Coupe Week Motorsports Monday: 1987 Porsche 944 LS3

There’s something that is inherently appealing to me about the idea of a aluminum V8 engine swapped into a Porsche 944. Sure, you could argue that just buying a 928 would scratch that particular itch, and in many ways you’d be right. But say you want extra power and cheaper operating costs? These are things that the Porsche 928 doesn’t particularly excel at, coupled with the more complicated and fragile electronics of the 944’s big brother. The smaller, lighter 944 then seems to be a natural choice; with near perfect weight distribution and bits that swap in easily from the higher-horsepower Turbo model, you can have a track-ready sleeper for about the same price as a decently sorted 928 – but choose the right engine, and you’ll have much more motivation at your call. In the case of this 1987 944, that choice would be the all-aluminum 6.2 liter V8 from the new Corvette – the LS3, rated at 430 horsepower and 424 lb.ft. of torque right out of the box:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Porsche 944 LS3 on eBay

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Is there a replacement? 1986 944 Turbo v. 1988 944 LT1

Contemplating these two cars, two phrases came to my mind. The first is the old adage “there’s no replacement for displacement”; a saying which certainly could be questioned poignantly today given the plethora of high output turbocharged motors that are available. The second is a advertising campaign that Porsche has now utilized for several years – “Porsche – there is no substitute”. Combining these two expressions of automotive certainty and black or white belief systems has been the Porsche 944, which amongst other models has become a popular platform to swap American V8s into. Quick power, good balance and cheap parts seem to justify the swap, and in the case of some of the more recent LS motors the weight difference is negligible compared to the turbocharged inline-4 that came in the 951. What you get is instant power – a lot of it. So for comparison’s sake, today we have two Stone Grey Metallic 944s that take different routes. First is an original 944 Turbo from 1986 followed by an F-body LT1-swapped ’88 944. Which is the better option?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Porsche 944 Turbo on eBay

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