Seriously fast 1986 Porsche 944 Turbo remains value priced

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The Porsche 944 Turbo has the high-output first-year engine

There is something about sports cars from the 1980s that I love. That’s partially due to the fact that I entered high school in 1981 and started my first real job in ’82 at a Porsche shop where I worked after school. That job also explains my affinity for Porsches.

The cars of this era were my cars, the new cars that I wanted to have in my own garage. They were to me both exciting and cool.

porscheThe car I found for the Pick of the Day covers both of my passions. It is a Porsche and an ’80s car: a 1986 Porsche 944 Turbo coupe advertised on ClassicCars.com by a dealer in Valley Stream, New York.

The naturally aspirated Porsche 944 is a terrific car, with great balance, good performance and much-better creature comforts than any 911 of that era. The 911s were faster, but Porsche increased the performance dramatically in the 944 Turbo, or 951 as it is known in Porsche geek code.

Overnight, the 944 Turbo had become a serious car. How serious? Well when it was released, Porsche actually created a problem for itself – the 944 turbo was actually a faster car than its halo car, the considerably more expensive 930 turbo, and would walk away from a 911 Carrera of the era.

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porscheThis was a bad situation and Porsche responded by detuning the 944 Turbo the following year to keep the 930 on top in Porsche road car performance.

This car is a first-year model with the higher-output engine, rated at 220 horsepower and 243 pound-feet of torque from the 2.5-liter inline-4. It is a well-preserved car and has covered just over 53,000 miles from new, according to the seller.

Finished in the stunning combination of Grand Prix White over a Cashmere leather and black interior, this would be the kind of 944 Turbo to buy as a collector car.

porscheThis example is nicely optioned with a sunroof, power driver’s seat, cruise control and white color-matched 16-inch Fuchs alloy wheels with colored center caps.

The car also includes an extensive ownership and service history, the seller notes, and looks to be original in every way.

These were stunningly fast cars for the era with 0-60 times in the low 5-second range and a top speed in excess of 150 mph. Combine that with great A/C, power windows that consistently work and a seriously comfortable cockpit, and you have a winner.

These cars in the past few years have seen a surge in value, just like the 911 SC and Carrera cars from the ’80s, but the market has calmed down a bit, which makes it a great time to buy one of them.

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The asking price of only $19,995 for this car looks like a real deal that is not likely to stick around for long.

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

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.

8 COMMENTS

  1. Oh, the 80s, that explains why you almost never have any really cool cars from the 60s and 70s or from the real muscle car era.

  2. I have fond memories of a day in the late 80’s that four couples got together to drive the wives to a crafty event in Atlantic City, NJ. Once the wives were dropped off, the gents stopped at a car dealer on Route 40 to check out some nice cars. We asked to test drive a 944 Turbo (my memory says it was a 1985 model, but I may be wrong), and 4 big guys piled in – very tight in the thing that passed for a back seat. I drove it first. Lots of turbo lag, but when it came into play the acceleration was stunning. Got on the Garden State Parkway and started zipping by other cars. I wasn’t even in top gear and was shocked to look at the speedo – read 155mph, felt like we were going 85. Don’t tell the police.
    I’ve driven quicker cars, but never that fast. What a hoot!

  3. FYI: That blue and red anodized bit at the inter-cooler pipe is a Lindsey Racing boost enhancer. Otherwise the engine looks stock.

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