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Porsche 944: Buying guide and review (1982-1991)

Porsche 944: Buying guide and review (1982-1991) Classic and Performance Car
Porsche 944 Porsche 944 Porsche 944 Porsche 944
Stellar performance, a rock-solid image, bomb-proof build quality and decent practicality. Sounds like the sort of dream classic we’d all like to own, but such a car would be financially crippling, so it could never be a reality. Or could it? Yes it could, because for a criminally small amount of cash you could have a Porsche 944 that offers all of these things, with a healthy dose of style thrown in for good measure. 
 
While the 924 did Porsche’s image no favours with the enthusiasts, the much more masculine 944 righted the wrongs in spectacular fashion. With its flared wings and wheelarches inspired by the homologation special 924 Carrera covering wider alloy wheels, and a proper Porsche powerplant, it was no surprise that the 944 quickly became the fastest-selling car produced by the marque. Now it’s a classic, the 944 makes a huge amount of sense, but you need to buy carefully. 
 
Taking its styling inspiration from the homologation special 924 Carrera, everything that made the 924 such a brilliant car to drive remained for the series production 944. That includes transaxle and suspension set-up, which made the jump across to higher performance and more upmarket car to great effect. 
 
Although the 2479cc four-pot Porsche engine is often referred to as half of a 928 V8, it actually shared no parts. The slant-four configuration did however borrow the 928’s all-alloy open deck design, as well as utilising the same 78.9mm bore size. Capacity was increased by increasing the stroke.  
 
Which one to buy? 
 
If the car you're looking at doesn't have recent service history from a known specialist then you're probably better off walking away. There are plenty of cars that have this, and without it there's a very good chance of some serious grief materialising very quickly. 
 
On the face of it the 944S is the one to go for from the original series, but engine parts for these are especially expensive and poor torque makes them less pleasant to drive. So unless the car is priced to sell you're better off giving them a wide berth. 
 
As a result you’re better of either finding a Turbo or a 944 S2, the latter offering all of the real-world performance you’re ever likely to need. However, if you want the ultimate it’s worth tracking down a good Turbo; you’ll pay more for it, but it’ll always be the most valuable of the breed so it’ll prove to be the best investment – and it’s also superb to drive. 
 
Often forgotten about are the Cabriolet models, which can be exceptionally fun, and great during the warmer months. 
 
Performance and specs 
 
Engine 2479cc, four-cylinder
Power 220bhp @ 5800rpm
Torque 243lb ft @ 3500rpm
Top speed 153mph
0-60mph 6.0sec
Fuel consumption 21mpg
Gearbox Five-speed manual
 
Dimensions and weight
 
Wheelbase 2400mm
Length 4200mm
Width 1735mm
Height 1275mm
Kerb weight 1180kg
 
Common problems
 
• Thanks to a fully galvanised shell, major corrosion isn’t common, but check the rear panel where the latches and numberplate are mounted, plus the bottom of the front wings. Corroded sills are also common, so ensure the underseal is intact. 
 
• Poor crash repairs abound, given away by uneven panel gaps. Focus on the shutlines between the bonnet and front wings plus those between the pop-up headlights and the nose panel as well as the wings. 
 
• The rear panel should have a Porsche factory sticker on the inside – it could have come off, but if it's there the car hasn't been shunted from behind. 
 
• A strong smell of petrol from the load bay on a pre-1986 car means the fuel filler pipe seal has given way. Later fuel tanks were plastic, but earlier ones corrode and replacement means dropping the transaxle and rear suspension. 
 
• Sunroof leaks are common because the drainage holes get blocked and the seals also get damaged, allowing water into the cabin. Check around the sunroof aperture plus the seats and carpets for signs of damp. 
 
• A 944 engine lasts well if properly maintained. Oil and filter changes are required every 6000 miles on pre-1986 cars & Turbos, and every 12,000 miles on later cars. Also check if the cam belt has been replaced within the last 40,000 miles or four years. This is a fairly expensive job, and you should negotiate a significant discount for any car that needs one.
 
