Live Auctions

Drive It Daily? 1985 Porsche 944

I’m stating right upfront, with apologies to those who know Porsches, that one particular photo should always be included with an ad whenever selling a Porsche: the build sticker. In the case of this good-looking 1985 944 (and with all iterations of the model, including its junior sibling, the 924) that sticker is tucked in the trunk, centered on the rear panel under the carpet, just above the spare. This sticker pretty much details everything a car left the factory with and is a helpful tool to decode options inside and outside the car. Despite the missing pic, with bidding at just $2,100 on eBay at the time of publishing, our 944 represents a great value.

Under the hood we find the tried and true 2.5L 8-valve four-cylinder engine. Everything looks quite tidy — there are no obvious leaks, the brake fluid in the reservoir appears clean, and our first clue insofar as optional equipment is staring right at us. This car has cruise control (option code M454), made obvious by the servo sitting just in front of the battery. One thing every 944 enthusiast will tell you is the need to ensure timing and balance shaft belts and tensioners have been replaced per the factory schedule. No word from the seller as to when such a service was last performed. It is one of the most critical and costly jobs if you don’t do it yourself. But know that if you do opt to tackle the job, the consequences of getting it wrong are generally catastrophic. Thankfully there are lots of online resources and one of the best (in my opinion) is Brent’s video over at 924/944 specialist edredas on YouTube.

The interior looks decent considering it’s been welcoming drivers and passengers for 37 years. The seller says seats have been reupholstered, adding that it was done nicely. I tend to concur from what I can see. The telltale dash cover hides some ugly cracking underneath, no doubt — it’s a common problem with any significant UV exposure. As a purist, I hate to see the dreaded Bluetooth-upgraded stereo. The car is so much fun to drive, you shouldn’t be listening to tunes or talking on the phone. Just spend some time in your head enjoying the analog feel of this car. That will definitely be enhanced with the 931 steering wheel, which was another option (M018) and, if I recall correctly, came with a slightly elongated hub.

I see pictures of owner’s manuals, and that’s always a good thing, but it’s hard to deny the importance of service records. Many Barn Finds readers have confirmed time and time again that records make all the difference. And it’s true. Without seeing a chain of caring, thoughtful ownership through maintenance, there is always going to be an element of gambling. At the price this auction currently hovers around, this 944 might be one worth wagering a bet on, I’d say.

Comments

  1. RoughDiamond Member

    This 944 could definitely end up in the well bought column. The 944 Turbos are really moving up in price now.

    Like 3
  2. alphasud Member

    If I were in the market for a 944 as a driver I would wait for the mid year refresh in 85 where the 944 received critical enhancements to the suspension, brakes, electrics, interior. Gone was the rabbit and type 3 suspension bits, the rabbit electrics, and the fragile interior.

    Like 3
  3. Motorcityman Member

    If u like this shape a MAZDA RX7 is a much better choice for reliability and cost of ownership.

    Like 2
    • Mr. Exotherm

      Surely you jest. Speaking as someone who has two of each in my stable (Mk1/Mk2 944 & FB/FC RX7) I can state categorically you are flat out wrong, especially if you do your own work. I’ve rebuilt both types of engines and other serious repair and maintenance and know them both inside out. If you hire your maintenance out, they will both bleed you to death.

      They are two very different approaches to a market segment and both have their rewards. The key to each platform is preventative maintenance. None of my vehicles are garage queens and both types of vehicles require care and feeding at the beginning of the season here in the rust belt. I really enjoy both vehicles, but if I had to take a 1k mile road trip today I’d choose either of the 944s over the Spinning Doritos.

      Like 10
  4. chrlsful

    glad when the motor went under the bonnet.
    After that anything’s a win. Cept the 911/6.
    That’s got even better engine placement~

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