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Restoring the Written-Off Porsche 924-Part 2

Project Write-Off Part 2 Published: 1st Jun 2011 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Restoring the Written-Off Porsche 924-Part 2 The finished job. Not bad for just over £600 you have to agree plus the 924 makes a fine modern semi classic that you can use everyday; that boring VW parentage paying off!
Restoring the Written-Off Porsche 924-Part 2 As bought - the car looked sad but solid and drove home under its own power, which is always a good sign
Restoring the Written-Off Porsche 924-Part 2 Interior was always in excellent order
Restoring the Written-Off Porsche 924-Part 2 Valance repairs were easy but paint stains may mean respray
Restoring the Written-Off Porsche 924-Part 2 MOT threw up no nasties apart from wearing front discs - meaning that basically the car was very sound
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In the last part of the series, we count the costs of putting our pranged Porsche back on the road and wonder if it was actually worthwhile

At the start of the year we bought a written-off classic and brought it back to rude health. Our reasoning was that if you are going to restore a car, then is there any difference replacing a mangled piece of metal over a rotted out one? Since then the car has been repaired properly but cost effectively and we now have a very presentable and prestigious classic back on the road for just £600, which was our target figure. Believe us - if we can do it then so can any competent enthusiast, but was it really worth all the work in the end?

Buyer beware

We both struck lucky and unlucky by choosing a Porsche 924 as our project car; the former because they are such great value right now - the latter because their cheapness means that it’s easy to pay over the odds on repairs when complete undamaged examples are freely available and pretty cheap, so saving you the time and the hassle for just a few quid more. Fortunately repairs on our car amounted to no more than straightening out the front apron. To be quite honest, any more involved repairs would have been uneconomic to carry out due to the car’s real world value. Even now a faint milky stain on some panels refuses to completely disappear and it looks as though a respray will be on the cards if we want to make the car really good looking rather than simply being highly presentable. One of the biggest fears of buying a writeoff is officialdom, but this actually turned out to be the easiest job to deal with. The VIC (Vehicle Identity Check) test is a breeze, albeit a fairly costly one, to pass if the car is honest and original as ours was. The MOT is entirely routine but bear in mind that - like the VIC test - it is no guarantee of the quality of any repair work that’s been carried out. If you are unsure the repairs are sound and safe, then it’s best to have the car independently inspected by a qualified motor engineer. Come to think of it, obtaining such an unbiased approval could improve the car’s resale value no end, especially on pricier classics or those that were heavily damaged. Ah, resale value! That’s always the sticking point with any rebuilt write-off, but classic cars have to be treated differently as their final value relies on many other factors such as condition, rarity and so on. A road legal write-off will usually have its V5c document marked for life and the motor trade generally marks them down by around 10-20 per cent, depending upon model, age and condition. However this aspect only really has relevance on newish cars still sliding down their depreciation curve; on established classics it would probably have little negative effect and indeed on our car probably only amounts to £100 or so. That said, there’s a stigma to a car with a bit of ‘previous’ on its record and this can put buyers off, no matter how well the car is repaired.

Counting the costs

Bought for just under £400 we successfully had our 924 on the road within our target figure of £600 (always set one when starting any project). We reckon that our car is now worth in the region of £1000. Porsche 924s can be bought for buttons, but the ones we’ve seen for a few hundred quid verge on the rancid and appear to have been neglected or bodged to the hilt because there’s little classic value in them. Having said that, 924 prices appear to be slowly rising judging by some of the dealer ads in the specialist press. We’ve seen private cars pitched at £2000, and as much as £6000 for concours dealer examples. You pays your money and takes your choice as they say.


Buying a written off classic can save you a lot of money if you know what you are doing and choose the right car at the right price. It’s easy to assume all pranged cars are assured bargains- in many cases they are not, so you must cost repairs thoroughly before going ahead with the project. We were lucky with ours - this time… Stolen/recovered cars can make good startersmashed classics but be wary of fire damaged cars and those which have suffered flood damage, especially salt water flooding for obvious (rust worry) reasons.

It’s now up for sale… so if you want an honest 924 for £875 see our news pages for full details!

    If you’re after a crashed classic as your next project then we heartily approve of going to one of the dedicated auctions run by Universal Salvage. These bi-annual events, held at the company’s Sandy, Bedfordshire site, are crammed with classics in various states of despair and repair and it’s fair to say there’s a car to suit all tastes and pockets in the rows and rows of sad looking collectables. These events, (the next one is scheduled for September,) are heavily attended so you need to arrive nice and early to check out the stock properly. We bagged a bargain last time and so can you. Best of all is the free ride on the back of the milk float used by the auctioneer as you pay your deposit! Contact: Universal Vehicle Services 0870 241 6478 for more details

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