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sanman New Reader
8/27/08 12:15 a.m.

I keep hearing that there is no such thing as a cheap Porsche, but how affordable are these? I seems you can pick up a good example of these for around $3k. I like the galvanized body and have been coming around as far as looks. Any major issues? The 924s seems like the better buy, but is the 'van' engine more reliable/cheaper to maintain?

thatsnowinnebago Reader
8/27/08 1:28 a.m.

I think GRM had a buyer's guide on the 944 somewhat recently. Its pretty close to the same car so maybe that could help you out a bit. In my limited attempt to find that for you, I instead found this buyer's guide from Pelican Parts on the 944. Hope that helps you out.

EDIT: This one came up when, the clever soul I am, I searched for 924 buyer's guide instead of 944 buyer's guide.

Travis_K New Reader
8/27/08 7:45 a.m.

Have you ever sat n one? The steering wheel position is really strange, enough I wouldnt be able to comfortably drive one.

WilD Reader
8/27/08 8:51 a.m.

Are you looking at the late 70s 2.0L cars or the 87-88 2.5L cars. You should be able to get a 2.0 for less than three grand, at least they used to sell for nothing. There will be a world of difference. The 2.0L probably is cheaper to maintain, but makes all of 85 horespower. The 2.5L "S" cars of the late 80s have the same engine as the 944 so have the same upkeep costs, the extra power is probably worth it though. All of them can have the complicated/expensive clutch replacement issue. If you do all your own work, they probably aren't too bad but all porsches will be expensive if you look to pay others for service. I have driven several 944 models and I like them quite a bit, so the 924s is probably just as good. I have seriously considered buying a 944 at several points in my life, so I understand your desire.

kreb Dork
8/27/08 8:52 a.m.

I really enjoyed a 924 that I drove extensively in the early 80s. It's no 911 - basically underpowered, but very well balanced. Do yourself a favor and go for the 944 for the bigger engine and various upgrades.

Tim Baxter
Tim Baxter Online Editor
8/27/08 8:54 a.m.

Winnebago, I think you're thinking of this: http://grassrootsmotorsports.com/articles/porsche-944-profile/

Over in the online articles section.

kreb Dork
8/27/08 8:54 a.m.

As Wild says, They did make some 924s with the 944 goodies, but no fender flares, so they're a bit lighter and more aerodynamic.

EricM Reader
8/27/08 9:09 a.m.

924 is the Audi components. 924S is the Porsche components. ( think that has ben covered)

the 924, like all other audis, needs to have the snot reved out of it to get any real power.

Parts are still expesnive, even though they have the Audi or VW logo on them.

maroon92 SuperDork
8/27/08 9:16 a.m.

I cannot think of one reason to buy a 924 over a 944. the 944 is a much better car, and it is negligibly more expensive.

16vCorey Dork
8/27/08 9:17 a.m.
maroon92 wrote: I cannot think of one reason to buy a 924 over a 944. the 944 is a much better car, and it is negligibly more expensive.

Unless you're talking about the 924S, then it's the same car with slightly different styling.

confuZion3 HalfDork
8/27/08 9:29 a.m.

Didn't one of those cars have a V-8? I thought that was the 924.

MadScientistMatt HalfDork
8/27/08 9:34 a.m.

That would be the 928.

confuZion3 HalfDork
8/27/08 9:41 a.m.

Oh. That's right.

racerdave600 Reader
8/27/08 9:58 a.m.

For a 924, the S is by far the one to have. As stated earlier, it is basically a 944 pre mid '85 update. Of those, the '88 is the one to have it has more hp than the '87's marginally. 924S's these days seem to be going for more than a good 944 in similar condition, but all can be had for modest money. Be sure and buy one that's been maintained though, as putting them right, like any German car, can require a bit of money.

They all drive well though, and get pretty decent fuel mileage.

petegossett Dork
8/27/08 10:37 a.m.

The only good thing about the 2.0L 924 is apparently the Audi 2.2 turbo is a mostly bolt-in swap.

YaNi New Reader
8/27/08 12:43 p.m.

The 924s' are going for more than a 944. A couple years ago my friends dad sold his low mileage 924s and bought a 944 s2.

DWNSHFT New Reader
8/27/08 12:47 p.m.

The original 924 introduced in 1976 had 95 HP with a four speed manual. In 1977.5 that was increased to 110 HP. In 1979 you could get a "dog-leg" five speed that wasn't all that great. in 1980 both transmissions were replaced with a "normal" five speed. In 1981 the fuel injection went to a lambda sensor. I'm ignoring the three speed auto and you should, too.

