1991 Porsche 944 Turbo

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1991 Porsche 944 Turbo

Background

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The Porsche 944 was introduced in 1982. Based on the existing Porsche 924 chassis, they became famous for their handling, rather than the performance they offered; while the 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine of the early cars was an eerily smooth engine for an inline four thanks to the innovative use of two counter-rotating balance shafts, no-one ever got out of one - not even the turbocharged version that hit the roads in 1986 - raving about the in-gear acceleration or top speed. This is hardly surprising, as the early normally aspirated cars could only muster around 143bhp, and while the first turbocharged cars could summon up 217bhp, even this was a relatively modest boost albeit one that enabled the more powerful car to hit 60mph in 5.9 seconds.

Which was a shame, because the 944 is still a top-flight sports car with handling that still holds its own, even now; with near-perfect 50:50 weight distribution thanks to its front-engine, rear-transaxle layout, it garnered praise from press and owners alike - even if everyone agreed that the chassis was easily capable of handling more power.

Porsche, sensitive to criticism and with more than half-a-mind on the bottom line, introduced the 247bhp Turbo in 1988, shortly followed by the Series 2 in 1989. The later, normally aspirated cars, were fitted with the 944 Turbo’s rounded nose, rear valance and braking system.

But the S2 was far more than a pretty face and bum because the 944 finally got the power it deserved thanks to a 209bhp 16-valve, 3-litre engine. With 207lb/ft of torque on tap, its performance now matched its looks and handling: sixty miles-per-hour could now be reached in around six seconds and the top speed rose to a genuine 150mph.

And the stats for the 944 Turbo are even more impressive. With a top speed of 162mph, it can hit 60mph in 5.5 seconds on its way to a quarter-mile time of 13.9 seconds and 101mph: it has metamorphosed into Kylie, with Venus Williams’ legs and lungs.

Available as both a coupe and a convertible, the range died in 1991 after selling around 163,000 cars in total. This made it, at the time, the most successful model Porsche had ever made, paving the way for the simply brilliant, but strictly evolutionary, Porsche 968.

The Vehicle

We are delighted to be able to offer you one of the finest driver’s cars ever built, the legendary Porsche 944 Turbo. Still renowned as one of the best-handling cars of all time, it benefits from a recently rebuilt turbocharger and gearbox along with one of the most comprehensively documented service histories of any car we’ve seen.

Wonderfully preserved, the Porsche 944 Turbo is fighting fit despite having just over 150,000 miles under its belt; the owner spent a long time looking for the right car before finding this one and it drives, he tells us, far better than most of the more expensive, lower mileage examples he saw. And having tested it, we can believe that.

Bought from a fastidious member of the Porsche Club, this is a 944 for the enthusiast who is looking for a car to drive rather than just show. It’s also the model everyone wants with 250bhp and the rare bridge spoiler – and being a higher mileage example it is being offered with a very sensible reserve and an almost ridiculously low guide price...

On the Outside

The Black Panther Metallic paintwork has been lightly refreshed only recently. The work included having the bonnet resprayed at 148,879 miles, along with the door mirrors and headlight covers. The work has been very done, and blends in with the older paintwork well. This, along with a recent paintwork correction polish, has left the car looking magnificent.

It also presents very well with an attractive sparkle to the finish that most older black cars lack. The owner tells us that it also benefits from a Waxoyl treatment, something we have no cause to doubt given its condition.

A candid chap who is keen to present his car absolutely honestly, he’s disclosed the following faults: there is a small paint blister on the nearside sill the size of a 5p, and an even smaller blister on the driver’s side sill. We would also add that there are a few touched-in stonechips and marks here and there plus a couple of light scratches to the front nearside wing and a scuff to the nearside front corner of the bumper; please see the photos for details.

The sunroof opens and closes easily, and seals tightly against the elements. There is a sleeve for it in the boot, allowing it to be removed and stored away safely when the weather allows.

The alloy wheels are the rare 16-inch Clubsport forged alloys. As you can see from the photos, they are in a very good condition and are fitted with the correct Bridgestone S-O2 tyres. The latter were only fitted 4,500 miles ago, so still have plenty of tread.

As we will never tyre of explaining, our experience shows that matching high-quality tyres are an infallible sign of a caring and mechanically sympathetic owner who is prepared to spend the appropriate amount in maintaining their car properly. Their presence does not, of course, preclude the need for a thorough inspection - something the vendor would welcome, by the way – but do give you a shortcut into their attitude towards maintenance.

Optional extras that were fitted to the car from new include headlamp washers, and a headlamp levelling system. Oh, and the headlamps rise and fall as they should, something that isn’t always a given.

On the Inside

The 944 is fitted with Linen leather sports seats with electric height adjustment in the front. They’re in fine fettle and still firm and supportive, and while the driver’s seat is starting to show its age in a couple of places, as the owner himself points out, getting it recovered is the sort of thing you think you’re going to do but then you realise that it’s only a minor cosmetic problem so you end up leaving it alone and chalking it up to patina.

The rear seats are, as anyone who has ever tried to use them will be able to predict, almost like new and look to be pretty much unused.

The rest of the interior is wonderfully simple in design and has weathered the years very well. This means that the carpets, door cards, headlining, and dashboard are all exactly as you’d expect; lightly worn, but still much better than you’ve got any right to expect from a car that is three decades old. Porsche used to have a reputation for building nigh-on indestructible cars, and it is examples like this that show that that was no idle boast.

