loading Loading please wait....

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

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.
Porsche 944 Porsche 944 Porsche 944 Porsche 944
Last updated: 9th Jun 2016
collapse this

Porsche 944 cars for sale

19 Search results
Porsche 944
4495 61500 GBP
  • 1986 Porsche 944 Turbo

    $9,950(£8,132.14) $9,950(£8,132.14)

    This 1986 Porsche 944 Turbo is a good original car that could use minor cosmetics. White with tan interior and 68k miles. Mechanically very sound and accompanied by it's factory books. It's also nice and solid with clean undercarriage. A great buy at just $9,950

    • Year: 1986
    For sale
    Gullwing Motor Cars
    718-545-0500  VIEW CONTACT NUMBER
  • 1984 Porsche 944 Coupe

    POA POA

    San Diego, CA 92081 1984 Porsche 944 Coupe VIN: WP0AA0943EN462182 Porsche introduced the 944 for MY 1982. It was slightly faster (despite having a poorer drag co-efficient than the 924), the 944 was better equipped and more refined than the 924; it had better handling and stopping power, and was more comfortable to drive. 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 used in the early

    • Year: 1984
    For sale
  • 1990 PORSCHE 944 TURBO SE

    £24,995 £24,995

    1990 Porsche 944 Turbo SE Guards Red. Black Trim 90 Spec Car with Bridge Spoiler and Design 90 Turbo Wheels Incredible Service History Covered 21,500 since Mechanical Restoration, which includes Blueprinted 2.5 Litre Engine with Nikasil plated Bores Con rods Re Rounded and Balanced New Garrett Ball-Bearing Turbo Now Running 318 BHP. 377 ft of Torque Crank Ground and Balanced with Much More Work. The List is Too Long To Write Here!! Front Discs Replaced 2013. Brembo 4 pot Calipers All round Toyo Proxes PXT1-R1 All Round Gearbox Oil Changed 2015 New Clutch Pioneer DAB /MP3/CD Player. New Sony Amplifier and JL Audio Speakers Looked After the last 10 Years by JMG Porsche An Outstanding Car with an Incredible History, Lovingly cared for. Could be one of the best 944 Turbos. A Rare Buy.

    • Year: 1990
    For sale
  • 1985 Porsche 944

    $23,500(£19,206.55) $23,500(£19,206.55)

    Chequered Flag International is pleased to offer this 1985 Porsche 944 Coupe in Graphite Metallic with Tan interior. Only 40,002 miles from new with a clean Carfax. This coupe is nicely equipped with: leather sport seats, limited slip differential, Fuchs wheels, and an electric sunroof. Perfect rust and accident free body with excellent paint. The interior is superb with soft leather, uncracked dash, and good carpets, door panels, and roof liner. Mechanically this 944 is excellent. No smoke on startup and very good power with a nice transmission & clutch. The steering and brakes are both good, as well. In April of 2016 at 39,500 miles it ha a new timing belt and water pump fitted. Around the same time it had a new A/C compressor & recharge at a total cost of over $2750 (with receipts). It comes with its original books, both sets of keys, records from 2003, air compressor ,unused tools and jack. Overall this is a lovely example ready to be driven and admired. Inspections encouraged. All sales AS-IS. Sales tax and license fees due if delivered in California. Visit Chequered Flag International online at chequeredflag.com to see more pictures of this vehicle or call us at 310-827-8665

    • Year: 1985
    For sale
  • 1986 Porsche 944 Turbo

    $61,500(£50,263.95) $61,500(£50,263.95)

