I would replace it myself, but I figured the buyer probably had their own taste in what they wanted in a head-unit. I’d replace a lot of this stuff (the brakes and shift boot specifically), but working full-time in Boston means that my time back in Raleigh is too limited to really get work done on the car.
Also, the Carfax report to save you some time: http://www.carfax.com/cfm/FSBO.cfm?report=64E48BA27BB72D9CC974EA4FB630FDBA
The most expensive Porsche is a cheap Porsche. This one has a stack of service records, it’s been wrenched on by professionals, the miles are low, it’s been garaged all of it’s life, and it’s been loved.
30k 1994 Feb – 30k service (with timing), brakes flushed fuses replaced
30k 1994 June – new starter, new heater valve,
33k 1996 May – air flow sensor replaced
37k 1997 June – cam covers resealed
40k 1999 July – entire clutch assembly replaced, cruise control repaired, front and rear brakes replaced.
52k 2004 Dec – Timing/balance belts replaced. Timing tensioner replaced. antifreeze, water flange outlet replaced
56k 2005 May – master/slave cylinders replaced, brakes flushed
59k 2007 July – new front/rear brake pads
64k 2009 January – master/slave cylinders replaced again
65k 2009 May – new fuel filter, new spark plugs, distributor, ignition wires
67k 2011 July – timing belt, water pump, front main seals, oil filter housing gaskets, balance belts, rollers, radiator fan switch, turbo boost valve
I lived in Boston for seven years and can confirm that it’s no place for a great condition 944 Turbo. To make things worse you could only really drive this beauty half the year. You can tell from the write up and service records that the owner not only took care of the car but actually really cared for it. This is the type of person you want to buy a car from. There are a few maintenance projects should you want to get this closer to excellent condition. I think $12,000 is a fair price for this 951. Seeing that it wasn’t snatched up right away makes me think it is more realistic that it will go for $11,000 but the owner obviously thinks it deservers top price given its condition and care.