The 924 had four lug hubs. There was a sport suspension option available on the later cars with five lugs that basically gave you the 944 suspension and brakes.

I never had an issue with the steering wheel location, although I'm slender. I think the S2000 has wonkier steering, for example.

The 924 had cloth or vinyl covered seats but the basic seat was the same as the 911 had, which is my favorite seat of all time.

The 924 was a sturdy car but weighing 2600-2700 pounds hurt performance. No, they're not especially quick. But they are fairly reliable and still fun to drive. The quality of the interior plastic sucks.

If you can buy one for cheap I see nothing wrong with it as a fun little DD.


porschenut New Reader
8/27/08 1:08 p.m.

If it needs a clutch, shifts badly or has noise coming from the torque tube(driveshaft) run away. Not worth fixing and a bear to repair. Like many before have said, the Audi engine ones had no power.
I had a very rare 79 924S. It was optioned for SCCA racing guys, lmited slip, 4 wheel discs, no sunroof or AC. The car was a blast for DE events, but had a ton of upgrades. There is no way to get decent power out of the engine though. The head is flat, combustion chamber in the piston. Miserable low compression ratio, no decent aftermarket parts. Even if you spend a wad there is no way to go over 200 HP without turbo/superchargers.

If you really want one, get the 944 engine one and hope you never have to change the clutch.

fiat22turbo SuperDork
8/27/08 2:09 p.m.

The site for 924 information

The later 924 and 944 used Audi-sourced 5-speeds. So they are reliable and can be rebuilt if necessary.

The 944 is essentially the same chassis as the 924 (different crossmember and steering rack) The front suspension is essentially A1 Rabbit. On the 924, the steering rack is from a RHD A1 Rabbit. Rear suspension is from a VW super beetle. Audi 4-cylinder engine (precursor to the 5-cylinder engines), Porsche 915 transaxle or Audi FWD transaxle.

The 924 and 924 turbo engines weren't the best designs from the outset and Porsche hamstrung them further to keep them from competing with the low end 911's of the time. The 924 turbo (931) had a much better head design, but wasn't all that it could or should have been. The car's can be lightened quite a bit, which helps wake them up quite a bit.

The 924 Turbo, 924s and 944 replaced the stamped steel Rabbit arms with beautifully cast aluminum copies. The rear control arms were replaced with nicely cast pieces as well. The transaxle was changed to the Audi 5-speed for most of its run. The 924s and 944 used the Porche designed 2.5L engine along with a different cross-member and steering rack. Mid-way through the 1985 model year, the 944's dashboard changed to look more like the 911.

Quite a bit of the newer suspension pieces will backdate to the lighter 924 and of course engine swaps are pretty common. In the end, you won't get any respect from anyone for owning one. The enjoyment is all about having essentially a clean slate that is a few wrecked 944 turbos and LS-equipped Camaro's away from being a lot of fun!

chknhwk New Reader
8/27/08 3:28 p.m.

My g/f and I are picking up our '88 924S in two weeks and hopefully shaking it down at Pocono. A few weeks later we'll be at Mid-Ohio so I'll let you know how it does.

sanman New Reader
8/27/08 8:58 p.m.

Well, the 924 seemed like an interesting idea as a bit of a beater weekend car/ auto-x car. The words beater porsche just sound so wonderful together. But there are some similarly priced 944s as well. What does it say when porsche prices are the same as e30 prices and the porsches are in better condition?

fiat22turbo SuperDork
8/28/08 12:06 a.m.

It says that Porsche's efforts to keep the 911 the king of the hill is working.

njansenv New Reader
8/28/08 5:31 a.m.

^And that an e30 is cheaper to keep up.

There's a local 944 with a solid body that's been parked and for sale for about 6 months. I'm waiting to snag it just before he gives up on selling it....and finding a CHEAP 5.3 to stuff in it...

rgsams None
8/29/08 5:54 p.m.

The 924S has a couple of things that distinguish it from the same vintage 944. The 5th gear ratio is a little lower and, unlikely though it may seem, it has a little less drag.

There's a huge amount of information on the NASA Spec944 site at this url.....


88 has more power. I had one for 6 years and loved it. I also put money in it. It's a Porsche.

Critical maintenance? Timing belt, timing belt, timing belt!!!

Bob S.

Travis_K Reader
8/30/08 8:25 a.m.

Why not get an alfa? I know they are weird looking, but you can get a milano that has the same type of transaxle setup and handles just as well (or better) than a porsche for $1500 (or for maybe $3500-4500 get a 3.0 milano that is faster than a 944, or a less weird looking GTV6). Parts for alfas are cheaper too.

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