1990 PORSCHE 944 Turbo

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1990 PORSCHE 944 Turbo

Background

Back in the ‘80s, Porsche was making valiant efforts to move away from the rear engine set up in the 911. Their first attempt was the rather half-hearted 924, not a performance star, at least in its early incarnations.

1982 saw the launch of the better proportioned 944, a car designed to bridge the gap between the 924 and the 911 SC.

Like the 924, it featured a front mounted engine in various guises which sent power to the Audi derived rear transaxle for perfect weight distribution. As such, the 944 became famous for its top flight handling.

Power came from a 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine, eerily smooth thanks to its rotating balancer shafts, but not the last word in performance. By 1986, you could have your 944 with a dose of turbocharging which improved matters somewhat. These cars were the most desirable of all.

Reviewers in the day raved that this thoroughbred Porsche was easy to drive around town, yet had agile overtaking and cruising ability, combined with interior refinement. A new five-speed gearbox gave the model long legs for easy cruising. A three-speed automatic was also available but rarely chosen.

The 944 inherited the 924’s versatility. The opening tailgate brought unheard of practicality to owning a Porsche. The rear seats folded flat, making the 944 the ideal car for holiday touring without the need to stint on luggage.

Porsche sold both coupe and convertible models, the soft top a rare beast. The range was laid to rest in 1991, with total sales of around 163,000 cars. What followed was the evolutionary 968, but that’s another story.

The Vehicle

We are delighted to be offering for sale a mighty fine example of the 944, a 1990 Turbo no less. Our seller, a confirmed petrol head from an early age, was lucky enough to own a 944 aged just 19. Not bad when most were running around in bargain basement old bangers.

Fast forward a number of years and the opportunity presented itself to once again become a 944 owner. Once our seller Adrian had viewed the car, a deal was quickly done, and four years of turbocharged loveliness lay ahead.

Being a perfectionist, much work has been done to the car over the ownership period and there would seem little left for a new owner to do other than have some fun and make motoring memories.

Dry stored when not in use, the 944 is being sold along with Adrian’s other collector cars in order to fund his next purchase, a 911. You see, Porsche ownership gets under the skin and once you’ve been bitten..

On the Outside

Resplendent in ‘Panther Black’, could there be a better colour to show off the 944’s graceful lines?

One of Adrian’s good friends owns a long-established bodyshop and he took full advantage of their skills. The sills were replaced, the MoT test having picked up some signs of corrosion. Whilst the work was being done, all small cosmetic issues were addressed and the car properly detailed.

What we now have is a car that is in remarkable condition considering it is 32 years young. Yes, you will spot a few marks here and there, such as on the front edge of the passenger door, but overall, it’s a looker without a doubt.

The five-spoke alloy wheels look oh so smart and each is fitted with a premium Bridgestone Potenza tyre. We are of the opinion that care taken with tyre choice is usually a good indication of fastidious classic car ownership.

The observant will have noticed that this 944 does not come with the factory sunroof. Wind in the hair motoring might be missing but as they are notoriously leaky, we think the car is better without.

On the Inside

Contrasting rather nicely with the exterior hue is the linen leather interior. Up front, the sports seats really are as comfortable as they look, with support in all the right places.

The driver’s seat shows some signs of a life well lived, with some wear to the offside bolster and some cracking to the base. A good trimmer should be able to restore if these things matter. The passenger seat is in much better condition.

Being a practical Porsche, there are of course a couple of rear seats. Children will fit, and probably enjoy the experience. They are easy to fold flat to increase the capacity of the luggage compartment. The latter, accessed by the lift-up glass hatch, is surprisingly commodious making the 944 an ideal car for long weekends away.

The boot carpet shows some signs of wear but is quite clean and tidy. The space-saver spare is present and correct along with the car’s tool kit. And you will spy the Bosch battery, fitted just last year.

We are told that everything works as one would expect and climbing behind the wheel is an absolute delight. You sit low, legs outstretched, and once that powerful engine fires up, a quick flick into first with the stubby lever and you are ready for an exciting drive.

Underneath

It is easy to get carried away with a shiny car, but it’s the hidden bits that should draw one’s attention. That is why we always include plenty of photographs of a car’s underside. So, pause and while and take in this 944’s tidy underbelly.

