One Owner: 1987 Porsche 944 S

When I was much younger I wanted a Porsche, but what I wanted was a 944. I had no interest in the rear-engined Porsches, but the looks of the 944 just grabbed me immediately. Today, it can be hard to find a 944 in good condition, as they became a firm favorite as a track-day car. Those that remained on the roads tended to deteriorate quite badly over time. This 944 S seems to have escaped both outcomes, and it’s original owner has it in Orlando, Florida, waiting for a new owner. Unfortunately, that new owner will not be me. The car does come with a clean title, and you will find it listed for sale here on Craigslist. I have to take the opportunity to thank Barn Finder Patrick S for referring this Porsche to us.

The owner states in the ad that the car requires restoration, but it actually appears to have held up quite well over the past 31 years. I can find one tiny ding above the rear wheel arch on the passenger side, and there are a few items of plastic trim such as the rear bumper and the side body moldings where the paint has deteriorated, but the rest of the exterior has held up well. One area where the cars were prone to problems was with major deterioration to the external plastic trim, but the trim on this 944 has really held together quite nicely.

If the external plastic was prone to problems, then the internal plastic was potentially worse. The only things that I can really spot are some deterioration and wear on the wheel rim, and the shifter boot has also deteriorated. There might be some minor problems with the passenger side door trim, but it is hard to tell. Another problem area on the 944 was nasty deterioration of the seat upholstery. Underneath those aftermarket seat covers, the original upholstery looks virtually new. If you ever want to see the benefits of seat covers, this 944 graphically demonstrates it.

In 1987, Porsche introduced the 944 S. This brought with it some major engine upgrades including DOHC, 4-valves per cylinder, improved fuel injection, and an increase in the compression ratio. All of this resulted in a significant power increase, from 143hp in the standard 944, to 188hp in the 944 S. The 5-speed transmission also underwent some ratio changes and strengthening, to better handle the increased power and torque. The engine bay on this 944 looks very clean, with nothing obviously out of place. The owner says that the car runs and drives nicely.

Finding a Porsche 944 for sale today is a pretty easy task. In fact, it sometimes feels like there are more 944s in the marketplace than Porsche actually built in the first place. The real challenge is to find a good, one owner example that hasn’t suffered some pretty substantial damage by use, abuse, or UV damage. This 944 S is not an ultra-low mileage example, but it does have all of the hallmarks of a car that has been well cared for. The 944 is not a car that captures everyone’s heart (or wallet) but this one, priced at $8,500, is close to capturing mine.


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  1. Miguel

    I found back in the ’80s that the warehouse in Reno Nevada that sells Porsche parts has just about anything you could need for one of these cars.

    I had to order one of those covers for one of the dummy switches. They had it in stock.

    Like 3
    • ChallengerChick

      A dear friend of mine who has a car show on my radio station here in Reno (I say “my,” I’m just another show host and VP of Ops) was a mechanic there.

      It was PCNA’s US headquarters and pre delivery receiving facility, and she had to fix issues that occurred after the cars made the trip overseas. The warehouse also stocked VW parts. You can read the awesome details in her blog article here:

  2. CanuckCarGuy

    Adam, much like yourself I experienced a strong draw to the 944 in my youth. Now that I’ve hit 50, the urge is still there to own a 944…but alas the cliché of owning a “sports car” at my age, keeps me in check. Instead, I continue to seek out older, more sedate vehicles…for now.

    Like 2
    • Patrick S Newport Pagnell Staff

      Don’t let a number get in your way. Buy and drive want you want while you have time. I’m 58 and DD a MR2 Spyder. Luv it and could care less what others may think.

      Like 10
  3. Raymond

    Hell yeah !! Buy it / Drive it / Enjoy it/ maybe take out the sunroof glass–no cell phone, just warm weather, tunes / engine sounds. 3 Pedals !!! who cares how old you are / this whole thing never gets old !!!

    Like 7

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