Fencers typically begin a match with the warning en garde. Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Porsche 944 is in Guards Red, and will foil pretty much any Épée. It’s up to you to determine whether or not its price will have you sitting on the fence.
The Scoville scale offers a measure for the perceived heat of a chili pepper. At the top of the scale, with a Scoville heat ranking of one and a half to two million units, is the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion, a Caribbean fruit with the general appearance of a shriveled and sunburned scrotum. Yum!
On the other end of the scale, with a ranking of zero is the Bell pepper. Just below that on the heat register, with a 76% Crack Pipe loss, was yesterday’s custom Porsche Cayenne. I guess if you want to bring the heat you’ll want to look to something smaller, redder, and packing far fewer miles.
With that, I give you this 1989 Porsche 944 S2, in Guards Red, and with but 22K on the clock. Now, I know what you’re thinking - Aww man, not another Porsche. That’s the third one in a row, and the last two were both total bovine excrement!
But here’s the thing, I’m thinking that this is about the right time to grab a 944. That's because I believe that they have bottomed out in the market and are starting to follow their 911 big brothers back up the dollar tree. And, if you’re going to go looking for an investment in the used car lot, you better go with the best one you can find.
This 1989 944 S2 is not only the ultimate edition of the naturally aspirated model, it’s also remarkably low-mileage and - from the pictures at least - looks like it just rolled out of Neckersulm. The reason given for its present state of affairs is that it was part of a collection.
Riding on its factory Design 90 wheels and featuring the nose from the Turbo, the S2 differs even more greatly from its predecessors under the hood. There, the DOHC 16-valve four was punched out to a full 3 litres of displacement. That made it the largest series production four of the era, and one that was good for 208-bhp at 5,800 RPM.
Interestingly, that 2,999-cc mill was also lighter than the outgoing 2.5 by a substantial 15%. The weight loss was due to siamesed cylinder jackets and other various nips and tucks. The concurrent switch from cast to forged aluminum for the block also helped to stem high-RPM wear.
Here that massive four-pot is backed up - as God and Ferry Porsche intended - by a five-speed manual transaxle. The shifter for that box resides in an all-black interior that looks brand new, if by new you mean Porsche’s somber design aesthetic from 25 years ago.
The iconic high-backed seats face a fully instrumented dash which was part of a restyle brought to the car four years prior. There only two actual boner killers in this car’s interior, the first being that these cars don’t share Porsche’s traditional left-hand ignition switch placement. The other is that, for a car so clean, it’s disappointing not to see the little triangular vacuum cleaner marks - like in a hotel hallway - in the carpet under the huge glass hatch.
That hatch is rimmed with a rubber ducky spoiler which is paired on the S2 with an under-tray air manager just south of the rear bumper. Both of those features are still intact on this extremely low-mileage car, as are the ding guards on the flanks, including their 16 Ventiler announcement just ahead of each door.
As I have noted, I think this is a good time to pick up a 944 model, and if this car lives up to its description and pictures, you probably couldn't do much better as a place to start. The thing of course is that quality costs money, as anyone who has paid for an escort of the non-automotive variety will attest. In the case of this Porsche that means an asking price of $20,995. And that ain’t chump change.
You see, while 944s may be starting an ascent value-wise, there are still a lot notties among the hotties, and you can find some real dogs out there for far less than this car’s expected price. What you now need to decide is whether this one is worth the extra spend. What do you think, is this remarkably clean and un-used 944 S2 worth $20,995? Or, is that too much of a premium for this Porsche?
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