    Porsche has had a checkered past when it comes to its entry-level cars. The 914 was fraught with political controversy from very early in its life, thanks to a handshake agreement between Porsche and Volkswagen gone awry when VW ushered in a new chief and Porsche was left footing the bill for development. In classic Porsche fashion, they persevered and the 914 went on to be sales success. But by 1975 production had ended and a replacement was badly needed. The 912E, a stopgap built for one year only, was not a well-built car. Porsche scrambled to find a suitable entry level offering, so it seemed a bit curious then, that they would again look toward Volkswagen for partnership in its junior sports car. A new front-engine, rear drive sports car was already being developed by VW and Audi, to be sold by VW, Audi and Porsche as part of their marketing alliance. But just like the 914 before it, VW/Audi pulled out financial support and killed the project. Porsche, being left high and dry yet again, took over the project and developed the car into the 924, which utilized an Audi-sourced, water-cooled 2-liter four cylinder engine and rear mounted transaxle. Buyers and critics enjoyed the beautifully balanced handling and lightweight nature of the car, but the Audi engine was widely criticized for being too harsh. So, in typical Porsche fashion, rather than scrapping and starting over, the 924 platform was heavily reworked to become the 944 of 1982. With such a balanced and precise chassis (50:50 weight-distribution was courtesy of the rear transaxle), calls soon came for more power. Porsche answered in 1985 with the legendary 944 Turbo, also known as the 951. The 944 Turbo was so much more than just a regular 944 with a turbo slapped on, it was a thoroughly upgraded machine built to handle the extra power and heat of its new 220hp engine. Oil and gearbox coolers, intercooler, a strengthened engine, retuned suspension and big Brembo brakes straight from the 911 parts bin were all featured on the 951. While many purists cried foul at this water-cooled, front-engine “junior” Porsche, true enthusiasts reveled in its exquisite balance, tremendous power and outstanding cross-country pace. A well driven 944 Turbo could give a standard 911 a run for its money, and to this day, driving enthusiasts cherish the 951 as one of the greatest driver’s cars of all time. If you want to know what it was like to own a brand new 944 Turbo in 1986, look no further than this amazing example. Showing a mere 9,720 miles, this spectacular car is like new in every sense. Finished in classic Guards Red over a tan and black interior, this 944 Turbo presents in amazing time-warp condition. Paint, panel fit and exterior trim are all as-new, with no visible issues. It wears a set of the optional and very desirable Fuchs 16” forged alloy wheels. Paint quality is excellent, with all lights and lenses being in pristine condition. Inside, the optional leather upholstery (on the front and rear seats) is excellent – appearing more like a 2 year old car than a 29 year old car. Of course the dash is excellent, and it still retains its original Blaupunkt Monterey stereo cassette player with graphic equalizer. Under the hood reveals more of the same – showroom fresh finishes on all surfaces and fittings. Virtually every clamp, hose, fitting and fastener is as it left the factory in ’86. Even when lifting the signature glass hatch, more surprises await. The original sunroof pouch is correctly stowed behind the seats. Carpeting and fittings are excellent and as new. There is even a brand new, unopened genuine Porsche detailing kit, still in the plastic wrapping as if it left the dealer yesterday. Meticulously preserved and presenting in beautiful condition, this is a true collector quality 944 Turbo. Many of these cars suffered at the hands of budget-minded owners or have been abused on track, so prime examples are demanding ever increasing prices. This outstanding 944 Turbo is certain to be at the top of the collector market for years to come.

    For sale
  • Porsche 944

    £17,995 £17,995

    Air Conditioning, Central Locking, Power Steering, Full Leather, Front Centre Armrest, Sports Seats, Folding Rear Seats, Colour Coded Body, Electric Sunroof, Front Fog Lamps, Headlamp Jetwash, Metallic Paintwork, Rear Spoiler, Rear Wash/wipe, Electric Windows, Electric Mirrors, Radio, 16'' Alloys, Comprehensive history This is a wonderful early classic Porsche 944 Turbo 220 BHP manual in Zermatt silver with dark grey leather interior. This car has covered 94000 miles and comes with a comprehensive service history which in the main is Porsche and good Porsche independants. It has been in dry storage for a number of years and has been undergoing recommissioning with a local Porsche specialist. It is in wonderful condition with an electric removable sunroof, 16'' original teledial alloys, power steering, electric windows and mirrors, headlamp washers, rear wash wipe. We also have the original service and handbook and sales brochure for the car. It drives extremely well and is one of very few currently available on the market today. The value of these is only going one way at present. Please call if you are interested in this fine car or need more information including arranging a viewing.

