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Snail Train: 1980 Porsche 924 Turbo


This 1980 Porsche 924 Turbo here on eBay is a stalled project with some desirable components included in the sale, most notably the “snailshell” transmission. When you combine the Turbo’s rust-free condition with the other goodies the seller is throwing in with the car, this begins to look like a decent deal at $1,750 or best offer.


The Turbo 924s are distinguishable by their subtle hood duct and the vented nose panel. This car hasn’t been run in quite some time so the health of the engine is unknown. It has a clear Arizona title, so it’s not been junked; however, it hasn’t been started in over 10 years so any engine internals are suspect. Those Fuchs wheels can be considered an upgrade, but I personally like the stock flat-dish wheels better.


The big story here is the transmission. Just like in the BMW world, the P-car guys get all hot and bothered over the dogleg shift pattern. Known as the snailshell transmission, these came standard for one year only on the ’79 Turbo cars before swapping back to a conventional 5-speed pattern in 1980.  Since the dogleg box is on a pallet, I wonder if this car being an ’80 has the stock transmission and the seller had planned to swap the snailshell in at some point.


The interior has clearly been torn apart from the door cards to the seats. The seller doesn’t mention whether there are any seats included in the sale (though the door panels are visible on the floor). He does show some very nice OEM buckets in one of the photos but those are not included; however, a factory front European bumper is. There’s good value in parts on this 924 Turbo, but I hope it returns to the road. Thanks to Barn Finds reader Jim S. for the find.



  1. Avatar photo Dolphin Member

    As a practical thing the dogleg 1st gear shift pattern (1st gear at lower left, 2nd – 5th in an ‘H’ pattern next to 1st) is best mainly in Europe on the Autobahn and other long, very fast roads where once you are going you don’t need 1st, but with the relatively small engines in Euro cars you need to go down a gear sometimes. And that’s easier within the H pattern.

    When I owned a Ferrari many decades ago I really liked the dog leg pattern because I mostly drove it out on the open road. That was also partly because with a rear transaxle like in this car shifting across the gate wasn’t exactly like a hot knife through butter.

    Of course, in congested driving the dog leg 1st is a disadvantage…..except for bragging rights.

    With a decent looking Arizona car like this so cheap I’m a bit surprised it hasn’t sold already. If those wheels are genuine Fuchs like the seller says, and with the dogleg transmission, I agree with the seller they are worth more than the asking price alone. You’d have to ditch the old Yokohamas but it still looks like a good deal

    Like 0
  2. Avatar photo Bryan

    I bought this 924 turbo yesterday. I needed the wheels for a 911 I own, so I submitted a best offer that worked for me and it was accepted.
    I will be bringing it out here to Los Angeles and will find out what condition the engine is in.
    My dad, after owning a 1971 911, purchased a new 924 back in 1977 and installed a turbo charger to try and make it a bit quicker.
    If anyone needs the snailshell transmission or interested in buying the car after I swap wheel just let me know.

    Like 1

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