Welcome back to Week in Review, where we recap the last few weeks of vehicles we have featured:
All posts tagged Turbo
While the other day I wrote up two great looking early examples of one of the best performance bargains in classic German motoring, 944 Turbo. Now we’re going to look at the end of the run – the 1989 944 Turbo. Often mistakenly referred to as “S” by even enthusiasts (I’ve been guilty more than once myself), the ’89 did in fact gain all of the upgrades that the 1988 Turbo S received. Today we have two seemingly equal examples – but as we know, not all things are created equal. Which white over black ’89 is the one you’d choose?
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Porsche 944 Turbo on eBay
We’ve been accused of preferring older car designs to new ones. Rightly so, a majority of the cars that we feature are at least 10 years old, with a fair chunk now being over 20 years old. Are we out of touch with the market? Well, certainly that could be said – however, I think if you poll all of the authors here (and, a majority of our fans), most people just don’t get as excited about a car that you can pop down to the dealership and buy versus one that’s been well traveled, taken care of, and is hard to find in good shape. It’s the same reason why Antiques Roadshow is so popular; anyone can go buy the popular toy of the day and leave it in its original packing – but find a toy from the 1950s or 1960s in its original package and the pricing will probably surprise you. Heck, even my Transformers from when I was a kid are now quite valuable in good shape.
So we’re only interested in old cars? Well, not so fast – there have been several very exciting and pioneering designs that are quickly transforming the automotive landscape even as I write. The Porsche 918 Spyder, for example, has redefined supercars along with the LaFerrari and P1. They’ve looked at hybrid technology not as the death of performance, but as an opportunity to better exploit it. However, all three of these designs are ultra-limited, ultra-exclusive and ultra-expensive cars, leaving mere mortals without hedge funds to dream of owing them only in passing flights of fancy. However, BMW has taken a very different route with its hybrid technology, offering two platforms that are both brilliant and innovative in their own ways. The admittedly less exciting, more practical application is the i3; a small electric city car. Our editor Paul recently checked one of these out at a dealer and posted it to our Facebook Fanpage; the reaction from enthusiasts was less than, well…enthusiastic. However, I suggested that BMW’s departure into functional, efficient designs was at least innovative and admirable – this is technology that won’t kill cars, but will in fact allow them to thrive and continue for generations to come. Perhaps, then, the more exciting application of BMW’s efficient design “i” branding will sway you – the lightweight, sporty i8:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2014 BMW i8 on eBay
It’s pretty amazing to me that the Porsche 944 Turbo hasn’t taken off in value. Compared to its contemporaries, the Quattro, 190E Cosworth and M3, the 944 Turbo still has yet to fully appreciate. Perhaps it’s that there are many good examples – true, a fair amount of 944s have hit the track where they shine, but there are still mint condition examples that pop up and remind us what a well-rounded car the 951 is. Supercar performance was possible from the turbocharged inline-4 2.5 liter engine; it had better brakes, better balance and amazingly even better fuel mileage than the other three. Perhaps the only downside was that it’s much better suited for 2 to transport than the 4 that can fit in the more sedan-like competition, but outside of that the 944 Turbo is really a superior package. Nearly 14,000 of these cars were imported to the U.S. alone; that’s a higher production total than the entire Quattro production line world-wide, for example, and about three times the amount of M3s and seven times the number of 190E Cosworths that were imported. For enthusiasts, that means they’re still quite affordable and, being Porsches, many good examples can be found. The cheapest of the bunch are the early cars, which offered a bit less power and not quite as heavy duty suspension and brakes that were found on the “S” and 1989 models. Today’s examples are both 2-owner cars with lower miles and in great shape – which would you choose?
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Porsche 944 Turbo on eBay
What price would you be willing to pay for perfection? For most people, restoring a car is more a labor of love than a prudent investment. First there’s the massive amount of time that you need to invest to make the car right; presuming it doesn’t have massive body damage or corrosion, even what many would consider only a reasonable paint job will still cost thousands of dollars. Then there are the countless trim items that need to be replaced, seats and carpeting. Do them right and you’re looking at several thousand dollars more. Move to the suspension, brakes and drive line and another few thousand dollars will be gone. At the end, you’ll receive a disproportionately small amount of kudos for the large amount of effort and cash that you’ve infused into your project. But, it’s a labor of love – so it doesn’t matter that no one else appreciates your work, right? That’s why it’s so strange when these projects go up for sale: