To Force or Not to Force? 1987 944 Turbo v. 1989 944 S2

For some time, there has been an ongoing conflict in my head. All of me agrees that the Porsche 944 is a pretty awesome car; great looks, handling and performance in a bargain package with classic Porsche reliability and build quality. But I fight with myself over just which of the Porsche 944s I prefer. Some days, the forced induction Turbo captures my imagination; there’s been a 1989 Turbo in my family now for two decades and it’s a wonderful car. But I have to admit that it’s not been without its problems, and while it’s a cool package it seems almost too predictable as the “go to” “cheap” Porsche. Should it be criticized for being a spectacular performance bargain? That may not be fair, but just like the BMW E30 represents a good balance of performance and practicality, it’s sometimes just too popular for me. What’s the alternative? Well, the 944 has its own answer: the 944S2. Visually, the two are nearly indistinguishable to most non-enthusiasts. But the driving experience is quite different; the M44/51 turbo motor is legendary as a tuning platform and offers typical ’80s lag-prone explosive launches, while the M44/41 big 3.0 16V motor has seemingly effortless torque at your disposal but loves to run up the tach as well. Stand on it in a drag race, and the Turbo will win – nearly a second faster to 60 miles per an hour and 5 m.p.h. faster on the top end. But if you’re a clever S2 driver and catch the Turbo slightly off-guard, you’ll be right with them – and the S2 isn’t about drag racing, it’s about making a better all-around driver. So the S2 is the better choice? Well, perhaps – but then there’s the mystique of the Turbo model. Who doesn’t want to say they own a Porsche Turbo, really? Today I have an example of each – which will be the winner?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Porsche 944 Turbo on eBay

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1991 Porsche 944S2

The 1990s was considered a watershed moment for Porsche, for many reasons. True, the company was battling for solvency in an ever demanding marketplace, but some of the most interesting and most sought after models emerged from this decade. The 964 Turbo 3.6, 928GTS and 968 Clubsport are all examples of vehicles that represented the ultimate expression of their breed. True, there would be one more air-cooled 911 Turbo after the 3.6, but this would be the last non all-wheel drive Turbo outside of the limited production GT2 we would see, except for those out of specialist tuning houses.

In addition to the colorful model lineup, the variety of hues themselves that was available was impressive. I’ve never seen a 944S2 in Rubstone Red, but I’ve got to say, it certainly catches your eye. It probably is a bit polarizing for what is normally seen as a more masculine sports car, but in some odd way, it works for me. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Porsche 944S2 on Mobile.de

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Motorsports Monday: 1990 Porsche 944S2 Firehawk – REVISIT

The 1990 Porsche 944S2 Firehawk series car that I wrote up back in early August is back on eBay, having failed to sell its first time around. The price has been lowered $2,000 this time, but it remains pricey by 944S2 and track car standards at $23,100. That amount does buy you a solid race car platform with an interesting history with the look of a Turbo Cup car, but I’d guess it’s still a bit too expensive for most people’s blood. If it could be had in the mid to high teens I’d think there would be more interested parties.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Porsche 944S2 Firehawk on eBay

The below post originally appeared on our site August 4, 2014:

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Motorsport Mondays: 1990 Porsche 944S2 Firehawk

In a recent discussion regarding why values of the E30 M3 had taken off while the Porsche 924/944/968 had remained affordable, one of the comments suggested that the reason was because the Porsches did not enjoy the race pedigree than the M3 did. While one can’t deny the success of the E30 M3 on track and even in rally venues, that answer belies the many races and different series that the 924 and 944 competed in. Indeed, the development of the 944 and 944 Turbo motors came about in part because specifically of the race programs. In everything from local SCCA races straight up to the big dogs at Le Mans, the Porsches were racing right beside some of their more famous 911, 935, 936, 956 and 962 brethren. On top of that, the factory also fronted 924 Carrera GTS cars in the World Rally Championship, many of those that were involved later to move to Audi’s program. Then there were the one-make 944 and 944 Turbo Cup races around the world. But into the late 1980s and early 1990s, one of the hottest contested, affordable race series in the U.S. was the “Firehawk” series put on by IMSA and the SCCA. One of the more competitive cars in those race series were the late 944S2 and 968 models, offering serious reliability, surprising speed and excellent balance to make a fantastic race car. One of the original 944S2 Firehawk cars is up for sale today:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Porsche 944S2 Firehawk on eBay

