Schwarz Sport – 1986 Porsche 944

Porsche’s 944 offers an accessible yet iconic Porsche experience. It may not be a 911, but let’s face it, 911s were never this accessible, or this user-friendly. And the 944 offers cool 1980s design cues including a molded glass hatch, box flares, and flip-up headlights. Torque from the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine is good, and the rear transaxle makes for a well-balanced car – the only similar offering in the 1980s was Alfa Romeo’s GTV6. Finding a good example of either under our self-imposed price cap is a bit of a challenge, though, so it’s nice when one comes up – let’s have a look at this 1986 Porsche 944 for sale for $3800 in McMinnville, OR.

1986 Porsche 944 2 left front

Black does disguise the oh-so-1980s box flares and flag mirrors, but it does look nice on this car and covers up things like the black bumper rubbers. Five-hole phone dial wheels are a cool, more unusual choice than the typical Fuchs, and this car has the large factory sunroof as well. It’s also benefited from a caring owner, with recent work and new parts including timing belt & tensioner, air conditioning, clutch hydraulics, engine gaskets, hoses, thermostats, turn signal switch and steering column housing, shock absorbers, motor mounts, tires, battery, cap, rotor, spark plugs, water pump, and brake service.

1986 Porsche 944 2 right side

While it would be nice to have some more detail on things like the air conditioning and brake service, it’s more detail than you get on your usual listing. The car also has an updated audio system, and most of the power amenities you’d expect to be broken on a 1980s luxury car. The seller offers service records, and is only selling to fund construction of a new garage, which will not have room for this car.

1986 Porsche 944 2 interior

The car is said to have 206,000 miles, so you’ll definitely want to watch out for the usual signs of wear, and ask about records of any major engine service. That said, the interior certainly doesn’t show the kind of wear you’d expect at this mileage – leather looks clean and fresh, and the seat bolsters are in excellent shape. Is this what happens if leather is regularly conditioned and the car is kept garaged? The dash and door panels look similarly good, with no cracks or damage visible. The only drawbacks are the exposed speakers and the unattractive factory steering wheel.

1986 Porsche 944 2 engine

Funny enough, the engine is the lowest point in terms of condition, and that’s a compliment here – from this (admittedly high) vantage point it looks to just need some dusting to get things up to the level of the rest of the car. Given all the work that’s been done on the car, you won’t have to look in here for a while. The real question is, can this really be a turn-key car? Does it have any major needs? If the answers are yes and no, respectively, this is the one to grab.


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