Porsche has had a checkered past when it comes to its entry-level cars. The 914 was fraught with political controversy from very early in its life, thanks to a handshake agreement between Porsche and Volkswagen gone awry when VW ushered in a new chief and Porsche was left footing the bill for development. In classic Porsche fashion, they persevered and the 914 went on to be sales success. But by 1975 production had ended and a replacement was badly needed. The 912E, a stopgap built for one year only, was not a well-built car. Porsche scrambled to find a suitable entry level offering, so it seemed a bit curious then, that they would again look toward Volkswagen for partnership in its junior sports car. A new front-engine, rear drive sports car was already being developed by VW and Audi, to be sold by VW, Audi and Porsche as part of their marketing alliance. But just like the 914 before it, VW/Audi pulled out financial support and killed the project. Porsche, being left high and dry yet again, took over the project and developed the car into the 924, which utilized an Audi-sourced, water-cooled 2-liter four cylinder engine and rear mounted transaxle.
Buyers and critics enjoyed the beautifully balanced handling and lightweight nature of the car, but the Audi engine was widely criticized for being too harsh. So, in typical Porsche fashion, rather than scrapping and starting over, the 924 platform was heavily reworked to become the 944 of 1982. With such a balanced and precise chassis (50:50 weight-distribution was courtesy of the rear transaxle), calls soon came for more power. Porsche answered in 1985 with the legendary 944 Turbo, also known as the 951. The 944 Turbo was so much more than just a regular 944 with a turbo slapped on, it was a thoroughly upgraded machine built to handle the extra power and heat of its new 220hp engine. Oil and gearbox coolers, intercooler, a strengthened engine, retuned suspension and big Brembo brakes straight from the 911 parts bin were all featured on the 951. While many purists cried foul at this water-cooled, front-engine “junior” Porsche, true enthusiasts reveled in its exquisite balance, tremendous power and outstanding cross-country pace. A well driven 944 Turbo could give a standard 911 a run for its money, and to this day, driving enthusiasts cherish the 951 as one of the greatest driver’s cars of all time.
If you want to know what it was like to own a brand new 944 Turbo in 1986, look no further than this amazing example. Showing a mere 9,720 miles, this spectacular car is like new in every sense. Finished in classic Guards Red over a tan and black interior, this 944 Turbo presents in amazing time-warp condition. Paint, panel fit and exterior trim are all as-new, with no visible issues. It wears a set of the optional and very desirable Fuchs 16” forged alloy wheels. Paint quality is excellent, with all lights and lenses being in pristine condition. Inside, the optional leather upholstery (on the front and rear seats) is excellent – appearing more like a 2 year old car than a 29 year old car. Of course the dash is excellent, and it still retains its original Blaupunkt Monterey stereo cassette player with graphic equalizer. Under the hood reveals more of the same – showroom fresh finishes on all surfaces and fittings. Virtually every clamp, hose, fitting and fastener is as it left the factory in ’86.
Even when lifting the signature glass hatch, more surprises await. The original sunroof pouch is correctly stowed behind the seats. Carpeting and fittings are excellent and as new. There is even a brand new, unopened genuine Porsche detailing kit, still in the plastic wrapping as if it left the dealer yesterday.
Meticulously preserved and presenting in beautiful condition, this is a true collector quality 944 Turbo. Many of these cars suffered at the hands of budget-minded owners or have been abused on track, so prime examples are demanding ever increasing prices. This outstanding 944 Turbo is certain to be at the top of the collector market for years to come.