Porsche 944 Lux

JJ samples a low-mileage 2.5 S1 to see if the 944’s worthy of its recent rapid appreciation

Cost New £13,000 Price £10,495

W

ith all above-average front-engined Porsches currently appreciating, enthusiasts have begun looking further down the range for their 50/50 weight-distributed thrills. Which led me to seek out this tidy example of the formerly unloved 944 S1 2.5.

On sale at Nottinghamshire-based dealer Sherwood Restorations, it has covered just 56,042 miles in its 36-year, three-owner history, and the documentation confirms that this car has been well cared for. Evidence of early main dealer servicing from supplying dealer Merlin Porsche in Nottingham, can be found alongside numerous invoices and every MoT certificate. The car was used sparingly until 2002 when its use dropped to just a couple of hundred miles every year.

Up close it makes a good initial impression. The driver’s door is a little tricky to open and close, probably due to the check strap/hinge needing some grease. The door mirror backs show only the lightest of signs of hedgerow contact and the front bumper has a few small stone chips. The Pirelli P6000 tyres have loads of life left in them. The passenger door handle shows a little mark to the trim insert, which is easily rectified/replaced. In the engine bay nothing is leaking, with under-bonnet insulation intact and in very good, original condition.

Overall, the exterior looks very good indeed and the interior has survived largely unscathed too, although the dashtop has suffered some cracks and blistering due to sun damage. All the electrics work as they should, as do the VDO gauges with the oil pressure dial indicating a very healthy five bar.

After a brief drive on a very cold and wet winter morning, this 944 impressed. The four-cylinder engine is smooth and torquey. The performance in this example feels useful and smooth on the road. Driving an early 944 is an extremely physical experience, but it’s one that I have always enjoyed – to the extent that I’ve even owned a couple. They require the driver to work hard to reap their rewards, but if you persevere then they have a lot to offer. The suspension is compliant and comfortable for touring, yet taught enough to have a dice in the bends when the mood comes upon you.

With so few early survivors in this condition, and due to a recent drop in price to £10,495, we don’t think this 944 will stay around for long.

Porsche 944 Lux

Year:     1983
Mileage:    56,042
On sale at:     Sherwood Restorations
Sherwoodrestorations.co.uk

Specifications
Engine:     2479cc, 4-cyl, SOHC
Transmission:     RWD, 5-speed manual
Power:     161bhp@5800rpm
Torque:     151lb-ft@3000rpm
Weight:     1180kg

Performance
0-60mph:    7.9sec
Top speed:     137mph
Economy:     32mpg

Choose your Porsche 944

1982: The 944 goes on sale with wider wings, uprated brakes and suspension over the 924, plus a new 2.5-litre engine, essentially half of the 928’s 5.0-litre V8.

1985: A bespoke interior replaces the 924’s. Turbo arrives the same year with 220bhp.

1987: A twin-cam 187bhp version of the 2.5-litre engine is announced, but only lasts a year.

1988: Turbo SE model further hikes 944 power to 250bhp.

1989: The naturally-aspirated 2.5-litre engine is ditched, a new 2.7-litre, 165bhp takes its place at the bottom of the 944 line-up. There’s also a beefed-up 3.0-litre (S2) with 208bhp.

1992: 944 production ends.