• A vibration at idle is a failed engine mounting. A vibration at 2800-3200rpm suggests problems with the balancer shafts, because the shaft timing is out or the drive belt has failed. 
 
• Normally aspirated cars and pre-1989 Turbos have an integrated oil cooler that's a radiator in the water jacket of the cylinder block. If its seals fail the engine's oil will be mixed with its coolant. Later cars use a separate oil cooler; it’s better, but the pipes rust and crack. Also ensure the boost gauge shows 0.8 bar when the turbo is in action, indicating a healthy system. 
 
• Turbo exhaust manifolds crack, along with the wastegate. Replacing either is expensive so make sure the exhaust isn’t blowing when cold. 
 
• On the 944 S2 a chain links the two camshafts. If this breaks the engine is wrecked so the chain and tensioners must be replaced at 90,000 miles. Also, all 944 engines have Alusil-lined bores, so reboring isn't straightforward; it’s generally cheaper to source another engine. 
 
• Clutch master cylinder leaks are common so check under the dash and on the bulkhead for fluid. 
 
• The fitment of power steering (standard from 1985, optional from 1984) brings leaking pumps and racks; fluid collects on the engine undertray then leaks through its ventilation holes. 
 
• The universal joint in the steering column wears. Look into the engine bay and get someone to wiggle the steering wheel; any wear will be evident. 
 
• Brake callipers seize if not greased regularly, with rear callipers especially prone. As cars like this do tend to be left standing for long periods, it’s important to check these carefully. While rebuilds are straightforward, parts can be horrendously expensive.
 
• On cars with a sunroof check the condition of the roof lining. This tends to shrink as it dries out over time, leading to tearing. It’s also important to check for any signs of damp, as this could point to a car that has been left outside for long periods of time, with leaky seals. 
 
• Later cars have the radio aerial incorporated into the windscreen. The connections break or the aerial stops working and the only solution is a new windscreen or the fitment of an aerial in one of the wings – something that isn't easily reversible. 
 
Model history 
 
Sep 1981: The 944 debuts at the Frankfurt motor show. 
Apr 1982: The 944 goes on sale in the UK with a 163bhp 2479cc engine. 
Apr 1985: Revisions bring a bigger fuel tank, redesigned dash, better ventilation and 40 other modifications. 
Oct 1985: The 220bhp 944 Turbo arrives with a revised nose. 
Jul 1986: The 944S arrives with 190bhp. 
May 1987: The 944 Turbo gets ABS as standard. 
Oct 1987: The 944 Turbo SE appears, with 250bhp. Just 70 RHD examples are built. 
Jul 1988: The 944 Turbo is now offered with a Club Sport chassis, featuring adjustable suspension. 
Feb 1989: The 944 S2 debuts, with a 2990cc 211bhp engine. 
Jun 1989: A 2.7-litre engine is now fitted and the 944 S2 cabriolet arrives. 
Aug 1990: The 944 Turbo Cabriolet appears. 
Sep 1991: 944 S2 production ceases. 
 
Owners clubs, forums and websites 
 
• www.944online.com
• www.944forum.com
• www.944central.com
• www.944time.com
• www.944uk.com
• 944-world.com
• www.tipec.net
• www.porscheclubgb.com
 
Summary and prices
 
While the Porsche 944 is still very much at the affordable end of the Porsche spectrum, nice examples are really starting to pick up, with prices for top condition early cars nudging £11,000. More usable examples will come in at £3500-£6500, although the more powerful S models do command a premium. 
 
The absolute top Turbo models top out at around £25,000, but look to pay between £10,000-£15,000 for good example. Project cars can still be found for as little as £2500. The naturally-aspirated S2 model is arguably the best to drive, with prices catching those of the faster Turbo model at £20k for a top example, and £6500-£12,000 for average to good examples. 
 
Smaller numbers and increased demand mean that the you’ll have to pay around 25 per cent extra for a Cabriolet model.
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Last updated: 9th Jun 2016
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Porsche 944 cars for sale

18 Search results
Porsche 944
6950 69995 GBP
  • Porsche 944 S2 Cabriolet

    £16,495 £16,495

    Great condition 944 S2 Cabriolet with options including Full Leather, Electric Sports seats, Electric hood, Power steering, ABS Brakes and Factory fit Air Conditioning.

