Porsche's 924 has an interesting history of abandonment and rebirth. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Turbo had its recent history documented in receipts, but will its price make you abandon it before it can be reborn in your driveway?
Yesterday's cross-dressing Korean may have fooled some people. Helen Keller might have been duped, Joe Bonham, from Johnny Got His Gun - he could have been snookered. Of course, none of you were fooled by that freaky STI-homage Accent, and in fact that Car with a Dragon Tattoo fell to a crushing 91% Crack Pipe defeat. Not only that but a lot of you also wanted to send the car to the crusher too!
Hopefully today's Porsche 924 Turbo will fare better. The seller goes into great detail about all the replaced and upgraded parts that have gone into this mystery mileage Turbo, but leaves out the one piece of critical info that might help potential buyers with their decision - the model year. As the Hyundai yesterday also neglected to note the year, perhaps this is some new Craigslist trend or something.
But back to the car, and back to the seventies! During the time when Nixon was still wandering the beaches in black socks and wingtips VW commissioned Porsche to engineer a new coupe for Audi, using a number of off the shelf Vee-Dub parts for reasons of economy. When the gas prices and the Dollar/Mark exchange rate both became unfavorable, VW dropped the project like a hot schnitzel, selling the work in progress back to Porsche, who at the time needed a replacement for their 914. The resultant 924 still had an Audi 2-litre engine as well as a 4-speed gearbox from the former Auto Union company. The transmission rode in the back for better weight distribution, and sent power though a VW transaxle to the rear wheels.
The 924 looked good, and handled well, but its modest performance left a wide gap in the lineup between it and the 911SC. Filling that gap was the 924 Turbo, its performance more closely attuned to the 911 than its little brother. Much of the VW bits were discarded on the Turbo in preference of more robust Porsche parts. The Audi gearbox was replaced with the dogleg G31 unit. That transmission shared internal parts with the 928's box, making both strong and expensive. Additionally, the rear drum brakes became discs while the suspension benefitted from the upgrades of the non-turbo S model. Underhood, the 2.0 was still an Audi block, but the Turbo received a bespoke head that was hand-built by Porsche and ran an 8:1 compression ratio.
This car has had that engine rebuilt and benefits from and air to air intercooler to lower temps and boost power. While the factory quote for the turbo was 177-bhp, the seller of this MegaSquirt-equipped 931 estimates 250 at the flywheel. A lot has changed in the world since this 924 was new, and as part of its renewal the builder has updated most of the mechanicals including distributor-less ignition and an ECU. The tranny has also seen a rebuild and gets a short-shift kit. Inside, he's replaced pretty much everything with parts out of later versions of the 924, the result of which is that it looks clean but still could use some work. The exterior has not been excluded from this orgy of the new, appearing rust-free and having received a recent respray in a forest green so deep Hansel and Gretel could get lost in it. There's also new seals for the hatch and sunroof, so hopefully they won't leak like these things typically do.
I said earlier that this car had mystery miles because, along with the year, the mileage is unknown. The seller says the odo was rolled back when the motor was rebuilt, about 10K ago, and so it's impossible to tell just how many miles are really under its tires.
That, along with the "Issues" that are noted in the ad, calls into question the $4,999 asking price. Sure, the seller says he's spent seventeen grand on the car in the past two years, and he has the receipts to prove it, but when he also says things like the flywheel was incorrectly mounted or electrical problems with the ground you start to wonder just what gremlins this thing comes with.
And now it's time for you to change that wonder into action as we need to decide about the value proposition this Porsche and its price present. What's your take, is $4,999 a fair price for the sum of these parts? Or, does that price mean you won't be adding to the seller receipts?
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