No Oxymoron – 1985 Porsche 944

After a recent article highlighting oxymorons in car-nut land, here are a couple more: Front-engine Porsche. Cheap Porsche. Or are they? If you were a young car nut looking for an older sports car, one with some good durability behind it given regular maintenance, and attractive enough to have been featured in movies, what would you pick? Sure, the Miata is an obvious choice, and they have their place, but they’re far from unusual, and arguably derivative of existing designs. E30 BMWs are also a good option, but even if their performance lives up to the claim, their styling doesn’t really scream sports car. So how about a cheap, front-engine Porsche? Check out this 1985 Porsche 944 for sale for $2950 in Los Gatos, CA.

1985 Porsche 944 left front

Oh yes! Flared fenders, alloy wheels, and a big spoiler. With 167,000 miles on the ticker, this one’s no spring chicken, but they can be exceptionally durable given good maintenance. And this one has been owned by a 924/944 enthusiast, so there’s some hope it got the regular attention it deserved. Well, until 2005, when for some unmentioned reason, the seller stopped driving it. The car’s smog check history lines up with that date, since the last test was in 2003. Perhaps a new catalytic converter and O2 sensor will cure its woes. It’s currently wearing a coat of British racing green, and while it’s not clear if that’s the original color, it’s said to be in good cosmetic condition and to run well. The gold treatment on the Fuchs cookie cutter wheels is unique, and actually works better than expected.

1985 Porsche 944 interior

The interior doesn’t look bad either, although you should expect some cracking of the dash and perhaps a worn driver’s seat bolster. Fortunately, these cars were sold in fairly substantial numbers, so sourcing replacement interior bits shouldn’t be too hard. It’s said to be fully functional, although it has typical issues for a car of its age – that probably means failed components like dash lights, window switches, etc. So in the plus column, it’s enthusiast owned, and in the minus column, it’s only covered a few hundred miles in the last 9 years. Sounds like a potential bargain.


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