    • Year: 1991
    • Mileage: 74574 mi
    For sale
    Gmund Cars
    01423 797989 VIEW CONTACT NUMBER
  • Porsche 944 S2 3.0 Coupe Manual

    POA POA

    Grand Prix white, Blue leather interior, One of the last 944 S2s – 1992 registered, Both sills have just been rebuilt at great expense, call for more details, HPI clear…..6 MONTH IN-HOUSE PARTS & LABOUR WARRANTY INCLUDED, CREDIT & DEBIT CARDS ACCEPTED, VIEWING BY APPOINTMENT PLEASE. FULL SERVICING FACILITIES FOR YOUR PORSCHE – CALL US ON 01483 799245

    • Mileage: 143000 mi
    For sale
  • Porsche 944 Turbo Coupe 1986

    POA POA

    SOLD / VERKAUFT / VENDU / VERKOCHT Porsche 944 Turbo 1986, revised Turbo S Engine, Indischerot, in very good condition The Porsche 944 was produced and a great improvement related to the Porsche 924. The Porsche 944 is more modern, faster and more reliable. The model was a great success in the 80’s. This Porsche 944 Turbo was delivered in 1986 and provided with the colour “Indisch Rot” in a very good condition. The interior has original electric sports seats in good shape. The original 2479CC Turbo S, 250HP engine is partly revised in 2011 and several invoices are present. This Porsche 944 Turbo is ready to go for many sportive rides and also a great investment. Car has Holland title and Holland mot/tuv. Easy to register in every EU country. You do not need to pay any importtaxes. We can help with transport.

    • Year: 1986
    For sale
  • PORSCHE 944 2.5 LUX 1984

    £6,950 £6,950

    Pastel Beige Solid ;Brown/Coco Interior;1984 (B Reg);133,000 Miles;5-Speed Manual Gearbox;;Options:-;Very Rare Cloth Sport Seats (GBP 1,800 option in 1984);Power Assisted Steering;Genuine Porsche 16" Fuch Alloy Wheels (7" Wide Rear, 6" Wide Front);Electric Sunroof;Electric Windows;Electric Mirrors;Rear Wiper;Early 3- Spoke Sport Steering Wheel;Radio;Immobiliser;Rear luggage cover ;;This colour scheme/spec is quite remarkable. ;;Pastel Beige coachworks and light brown/coco interior with sport seats make this very special car one for the collector, or someone who wants something other than the usual colours out there. Early square dashboard cars are becoming increasingly rare now and prices are set to rise. ;;Interior is fantastic with minimal wear - one or two tiny hairline cracks in dashboard (common), seat bolsters perfect. OEM 911 Fuch 16" wheels compliment exterior. Amazing provenance and history going back to its first Doctor owner, including original bill of sale. Maintained to the highest order and no expense spared by its last enthusiast owner.;;New Dansk sports exhaust just fitted - sounds great and drives like a 944 should. ;;Please call Clive for more information or to arrange a test drive.;;Debit and Credit Cards Accepted .. Part Exchange Welcome .. Finance Arranged .. International Shipping Arranged.;;VIEWING BY APPOINTMENT ONLY.

    • Mileage: 133000 mi
    • Engine size: 2.5
    For sale
  • Porsche 944 S 16V coupe 1987

    €18,950(£16,954.57) €18,950(£16,954.57)

    Porsche 944 S 16V coupe 1987 restored In france delivered 1987 Porsche 944 S coupe. Car has been professionally repainted in 2016 in original Alpine White L 90E. The original S-engine was revised, documentation present. Engine has run 5000 kms after revision. Original C2 Porsche wheels, interior in great condition with leather seats. The car runs and drives great and has several options like powersteering and electrical side-mirrors. Car has Belgium title and mot/tuv. Easy to register in every EU country. You do not need to pay any import taxes. We can help with transport.

