David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
2/4/16 11:00 a.m.

This article ran in our December 2015 issue. Prices for parts have been changed. As for the 924S, Hagerty says you can expect to pay $8000 on average, with a No 2 example setting you back close to $17,000. 

The Porsche 924 doesn’t have the greatest reputation among enthusiasts. We admit, it’s not the sexiest, fastest, most exciting thing to come out of Stuttgart. But when is a Porsche 924 not a Porsche 924? When it’s a 924S. That single letter represents redemption for this otherwise ho-hum model line.

Despite today’s panning of the original 924, this car represents an important chapter in Porsche history. When the 924 replaced the 914 for the 1976 model year, not only did it offer buyers an updated, low-cost alternative to the 911, but it broke ground, too.

The 924 was the company’s first production car to carry its engine up front. More technologic advancement: Its engine featured water cooling, a new idea for Porsche at the time. Then there was the basic layout and bodywork–stunning and totally contemporary, from the flip-up headlights to the giant glass hatchback.

Okay, so a few parts came from the VW bin, like the Rabbit lower control arms and Super Beetle rear suspension pieces. Still, the 924 filled a niche and, according to Porsche historians Jürgen Barth and Gustav Büsing, became the bestselling sports car of 1977.

The 924 left America after the 1982 model year, passing the role of Porsche’s entry-level sportster to the 944. While similar in appearance to the 924, the 944 received a host upgrades, with the biggest lurking under the hood. The old 100-or-so horsepower VW- and Audi-sourced engine was replaced with a genuine Porsche piece, bumping output by some 50 percent.

Fender flares allowed the 944 to accept bigger wheels and tires, while the suspension and brakes received an overhaul. The 944 simply outran its predecessor.

Porsche kept the 924 alive for other markets, although eventually the engine supply dried up. Porsche’s solution: Install the 944’s engine, along with the latter’s vented disc brakes and aluminum trailing arms. At the same time, the wheels grew to 15x16-inch alloys.

This new creation, dubbed the 924S, was basically the narrow 924 shell fitted with 944 parts. It came stateside for just the 1987 and 1988 model years. One more bonus: That narrow 924 body cuts a smaller hole through the air than the 944’s.

What’s not to love? Well, the 924Sis based on the 924, meaning it didn’t receive the updated interior given to the 944 partway through 1985. And since the 924Sdoesn’t have the 944’s fender flares, tire size can be a bit limited–even 7-inch wheels up front can be a little tight.

In the Porsche world, something different usually means something with a giant price tag. In the case of the 924S, we’re still seeing nice examples going for around $5000–give or a take a few bucks, even.

Read the rest of the story

porschenut
porschenut Reader
2/4/16 11:09 a.m.

Nice try but you missed the first 924S. Check your history, Porsche did the S option in 1979 to make a basis for the D production racers. No sunroof, manual windows, limited slip and humongous brakes. I was lucky enough to find one of these in the late 90's and it was a sick track car.

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