1977 Porsche 924

This may shock you, but sometimes the cars we write up aren’t all that they seem to be. Let’s take today’s 924 for example; it appears to be a reasonably lower miles, good overall condition example of the original 924. A car considerably more sporty than contemporary Volkswagens, it nonetheless hasn’t gained nearly the following of the cars from Wolfsburg and is still – in general – the redheaded, illegitimate and unwanted child in the Porsche world. As such, though clean examples of early 924s pop up from time to time, they’re generally survivors rather than restored examples. The sheer mass of good condition survivors, though, should perhaps point towards the enduring appeal of the clean original watercooled 4-cylinder Porsche – something we’re likely to see return before long. So, there’s the potential that this is both a good collector and driver on a budget:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1977 Porsche 924 on eBay

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1981 Porsche 924 Turbo Holbert Racing Superwide

On my last visit home to Philadelphia, I happened to stop by and peruse the lot at Porsche of Bucks County in Warrington, Pennsylvania. For those familiar with the area, you may remember this dealer as Holbert’s Porsche-Audi-VW. Bob Holbert, a native of Warrington and Porsche race car driver in the 1950s and 1960s, founded this dealership in 1954. This would be one of the first Porsche dealers in the United States. Much like importer Max Hoffman, Holbert had a large role in shaping Porsche’s direction and success in the US market. His son Al also raced Porsches, winning Sebring in 1976 and 1981. He also ran the dealership for a time and was President of Porsche Motorsports North America. Sadly, Al met his fate in a plane crash in 1988, with his brother Larry taking over management of the dealership until being bought out in 2010 by a larger conglomerate of dealers.

In addition to a few of Holbert’s racing cars hanging around the showroom, the family also had a hand in a bit of tuning. Born out of a need to fit wider tires on race dedicated vehicles, a fiberglass kit was devised to provide the 924 Turbo a bit more wiggle room for larger rubber and in the process, giving it a bit more of an aggressive stance. Brian, a long-time contributor of ours, came across this 1981 Porsche 924 Turbo for sale in the Philadelphia area wears that very kit devised by Holbert. While not concours quality, this is a driver that wears a very nice patina and has a bit of that Martini Racing livery we all know and love.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1981 Porsche 924 Turbo Holbert Racing Superwide on Pelican Parts

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1980 Porsche 924 Turbo

Pablo from flüssig magazine has checked in with us once again, evaluating this 1980 Porsche 924 Turbo for sale in Denver that was sent to us from our reader Duncan.

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Porsche’s plan in 1980 was to keep the 924 Turbo’s price under twenty grand. Now if I were to tell you that in the face of a weakening dollar against a strong Deutsch Mark that USD $20,000 has the same buying power today as USD $57,115, you’d not only have to pick your jaw up off the floor, you’d wonder why the hell Stuttgart decided it a savvy move to wipe the 5-stud hubs and rear disc brakes clean off the build sheet replacing them with four lugs and a pair of drums for Turbos destined to the US to stay under that price. Let me explain.

Porsche was still a small company 35 years ago compared to, say, their neighbors at Daimler–Benz. And when you’re a David, you do what have to in order to keep that needle millimeters away from the red lest A: you get consumed by Goliath, or B: you close up shop. Simple as that. So in order for Stuttgart to continue selling its relatively new entry level product at a far from entry level price in a market that was allotted 50% of its Fahrzeug (incoming CEO Peter Schutz would change that in 1981 to lessen dependence on the US market), costs had to be cut somewhere. Unfortunately, the rear binders were it. The way they saw it, if the 50 states version was detuned to put out 143bhp @5500 RPM and 147 lb-ft of torque at 3000 RPM further crippled by a smaller turbo, catalytic converter, and oxygen sensors, a front disc/rear drum set-up like that found on the normally aspirated 924 would be more than adequate.

The 924 Turbo made its appearance on our shores in July of 1979 as a 1980 model (easily distinguished by an exposed fuel filler cap) in a limited batch of 600 cars in an effort to keep dealers and journalists from screaming like spoiled little brats since Porsche had already started production of the 1979 model year in the summer of ’78. When you figure in that the European/ROW version got 170bhp, 180 lb-ft of torque, a larger KKK K26 turbocharger with a wastegate, and disc brakes all around, who can blame anyone for throwing a tantrum? Matter of course.