    • Year: 1987
    For sale
  • 218 - 1987 Porsche 944

    POA POA

    The 944 was to feature new styling based upon the Le Mans styled Porsche 924 Carrera GT, along with a brand-new Porsche-designed and developed 2.5 litre, four cylinder engine. Sales of the 168bhp coupé went through the roof with a massive 26,800 Porsche 944s being produced by the end of 1982. To put this figure into context, the entire Porsche company made just 28,000 cars in 1981. The new Porsche owners were attracted by the stunning looks and presence of the model and in 1985, the 'Lux' coupé arrived with a completely new interior design dominated by a smooth, sweeping oval dashboard. This severed all ties with the 924 and completed the move upmarket for the 944. The dash provided improved ergonomics for the instruments with all useful components and buttons placed close at hand. With so many built, they were a familiar sight on UK roads however, it is fair to say that relatively few pristine examples still exist. This, however, represents one such example. Presented in Arctic White with deep red leather interior, it is difficult to find fault with this car. The interior is lovely and clearly had just 81,000 very careful miles driven and the exterior is superb. Included in the sa

    • Year: 2017
    For sale
  • 1984 Porsche 944 Coupe

    POA POA

    Mileage: 83,000 Exterior Color: Red Interior Color: Black Body Style: Coupe Engine: 3.0 Litre Transmission: 5-Speed manual Drive Type: RWD Fuel Type: Gasoline Doors: Two Vin: WP0AA0943EN462182 Introduced in 1982 the 944 was a better equipped, more refined and more powerful sequel to the 924, with the same trans-axle for excellent balance. The factory-claimed 0-60 mph time of less than 9 seconds (8.3 seconds according to “Porsche the Ultimate Guide” By Scott Faragher). The factory-claimed top speed of 130 mph was also pessimistic, Autocar having verified a top speed of 137 mph. The car had nearly even front to rear weight distribution (50.7% front/49.3% rear) thanks to the rear transaxle balancing out the engine in the front. In mid-1985, the 944 underwent its first significant changes. These included : a new dash and door panels, embedded radio antenna, upgraded alternator (from 90 amp to 115 amp), increased oil sump capacity, new front and rear cast alloy control arms and semi-trailing arms, larger fuel tank, optional heated and powered seats, Porsche HiFi sound system, and revisions in the mounting of the transaxle to reduce noise and vibration. The “cookie cutter” style wheels u

