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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

16 Search results
Porsche 944
9950 74995 GBP
  • Porsche - 944 Turbo - 1987

    €18,500 - €24,050 est. (£16,017.30 - £20,822.49 est.) €18,500 - €24,050 est. (£16,017.30 - £20,822.49 est.)
    Online Auction
    Auction Date: 01 Jan 1970
    RESERVE PRICE
    Catawiki Auctions
  • 1985 Porsche 944

    $22,500(£18,040.50) $22,500(£18,040.50)

    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
  • PORSCHE 944 TURBO 2.5 COUPE BLACK 2DR 1989

    £12,499 £12,499

    (Factory M030 option with Stiffer Springs, Torsion Bars and Anti-Rollbars, Koni Adjustable Suspension, big Brembo 4-Pot Brake Calipers Limited Slip Differential) The car has a brilliant service record and stamps are as follows:4/04/89 2599 service Porsche19/6/89 6567 service Porsche24/1/90 12255 service Porsche21/6/90 19870 service Porsche14/11/90 24109 service Porsche28/10/91 31937 service Porsche3/4/92 36189 service Porsche10/5/93 41974 service AFN Reading Porsche18/3/94 47979 service Two Plus Two Porsche14/03/95 54380 service Two Plus Two Porsche26/3/96 60532 service Two Plus Two Porsche9/4/97 66677 service Two Plus Two Porsche30/5/98 72505 service Two Plus Two Porsche27/5/99 77705 service Two Plus Two Porsche6/7/2000 83996 service Two Plus Two Porsche25/9/01 90941 service Two Plus Two Porsche5/9/02 96442 service Two Plus Two Porsche23/10/03 101052 service Two Plus Two Porsche20/10/04 104779 service Two Plus Two Porsche28/9/06 107501 service MEMS6/04/14 139067 service The following work has then been carried out over the past two years:New turbo super 48 with larger injectors, Plugs, Dis Cap, Rotor Arm, HT Leads, Water Pump, Belts, Oil Seals, Exhaust, Discs and pads, Bake lines, New Air con rad, New Air Compressor and pipes, Fan Stat, Both Sills, Boot Seal, Anti roll Bar Mounts and Bushes, Rear Hatch gas struts, ECU and waste gate. The Porsche has lots of optional extras including; Head lamp washer's, Air con, Anti-lock brake system, Full Black Leather Sport seats front, Electric height adjustment on seats, Central Locking and Sunroof. The gearbox features toughened 1st and 2nd gears, an external oil cooler for added longevity and a limited slip diff. Recent Maintenance:The cam belt and balance belt/ water pump were changed last year, and at this time the car also had a major service with spark plug change and all the filters. The front brake calliper's with pads and disc's have been rebuilt by the brake caliper specialist. The interior of the car is in brilliant condition and the leather seats are not ripped or torn. The paintwork is very good for the age of the car as can be seen from the photos, it is clean all around the car. The current MOT expires at the end of June 2017 and with the service history noted above, there is an extensive folder of receipts and records withe the car. The original user manuals, drivers handbook, Porsche Owner's Wallet, complete toolkit and spare key are all present with the vehicle. This is an appreciating and increasingly rare and fast clic car which has been looked after and maintained well over the past 28 years. It is great fun to drive and is stunning to look at!

    • Engine size: 2479
    For sale
  • Porsche 944

    £36,995 £36,995

    FOR SALE 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 2.7

    £10,495 £10,495

    Being a later model produced in 1990, this example is equipped with the rare 2.7-litre version of the 8-valve engine, tipped to be a sound investment as this particular model was only in production for less than one year. In 2015 the 944 received replacement timing and balance shaft belts, distributor cap, rotor arm, and auxiliary belts. The engine pulls well through the rev range and the 5-speed manual gearbox feels tight and precise.

    • Year: 1990
    • Mileage: 60385 mi
    For sale
  • Porsche 944 Turbo Cup

    £74,995 £74,995

    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
  • PORSCHE 944 3.0 S2 Cabriolet 1992

    £12,950 £12,950

    Grand Prix White;Classic Grey Leather Interior;1992 (J Reg);86,000 Miles;Manual Gearbox;;Options:;Black Power Hood;Blaupunkt Symphony Radio (Original);Electric Mirrors;Electric Windows;Power Assisted Steering;Central Locking;Design 90 Alloy Wheels;;We are proud to offer this highly collectable, Late Model, Porsche 944 Cabriolet. The car has covered just 86,000 miles from new with a Full Service History.;;Low mileage 944 models are now highly sought after and values are only on the increase. A solid investment for the future with a lot of fun thrown in.;;All our cars are fully HPI checked and clear.;;Debit and Credit Cards Accepted .. Part Exchange Welcome .. Finance Arranged .. International Shipping Arranged.;;VIEWING BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. ;

    • Mileage: 86000 mi
    • Engine size: 3
    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
  • 1990 Porsche 944 S2

    $18,900(£15,154.02) $18,900(£15,154.02)

    The Classic Car Gallery is proud to offer this low mileage 1990 Porsche 944 S2 Cabriolet 3.0L. This super clean, low mileage example of the iconic 944 has been meticulously maintained and is up to date on all needed service. The Guards Red exterior paint is in excellent shape for the age, with only a few minor dings and blemishes. The Porsche factory service booklet has stamps dated from 1990 to 1994 for various service and maintenance items. A timing belt/water pump service was completed in November of 2013 at 30,120 miles. A new set of BF Goodwrich G-Force Sport Comp 2’s were just installed in May of 2016 and have gone less than 500 miles ago. Local Porsche specialist W. Jennings & Co. just completed a service which included a Mobil 1 Full synthetic oil change and a brake fluid flush.The car runs and drives as well as it looks. All systems work as they should, the AC blows cold and the Black leather interior looks almost new, with only minor wear on the drivers seat bolster. The car has a modern Sony Head unit. The Black convertible top is in excellent condition and the electric top mechanism works as it should. This car needs nothing except an enthusiastic new owner!

    • Year: 1990
    • Mileage: 31000 mi
    For sale
  • 1986 Porsche 944 Turbo

    $9,950(£7,977.91) $9,950(£7,977.91)

    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
  • 1986 Porsche 944 Turbo

    $61,500(£49,310.70) $61,500(£49,310.70)

    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
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