What defines a successful car? Is it how it sells when it’s new? They fly off of the lot, you see them everywhere. They’re affordable, a dime-a-dozen on the roads, and super popular. But, decades later, many of them sit underneath a highway overpass gathering dust, someone wrote “wash me” on the window, it has been rear-ended a few times, and overall looks neglected.

Or does success mean that a car that didn’t necessarily sell like crazy at first, but people want it 20 years down the line? It is timeless, revered, and doesn’t depreciate in value. You envy the person who has their hands on one now.

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Today, we are looking into a car that falls into the first category: The Porsche 924. It was developed as a collaboration between Porsche and VW, following the success of the mid-engine VW-Porsche 914. However, for the front-engine/rear-transaxle 924, VW dropped out, deciding instead to put money into its new Scirocco, which was basically an extra sporty Golf. Simple and easy for VW, but a pain for Porsche. Porsche took over the project on its own as its next entry-level model, something to get people into a Porsche for less than the cost of a 911.

Because the 924 was so affordable, it sold great. (Certainly by Porsche standards, with well over 100,000 cars built.)

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All sounds good, right?

For a moment, it was very good. The initial success of the 924 lead to two more models, the 944 and then the later 968. That’s lovely, but what about now, in 2020? What once was an affordable German sports car to buy new slowly became an expensive German sports car to maintain. (A “dreaded timing belt replacement” keeps these cars cheap, among other things.) Even now it’s hard to find a 924 treated like a vintage gem to cherish forever. Most on the street look like beaters.

What do you think? Watch our newest Know This Car above about the history of the Porsche 924 and decide for yourself.

Video Producer for Jalopnik. In a committed relationship with her 2007 Nissan Sentra named Layla.

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DISCUSSION

911Ducktail
911Ducktail

Its not just the timing belt thats an issue clutch replacements are a pita due to the nature of the torque tube set ups on 924/944s

imho they will never be collectible as a whole - there are specific ones that will continue to be as collectible as they have always been - 924s (924 with the 944 engine instead of the audi truck engine) the 924 Carrera GT/GTS and the other homologation specials

the problem is since theyve been dirt cheap theyre all mostly garbage on the second hand market there arent enough good ones left to make it worth while to restore to *make a market*

when you can still pick up a 951 for less than $10k and have a perfectly balanced monster you know they wont go up

914s are the same way theyve been so cheap for so long only the 914/6s make sense to have as a collector car

968s are limited enough and theyve held their value enough that I think those are the next collector porsche

928s are nightmares to work on even though theyre basically a german muscle car

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