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Let’s shift the subject to a more positive note and discuss more noteworthy attributes of the US spec 931. Labeled engine version M31.02, these lumps were built in Zuffenhausen and not at VW’s Salzgitter plant sporting a completely redesigned head with inlet valves that were 3mm larger (36mm) than the 924 normal allowing the engine to suck a combustible mixture of larger volume while platinum tipped spark plugs were moved closer to the inlet valves as opposed to the exhaust valves as in the 924 normal. It must noted that the normally aspirated 924 used a head of Heron design meaning that the underside of cylinder head was machined flat since the combustion chamber was recessed in the piston crown providing a “swirl effect” to the fuel/air mixture on the upstroke whereas the turbo would have the combustion chamber in the head itself. Compression ratio remained the same on all versions at 7,5:1 that increased geometrically to 10,8:1 when the turbo was spooled up to full song at 0,7 bar (9.87 lbs) beginning at around 2800 RPM. The bottom end remained the same for both the blown and unblown version, save for the new Mahle pistons, as it was robust enough to cope with the power increase.

The clutch size increased from 215mm to 225mm control hydraulically this time, cable operation was left to the normally aspirated group. Power went through a larger 25mm diameter driveshaft spinning on three bearings mating to a Porsche designed G31.02 gearbox with a revised final drive ratio of 4,71:1 used in the normally aspirated European 924 while the 0,706 5th gear was swapped out for 0,60:1, this in the name of better compatibility for our roads. While all of this may not matter one whit to one of little technical aptitude, the driver will most certainly find the Turbo’s appeal a fortiori when engaging the dog-leg first borne of racing pedigree.

Now that I’ve lain before your feet a small primer on what the 924 Turbo was about, I’d like focus your attention to this superb little brick draped in L90E Alpinweiß. The toolkit, that’s when I knew this 931 would be worth a bother…perhaps a flight in from somewhere farther. Universal pliers, rim wrench, spark plug wrench, operating rod for rim wrench, operating lever for spark plug wrench, handle and Philips/Flat head insert, and a double-ended 10mm/13mm spanner in the original tool roll pouch speaks volumes of what to expect in terms of completeness and originality with this example.

Click for details: 1980 Porsche 924 Turbo on Denver’s Craigslist

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1981 Porsche 924 Carrera GT

At first glance, you might mistake this Porsche for a 944, but it is in fact an early Group 4 homologation special for Le Mans. The 924 Carrera GT was one of the first glimpses as to the performance potential of Porsche’s new front-engined, four-cylinder wonder. The folks at flüssig magazine gave us a nice retrospective last year with regards to the development of competition 924s that would go on to influence the 944. With 210 horsepower on tap, the 924 Carrera GT was a considerable step up in performance from any 924 that had previously been seen. Only 406 examples were produced, making this wide hipped 924 quite the rarity. This example for sale in New York is certainly going to get fans of the early water-cooled models excited.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1981 Porsche 924 Carrera GT on Hemmings Motor News

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1981 Porsche 924 Carrera GTR

The late 1970s and early 1980s were a trans-formative time for Porsche. After a long string of successes with the Porsche 911 and 917 on the race track, they were moving into new territory with a series of front engined cars. Not only were these cars appearing on the race track, though; Porsche intended the 928 and 924 to be the replacements for its aging 911/912 lineup. The result was a special time for water-cooled fans, as Porsche spent a considerable amount of time and resources in between the end of the 917 project and the beginning of the new 956 project on the front engined 924. In order to tie the model to performance and wins on the track, Porsche undertook an ambitious racing schedule, entering the 924 in everything from showroom production-based “D-Production” in SCCA to the World Rally Championship and Le Mans. The resulting lineup of impressive turbocharged 924s have become legendary, but ultimately they’re much more rare to come across than their 911/934/935 counterparts. Still, in the early 1980s they were cutting edge – 2,000 lbs, 400+ horsepower and massive flares hiding 935-spec BBS center-lock magnesium wheels. Sound awesome? You better believe it:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1981 Porsche 924 Carrera GTR on eBay

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1981 Porsche 924 Weissach Commemorative Edition

It seems that Porsche has always been at the cutting edge of “special editions”. In fact, one could argue that the entire idea of the Porsche was really just a special edition Volkswagen. But by the late 1970s, race victories and a growing reputation as the go-to sports car meant that the marketing gurus at Porsche were working overtime. There was the Sebring ’78 edition 924; it looked an awful lot on paper like it was a normal 924, and that’s because effectively it was just a cosmetic package with some ’70s spectacular stripes. There was also a Martini Edition car, that similarly was simply a set of stripes and a unique interior on an otherwise normal 924. There was a further Limited Edition in 1978 for those that had missed out on the Martini cars in 1976-1977 and just couldn’t wait until 1979 for the ’78 Sebring Edition. Confused? Not to worry, because after a short gap in 1980, Porsche introduced another special “Weissach Commemorative Edition” alongside similar 911 and 928 models. While this, too, was primarily an appearance package, there were some small changes. For example, as with the Martini cars the Weissach got a unique interior; brown and cream seats with a brown dashboard. But there were 924 Turbo details that were included as well – the ATS-made alloy wheels from the drum brake Turbo appeared, along with the rear spoiler. The wheels were slightly different than the all-silver Turbo wheels two, as they appeared two-tone machined with black inserts. Painted a platinum metallic color and “limited” to only 400 production models for the U.S., it at least sounded more special than the standard 924 until you realize that Porsche only sold a total of around 2,100 924s (including the Weissachs) in the U.S. in 1981. As with other older 924s, they’re rare to find and not as prized as the 928 and 911 Weissach models:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1981 Porsche 924 Weissach Commemorative Edition on eBay

