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1989 Porsche 944 Turbo with 37,000 Miles

Kicking and screaming, enthusiasts are watching super heros from the 1980s slowly (or not so slowly, depending on the model) move firmly out of affordable price ranges. The last bastion of performance to rise is one of the best available, proving that the market doesn’t always recognize what theoretically should be the best cars. 944 Turbos, just as they did when new, have been rapidly accelerating in value and the top of the heap for road models are the ’88 Turbo S and the S-spec ’89 Turbos (properly, without S – more later). In my time writing for GCFSB, I’ve watched nice examples move from mid-teens to firmly into the 20K range. But Hagerty currently values them even higher, with a sharp spike in 2015. 2016 forecasts have the market cooling slightly, but it’s still at record highs for several models. The current top value on a 1989, at least according to Hagerty, is $36,400. Today’s car is priced at $39,000. Is it better than perfect?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Porsche 944 Turbo on eBay

Year: 1989
Model: 944 Turbo
Engine: 2.5 liter turbocharged inline-4
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 37,000 mi
Price: $39,000 Buy It Now

1989 Porsche 944 Turbo S w/37k miles – single family ownership until 12/2015
VIN WPOAA2951KN151107
Silver Metallic paint (LM1U) w/ burgundy leather interior
Option codes: 030 / 220 / 454 / 490 / 494 / 533 / 573 / 593 / 650 / 946
Clean CARFAX, no accidents
Car is totally stock, never “chipped” – even with original working Blaupunkt Reno radio & BEA 80 Equalizer
All accessories are present including never used spare tire, air compressor, sunroof retaining straps, jack, tool kit, OEM car cover, & two sets of keys
Complete set of original books w/exception of radio operating manuals. Original warranty book w/service stamps until 30k, records from independent Porsche shops after that
Water pump, timing belt & tensioners were replaced at 36,500 miles
New tires, brake rotors, pads & sensors were installed on all four corners last month
Clutch engages smoothly and firmly without any “shuttering”
A/C converted to R134
Recent engine compression showed 140/145/140/145
Interior is perfect, no cracked dash, peeling leather shift boot, or torn cassette holder hinge
Original body panels as evident by original VIN tags on all body panels, however, previous owner painted certain areas of car to correct for rock chips and dings
Paint meter readings on panels varied as follows;
Roof 4.7 – 6.6
Rear of Car 4.4 – 6.5
Psngr rear quarter panel 4.5 – 5.9
Psngr door 4.6 – 6.6
driver rear quarter panel 7.3 – 9.0
driver door 8.0 – 13.0
driver front fender 9.0 – 15.0
Psngr front fender 5.5 – 11.1
hood 15.0 – 19.1
Front headlight buckets & panel between 3.1 – 5.3

P: 704-962-9683

Miles are low, condition looks to be top, and the car is all original. That’s the recipe for top value today, but the listing has a few errors which aren’t inexcusable but are a bit strange to me. First, the listing of the car as an “S” isn’t in line with a true model expert. Though they carry all the S upgrades, 1989 cars are technically just “Turbo” models. Okay, that is semantics and doesn’t change the value but certainly boarders on pedantic. Next is the paint code listed as “Silver Metallic” paint. LM1U is Linen Gray Metallic, but to me most of the photos look like Zermatt Silver Metallic. Both were available in 1989, but the photos don’t clearly differentiate the color for me and the listing information doesn’t help. These are undoubtedly minor points but they’re frustrating when demanding a premium over the top of the market. Is this example a Concours car? It certainly looks show ready, but again God is in the details, and I don’t think it’s so perfect as to win a show. The paintwork alone, while excusable on a lesser example of a near 30 year old car, doesn’t fly on perfect museum pieces. Hagerty’s value on Condition 2 is around $32,000, and frankly that’s where I think this car would land. It’s close to perfect and a lovely time capsule, but I think the pricing is a bit aggressive and ahead of the market.

It is a lovely color combination, though!



  1. pmichaelg
    pmichaelg April 29, 2016

    Two nice finds in two days Carter (yesterday’s Audi 4000 was sweet)!

    This appears to be a very nice 944 Turbo but I totally agree, I don’t think it justifies the price.

    To me, the lighting is dim enough that I can’t tell the condition of the paint. I certainly looks good but just doesn’t quite scream “I’m perfect”. Again, to me, that might just be the lighting.

    The interior looks great. However, the engine bay is the biggest letdown. You’ve featured many other 944s with glistening engine bays. This one, while certainly not awful, is not up to par. The cam cover is particularly dingy. Plenty of other details in there also don’t justify the price.

    These nits are only wrt to the asking price. This is a very nice car.

  2. Porschesam
    Porschesam April 29, 2016

    For what they’re asking its normal to be very critical on condition and originality, the pictures do show a dirty/corroded cam cover, plus the messed up sticker at the gauges. Both easily corrected, (if the sticker is still available). Several of the cad plated bits in the engine compartment have lost there luster. Not a simple inexpensive fix. Need more pictures to get a better idea on condition. For what there asking the paint should be close to perfect, the undercarriage should be pristine with no corrosion, the wheels should have zero curb rash, the drivers seat should have no visible wear on the side bolster. The fact that some panels have been painted could diminish some value.

  3. JA
    JA April 29, 2016

    Every ’89 listed these days is adding the “S” (as – technically – they are “S” spec). CLEARLY to maximize value. Question: while almost the same spec (no Rose interior), does an ’89 w/ S spec hold he same value as an actual S ’88?

  4. Bob S
    Bob S April 29, 2016

    If I wanted a Porsche, I’d buy a used Cayman S over this any time. Turbo power is not great in the corners.

  5. Carter
    Carter April 29, 2016

    @JA, prices seem about the same on Silver Rose v. ’89 cars right now. I bet in the future that will change, with the ’88 being considered more special.

  6. JA
    JA May 4, 2016

    @carter, 1) I just bought the car for… 2) Hagerty JUST published a new update and… a) $3K premium for ’88 Turbo S vs. ’89 Turbo, both for a #2 and a #1 and b) now a #2 ’89 is called $30,900 and a #1 ’89 is called $41,200. For ’88 Turbo S, $33,700 for a #2 and $44,500 for a #1. BAT has sold some #2 regular 86 and 87 Turbos for $28K+. Thanks for your POV on this car. Circled it the first time around and been dialoging w/ owner on price since the first listing.

  7. Carter
    Carter May 5, 2016

    @JA – you bought it? Cool! Which color did it end up being? I’d love to hear more details.

    Thanks for sharing!

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