One of the original complaints about Porsche's 924 was that it lacked enough power to properly represent the brand, and the company's answer to that was the 944. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe 944 wanted even more and so its builder has looked outside the brand, to Chevy. Will this LT1-powered Porsche also power up on the price?
You can never go wrong with a two-for-one deal, amiright? Two pizzas for the price of one, a double feature at the movies, two girls, one cu… um, well yes. Yesterday's 1989 Peugeot 505 SW8 was just such a deal as it came with a tag-a-long sedan for good measure. That made it a two-fer which earned the French longroof a respectable 59% Nice Price win, the second such result this week.
As is historically the case, yesterday's French car is today being pushed aside by one from… Germany. Not only that, but this 1988 Porsche 944 has a little help from the Yanks.
Porsche's first foray into front-mounted engines with four cylinders wasn't all that successful. The 924 was originally intended to be an Audi, and sported a milquetoastian SOHC wheezer sourced from that Volkswagen subsidiary. The car itself was pretty well engineered, but was still deemed by some to be 'too pretty to be a Porsche.'
Enter the 924's successor, the evolutionary 944, which sported aggressive fender flares, enhanced suspension tuning, and an in-house all-aluminum four cylinder to make amends. The 944 (in NA and Turbo form) finally acquitted the platform as a proper Porsche - except in the eyes of the purists.
Those purists will widen their eyes, and likely grip their pearls even more tightly over this 944 as it has once again gone down the path of a non-Porsche motor. Instead of the 2.7-litre 162-bhp four that once called this car , this one now rocks a Chevy LT1 that the ad lays claim can make 400 ponies.
The conversion to eight-ness is by way of a Renegade Hybrids kit - they are the go-to folks for putting V8s in Porsches - and features an engine apparently sourced from a 1995 F-body. The ad notes ported heads and a fat exhaust, as well as about 80K on the mill's bottom end.
Other mechanical goodies include 911 Turbo brakes with an aftermarket electric power brake system, Koni dampers, and Turbo Twist wheels. The engine install looks clean and there's nothing seemingly asshat about it- no filterless intake, freak show wiring, or signs that a 356 owner has taken a dump in there in protest.
Visually, the car seems clean, and looks nice in the pics. The seller notes that the paint does exhibit fading and there's an issue with the covered lamps that have replaced the pop-ups. The original lights come with the car, but not their motors. I don't actually know if the motors would still fit in the engine bay with the V8 in there now.
On to the inside and things are a like bit more loosey goosey. Not in a bad way mind you, there's just a bunch of aftermarket in here, with Corbeau seats, a Sparco wheel, and a carpeted dash cap as the 944 dashboard tends to crack faster then the weak link in a crime syndicate. All in all it still looks perfectly serviceable. The ad notes about $30K sunk into the car as it sits.
What sucks about it? Well, the ad notes that it is presently not smog compliant. It is in Florida and I don't know what the laws are like out there - do they even have laws in Florida? - but other states that's going to make for some headaches.
Perhaps balancing out that buzzkill is the hood badge that combines both the Porsche shield and Corvette badge in a melange of marvelousness. I'm guessing that Renegade makes these too and if so, good on 'em.
The asking price for this Renegade is $12,000 and if you think that should you want a V8 Porsche then why not go 928, just consider the difference in cost between an LT1 and Porsche when it comes to… oh, damn-near everything.
What do you think about that twelve-grand price for this LT1-rocking 944? Does that get from you an approving nod? Or, is it still Porsche priced despite its Chevy mill?
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