I have been really proud of a 1987 924S that I bought as a salvage title car, documented in one of the first articles for 924S944.com – Insurance Company Junk. This was a two-owner 924S with only 44K on the clock, but after an engine compartment fire caused by a knacky repair on the high-pressure fuel line, the insurance company totaled it. I rescued it from the crusher, nursed it back to health and sold it to one of the more prominent members of the Florida Citrus Region Porsche Club of America.
The minute that the deal was sealed, I knew that I had made a grave error. This was one of the nicest 924S cars I had ever seen, and I was short-sighted enough to trade it away for money. If you haven’t noticed, I really love the narrow-body 924S, having owned many of them. Even with the “REBUILT” scar on the title, it was still a great little car. It’s white with a linen interior, although the person who decided that white carpets in a car was a good idea needs to be killed. Several times.
That was the summer of 2016.
I told the owner that if he ever wanted to sell it, to please give me “first right of refusal.” So a few weeks ago, he decided to sell it, and I was first in line.
It’s back, with my personalized Florida tag on the back – JUSAT0Y. That is the tag that I got for my first Porsche 924, a 1978, around 1982, and it has been on every cool car that I have owned since. And a few that have not been so cool. But the tag is on the “white car” back at my house, where it belongs.
In two years, the owner only put two thousand miles on it, so the odometer is now showing just over 46,000 miles (and yes, it works!) It now sports D-90 wheels – 7×16 front and 8×16 rear, nicely tucked under the fenders. (The 16″ wheels with 205/55 and 225/50 tires make the car ride and handle much nicer than the standard 15×6″/205/60 wheels and tires, and the D-90’s with 52 front/55 rear offset work great on these cars.)
I got the car back just in time to bring it to the the Porsche Night at the Ace Cafe in Orlando on July 16. The hosts, Cycle Fever TV, did interviews with me, Jennifer and Greg Barrows and three Porsche 944 racing icons (champions). In the background – you guessed it, the rescued junk 924S!
I got a lot of nice comments on the car that night at the Ace, but today something completely unexpected happened in downtown DeLand. I parked the car on the side of Woodland Boulevard in the middle of downtown, parallel parked in a designated on-street parking place, I’ll have you know. As I got out of the car, a guy rushed out of the coffee shop where I was parked, all excited about seeing such a great looking 924S. (I thought that I was the only wacko like me in the world. Apparently someone left the door unlocked at the home.) We talked for a minute or so, then some nice fellows in lab coats came and took him away. It was really nice, though, to have the car randomly singled out like that.
So, the “white car” is back, and I am happy about it. It will live in my garage, but I will use it – I never wanted it to be a garage queen, and it needs to get used to being driven.
Elliot Grafton posted a photo today on Facebook of a red 944 that he grabbed – it was his first car when he was 16 years old. It has been sitting and deteriorating since 2010, but he now has it back, and he says that he will bring it back to it’s former glory. These cars seem to grind a hole in our individual psyches, becoming part of our souls.
I sure would like to find my first Porsche, the copper-colored ’78 924, but after 250,000 miles, I think it has probably kept an appointment with the crusher. I just hope that it wasn’t turned into a Toyota…or a Kia…
Kevin Duffy is an Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at Daytona State College in Florida and a dedicated car guy. He divides his time between teaching criminal justice topics in the online environment and working on/driving cars, particularly Porsches. Kevin is one of the principals in InspiringLifeOver50.com.