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Rare Wasser Porsches: 1982 924 Turbo and 1988 924SE

If for some time the Porsche 944 is one of the most under appreciated cars in the 1980s German car world, the 924 is even the more red-headed stepchild. But get past the stigma of the 924 as the “poor man’s Porsche”, and the details are quite good. They’re nice looking, aerodynamic coupes that are rear drive for enthusiasts. Like the rest of the Porsche lineup from the late 1970s and 1980s, they had great build quality overall and were solid products. Many of the “big brother” 944 items work on the 924, too – especially true in the later 924S models, so they can be updated and modified just like the 944s. They enjoyed a rich racing history in both naturally aspirated and turbocharged variants, with the first “Carrera GT” being a 924 model. Plus, the 924 was the development model which resulted in the much more prized 944 and 944 Turbo. And within the lineup, there are really some great hidden gems of classic cars that can be had on a budget. Today I have two nice examples of some of the rarer models of the 924; a late run 924 Turbo and a last of the breed 924S Special Edition:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1982 Porsche 924 Turbo on eBay

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1977 Porsche 924 with 39,000 Miles

Just the other day, I caught an episode of the British show Wheeler Dealers involving a Porsche 924. The basic premise of the show, if you haven’t seen it, is to find a classic car, do a light mechanical and cosmetic freshening, and sell the car. While “flipping” usually isn’t appreciated by enthusiasts, this show actually documents how a backyard mechanic can not only find these cars, but correct some of the obvious flaws easily to make a nice running driver. There aren’t many that really appreciate the original base Porsche 924, but in this episode the hosts restored an original 924 and talked about what a fun, affordable project they could be. It’s really amazing; for a car that was originally destined to be a Volkswagen coupe, it ironically probably would have been better valued had it ended up under the banner of its original more pedestrian marque. Find a 1970s Scirocco or Rabbit in clean, mostly original and serviceable condition with low miles and you’d have a bidding war. But we regularly find good condition Porsche 924s; for the most part, no one wants them:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1977 Porsche 924 on eBay

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1981 Porsche 924 GTR Tribute

For some times, I had grandiose plans for a derelict 924S that my father had. Source a 931 bell housing, mate it up to a spare Audi 4.2 V8 I had, slap on a Carrera GT body kit, strip it out and stiffen it up and Viola! Instant track weapon on a budget. I had planned it out pretty well, but the timing just never came together quite right, so eventually it went by the wayside. I’ve since seen a few tribute Carrera GTs pop up and even a GTR over in Europe, and every time it makes me think “what if…”; today is no exception. As I came upon this posting, a sly smile crept across my face and thought about it all over again. Today’s example doesn’t follow the plan I had though; it takes an early European-spec 924 2.0 and swaps on the super-wide GTR panels with some crazy Compomotive wheels:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1981 Porsche 924 GTR Tribute on eBay

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1988 Porsche 924S Special Edition

Pablo from flüssig magazine is back to highlight this late model, one of 500 1988 Porsche 924S Special Edition.

I have a thing for women with wide hips.

The cars that I have in my collection reflect this. The 993, 944, and 968; each of them sensually wide at the flanks giving them a sort of feminine muscularity you seldom see on other marques.

I also have a thing for narrow hips on the fairer sex…not taking a preference for one or the other is a testament to the dual personality that’s typical of all Geminis.

You see, even though the wide hips suggest strength, power if you like, the narrow ones speak of nimbleness, agility; a sort of lightness that gives her edge in all things calling for performance. This is precisely why I fell in love with this 924S.

This is not just any old 924S, however; no, no…this one is a very special version of which only 500 were made for the US market and they’re all clothed in black. In fact, very few Porschephiles know that such a version exists, yet here is one that’s got the numbers to prove it. First let me give you a little primer on the S before getting a bit more intimate with SN450529.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 Porsche 924S Special Edition on eBay

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