When Adrian had the sills done, the car was properly cleaned and undersealed. Since then, little use and careful storage have helped preserve the good condition.

It should come as no surprise to find that the engine bay is extremely clean and presentable. The 944 has a detailed history and has been properly maintained by a series of enthusiast owners.

Adrian reports that the car drives really well, pulling strongly through the gears. And this is a fast car, even by today’s standards. In its day, road testers reported a 0-60mph sprint time of around six seconds and should you find yourself on a deserted runway, or derestricted autobahn, 150mph should be achievable.

History Highlights

Accompanying the 944, and viewable in our picture gallery, is a vast array of paperwork which we always like to see. Old MoT certificates help corroborate the car’s mileage.

The latest test, carried out earlier this month, was passed with just an advisory for cracks in the tyre tread. Overly keen in our opinion, as these premium tyres are relatively new and have covered few miles. With some regular use, Adrian reckons these cracks will disappear.

The 2021 MoT test was passed with no advisories, and we can see just 21 miles covered between tests.

So, what work has been done to this piece of German turbocharged loveliness? We note that in 2013 the cam and balance belts were replaced along with the balance roller and tensioner. A new alternator was fitted too.

Fast forward to our seller’s ownership and in August 2018 the suspension received a makeover with Spax coilovers fitted. The same month a new water pump was installed and as well as front and rear discs and pads.

In 2019, the bodywork issues were addressed, with work to the sills, jacking points etc being done. An invoice for £2,337.88 is included detailing the work.

A year later an air conditioning re-gas took place and the tracking checked.

A new Bosch battery last year rounds out the significant recent work, but if you choose to inspect the car in person, our knowledgeable seller will be able to give you chapter and verse.

What We Think

We think the Porsche 944 may well be the sweet spot of the classic car world. It is old enough to be granted classic status, yet still feels modern to drive and is simple enough to repair should the need arise.

Subject to a great amount of expense over the last decade, all that remains is for the car’s next owner is to tax and insure it and have fun.

The 944 is undoubtedly one of the great driver’s cars from Porsche and offers much more predictable handling than 911s of the same ilk. Oh, and prices are far more affordable than 911s too, though for how much longer we wonder. Surely now is the time to buy.

We estimate that the car will sell for between £15,000 and £20,000.

Viewing is always encouraged, and this particular car is located with us the seller. To arrange an appointment please use the Contact Seller button at the top of the listing. Feel free to ask any questions or make observations in the comments section below, or try our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.

Bidders MUST ensure they are aware of the registration situation of a car in auction, and whether it will be possible to export/register a vehicle in their country BEFORE they bid.

All vehicles MUST BE COLLECTED WITHIN 7-DAYS of the auction end. Storage fees of £180 + VAT apply (per week) thereafter without exception.

If needed, Footman James classic car insurance and Classic Concierge offer storage can offer you options, plus we have a list of contacts who can help with transport and shipping both domestic and international.  

BORING, but IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst we at The Market always aim to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings available, we cannot claim they are perfect analyses of any of the vehicles for sale. We offer far greater opportunity for bidders to view, or arrange inspections for each vehicle thoroughly prior to bidding than traditional auctions, and we always encourage bidders to take advantage of this. We do take a good look at those vehicles which are delivered to our premises for sale, but this only results in our unbiased personal observations, not those of a qualified inspector or other professional, or the result of a long test drive.

Also, localised paint repairs are common with collectable and classic cars and if they have been professionally carried out then they may be impossible to detect, even if we see the car in person. So, unless we state otherwise, please assume that any vehicle could have had remedial bodywork at some point in its life.

Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using basic cameras which often result in 'average' sound quality; in particular, engines and exhausts notes can sound a little different to how they are in reality.

Please note that this is sold as seen (Caveat Emptor) and that, as is normal for used goods bought at auction, a return policy does not apply. See our FAQs for more info, and feel free to inspect any vehicle as much as you wish.

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Seller

adrian davey

  • Location: Lechlade, United Kingdom
  • Seller Type: Private
  • Odometer Reading: 121411
  • Chassis Number: WP0ZZZ95ZLN100334
  • Engine: 2479
  • Gearbox: Manual
  • Steering position: Right-hand drive
  • Colour: Panther Black
  • Interior: Linen Leather
  • Estimated Price: £15,000 - £20,000

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