Getting into a Porsche can either mean big bucks or big headaches. Occasionally a car like today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe 944 comes along that presents itself as neither of those extremes. What we need to know, however, is whether it’s a good deal.
Being pretty can overcome a plethora of other deficiencies. Take for example yesterday’s 1984 Isuzu Impulse. For all intents and purposes that car was little more than a fancy Chevette with a lackluster ‘80s drivetrain. Countering those detriments, however, was the fact that it was also a very pretty car, featuring literally show car styling. The attractive body and satisfyingly tidy condition outweighed the mundane mechanicals and with a $3,950 asking price, the Impulse pulsed its way to a 60 percent Nice Price win.
I noted in yesterday’s Isuzu post that the seller was also offering a Porsche 914 up for sale. That one asked $18,000 which at the moment is high-end for the four-cylinder cars. Regardless, it must have gone for close to that since the ad has since been pulled.
The thing of it is, 914s, even really nice ones, once were really dirt cheap. You could pick one up for three or four grand and call yourself a Porsche owner. Nowadays, getting a Porsche crest on your keyfob can mean a much more onerous financial outlay. Even the less desirable models—the V6 Cayenne, base Boxsters, etc.—demand more than just beer money. What is an aspirational Porsche owner of limited means to do?
Well, thankfully there are still a few 944s lying around that many consider to be less venerated icons and more just sports cars of a certain age. This is one place where the Porsche value model lies.
This 1985 Porsche 944 is one of those oldsters. With 190,000 miles on the clock, it’s also been around the block more than a few times. Think about that— this is a sports car with nearly 200K and it’s still seemingly in the game. That’s one reason why Porsche prices are keeping the beat and keeping it strong.
You’ve no doubt heard the phrase, “good from far, but far from good.” This 944 seems to exemplify that to a certain extent. It presents very well in the long-shots but shows evidence of its age when you get down and dirty. The Alpine White paint is solid overall but shows chipping around the door jams and under the bumper. The body-colored Fuchs likewise exhibit wear along with grungy lugs and locks.
The linen interior comes across as serviceable, although the seats could stand to be recovered due to some tears. On a positive note, the dash is un-cracked and aside from a broken console, it all seems to be in working order in here.
This is a late ’85 car, as evidenced by the 911-esque dashboard. Along with that change, these cars have substantial suspension upgrades over their earlier 924-based brethren. That makes them handle better but also a lot more pricey when things down below wear out.
Power is provided by a 143 horsepower 2.5-litre SOHC four—essentially half the 928’s V8. A torque tube is bolted to the back of that and carries the driveshaft to a rear-mounted five-speed transaxle. The seller says the shifter is sloppy but claims this to be endemic to the model.
In the plus column, the ad notes the timing belt and water pump were replaced within the last 30K and a full top end was undertaken by a pro shop at 112K. An aftermarket exhaust is paired with the mill and is said to give it a nice sound.
History is important when buying a used car, and this 944 comes with almost all its papers. That includes maintenance records, the full manuals, and even the Monroney sticker which shows it can get decent mileage and that the original MSRP was a little over twenty-six grand.
The asking now is $5,500 and it’s incumbent upon you to decide how much of an E-ticket that is for this classic Porsche ride. What do you think, could this clean-title 944 ask that much in its current worn-in but not worn-out condition? Or, is that still too high a Porsche tax for so old a car?
H/T to David L. for the hookup!
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