1985 Porsche 944 2.5L 4 cylinder from North America
The best sports GT car that doesn't cost a fortune
Air conditioning blew out three weeks after purchase, but I never fixed it because of the high cost of air conditioning work in general---on any car.
Cruise control died after one successful use---haven't bothered to fix that, either.
Odometer was broken at purchase.
Auxiliary air regulator was broken at purchase, but the problem was disguised.
Rear hatch leaks water because of failed window-frame seal. The only definitive solution is to buy a new hatchback door, at a cost of $2500.
Water pump and timing belts have been replaced.
Oil cooler has been repaired, so it no longer allows oil into the cooling water.
Other basic light maintenance has been performed.
Owning this car is the realization of a boyhood fantasy. I wanted one desperately back in 1985; of course at that time, I was fifteen and it cost $25,000, so getting one was unlikely.
When I bought this car, I didn't know many technical things about Porsches. I sure do now! This car will change you into one of two things: a sometime mechanic's advisor and car restoration expert, or the proud owner of a piece of junk. In other words, tender love and care is a must here. A 17-year old car is bound for the junkyard soon without some serious investment of time and money, and did I mention money? And that's not all---this car is plagued by a variety of quirks and difficulties that are fairly routine and not particularly stressful as long as you know what they are. Mechanics you will hire will frequently not know all these things, so you are their best guide. I digested pounds of literature on this car in the first few months I owned it, and I still read everything I can get in an effort to keep up with its inevitable deterioration.
1. Handling is incredible, named best-handling car of 1985 by Car and Driver magazine.
2. At 144 net horsepower, don't expect to win any drag races against Mustangs. On the other hand, the application of power to the rear wheels is excellent, smooth, and enough to burn rubber as much as your heart and wallet desire.
3. Looks very appealing. This car has the original 944 body style from 1983, and in my opinion it is the best of all.
4. 0-60 mph in 7.4 seconds, as long as you slip the clutch on launch.
5. Parts are always available---and I do mean any part. I have bought parts as mundane as aftermarket performance shocks, and as rare as those little rubber gaskets between the outside door handles and the body. I have always been able to get any part within a day or so. Try getting a door handle gasket for a 1985 Corvette sometime, and you'll see this is significant.
1. Leak-prone rear hatch is a source of consternation too many owners. Many times it simply cannot be repaired, because Porsche permanently mounted the window in the liftgate door. It cannot be removed and resealed by a glass shop in the normal manner; instead a new door must be purchased from the dealer.
2. Chicago dealers extremely rare, only two in the city limits, and those barely. Plus, they charge $120/hour labor, and the parts people who work there are mentally challenged. I avoid having the car serviced there, so I don't know much about competence.
3. Dashboard is extremely chintzy; all the old ones including mine are cracked like a dry lake bed by now.
4. My wife and I argue about the high cost of ownership.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 31st May, 2002
I've had problems with glass separation on my hatch in the past. Recently my mechanic found a 924 hatch in good condition for about 200 bucks and put it on. Its got a smaller rubber spoiler, but it seems to have less flex in the glass, and there is no separation for rain to leak through.