If you know cars, then you know Porsche, and if you know Porsche, you definitely know the Grand Classic Porsche 944.
Back when the car was being advertised by Porsche, they said “For lunch it prefers Ferraris, although it has been known to snack on Corvettes” and following that, the car sold exponentially and grabbed a lot of awards living up to its appeal.
The Porsche 944 is easily one of the best looking cars of the 80’s and it was named as the Best Handling Production Car in America in the 1984 awards and in 1985, it was included in the 10 best list, both by Car and Driver magazine.
If you know where to look, you can buy this mean machine at an entry level price!
Many say that the 944 came to bridge the gap between the 924 and 911, this came as a result of much criticism of the 924’s uncharacteristic performance. The car was highly praised by critics and well received by Americans all over because of its great features that made it so attractive.
As an improvement to the previous 924, Porsche equipped the 944 with a powerful alloy 2.5 liter four-cylinder engine. And to counteract the vibration in the 924, a Mitsubishi-patented Lanchester balance shaft was fitted into the Porsche 944. The 944 was a descendant of the 928 and it was good for its 143 hp and 0-60 time of 8.3 seconds.
Apart from its speed and power another feature to draw attention is the 944’s handling, which the car won the award for. Its balanced chassis was complemented by a four-wheel disc -brake set-up and wide 215/60-15 tires.
Later on after the car’s release, Porsche decided to remodel the interior of the 944 to match that of the 928 and 911. The new interior introduced a new dash which offered better ventilation, new and much better seats were installed, a new steering wheel and an antenna in the windshield.
The 1985 mid-year remodeling of the 944 was also accompanied with mechanical upgrades. An extra 15 hp was gained by the car after engine modifications where the valves, pistons and combustion chambers revisited. The oil capacity of the 944 was also increased to 6 quarts after the oil pump was redesigned. Improvements on the radiator were made after the suspension pieces were strengthened and lightened.
The Grand Classic Porsche 944 is truly a worthy investment. There was a time when the prices would not be affordable to middle class buyers but now, the prices are greatly reducing and it is sure to become an affordable classic very soon.
People are really interested in the 944 turbo models and if they can’t have that, they go for the S2. You can go for one with manual steering like the 1983 944 which will make you one with the road.
A Word of Advice to Buyers
Take care of your car’s engine by checking for oil changes at 6000 miles in turbo and pre-86 cars, check for oil change at 12,000 miles on later cars. The 944 also needs timing and balancing belts after every 40000 miles/3 years and a new water pump after 80,000 miles. For 2.7 S engines I would advise to check the exhaust camchain tensioner.
If you buy the car, you should expect a transaxle whine, but the car is fine. The clutches will last for 70,000 miles but they will be hard to replace as spare parts for the Grand Classic Porsche 944 are hard to find.
If you hear clonking noises or front wheel shakes, then this suggests that your suspension bushes are worn out. If the 944 feels like it has a floaty handling then this suggests that the wishbone ball joints are worn. For the no-power assisted cars, disturbed steering could indicate a worn out rack. Look for steering pump leaks on the assisted cars.
To maintain your car’s look, watch out for rust on the sills, suspension mounts, front jacking points and rear wheel arches. Beware of perished tires and cracked alloys.
If you want to go out on the road on an affordable classic, the 944 has come to your rescue. Not only does the car ride well and fast, it will give you that feeling of the grand 80s that were so wanting.