Abandoned at the Mechanic: 1984 Porsche 944

When it comes to stories involving mechanic’s liens, it’s hard to believe what gets left behind sometimes. In the case of this 1984 Porsche 944, it sat in the mechanic’s yard in Palm Springs for ten years before the shop took ownership and finally put the 944 up for sale. What’s truly disappointing is that the 944 was supposedly in fairly decent shape before being abandoned for what seems like a very simple mechanical fault. But, the desert sun of Palm Springs is unforgiving, and the 944’s cosmetics reflect this prolonged exposure. Find the 944 here on craigslist with an asking price of $3,600.

Thanks to Barn Finds reader Rex M. for the find. Seeing this old-school California “sunset” license plate makes me even more intrigued to know more about the previous owner and why he fled Palm Springs without his 944. Of course, as the seller notes, Palm Springs is a popular destination for retirees and snow birds who enjoy the climate in the cooler months but abandon it for more forgiving climates once the summer months hit. “DRM 4ME” is just too cool not to be associated with a former aerobics instructor or an agent who worked with Hollywood starlets. The paint, as you can see, is heavily oxidized and faded after years of desert sun exposure.

The interior of any car looks tired if it’s left outdoors for years, but particularly so if it’s the relentless sun of the California desert. The seller notes the dash is heavily cracked, and of course the black leather seats are dried out. The rest of the interior actually doesn’t look too bad, and given it’s still fairly easy to find junked 944s, sourcing a set of replacement seats and a crack-free dash shouldn’t be too hard. And actually, it may even be a good opportunity to upgrade to some factory sport seats or period correct Recaros.

What’s crazy is that the 944 was brought in for a simple ignition wire replacement – that’s it! It was likely still a running, driving car, or at least very close to it – maybe even just misfiring a bit. The engine bay still looks quite clean with no major missing parts or signs of neglect (other than ten years in the desert.) Mileage is indicated as being 112,099, which isn’t very high at all, especially for a 1984 model. The story is more intriguing than the car, and I hope the next owner does some detective work to figure out why DRM 4ME abandoned their clean 944 at a Palm Springs specialist shop.

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  1. alphasud Member

    I think $1500 is more in line with the condition. Considering what would be needed to make it looking decent and roadworthy you would be better off waiting to buy one that runs and drives.

    Like 11
  2. bobhess bobhess Member

    Agree with alphasud. The two tone red paint tells you it would be wise to closely check for metal damage. Big thing is the drive train condition. If it’s good then you’ve got something to work with. One thing about the Guards Red paint… We had three of the red 944s in the shop at the same time and the shade of the paint was different on all three. Worked real hard to match colors on partial paint jobs.

    Like 2
  3. oilngas

    Same car, same situation, only difference mine sat inside for 10 years. Seats still dried out. When I sat down seams ripped. Sold with title for $1,000.

    Like 6
  4. Superdessucke

    I’m thinking some kind of sleep specialist, as opposed to an aerobics instructor or agent.

    Like 5
  5. Neil

    Finding a crack-free dash in a Porsche 944? Good luck with that. Most are cracked. It’s more than extremely common. Price-wise i agree with what’s been said above. Asking price is too high.

    Like 1
  6. Ed Hardt

    I heard it was brought to the shop to have air put in the tires, that’s it! What an amazing story and such a great deal. BS!

    Like 2
  7. Bob Roller

    German cars,Legends in their own minds.I have worked on a lot of them and they are the main reason our last six cars were Lincolns.No captive market parts with them,

    Like 2
  8. Garry Eastwood

    Maybe this one has a future as a stripped-down “club racer”…..”restoring” this one could be a financial nightmare…..

    Like 4
  9. Wayne

    Race car or resto-Mod. They make kits in install an LS engine in these. I always liked the body style. (kind of front RX7 and rear Jensen Healey) I was never a fan of the lack of horsepower. (although I never got the chance to drive a turbo edition)
    I have kind of been watching for one of these in the real cheap category and have almost pulled the trigger on a couple. Yes,this is priced way above the current market.

    Like 3
  10. bull

    The owner who left it for charges with the poor mechanic got the better end of the deal when it comes to these Porsche’s!

    Like 3
  11. Calipag

    I’m more interested in the blue Firebird in front of it for that price!

    Like 1
  12. Bmac777 Member

    I wanted a Porsche but couldn’t afford it, so I got this
    Volkswagon SS 944

    Like 1
  13. Dave

    After sitting for so long it will need a timing belt before even thinking of starting it. It will need a clutch cylinder too, they fail after a year or 2 in storage and if it still has a factory style, rubber centered clutch it will need to be replaced too. The clutch is a 10 hour job.
    Prices have started creeping up for a couple years but this is still to high. Let me know if it sells though, my ’86 would be for sale if I thought I could get $3500 and mine has $2000 worth of Fuchs on it.

  14. woody

    This early 944 would cost somewhere between $ 20,000 / $25,000 too be correct & not even A , No. 1… Sorry , hopefully no young novice , takes on the project … Make it a fun car , At half the price …

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