    • Year: 1984
    • Mileage: 83000 mi
    For sale
  • Porsche 944

    £36,995 £36,995

    *SIMILAR QUALITY CARS ALWAYS REQUIRED* SOLD Thinking of selling? Our proven commission sale or SOR (Sale or Return) program is a great way to utilise and access our professional services and facilities while still maximising the return from your vehicle with minimal hassle, stress and time, If you’d like to take advantage of this then please get in touch for further information. Alternatively If you’d like to move your vehicle on quickly and efficiently with minimal delay then we can make an offer on an outright purchase basis with payment and collection arranged soon after. A multiple Porsche Club GB Concours winning 944 Turbo S with 47,189 miles. MODEL HISTORY Initially there were 1000 Porsche 944 Turbo S cars introduced in 1988 and all built in the Silberrosa or Silver Rose metallic paint of which just 77 cars were sold in the UK. Following the initial run of Silver Rose cars customers were offered the choice of interior and exterior colours for their Turbo S and a subsequent 635 cars were made. Improvements included the M44/52 engine (with a new turbocharger, modified turbine vanes, larger exhaust valves and enhanced DME mapping), a stronger clutch, transmission with an oil cooler and limited slip differential, plus larger 12" front disc brakes (similar to the 928 S4), adjustable Koni suspension (via the M030 option package) and special 'Club Sport' alloy wheels. At £41,249 when new is was more expensive than the 911 Club Sport. EQUIPMENT Zinc galvanised steel body, integral front air dam, rear spoiler, Rear under-lip spoiler, pop-up halogen headlamps, headlamp cleaning system, securiflex windscreen, 8-way electrically adjustable seats, electric hatch release, power windows, digital quartz clock, boost pressure gauge, air conditioning, Panasonic cassette player. EXTERIOR The muscular lines of this sought-after variant still look amazing today finished in Guards Red, (Code L3MA). The unique ‘Turbo’ decal on the offside front wing is ostentatious and acts as a reminder of the original homologation Porsche 924 Carrera GT Turbo and the exclusivity this car enjoys. Subject to a documented windows out repaint by the fastidious previous owner whose ambitions were to compete in Concours, the finish can be described as stunning, with noteworthy awards in this class acting as a testament to the appearance. All trim, rubbers, glass and lenses are perfect with a slight ding to the bonnet front centre. Truly outstanding. INTERIOR Finished in the optional Black Leatherette material, (Code LT), the orthopedically designed sports seats are pristine along with the rest of the gorgeous interior. The sense of occasion is maintained once settled in the commanding cockpit with a wealth of working crystal clear instrumentation such as boost pressure gauge. There are no cracks to the dash and the carpets are spotlessly clean having been protected by genuine Porsche carpet mats. The car comes complete with its original space saver wheel, full tool kit (unused), aluminium brace, jack and the often missing tyre compressor! The boot option sticker remains attached. The perfect blend of comfort and performance. ENGINE & TRANSMISSION The 944 Turbo S four cylinder inline M44/52 engine produces 250bhp at 6000rpm to propel this car to 62mph in 5.7 seconds and a top speed of 162mph. This more powerful engine is developed from the specification used in the Porsche 944 Turbo Cup race series with factory enhancements such as a new turbocharger with modified turbine vanes, slightly larger exhaust valves and modified DME mapping. The engine area is detailed to virtual perfection and a free-flowing exhaust system is fitted. The modified transmission changes include hardening of 1st and 2nd gears and the transmission oil is externally cooled allowing precise and solid gear changes. WHEELS, TYRES & BRAKES Special flat forged Club Sport alloy 16inch wheel design with an anodized surface and seven spokes are as new shod in correctly sized and premium Continental ContiSportContact tyres. One centre cap is slightly marked. Massive ventilated disc brakes from the 928 S4 as factory supplied combined with Bosch ABS system to provide quick, stable and fade free stops. There is a slight unobtrusive pulse on the brake pedal from high speeds. HISTORY FILE Supplied new on the 1st October 1988 by Glen Henderson official Porsche Centre and registered to them as the first owner. A further three former keepers have enjoyed this low mileage example with servicing records from 1988 with 733 miles travelled right up until March 2016. The Porsche Certificate of Authenticity confirms the chassis and engine numbers conform to the specific ranges for these limited-run cars. A box full of trophies with PCGB Concours judging sheets is also included in the thick history file. To complete the appearance of this show-standard Porsche is the number plate ‘A944 TBO’ A complete set of keys, and all Porsche handbooks including the 944 Turbo S Supplement is included in the burgundy wallet. A very rare limited edition model and much sought-after by Porsche enthusiasts. MOT March 2018, HPI Clear. To see a video of this car please click on the link below: https://youtu.be/5U2deLP0Ojc To see a full set of photographs of this car please click on the link below: https://flic.kr/s/aHskQujbaE 'Like us' or 'Follow us' for exciting new cars coming soon at KGF Classic Cars: https://www.facebook.com/KGFClassiccars https://twitter.com/KGFClassicCars

    • Year: 1988
    • Mileage: 47189 mi
    • Engine size: 2.5
    For sale
  • Porsche 944 Lux 2.7

    £18,995 £18,995

    We are pleased to offer for sale a totally original Porsche 944 Lux in perfect condition. A truly great investment. Options include Electric tilt and lift out sunroof, Electric windows and mirrors, Power steering, Central locking, Immobiliser with tracker and Alloy wheels.

    • Year: 1989
    For sale
  • Porsche 944 Turbo Cup

    £69,995 £69,995

    Very rare and collectible Porsche 944 Turbo Cup in immaculate condition. 1 of 35 made. Standard factory specification. Options include ABS, Matter roll cage, Recaro Race seat, Magnesium wheels. The car was supplied without chrome and paint protection.

    • Year: 1988
    • Mileage: 39511 mi
    For sale
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