When I got in the car, I had the key in hand but not in the ignition, and the battery light was on. Key in the ignition, turn it on, and the battery light went off. Crank up the car, and no battery light. The car started fine, light was out, all is good.
The third Monday of each month is Porsche Night at the ACE Cafe in downtown Orlando. For September there were a lot of nice cars there, and the 944 was well represented.
Acquiring 924S and 944 cars is a disease for which there is no known cure. We find parts cars, neglected cars and even good cars, but it seems that all of them have something that needs to be fixed or improved – thus the symptoms of the disease.
Nearly every early 944 has “The 944 Shudder.” When lifting off the throttle from any position, the revs drop below idle, and then the engine recovers.
So what’s that got to do with the surprising, unsettling, completely unprecedented mass deception event that is dieselgate? More than you might think.
“But I want to do all of it.”
This is where the 944 shines. This is why the 944 is the perfect enthusiast’s car.
On Saturday you can go to the PCA autocross, and embarrass a Boxster or two. Sunday morning, you can go to Cars and Coffee, and park your classic Porsche up front.
On Monday, you can drive your 944 to and from work, read some forums when you get home, and order that coil-over kit you’ve been looking at. Next weekend you’ll embarrass three Boxsters.
When – especially when – you want to do all of it, the 944 has you covered.
July 16 featured the front engine water cooled Porsches – 924, 944, 924S and 968. Owners and enthusiasts gathered at the Ace Cafe with their cars and filled the lot!
In the specifications page for the 944, the car was priced as tested at $21,000, comparable to the Corvette. Options included leather sport seats and a digital AM/FM Cassette radio. The engine showed 143 HP and 137 torques at 3,000 rpm – and the article mentions that with peak torque so low, you don’t have to push it to the redline.
One of the most common 944 sunroof failures occurs in the latches in the roof. The cable engages a nylon gear in each latch, spinning it and driving the latch up and down. When something goes wrong, this $10 gear is the failure point – nylon vs. metal.
For the 944, there were actually two engine designs on the table – a 3.5L V6, which was essentially a 928 engine with two cylinders missing, or an inline four cylinder, half of a 928 engine.
A few weeks ago we had a 944S come into the shop with a leaky hatch – not at the top, but the owner complained about exhaust smell into the cockpit.
The D-Production version of the 924 was a factory kit that made the 924 into an SCCA D-Production monster. Al Holbert, Doc Bundy and others campaigned these cars in the early 80’s at SCCA events all over the country.
Acknowledging that the 924 doesn’t get a lot of love from the Porsche purists, he also mentions that the early cars were not “especially powerful.”
Over 170 drivers and instructors registered to practice their skills at Sebring on the 3.74 mile seventeen-turn road course. Several 944’s showed up to navigate the same course that hosts the 12-hour IMSA race each March. The place bleeds motorsports history.
So in searching the internet for nuggets of 944 information, I stumble across forum posts where people talk about 1) the low power output of the 944 8v engine, 2) the desires to install forced induction and 3) the desire to dump their 944 Turbo due to high maintenance costs.
Among others, GT Racing has been making a kit of body parts that replicate the Carrera GT that was homologated and raced as a 924T (931) in the early 80’s. I had the opportunity to build one of these kits in 2001, using a 1988 924S as a base, and it turned out quite well.
Will our cars ever get to the classic level that the 930 or 89 911 Speedster has attained? Probably not, but if you browse the national auction sites, you will find that these cars are bringing higher and higher prices on the block.