No Reserve: 1989 Porsche 944

If someone handed me a fist full of cash and told me to go out and buy a Porsche, I would probably arrive home with a car like this 1989 Porsche 944. Something about the long nose and bulging fender flares give the 944 a sense of purpose. Our feature car presents pretty well for its age, and with the owner using it regularly, it could serve its buyer as a daily driver. If you feel that a classic Porsche is what is missing from your life, you will find this one located in Knoxville, Tennessee, and listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has rocketed to $4,950 in a No Reserve auction.

For potential buyers, one of the attractions of considering any classic car wearing Black paint is that it is a color that shows flaws and imperfections a mile away. Any dings or dents stand out, but that’s not a problem with this vehicle. The panels look extremely straight, with no glaring evidence of damage or previous repairs. The paint shines richly, and the overall first impression seems to be positive. However, when you examine the supplied photos closely, it appears that the paint has accumulated a collection of minor scratches and marks. It is difficult to determine how bad these are, but it would be worth considering whether a wet sand and buff would address most of them. Otherwise, the buyer might be facing a repaint if the presentation is to remain at a high standard. The exterior plastic shows no evidence of the type of deterioration resulting from long-term UV exposure or abuse, while the glass appears flawless. The Porsche rolls on its original alloy wheels, and I can’t spot any signs of physical damage or stains.

If I’m candid for a moment, I am willing to stick my neck out and admit that I’m not an enormous fan of Porsches. I have always liked the styling of the 944, but the brand generally doesn’t ignite a passion in my soul. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t respect them. The company has developed an uncanny ability to extract surprising performance levels from relatively small engines with modest power outputs. Let’s take our feature car as an example. Its engine bay houses its original 2.7-liter four-cylinder unit that is coupled to a five-speed manual transmission. That four’s output should be 162hp, but it’s enough to propel the 944 through the ¼ mile in 15.8 seconds before it winds its way to 135mph. Both figures look pretty respectable and demonstrate that sometimes it’s not a matter of how much power is on hand but how the car in question uses it. The owner doesn’t make outrageous mileage claims with this classic, indicating that it has covered 145,000 miles. He says that he has spent significant money on the car, but not where the money went. The 944 is used regularly and runs and drives well. That means that it’s conceivable that the buyer could use the car as a daily driver. That has to be a tantalizing prospect for most enthusiasts.

This Porsche’s interior sends us mixed messages, and while some aspects look tired, the interior remains serviceable. The seats are trimmed in Cream leather, and they generally look okay. There is some noticeable wear on the outer edge of the driver’s seat, which is common in cars with heavily contoured seats. However, I don’t think that it has deteriorated beyond the point where an upholsterer could address the issue. It would be worth investigating because a set of front seat covers in the right material and color will lighten the buyer’s wallet to the tune of $1,400. It also looks like the leather stitching around the gauge binnacle has sun-rotted, so that’s another item that could stand the attention of the upholsterer. Otherwise, the overall condition seems pretty acceptable. The original radio/cassette player has made way for a CD player, but I can’t spot any other additions. When the buyer slips behind the leather-wrapped wheel, they will be in control of a classic that features air conditioning, power windows, power mirrors, and a rear defroster.

Most people would never consider a classic Porsche as a potential daily driver. However, the engineering of the 944 is essentially bulletproof, and they don’t drink fuel like there’s no tomorrow. If the bidding on this one remains within its current range, it could easily wear the “affordable” tag. If that combination sounds too tempting to resist, maybe you should give this German classic a closer look.


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  1. Gary

    These are not hard to wrench on but the cost of parts will make you cry. The non turbo is indeed the way to go, though.

    Like 2
    • alphasud Member

      No hard to wrench on unless you need to replace a clutch. I would hate to be the guy doing that on his back in a driveway. On the lift much easier and manageable. Also a real bummer if the driveshaft bearings need replaced in the torque tube. I wouldn’t call this an easy car. Not the worse but you need to be a good tech to make them easy.

      Like 1
      • Gary

        Well, I can’t honestly say I ever have done so, but my buddy worked on his own and said it was “easy”. Of course, he was a pro, for what that is worth.

  2. OutofOrder

    Almost guaranteed a crash car rebuild. Steering wheel is incorrect, as it’s a non airbag from ‘87 prior. Why the instrument cluster change? Speedo’s and tachs are easily rebuildable and is a common issue. No pic of build codes either.
    As of this comment it’s at $5100 and honestly that’s where it should be sold at. It’s nothing special, it’s a 148k mile 944.

    Like 1
    • Jasper

      My ‘88 944 doesn’t have an airbag. I believe it was an option on standard 944s. Wouldn’t be surprised if it was optional on ‘89s too. This one looks decent. Better than mine. It’s a 944, there will be some expensive surprises!


    Sold these ’87-’89 … fun cars to drive … but the Turbo “S” was the most fun … oddly, the plaid interior kept many from buying … test car was driven 155mph for twenty-four hours and only used 1/2 qt of oil – when it was noticed that the dip stick wasn’t properly seated …

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