At $15,800, Will This ‘Restored’ 1990 Porsche 944 S2 Cab Prove a Robust Red?

Photo: Craigslist
Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

Take a minute to just soak in the sheer beauty of today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe 944 S2 Cabriolet. Don’t rush. When you’re ready, let’s find out if this restored Porsche’s price is equally as attractive.

There’s probably no shame in anonymity, but then how would anyone know? Yesterday we looked at a 2004 Mercedes Benz C 240 4Matic wagon that was about as milquetoast a Mercedes as there ever was. And you know what? In both the comments and the 60-percent Nice Price win awarded to its $3,995 price, it didn’t come out half bad.


Half bad is, in fact not a bad way to go through life. Of course, many of us strive for something more than mere mediocrity, choosing as a career something other than politics, or perhaps deciding against getting a bad word tattooed on your face. Others rise from the mundane in a more socially acceptable manner. They buy a Porsche.

Owning a Porsche means joining an elite club, albeit one with a very strict caste system. At the top are the air-cooled mavens, most of whom deign water-cooled Porsches to be mere pretenders to the throne. They allow 914 owners within their circle, but they’re not going to tell them when the potato salad has gone bad. On the other side of the fence sits all other Porsche owners, those with Cayennes, Caymans, Boxsters, and yes, even Panameras. A subset of this clan is the 924/944/928 cadre, and that’s the group we’re most interested in today.

Why? Well because of this sweet looking 1990 Porsche 944 Cabriolet, of course. This India Red over black droptop comes with just 88,000 miles on the clock and the assertion of its having been restored. What that means is not detailed in its ad, but I’m guessing it involved some repainting as there’s some apparent overspray in the engine compartment. I’d let that slide however since, otherwise the car looks to be in really nice condition. In fact I wold go so far as to quote The Fresh Prince in its description by saying Day-um.


Under that pretty, pretty facade lies a DOHC 2990-cc four that, from the factory, offered up 208 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of twist. No, it’s not a Turbo, but the car does rock the 944 Turbo’s nose and rear valance, which of course makes sense as Porsche has a long history of offering naturally aspirated cars with the ‘Turbo Look.’ Backing up the engine is a 5-speed transaxle, and connecting the two is a driveshaft encompassing torque tube.


The S2 was the first 944 to offer a cabriolet bodystyle. That was accomplished by shipping bodies off to an ASC factory in Weinsberg, Germany where the folding top, boot lid and various other elements necessary to make the car a melanoma magnet were added. This one appears to be in fine fettle, and makes the 944 one of those rare cabs that looks rakish both with the top up or down.


The interior presents as new too, with no appreciable wear apparent. It even rocks its ‘90s cassette/radio, which I think is a Grundig. On the outside, the paint is shiny, while the (996?) wheels appear reasonably free of curb rash.

I’d like to point out something else evident in the seller’s photos, and that is that he presents the car in what looks to be a backyard that could do double duty as a national park. That red Porsche against all that bucolic green looks amazing, and both car and setting make me seriously want to reevaluate my life decisions. Oh well.


The car comes with a clean title, no unwanted dash lights, and a tonneau for when the top is down. The seller offers a gallery of high-rez pics, including some underwear model shots, and a lengthy video that shows the car on the move.


If you’re thinking of a Porsche you may not think of a 944 Cabriolet first and foremost. This car proves that you might want change that mindset. Of course, that’s only if its asking isn’t crazy high, as Porsche prices have tended to be in recent years.


I guess will have to decide that ourselves. The seller asks $15,800 for the car, and to be honest, that amount would buy you a 996 drop top, perhaps with similar miles. Maybe resigned to be an automatic, but still a 911, albeit water-cooled.


Ignoring that option, what’s your take on this beautiful 944 and that price? Does that make this a Porsche for the proletariat? Or, is that too much to cast for so low a caste?

You decide!


Northern WI Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to Hampton for the hookup!

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About the author

Rob Emslie

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.