Nicest One Left? 1986 Porsche 944

Saying that a particular example of a car is the nicest one left is nothing if not a pretty bold call. This particular 1986 Porsche 944 Turbo presents beautifully, and the deeper you delve into this car, the more plausible this claim would seem to be. If you are like me and have an enormous soft spot for the 944, you will find this one located in Pleasanton, California, and listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has now reached $35,100, but the reserve hasn’t been met. However, with the bidding now at that point, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone hits the BIN button very soon, as this has been set at $35,995.

As a general rule, I don’t have a huge passion for Porsche. I respect their engineering and performance, but they have always left me feeling a bit cold. I am prepared to make an exception with the 944 because I wanted one of these from the moment that I spotted my first one. They just have a clean and muscular look about them that appeals to me. This one, finished in Guards Red, is no exception. It is a car that has spent its entire life in California, and as a result, it is said to be rust-free. I have spent quite some time looking at the comprehensive set of photos supplied by the seller, and I can’t find anything much to be critical of. The panel fit is as tight and consistent as you would expect from a company like Porsche, while the paint appears to not only have a fantastic consistency and depth of shine to it, but is free of any major blemishes or scratches. The glass has an as-new appearance, while the factory alloy wheels are free of stains and curb strike. Lack of staining is pretty key here because if driven hard, the brakes on a 944 can produce their share of dust. This is quite acidic and can stain those wheels pretty easily. That also provides some indication that this is a car that might have been treated with respect throughout its life.

Climbing aboard the 944 means learning to live life in the lap of luxury. The black leather seats in a 944 are wonderfully supportive, and these ones appear to be faultless. The damage-prone side bolsters on those sculpted front seats appear to be free of any wear and tear, while the leather appears to be soft and supple. The rest of the interior presents faultlessly, with no signs of any deterioration in any of the plastic items. The leather-wrapped wheel is free of wear, and even the carpet has managed to avoid wear around the driver’s foot-well. The original premium radio/cassette player is present, and judging by the cassettes that remain in the center console (Steve Winwood, Terence Trent Darby, and Talking Heads), the owner has a quite eclectic taste in music. Apart from the leather seats and wheel, the Porsche comes equipped with air conditioning, power windows, power seats, power locks, cruise control, and a driver’s airbag.

Lift the hood of the Porsche, and the first thing that you can’t help but notice is just how immaculately the entire engine bay presents. It is extremely impressive for a 33-year-old car, with no signs of deterioration or discoloring of the paint or alloy components. What the next owner will be getting for their money is a car that definitely delivered “bang for your bucks” back in 1986. This was the first year of 944 Turbo production, so the original 2,479cc 4-cylinder engine that had powered the 944 was given a bit of a boost. With some internal upgrades, it found itself equipped with both a turbocharger and intercooler. This boosted power from a reasonable 147hp to a very respectable 217hp. Top speed remained at a factory declared 152mph, but the Turbo could accelerate from 0-60mph in 6.3 seconds, while the ¼ mile could be dispatched in 14.4 seconds. The power from that beautiful engine finds its way from the front of the car to the rear wheels via a rear-mounted 5-speed manual transaxle. Steering is power-assisted, while the Porsche also features 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes. The big news with this 944 is that it remains original and unmodified and that it has a genuine and documented 33,500 miles on the odometer. Unsurprisingly, the car is said to drive perfectly, and it comes with a raft of documentation, including the all-important full service history.

The Porsche 944 occupied an interesting mid-ground in the company’s front-wheel-drive range, slotting neatly between the uninspiring 924, and the V8 monster that was the 928. When new, they were one of the most affordable cars in the Porsche range, and eventually, more than 163,000 cars rolled off the production line. By now, the vast majority of those cars have been through the hands of various owners, and while some have remained cherished and well maintained, many have been thrashed or neglected (or both) to within an inch of their lives. Good ones are getting harder to find, but this one really does look like it is an extremely good example. One thing that isn’t surprising is the fact that values on the 944 Turbo have been climbing slowly but consistently over the past 5-years or so. That could make this particular car a great long-term investment that promises a lot more fun than any shares portfolio.


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  1. Mike

    Prices are all over the board for these models. Only the super clean, super low miles and super stock get the high price. A lot of them struggle to get $20k. My dad has one in silver and can’t make heads or tails on value.

    Like 3
  2. PaulG

    Nice, I’m not a fan of “Nicest one in existence” claims, but nice just the same.
    Adam I believe you meant to say front engine / rear wheel drive…

    Like 2
  3. Tom c

    One of the smoothest shifting manuals I ever drove.

    Like 1
  4. DayDreamBeliever Member

    $35,101 at the end.

    Values are up? Seems like it!

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