HomePick of the DayAffordable low-mileage Porsche 924 in exceptional condition

Affordable low-mileage Porsche 924 in exceptional condition


Classic air-cooled Porsches have gotten expensive, with prices even for 914 4-cylinder modes reaching $20,000 and the entry level for a decent air-cooled 911 starting at $30,000. These values would be for good driver-level cars, not low-mileage, all-original examples, which go much higher.

There’s a less-expensive solution, though, in the front-engine transaxle cars of the 1970s-90s, the 924, 928 and 944 models. These cars are starting to gain appreciating among Porschephiles, but they still can be acquired for very reasonable money.

This is well-illustrated by the Pick of the Day, a 1980 Porsche 924 with low mileage and in apparently great condition, and offered for less than $12,000.

The 924 was bestowed with an enormous rear greenhouse

This 924 is the best example of one of these cars I have seen in recent years. It is a true one-owner, all-original car, with only 43,000 miles since new, according to the New Britain, Pennsylvania, dealer advertising the Porsche on ClassicCars.com. If you look at the pictures, you can see that the 924 is an amazing time capsule.

The 924 was Porsche’s first water-cooled, front-engine road car, and it was originally designed to be sold by both VW and Porsche, a flagship car for VW and an entry-level car for Porsche to replace the 914. VW ended up pulling out of the deal and the project was taken over solely as a Porsche model.

When the 924 was introduced in November 1975, it was criticized for low performance. Nonetheless, the 924 was a serious sales success with more than 150,000 built during its 1977-1988 production run. More importantly, it introduced a new generation of buyers to the Porsche brand.

The coupe still has its basket-weave wheels

On another positive note, there are few Porsches that are as inexpensive to maintain as a 924. Even changing the cam belt in a 924 is a one-hour DIY job that can be completed by anyone with a decent set of tools who can follow the very simple directions. If you want a Porsche car without the service expenses, the 924 is for you.

According to the seller, this 924 is “the 381st one built in the US production run of 3,700 in 1980 and is in outrageously fine condition. You can be proud to own it, and excited to drive it.” The Porsche includes “every book, service record, tool kit, spare, jack, tire compressor from new, even the window sticker,” the seller adds.

There are a number of other interesting things about this car. When it was delivered to the owner, he had the dealer replace the standard alloy wheels with a set of factory 924 Turbo-style wheels and a 924 Turbo rear spoiler. Not liking the car’s cloth interior, the owner also had the dealer replace that interior with a Porsche factory vinyl interior.

The interior attests to the Porsche’s low mileage

These changes are included in the documentation with the car. The seller still has the original wheels and even has a new-old-stock factory dash cowl, a part that is all but unobtainable today.

If this car were a basic 911 in this condition, with this kind of documentation and low miles, it would likely cost around $90,000 in today’s market. But the 924 is just starting to warm the hearts of Porsche collectors, and as a result, this immaculate car is offered for only $11,900.

If I were to buy this car, I would get it professionally detailed and try to take home a trophy at every Porsche show I attended. That would be after I drove it to Monterey, California, in August and parked it in the Porsche Corral at Laguna Seca.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

Andy Reid
Andy Reid
Andy Reid's first car, purchased at age 15, was a 1968 Fiat 124 coupe. His second, obtained by spending his college savings fund, was a 1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2. Since then, he has owned more than 150 cars—none of them normal or reasonable—as well as numerous classic motorcycles and scooters. A veteran of film, television, advertising and helping to launch a few Internet-based companies, Reid was a columnist for Classic Motorsports magazine for 12 years and has written for several other publications. He is considered an expert in European sports and luxury cars and is a respected concours judge. He lives in Canton, Connecticut.


  1. Drove one in the mid ’80’s, when they were new and I had a very snaky aftermarket 2.0 914.
    Brilliant car, much more useful than the 914; but not nearly as fun or engaging; remember, in the cocaine days, Ms Christina "drives a 944"- same-o same-o. A Pseudo-Porsche to build revenue, ala "Cayenne", "Macan", "Panamera" blah blah blah.
    Certainly, those who wish the cachet of the name, and the engineering, well, yeah. Do a 924/944. Ya want real, spring for a 924 turbo or 944S, then wish for a beat-up, "Big Chill" era 911. Um, early (’60’s) 911s are going for 30+ times what they sold for… 924/944s? Not so much.
    Cute. Well found. But not what one wants in a classic Porsche; witness the values and actual sale prices.
    Also, these things are NOT cheap to maintain, Porsche doesn’t recognize popularity or sales figures or base price when they set parts&labor. Get it serviced properly, oh, you will pay. Screw that timing belt- price a clutch/flywheel job, or electrical issues, or say, a power window motor. Or God forbid, transaxle failure. No. No. No. This is only a "good deal" because of the initial buy-in. Don’t. Unless you love it, don’t.
    Oh- my 914? VW bus tranny/motor, simple as a go-cart, 25 minutes to drop motor/tranny, separate, pull flywheel & change clutch. No electronics, carbs + points, 8th graders could work on it and it never failed to start, even in the winter when it sat outside for days on end while I was in class. It routinely would run 500+rpm over redline (I was young and I flogged it mercilessly), and even given the cable shifter mechanism, it was next to impossible to miss shifts. The window cranks felt a bit cheap, and the plastic top always leaked at speed and let all the meager "heat" (Heat!? Hahahaha!) out.
    But. It was a real mid-engined Porsche, built for people who drive the, ahem, bejesus out of their products. I wish wish wish I still had it (it was "Saturn Yellow" over black). Oh, and the glorious noise it made- Jap/Korean s***boxes with ginormous cans for exhaust? Really? Yon 914 spun up on the factory pipe sounded like a poorly muffled Subaru WRX… decades before that car existed; except that with an air-cooled motor ya hear the cam, combustion events, cam chain, and every other lil bit of noise it makes. Magazines say "growly". No, it had no sound deadening, no finesse, not a bit of discretion. Crude, abrupt and sometimes ill-handling (in the snow or wet it was a double-handed handful) it was, in a word, engaging.
    Isn’t that why ya buy a sports car? And why buy a Porsche that’s the antithesis of their philosophy?
    Can’t support this; ya, Porsche, ‘n’ all, but cocaine ’80’s Porsches just aren’t. Drop the cash on a good 914 or beat up 911, it isn’t a decision that will be regretted.


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