The Porsche 944 is a 2-seater Porsche sports car that is either loved or hated. The 944 was a huge success in the US, but the car didn’t fare all that well in Europe. The reason why is simple as it is not a 911, nor a Cayman/Boxster. It was a standalone model that didn’t manage to survive to this day in the same way the 911 and Cayman/Boxster did.
The 944 was in production between 1982 and 1992. During this time, Porsche has made quite a few of these and most of them were sold in the US. The best 844 model years are likely those made after 1986 as those are considerably more reliable, more modern, and easier to live with.
Pre-1986 models were known to suffer from more issues, but that does not make them bad per-se. As such, the 1990 models seem to be the ones with the best reliability. The 1986 944 is a good balance between value and substance while the 1982 is favored by those who like vintage Porsches and those that are light on your wallet.
Either way, these cars are old and need thorough inspections before purchase as rust has managed to retire a bunch of 944 models a long time ago and rust is just the tip of the iceberg.
1990 Porsche 944
The 1990 Porsche 944 seems to be the one most people are interested in because these seem to be the most reliable and most sought after. The reason why we listed 1990 models exactly is because we came across lots of posts on forums from people wanting to buy a 1990 model. However, there aren’t really too many differences between 1990 and later models, except the price maybe.
As such, the 1990 model seems to be the one bridging the gap between value and substance and therefore is the one most people want. It’s also worth mentioning that 1990 and on models are more than 10 years younger which means that they are not as old as the early 944 models are.
People are aware that 944 Porsches are slowly starting to become a thing in the Porsche collector’s market and that is why you can see many of these being restored to former glory. Either way, be sure to inspect the one you are looking at if you want to buy it.
1986 Porsche 944
The 1986 Porsche 944 is the model year where the 944 got a host of upgrades that modernize the car and made it more desirable. There were some issues such as cracking dashboards and severe rust which were made better for 1986 models and those that came after it.
Therefore, the 1986 model, if bought correctly, could actually be the one that makes the most sense overall. However, the reason why we put the 1990 model before the 1986 model is that it seems to be a bit easier to find a 1990 model in better overall condition.
Reliability is similar to newer 944 models which means that this isn’t really an issue. The most important thing when it comes to buying any older Porsche is to do your homework and find a car that has all the documentation and service records that should prove how well the car was maintained throughout the years.
1982 Porsche 944
If you want a project 944, you are better off saving a few bucks on the car itself and spending more on making it better. As such, a pre-1986 944 is the way to go because these are considerably cheaper. However, buying older 944 examples is much riskier and more difficult because finding one is tricky.
There are many owners online who believe that older 944 models are better because they feel more vintage. There is a thing with old Porsche enthusiasts where they want to fit OEM Fuchs wheels onto everything with a Porsche badge, and it’s safe to say that a 944 from this era will fit OEM Fuchs wheels without any issues while the newer ones will not.
Even though they suffer from rust and dashboard cracking issues more, they are the preferred choice for a set group of people. Lastly, it’s difficult to find one fitting to be a project car without it being a complete mess. However, the modern days of the internet enable us to source for cars anywhere with just a few clicks, so it certainly isn’t impossible.
Should I buy a Porsche 944?
If you like the Porsche 944, you can afford one, and you can afford everything that comes with owning a 944, there is no reason for you not to buy one. It’s worth mentioning that well-kept 944 models are slowly appreciating in value which means that depreciation isn’t really a thing to worry about.
All in all, if you like it, go for it because life is simply too short to drive boring cars. The 944 may not have the panache most people usually associate with a 911, but the experience of driving a 944 is certainly worth its asking price.
What is the best Porsche 944 model?
There are quite a few Porsche 944 models that managed to stand out above other 944 models. The 1990 Porsche 944 S2 Coupe is one of those cars because it comes with a superior engine. It also comes with ABS and many other new technologies which is also why the 1990 944 is as popular as it is.
Other 944 models that stand out from the crowd are the 944 Turbo and the 944 Turbo S.
Is Porsche 944 a real Porsche?
There is an ongoing discussion online about whether the Porsche 944 is a real Porsche or not. Some say that the 944 is actually just a VW/Audi with a Porsche badge, but the reality is that the 944 is a Porsche throughout. Many brands these days, including all VAG brands, share a bunch of parts with each other, but the 944 didn’t really share too many parts with other VAG brands.