I have to say, I am a big fan of the Porsche 944. I bought my first one more than ten years ago, and it was the best daily driver I had ever had. Since then, I owned a total of six of them, putting a combined over 250K miles on them, including 92k miles on one alone.
I don't care if they are not fast by today's standards. I don't care if their market value is so low. Intrinsically, as a car, they are great machines:
- high quality parts, materials, fittings, etc., throughout
- galvanized bodies
- excellent safety ratings in their day
- great fuel economy for a sports car
- comfortable on long trips
- easy to drive in city traffic
- great visibility
- very practical
- excellent handling
- excellent brakes
- general longevity and heavy duty nature
- engine sounds cool
- purposeful styling
- fun and reliable
- a thoroughbred, as it is the progeny of a LeMans racer
Some of the late 944s (like S2 cabriolets and Turbo S models) are very exquisite, but even the most humble of 944s (like, say, a 1984 model with "cookie cutter" wheels) is a pleasure to drive and a respectable car.
With that said, today I picked up my 7th 944: A very simple silver on black example to use as my daily driver when I start my new job (and no longer have a company-provided car) in January:
Awful picture, I know. It is the seller's photo. Dirty and wet in the photo; doesn't do the car justice.
Same thing with the interior shot; The glare of the camera flash deceives. In real life it looks fine. Will post better pics soon...
The engine bay, too, looks better in person. But note the clear brake fluid with the date (June 08) written on the reservoir, the genuine Porsche battery, the presence of all of the little rubber grommets, and overall good order of the engine bay. Not bad for an unrestored 25 year old car that has been used only as transportation.
It is a 1984 model whose options include leather seats, rear wiper, and limited-slip differential. (Those last two are perfect for winter!) It has 65k original miles (which is low compared to most 944s), everything works, full service history, all service up to date, no leaks, no stories. The seller included some much better looking "phone dial" wheels in place of the "cookie cutter" wheels that are on it.
The car's history is ideal for an old car: One couple bought it new from a dealership in the Detroit area where they have been long-time customers. They had all of the service performed there and the same technician has been servicing it for over 20 years now
. In April of this year, they were done with it and came to trade it in to buy a new Porsche, and the technician who had serviced it all these years bought it. He has been driving it daily, but has too many other cars and just didn't need it.
Buying the car from this gentleman was a pleasure. He lives farther north of Detroit, so he brought it to the dealership (which is closer for me). When I arrived there, he pulled it into the service area and raised it on a lift for me to inspect. We went over the car's service history, he was gracious in answering all of my questions, printed a carfax report from one of the sales guys, and we went on a test drive long enough to satisfy all of my concerns (and we discussed the bits of the car during the drive). His price was fair, I paid him cash, shook his hand, and thanked him for making the process of inspecting and purchasing the car a pleasurable one.
I drove the car home in the afternoon traffic with a big smile on my face, confident and comfortable in my new-to-me old car. Tomorrow I will put the Nokian Hakka RSis from my white 1985.5 944 (already on phone dials) onto this car, and begin enjoying it daily in the winter.
I like my old cars. I have a lot of fun with them, and this one -- both the car and the experience of buying it -- has made me particularly happy, as simple and plain as it is.