Back in July, I had the amazing fun of bringing three Porsches from very different vintages to an autocross in RI. It was a blast, to say the least. It was the maiden (race) voyage for the ’73 914 and the ’86 944. And I had no idea what to expect from them. I expected the 914 to be a handful. And it delivered on that promise! The 944 was actually more of an enigma, really. Having done a bit of mending of suspension bits, I already had an appreciation for the fact that this car was driven hard and put away wet for it’s prior lifetime. I knew I was getting into a project with this one, but little did I really know. Continue reading Porsche 944 – Race, Break, Repeat
When I was even thinking about getting an old 944, I firmly intended to get it as a car to use and enjoy, not one to baby and worry about. I was maybe going to turn it slowly into a mean autocross car. Or maybe daily drive it in winter as a beater. Or maybe crazy rallycross car with skidplates and rally tires. Or all of the above at the same time! The beauty of the 944 platform is that it has a wide range of capabilities and is a fairly simple car, aside from the motor. It has great handling, no doubt, and has been many things to many people. And they are plentiful, which in the Porsche world these days makes them relatively affordable and parts easier to obtain. I am now seeing sad posts where folks are talking about not wanting to being their RS America’s to the track anymore because they are too valuable now. I don’t think that will ever happen to my 944. I got it to be “my Miata” – a small, nimble car that is heavy on fun but light on cost. I didn’t want to have to worry about it being clean or nice. It would just have to run well and be a good driver. Continue reading Porsche 944: From My Beater to My Baby?
Work on the 1986 944 in Copenhagen Blue has commenced. I’ve grown rather fond of the little thing these days as happens to many of my cars. This one appeared fairly complete on delivery but soon started to show that all was far from perfect. But I wasn’t looking for perfection. I was looking for a project. A car that needed some love so that I could do some learning. And I got what I bargained for. Continue reading The ’86 944 Punch List
When thinking of a fun car to drive on an autocross course, the answer always seems to be, “Miata.” And who would blame you for thinking so? A small roadster with front engine, rear-wheel-drive, great chassis. Not overwhelming power, but massive grins on any twisty road. So what could compete with it?
Not too much. But being a Porsche-phile, I thought I’d try to find something. Enter the Porsche 944. The new 2015 Miata has 155bhp. My 1986 944 has 160bhp. The Miata weighs about 2,600lbs. A 1986 944 weighs 2,850lbs. The 944 is front-engine and rear-transaxle for a perfect 50-50 weight distribution. Very much like the Miata. For me, the 944 has two minimal rear seats which means I may try to stuff a kid or two in there. Try that in your Miata. Continue reading When the Answer Isn’t Always Miata
I’ll admit to being a fan of the Wheeler Dealers show from the UK that appears on Velocity from time to time. If you haven’t seen it, the two main characters find old cars (“motors”) and try to get them back on the road, trying to sell them for a “profit”. Since they don’t factor any labor costs into the restorations, I find the numbers to be quite fictitious. Ed China, the mechanical miracle-worker, has a garage with a full lift and many specialty tools that are very cost prohibitive for a home mechanic. So I hardly find this show to be the home DIY tutorial that it purports to be. But its great fun to see the classics they source and the love they put into getting them back into fighting shape.
Here’s to finding a “cracking motor” for yourself! Continue reading Wheeler Dealers – Porsche 914