Poor Person’s Porsche

Poor Person’s Porsche

In the latest edition of the Good Oil we talked about some 1980s classic cars but the Porsche 944 didn’t come up. But one has come up at Turners Napier and it falls squarely into the affordable classic category. It may not be a 911 with a price tag to match but the 944 is no lightweight when it comes to 80s sports cars.

Porsche released the 944 in 1982 and it proved very successful. It had a 2.5l four cylinder engine fitted in the front (which was in fact half of a V8 from a 928) and a 5 speed gearbox mounted in the back for better weight distribution. It was pretty quick in its day with a 0-100 time under 9 seconds and a top speed of over 230kph. It’s rear wheel drive, handles brilliantly and time has been kind to its looks. It’s a pretty sharp looking car and the trippy chequered upholstery is the 1980s at its very best. Plus it sounds pretty good, too.

The reason for the “poor person’s Porsche” title is obvious. Everyone associates the famous name with the rear engine 911 but the very cheapest 1984 911 will likely cost 5 or 6 times more than this 944 and you’ll still have more money to spend on one in that price range. This 944 has an auction estimate of $4500 – $5500 which, frankly, wouldn’t buy you a half decent Mazda RX7. And here’s the thing – in 1984 this was a total yuppie mobile driven by money traders and record company execs with cocaine habits and dodgy haircuts, but today it looks quite restrained and classy. A useable everyday classic.

The auction for this NZ new 1980s icon of excess is this Wednesday at Turners Napier. 

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