In the land of pointy, underpowered 80s sports cars; the Porsche 944 reigns supreme in many ways. It was, and still is an amazing looking car that seems to have all the right curves in all the right places. It made decent power for its time, and it's an absolute beast in the corners. Unfortunately it's not one of the more reliable vehicles in the world. In fact, I think the Mitsubishi Starion might even be more reliable than the 944. This has driven me into an incredibly complex and almost unsustainable love-hate relationship with my 944.
You can't help but think that after the Volkswagen designed Audi with a Porsche badge that was the 924 (still better than a 914), Porsche felt some sort of need to redeem itself. So they came up with the 944; a 924 with fender flares, a revised suspension system and a 5.0L Porsche V8 sawn in half under the hood. All of this was wrapped up into a neat little package that cost around $50,000 (adjusted with inflation) and sold in boatloads. Today you can find classifieds littered with 944s running anywhere from $500 for seriously challenged examples, to near mint ones coming in at close to $10k.
I'm now just over a year into ownership of my current 944; a black-on-black-on-black '84 with a hodgepodge of options. This puts me at just over six years of total 944 ownership. Six painful, yet enjoyable years.
Why I Love It:
-It handles like a dream, even if the suspension is shot.
-That thumping 2.5L 4-cyl makes a truly magnificent sound.
-It has the world's most overkill brakes. Literally, these things could stop a Z06 'Vette.
-It will still burn the tires off, especially if you run 40 year old BF Goodrich Radial T/As like I am (they just look good).
-The non-turbo/S2 cars have that mean, bulky look.
-The pre-1985½ cars (known as "early models") have a no-nonsense because racecar interior.
-The Turbo and S2 models are actually fast, kind of.
-It turns a lot of heads, surprisingly.
-It really is a gorgeous car. Like Jennifer Lawrence gorgeous though, not Megan Fox gorgeous.
Why I Hate It:
-They're an absolute pain in the ass to fix.
-Parts are ungodly expensive even though most of the electrical was shared with every Audi ever.
-Your significant other will threaten to leave you unless you get rid of the multiple 944s laying around your house in various states of disrepair because they're an "eyesore" (I view them as art).
-They will drain your bank account.
-They're an electrical nightmare. One day you'll go to signal right and your wipers will come on. Or you'll turn on your headlights and the hatch will pop open.
-You have to change your timing belt annually just to be safe.
-It's incredibly picky about what oil you put in it, like it's a real Porsche or something.
-Every time you fix something, something else, that's even harder to fix breaks.
-More things break when the car sits than when you drive it.
-They leak every fluid known to mankind. You'll find a puddle of diesel under your car one day.
-When it rains it's like Niagara Falls up in there.
-Women don't believe you when you tell them it's a Porsche.
-It overheats if you look at it wrong.
All of this said, I drove my 944 in the summer more than I drove my '12 Civic Coupe (really though no one likes driving a 2012 Civic). As much as it annoys me to no end, I could never give it up. It just has a character about it.
I still want a Fiero though. And a truck. I want all the vehicles.