Aside from the driver’s seat, the only problems we can see are a missing decal from the top of the gearknob, and a misaligned hazard warning switch.

The immobiliser has been recently replaced by the folk at Porsche Torque with a Viper 480XV, and the windows and mirrors all work as they should. Unfortunately, as is usual, the digital clock doesn’t work.

The boot is very clean and well presented. It is also home to the original toolkit, the lightweight aluminium space saver tyre, the lightweight aluminium jack, and the sunroof cover. Even the rollaway luggage cover is present and correct, and the metal floor of the boot is rock solid with no signs of rust or corrosion whatsoever.

The only other problem we have been made aware of is the air-conditioning, the vendor reports that it is working, but does take a while to 'get going'. It might just need re-gassing but then again it might be something else entirely. Still, with hardly anything else that needs fixing and a very good Haynes manual available on the subject, it’ll give you the excuse to spend some time in the garage away from the family, eh? #lockdownblues

Underneath

Fitted with a 40% locking rear differential and anti-lock brakes to help the driver make the most of that perfectly balanced chassis and turbocharged engine, the Porsche settles into a steady tickover after starting promptly. As you can hear in the video, it sounds rather good too and the four-cylinder engine is way smoother than it has any right to be.

Our test drive revealed that the turbocharger kicks in when it should, and the 944 is still capable of showing a clean pair of heels to more modern, and far more expensive, machinery. The owner bought it on the condition that Porsche Torque, the well-known London independent specialists, gave it a clean bill of health. They did.

That they did is partly a corollary of all the recent work it has had done to it, work that includes a new flywheel and clutch, brake discs and pads on all four corners, and a set of tyres, all fitted just under 6,000 miles ago.

The AOR gearbox was also both refurbished around 4,000 miles ago at a cost of almost £5,000. The cambelts and tensioners were changed at the same time.

The car’s owner(s) both past and present have lavished a huge amount of time and money on their beloved Porsche over the years: please see the typed summary of the work that has been carried out on it since it was new; its compilation was a real labour of love and that it has been done goes to the very heart of its RAF-style constant maintenance, an almost obsessive attitude that has reaped dividends in maintaining the car’s reliability and performance even after all this time.

History Highlights

The Porsche’s MOT expires in January 2021 and was gained without incurring a single advisory point, something it’s been doing year-on-year since 2015. This means that the online MOT history shows nothing of concern whatsoever and corroborates the car’s mileage.

There are also a large number of expired MOT certificates that confirm the gradual and consistent accrual of its recorded mileage.

The car comes with an unimpeachable provenance consisting of a well stamped service history booklet, a thick sheaf of invoices and bills as well as a comprehensive eight-page summary of the servicing and maintenance it has received over the years. In all, there are 80 photographs of service and history documents, many of which are doubled or tripled up on a page, so pour yourself a (large) drink and prepare to spend some time going through them. We haven’t totted them all up but the owner tells us that it all comes to around £29,000…

It also comes with a Certificate of Authenticity from Porsche confirming its original build specification, two keys and alarm fobs, and the original owner’s handbook.

Please visit the documents section of the gallery of this listing where you will find photos of this and other paperwork to support our claim that this car has been maintained in recent years to the very highest standard.

If you’d like to inspect the car prior to placing a bid – something we would encourage – then please use the Contact Seller button to arrange an appointment.

NB. We know that many of you will be limiting your social exposure over the coming days and weeks, so if you’d rather not come to see the car in person, please give us a call and we can shoot a personal video of the car honing in on any areas you’d like us to concentrate on.

Or, even better, why not contact us with your mobile number and we can set up a WhatsApp video call? You get to direct us in real-time, giving you a virtual personal viewing experience while maintaining the lockdown. We like to call it ‘The Market’s 2020 Vision’…

What We Think

Many think that cars like the Porsche 944 Turbo are the sweet spot of the classic car world; old enough to be largely analogue in their response and repairability, but new enough to benefit from the sort of reliability and safety features like anti-lock brakes we’ve all come to take for granted.

And this is a cracking example of the breed. Cheap because of its relatively high mileage, but so well maintained and serviced that you could take it across Europe without giving it a second thought.

Ah, we hear you ask: but how cheap? Well, at a time when the very best Porsche 944 Turbos are still going for in excess of £30,000 we think this one will sell for between £12,000 and £18,000. In the car world that is known as having your cake and eating it.

Viewing is always encouraged, and this particular car is located with us at The Market HQ near Abingdon; 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’.

If needed, please remember we have a network of trusted suppliers we work with regularly and can recommend: Classic & Sportscar Finance for purchase-financing, Footman James for classic car insurance Thames Valley Car Storage for storing your car and AnyVan for transporting it.

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 never stop encouraging bidders to take advantage of this. We do take a good look at the vehicles 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.

Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using simple 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 and that, as is normal for used goods bought at auction, the Sale of Goods Act 1979 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

benjaminchapman

  • Location: Abingdon
  • Seller Type: Private
  • Odometer Reading: 151k
  • Engine: 2.5
  • Gearbox: Manual
  • Colour: Black Panther Metallic
  • Interior: Leather, Linen colour

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