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Porsche 944 & 968

Porsche 944 & 968 Published: 16th Aug 2018 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Porsche 944 & 968
Porsche 944 & 968
Porsche 944 & 968
Porsche 944 & 968
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Although broadly 924-based, the 944 took on an entirely new character and image, helped by the fact that a proper Porsche engine powered this sportshatch or convertible. At the time no other supercar combined such performance with practicality and prestige and they remain the most pragmatic Porsche purchase of them all.

Driving

“Effciency, quality and refinement are the Porsche’s passwords”, harked one magazine 35 years ago and it still sums up the 944 quite brilliantly. Perhaps it’s a Porsche that engenders admiration rather than outright excitement, like a 911, yet as an all round supercar it takes some beating.

The front engine/rear transaxle layout gives a weight distribution that’s virtually 50-50, and handling that can only be described as utterly balanced. And the later 968? It’s a 944 but better in all the key areas with performance on all models well up to 911 standards. The Club is probably the best all rounder, as it is essentially a hard-core Club Sport mechanically but with rear seats and some refinement. If you find one for the price of a 944, go for it instead.

Values

Prices vary depending on condition but like-for-like, a 944 is worth some 40 per cent more than a 924 and more in line with 928 values. The Turbos and convertibles command the most by 20-25 per cent and, as we remarked earlier, the 968 is only worth little more over a 944, the exception being a Club Sport, where £6-£10,000 can be added due to their rarity and ever rising classic status, deservedly so we feel. In broad figures you’re looking at 10 grand for a good 944S, over £15K for an equivalent Turbo with the S2 somewhere in between; 968CS can top £30K yet no dearer than a 944.

Timeline

1982 Launched with Carrera 924-like styling and Porsche’s own 2.5-litre engine (effectively half the 928’s V8)

1983 Electric sunroof and power steering option, and a Sport suspension pack for ’84

1985 Discards 924’s dash and interior. Standard PAS Turbo launched, 220bhp

1987 944S announced, 16-valve head for 190bhp

1988/9 Engine stretched to 2.7-litres for 211bhp and 220bhp for Turbo models

1989 S2 replaces standard model and 944S; 3-litres and uses the Turbo brakes and its aerodynamic body panels. Cabriolet range announced in normal and Turbo tunes, later now upped to 250bhp

1992 968 replaces 944 with smoother looks and a variable valve timing tune of 3-litre unit for 240bhp (305bhp for rare Turbo) in normal or more focused Sport trim with choice of six-speed manual or tiptronic (semi auto). Again, it’s a choice of coupé or cabrio

Best models

944

The later car the better; 2.7-litres for 1989 (944S), S2 packed 16-valves for 211bhp with better Turbo brakes and gearing. Buy on condition not spec

Turbo

Upped the ante by 60bhp. For 1998 only SE came with a larger turbo and limited slip differential, all of this incorporated on to later Turbo models

968

Curiously overlooked but has 240bhp 3-litre engine, six-speeds, 928 looks and a fabulous CS-based Sport. Yet can also be cheaper than 944!

Top buying tips

Affordability

Much cheaper than a 928 to run and a good many parts are 924-derived. There’s plenty of specialists like Parts Heritage Centre (formerly VW Heritage) who can help while general good quality pattern parts can be a third of the price Porsche wants

Body

Galvanised from the outset and only badly neglected ones will display serious rot. If there is an exception it’s the convertibles; lift the carpets to check floors. Rust around front wings (bolt-on) and centre rear panel. R/H engine mount fractures, causes vibration

Engine

The specially coated Nikasil engine cylinder bores can pose problems so, have a cylinder compression test carried out if, possible. Cylinder heads can give gasket failure and valve guide wear. 968, Vario camshaft sensor fails meaning a £1000 repair. Watch for tired turbos

Running gear

Gearboxes are usually bullet-proof, diffs can whine. Suspensions only require the usual checks. Dampers and springs wear, as do anti-roll bar bushes. If the car feels loose and clunks, inspect the latter closely followed by the front wishbones & bushes



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