    • Mileage: 94000 mi
    • Engine size: 2479
    For sale
  • Porsche 944

    £4,999 £4,999

    Half Leather, Front Centre Armrest, Colour Coded Body, CD Player, Radio All of our vehicles are prepared to a high standard and you won't be disappointed all vehicles are supplied with a full HPI report, 1 years MOT where applicable and fully serviced with any parts without a serviceable life replaced. Warranty supplied on all vehicles. We offer finance at competitive rates HP or PCP is available, nationwide delivery is also available please call for information and quotes. Part exchange is offered and most things are considered. Viewings best by appointment but vehicles are viewable at opening times so feel free to come and have a browse, contact Stuart or Neil on 01206 212710 or after hours fell free to call or text anytime Stuart 07860 348928 Neil 07581882838

    • Mileage: 112000 mi
    • Engine size: 2479
    For sale
  • Porsche 944

    £26,900 £26,900

    Variant name:Coupe FH 2+2 ,Derivative:FH 2+2 ,Variant: Turbo FH, Electric Seats, Heated Seats, Outstanding Condition, Great History, Low mileage, Investment Opportunity John Holland Winner of Dealer's Dealer of the Year at the National Car Dealer Awards 2014/15 is delighted to offer for sale this rare low mileage Porsche 944 Turbo. Porsche introduced the 944 Turbo in 1985, to much aclaim, It was known internally as the 951. This had a turbocharged and intercooled version of the standard cars engine that produced 220PS at 6000 rpm. In 1987, Car and Driver tested the 944 Turbo and achieved a 0-60 Mph time of 5.9 Seconds. The Turbo also featured several other changes, such as Integrated front bumper, a strengthened gearbox with a different final dive ratio, external oil coolers for both engine and transmission, Stiffer Suspension, Brembo Brakes. The Classic Porsche market is very strong which makes this particular 944 Turbo a great investment opportunity and must be the best example in the UK today. This outstanding Porcshe is presented in Ocean Blue Metallic with complimenting Full Light Grey Leather Upholstery and comes with a list of extras. 16" Gullideckel Forged Alloys, Electric Seats, Heated Seats, Electric Windows, Air Conditioning, Alarm, Upgraded Kenwood Stereo giving USB, iPod, Sat Nav, Bluetooth. The Stunning car was first delivered new in October 1986 by Charles Follett Ltd ( Porcshe Mayfair ) and comes with a very comprehensive service history completed at 891 Miles, 5724 Miles, 10530 Miles,16500 Miles, 18455 Miles, 20300 Miles, 22333 Miles, 32161 Miles, 33448 Miles, 35124 Miles. Supplied with 2 keys and all its original owners manuals and wallet. John Holland has been established for over 40 years supplying a premium level of service in the sale of sports, prestige and collectors cars. We have a team of experienced buyers who hand pick our cars from all parts of the uk so you can buy with confidence all vehicles are HPI Clear and prepared to the highest standard, full dealer facilities available call the sales team for further information.

    • Year: 1986
    • Mileage: 37907 mi
    • Engine size: 2.5
    For sale
  • Porsche 944

    £5,000 £5,000

    Central Locking, Colour Coded Body, Electric Windows, Electric Mirrors, Front Fog Lamps, Front Centre Armrest, Head Restraints, Folding Rear Seats, Half Leather, Immobiliser, Power Steering, Radio, CD Player, Sports Seats, Sunroof, Rear Wash/wipe, Alloy wheels, Service history LOTS OF DOCUMENTATION - KENWOOD RADIO - SERVICE PACK.AS WE ARE AN AA CAR DEALER, THIS CAR COMES WITH AN AA HISTORY CHECK AND 12 MONTHS BREAKDOWN COVER