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10K Friday Poor-sche Edition: 928S4 v. 944 v. 944 Turbo v. 924 v. 944 S2 v. Boxster v. Boxster S

“Poor Man’s Porsche”; while it’s a moniker usually attached to the 924 series, the reality is these days it applies to everything outside of the 911. The surge in 911 prices has been so great, that it has also pulled other lesser alternatives to the 911 up as well – try to get into a clean 912 and you’ll be surprised by the price. Even the lowly, forgotten 914 is in the mid teens for a really clean example of a flat-4 model up towards $100,000 for original 914-6 models. So does this mean you need 6-figures to be a true Porsche enthusiast? I don’t believe that’s the case – I think there are a plethora of great options at or around $10,000, so I’ve lined up an assortment. Which do you think is most worthy of wearing the crest of Stuttgart?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 Porsche 928S4 on eBay

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1991 Porsche 944S2

One of my favorite periods in Porsche history was between the late 1980s and early 1990s. It was during this period that the 959 supercar appeared, bringing forth the concept of all-wheel drive which is still with us in many Porsche models to this day. The 911 3.2 was making way for the new 964 series 911, itself a prized commodity amongst collectors currently. The 944, meanwhile, was at the end of its run but before the baton was handed off to the 968, the 944S2 would appear as an update. With a large 3.0 liter inline-4 with twin cams and 16 valves complimenting its exceptionally balanced chassis, these were great cars on and off the track. This S2 for sale in Missouri is practically new out of the wrapper with under 7,000 miles on the clock. Missed a shot at a new 944 years ago? Here’s your chance…

Click for more details: 1991 Porsche 944S2 on eBay

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1990 Porsche 944S2 Cabriolet

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My best friend recently went out and got a new car a few weekends ago, a 2014 MINI Cooper S John Cooper Works Convertible, replacing the 2011 Cooper S hatchback he previously drove. After taking it for a spin, I was impressed how solid it felt sans roof. But as quick and engaging a drive as it was, I still for some reason have a hard time seeing myself in a drop top. However, this Porsche 944 Cabriolet for sale in Indianapolis has me rethinking that whole notion all together. Looking sharp in red, it has covered just over 42,000 miles in its lifetime.

Click for more details: 1990 Porsche 944S2 Cabriolet on eBay

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Front-engine Freedom: 1990 Porsche 944S2 Cabriolet & 1992 Porsche 968 Cabriolet

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For years, the Porsche 944 soldiered on as a sports coupe. It wouldn’t be until 1990 that Porsche decided to test the waters with the 944S2 Cabriolet. Sold in limited numbers, the car would offer buyers a cheaper alternative to an open roofed 911. It’s longevity in the market was short, as Porsche unveiled a 944 replacement for 1992 in the form of the 968. Porsche would yet again offer a drop top variant in the new lineup, however. Let’s look at two very nice examples of these rare convertible Porsches, the first a clean 944S2 Cabriolet for sale in Maryland.

Click for more details: 1990 Porsche 944S2 Cabriolet on eBay

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1990 Porsche 944S2 Cabriolet

The Porsche 944 Cabriolet is a bit of an orphan in the Porsche lineup, but like many forgotten cars, it has its merits. It’s not a super rare car, but less than 6,000 were produced during its short lifespan, so it’s not that common, either. With collaboration from American Sunroof Corporation (ASC), this car showed up late in the 944’s production run. With the appearance of the redesigned 968 in 1992, the 944 Cabriolet was quickly forgotten. Now those who are looking for a vintage Porsche Cabriolet without the 911 price, these drop tops are a good alternative. This one for sale in New York has just under 45,000 miles on the clock and includes some tasteful updates.

