Florida Carport Find: 1989 Porsche 944

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Sometimes, a car is undoubtedly a project, but the description puts your mind at such ease that you’re tempted to check it out anyway. This 1989 Porsche 944 has clearly gone down the slippery slope of becoming a half-done project that the next owner will now have to sort out, and it’s saddled by an automatic transmission. Still, between the description and the color combination, I could see someone taking this on – if they can get past the unfortunate transmission. The seller notes he bought it from a longtime owner who happened to be a helicopter pilot, and it’s now listed here on craigslist in Sebring, Florida for $3,800.

Sebring is one of my favorite places to visit in Florida, especially if I’m in town for the 12 hours of Sebring. The 944 would look right at home at an event like that, especially since motorsports gatherings tend to attract vehicles of a certain ilk. The 944 wears silver paint over black leather, a great pairing, and I’d bet this example would have already been scooped up if it weren’t for the slushbox. The bodywork looks clean and the black rubber pieces still present well. The seller notes the paint itself is in good shape but that there’s no clearcoat; I’m not sure if the 944 of this era was single stage or if he means the clear coat has failed. Regardless, he sanded and polished one area and it shined right up.

The interior isn’t bad but it isn’t great, either. I suspect the 944 spent some time parked outside with no protection, which could explain the issues with the clear coat. The dash is cracked in multiple places, and the leather looks like it might be slightly dry to the touch. The interior remains in stock condition, although the OEM radio is missing. Most of the electrical components still work with the exception of the rear wiper; the seller notes that the battery will not hold a charge and the cause remains a mystery. The 944 will come with its factory keys, and the seller notes the reason he is passing it on is because he is a Jaguar enthusiast and Porsches aren’t his bag – so perhaps he just rescued the 944 from the estate when the previous owner passed away.

The engine turns over but it does not run at present. The seller notes it was stored for a period with gas in the tank, which will require the next owner to refresh the fuel system. He has removed the fuel pump and filters and drained the tank, but there will be more work for the next owner to tackle to ensure the system runs clean. You may also need some hood lifts as well, based on this photo. The 944 is a still-appreciating classic, and while top-shelf 944 Turbos go for all the money these days, you can still buy a rust-free project like this for a reasonable price. The asking price here seems more than fair for a rust-free project.

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  1. alphasudMember

    You don’t see many 89 944 model year cars. The plus is it has all the upgrades over the pre-85 models and this one sports a 2.7L engine. That being said the 3-speed auto has to go if you want to enjoy the car for it’s designed purpose. That means finding another 85 1/2 and up donor car to swap over just about everything drivetrain and clutch related including the torque tube! No small feat. Then there is the interior and a possible respray of the base coat clear coat finish, new fuel pump and possibly injectors, timing belt, balance belt, rollers, and water pump, brakes? I would say pass or LS car for those who want a V8.

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  2. bobhess bobhessMember

    Having worked on a few ’80s models, anything to do with anything past the engine requires taking transmission, tube, etc.out which requires taking everything else out in the rear area. Like Alphasud said, a manual conversion requires a new flywheel, pedal and hydraulics, transmission, all of which will have to be found, bought, and installed. If you have lots of money and or time or just want to kill a lot of time this is the car for you. I’d spend a little more and find one that needs little or nothing to get you on the road. These are fun cars.

    Like 1
  3. Mikefromthehammer

    If an OHC engine does not run, I always wonder if it is an interference engine and what shape the valves are in.

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  4. Jaspee

    I was asking $3500 for my driver ‘88 944 with a five speed. Way better than this. I just decided to keep it instead! Drove it to work all week.

    Like 1
  5. Old Beach Guy

    It appears someone got a little happy with some rattle can silver.

    Like 1
  6. Ike Onick

    Up North “Florida Carport Find” translates to “Somebody’s gonna get hosed” I also like the note that it was formerly owned by a helicopter pilot. I would have guessed Rodeo Clown.

    Like 0
  7. David Michael Fetty

    Factory radio ties in with the security system. I had a beautiful one owner 88 944 a few years back and sold it to a friend. His son took the factory radio out and tried to install an aftermarket system. Worked on it for 3 years, the engine would turn over, but it would never start.

    Like 0

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