The Porsche 944 is a car that I have wanted to write about for quite a while. I never really had the time until now – during lockdown! I am going to concentrate on the updated 944 2.5 litre 4 cylinder 8 valve – which in its day produced 163 hp. It was manufactured between 1986 to 1988. I always knew it as the “oval dash” version because of the oval shaped area which includes the air vents and dash instruments panel. This dashboard (with dials) was a new feature for the model, along with updated interior and an aerial incorporated into the front windscreen. 

For the last 30 plus years, the Porsche 944 has been a very “under appreciated“ sports car. I have noticed that auction and private sale prices have been rising steadily. If you are looking to own a classic 80’s icon Porsche, the 944 is currently still good value for money.

Porsche can currently do no wrong in the eyes of the auto media and car consumer. The brand is as strong as I have ever seen it….with their range portfolio growing ever bigger. An example of this is the new Porsche 911 –  which will always be the “darling“ of the brand. It gets faster and bigger…plus it is loaded with more new tech but thankfully its exterior body design is more evolution than revolution. We all still recognise it as a Porsche 911 when we see it. Demand for a 911 is high and prices on the used market are holding up respectfully. Recently Porsche have gone one step further (and have even managed to impress the green activists) with the launch of their first all-electric vehicle – the Taycan. This car has all the green credentials ticked but also oozes the DNA of all the previous road and race petrol powered Porsches before it.

Taking all the above into account, I think that we are witnessing a strengthening in the used prices of what I call “classic front engine“ Porsches …. plus (almost) anything from the eighties is cool now!!! 

I first noticed the price rises in all the halo front wheel drive Porsches (928GTS, 968, 944 Turbo and 944S2) more than a year ago. This is having a positive effect on dragging both the 944 and 924 prices up (Porsche 924 blog for another day).

The 944 is a relatively cheap and easy car to own. Comparing it to the Porsche 928, you don’t need a massive bank balance or your very own Ed China/Ant Anstead mechanic to maintain it but I would advise to find a good Porsche specialist.  

The 2.5 litre, 4 cylinder engine is usually bulletproof with its maintenance on the easier side – providing you buy right.  I have seen one with over 200,000 miles on the clock and it was only the body that started to let it down. 

Things to look out for when buying one:

  • Rust in on sills inner and outer wings
  • Poor repaired panels
  • Noisy gearboxes
  • Clutch slipping and noisy  
  • Clunky steering boxes
  • Cambelt and balance-shaft belt changes
  • Noisy or faulty sunroof
  • Non working or slow electric windows
  • Water getting into the boot
  • Faulty aftermarket alarm/immobilisers 
  • Some service history is good but this is price dependant

I must add that if you do choose to buy one you will inevitably have to ignore comments from friends, work colleagues and neighbours such as “it’s not a real Porsche” or “its just an Audi”. These are comments I am really not going to get into right now. There is so much more to a Porsche 944, for example – near 50 – 50 weight distribution, crisp handling on the open road, its styling and one of the best driving positions I have witnessed. 

On a final note – if you are looking to do the whole eighties thing (like I did) I personally think that it looks best in Guards Red with black leather interior. Other colours that also look good are black, sliver or white. 

In my opinion the 944 is a true Porsche. I really do miss my 944 – pictured here. 


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