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Year: 1990
Model: 944S2 Cabriolet
Engine: 3.0 liter inline-4
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 44,589 miles
Price: $21,000 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Porsche 944S2 on eBay

Porsche 944 S2 Cabriolet maintained regardless of cost! This car is almost perfect and NOT your average S2 944. She has been cared for regardless of cost by Porsche and has important but subtle upgrades including the M30 front and rear sway bars, which are impossible to get. Gorgeous new wheels and Michelin Pilot Sport tires. Upgraded sound system with blue tooth and iPod connector. She has a hugely expensive Xenon headlight conversion which transforms night vision and driving. This is not a garage queen but a true driver from my personal collection, everything works as it should.

She has new OEM shocks and springs, all new bushings, belts all done, AC converted and all gassed up. New brake pads and rotors, wheel bearing checked and all good. The leather interior has zero tears and is soft and well looked after. There is a small rip in the convertible top which could be fixed, I never have because it doesn’t leak. All the rubbers and seals are as they should be and there is no wind noise coming through. This is one of, if not the best S2 on the market and will give her new owner years and years of fun reliable driving as these cars (good ones) are bullet proof.

Year: 1990

Transmission: Manual

Interior: Blue

Body: 2 Door Coupe/Cabriolet

Dealer Location: Southampton

Mileage: 44,589

Engine: 3L Naturally Aspirated Straight 4

Fuel Type: Gasoline

Exterior: White/ Blue Hood

Seating: 4 People

Vehicle Weight: 2954 LBS

Fuel Tank Capacity: 21.1 Gallons

0-60: 7 Seconds

Top Speed: 149 MPH

Gear box: 5 Speed

**(I advise and welcome any inspection of all vehicles (631)-353-3555)**

I like a lot of what the owner did in terms of modifications, but the wheels aren’t particularly to my taste. A lot of times older cars look a little weird with larger, more modern wheels. I think these could stand to be about one inch smaller to help proportions. The price of this one is a little on the high side. Cabriolets will fetch a little bit more than their hardtop counterparts, but you can typically find a good 944 Cabriolet in the range of $14,000 to $20,000. The 944, in all varieties, is still one of those sports car bargains. With people waking up to the merits of these cars, such as famed 911 enthusiast Magnus Walker, values may begin to take off over the next few years.

-Paul

Two Porsche 944’s For Sale: Less Than 50k Miles Combined!

As a low-miles sucker, I spotted these two 944’s on eBayMotors and was immediately sucked in. As the pictures show, they are flawless covering less than 30k miles each. And they’re both for sale from the same seller.

1991 Porsche 944S2 on eBayMotors for $21k buy-it-now:

quote from seller’s eBayMotors listing:

This 1991 9442 s2 is probably the nicest one you will find. This is 1 of only 510 that was shipped to the U.S. in 1991. It comes with the upgraded 17″ Porsche cup wheels with Bridgestones all the way around. All services are up to date including the timing belt and the water pump, all shocks have been replaced, AC was just completely serviced. Everything works: electrical, lights, headlights, radio with EQ, all knobs and switches. Paint is pristine with just a few stone chips on the front. The interior is more of a charcoal gray ( the pictures show it as lighter gray) all leather is still supple and in excellant (new looking) condition, no cracks in the dash, carpet is clean an new looking. All books, tools, Porsche Bra in its Porsche bag, Porsche air pump, and misc. porsche stuff related ot this car come with it.

1987 Porsche 944 Turbo on eBayMotors for $19.5k buy-it-now:

quote from seller’s eBayMotors listing:

This is a 1987 944 turbo with only 26,000 miles. It has all documents from new. Original window sticker, original sales invoices from new, original dealer paperwork from new, original 1987 Porsche 944 turbo dealer brochure in full color aprox. 15″x 15″ and all mechanical service receipts from day one. Timing belt service was completed, and all services are up to date. If you are looking for a PRISTINE “Collector Quality” 944 Turbo, then you have found it. This 944 Turbo is as nice as the photos, no paint work, no scuffs no dings dents, just simply a well preserved 944 Turbo. Im in Bonita Springs Florida. We have an international airport here. If this car isn’t as nice as described, I will pay for your flight. If you choose not to fly and truck the car to your home, I will refund you purchase price and shipping charges if this car is not as represented.

I realize the prices are steep, but the pictures really seem to demonstrate two really clean and original cars. Those interior pictures could be from a brochure. Considering these cars are practically new, they could be considered a cheap means to nearly new Porsche ownership compared to the MSRP of today’s new Porsches!

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