    • Mileage: 138000 mi
    • Engine size: 2649
    For sale
  • Porsche 944

    £40,000 £40,000

    Power Hood, Electric Windows, Electric Mirrors, Sports Seats, Service history Porsche 944 S2 3.0 Cabriolet Manual registered October 1989, One Owner from New - Original Order Form Included, Finished in Alpine White with Black Leatherette Interior, Black Electric Folding Canvas Roof, 16 Inch Alloy Wheels, Front Sport Seats with Leather Inlays, Electric Windows, Electric Exterior Mirrors, Radio Cassette Player. Full Service History by Porsche and ''two plus two'' Porsche Specialist. Just Serviced at Porsche Centre Portsmouth including Cambelt, Rollers and Tensioners and Replacement Bonnet Struts. Serviced at 1,900 miles on 12/06/90, 3,426 miles on 19/08/91, 4,671 miles on 07/09/94, 8,015 miles on 24/05/01, 8,335 miles on 09/10/03, 8,510 miles on 10/04/06 and at 8,857 miles on 04/03/2016. Fully Valeted, UK Wide Delivery Available, Part Exchange Welcome. Follow us on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

    • Mileage: 8900 mi
    • Engine size: 2969
    For sale
  • Porsche 944

    £6,000 £6,000

    Half Leather, Power Steering, ABS, Central Locking, Electric Mirrors, Electric Windows, Electric Sunroof, Radio, 4 Seats, UK Supplied, UK Specification, Folding Rear Seats, Rear Spoiler, Sports Seats, Height Adjustable Seat, Metallic Paintwork, Alloy wheels, Full service history 12/06/16 MOT DRIVES REALLY WELL WITH GENUINE LOW MILES AND LOADS OF HISTORY. GOOD CONDITION. RISING IN VALUE ! TEL. ANYTIME. BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. CLOSED SUNDAYS. JTN11 M25 CHERTSEY, SURREY. PX CONSIDERED. CARS ALSO PURCHASED.

    • Mileage: 83000 mi
    • Engine size: 2479
    For sale
  • Porsche 944

    £9,990 £9,990

    Central Locking, Power Steering, Electric Windows, Sports Seats, UK Supplied, UK Specification, ABS, Radio, Power Hood, Head Restraints, Height Adjustable Seat, Electric Mirrors, Alloys, 4 Seats, Alloy wheels, Full service history Grand Prix White, EXCELLENT CONDITION THROUGHOUT. Starts and drives as it should. 3 owners, 4 seats, GETTING RARE AND RISING IN VALUE STARTS AND DRIVES AS IT SHOULD 'CLASSIC' STATUS HAS TO BE ROUND THE CORNER ON THESE GREAT AND RELATIVELY RARE CONVERTIBLES. HUGE SERVICE HISTORY. GREAT VALUE TEL ANYTIME BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. CLOSED SUNDAYS JTN11 M25 CHERTSEY, SURREY. NEAR ''THORPE PARK'' PX CONSIDERED. CARS ALSO PURCHASED.

    • Mileage: 140000 mi
    • Engine size: 2990
    For sale
  • Porsche 944

    £17,995 £17,995

    Air Conditioning, Central Locking, Power Steering, Full Leather, Front Centre Armrest, Sports Seats, Folding Rear Seats, Colour Coded Body, Electric Sunroof, Front Fog Lamps, Headlamp Jetwash, Metallic Paintwork, Rear Spoiler, Rear Wash/wipe, Electric Windows, Electric Mirrors, Radio, 16'' Alloys, Comprehensive history This is a wonderful early classic Porsche 944 Turbo 220 BHP manual in Zermatt silver with dark grey leather interior. This car has covered 94000 miles and comes with a comprehensive service history which in the main is Porsche and good Porsche independants. It has been in dry storage for a number of years and has been undergoing recommissioning with a local Porsche specialist. It is in wonderful condition with an electric removable sunroof, 16'' original teledial alloys, power steering, electric windows and mirrors, headlamp washers, rear wash wipe. We also have the original service and handbook and sales brochure for the car. It drives extremely well and is one of very few currently available on the market today. The value of these is only going one way at present. Please call if you are interested in this fine car or need more information including arranging a viewing.

    • Mileage: 94000 mi
    • Engine size: 2479
    For sale
Related Specification
Related content