Porsche 924 and 944 cars Club PORSCHE 944 TURBO It’s no secret that the 944 was developed from the 924, Porsche re...
Porsche 924 and 944 cars Club


It’s no secret that the 944 was developed from the 924, Porsche replacing the VW/Audi engine with its own four-cylinder unit – effectively one bank of the 928’s V8 – and adding aggressive wide-arched styling. With the standard 2.5-litre engine the 944 was a brisk car but when Porsche turned its turbocharging expertise to the car in 1985 it gained the pace to challenge the 911. With 220 bhp on tap, it was foo for 0-60 mph in just 5.9 seconds, which made it faster than the non-turbo 911 and not far behind the 911 Turbo.

In purely technical terms, the 944 was the best model produced by Porsche to that date, easier to drive fast than the 911, cheaper than the 928 and faster than the 924. What’s more they’re a practical car to own as a modern classic today.
How much? £1000-£10,000

Classic status: Without a doubt. Unless you’re an air-cooled Porsche snob…

The ‘poor man’s Porsche’ offers driving thrills at affordable prices. Get in quick, though...

If you don’t think the 944, and the truly remarkable price/performance package it delivers for MGB money, is a real Porsche, it begs the question: what is a real Porsche?

Let us not forget that the very first Porsche, the 356, borrowed heavily from the VW Beetle, which was designed by Ferdinand Porsche. Then there’s the Porsche 924 - a significant machine, not merely because it saved the company from bankruptcy, but also because it offended Porsche purists.

What became the 924 had in 1976 started as a Porsche design project for VW/Audi. Then, when Volkswagen backed out, it become a Porsche assembled by Volkswagen with bits from the VW/ Audi parts bin, including the Audi 100’s four-cylinder engine. Not only was it water-cooled but, for the first time in a Porsche, it was put at the right end of a car.

The 924 served Porsche well, slotting in comfortably below the 911. In 1982, with the 924 still in production, the 944 was introduced to fill in a growing gap between the 924 and the base 911SC.

The floor pan was 924, as was the profile (although butched up a bit), but the four-cylinder engine was Porsche’s own, essentially half the 928’s V8 canted over. As with the 924, the gearbox was mounted in the rear transaxle to provide near-equal weight distribution. However, despite the common genes there’s a gulf between the first 125bhp 924 and the initial 163bhp 944, with its sub-eight-second 0-60mph time and near-140mph top speed. The sub-supercar/hatchback/coupe had become a GT.

I suppose you should also know that it’s a tight-fit 2+2 coupe and, although production was still contracted out, the 944 retained Porsche’s famed build quality and came with a zinc-galvanised body.

It also evolved rapidly. The 944 Turbo of 1985 punched out 217bhp to hit 60mph in 5.9 seconds and top out at 152mph. In 1987 the 944 S, with 16-valve head, filled in between the 944 and Turbo.

In 1989 the S2 increased capacity to 3.0 litres, and with 211bhp was only a little shy of the Turbo, although the Turbo S launched in 1988 brandished 247bhp. Then, for the last two years, there was a cabriolet, available with normally aspirated and turbocharged motors. That’s only a précis, because along the way virtually every aspect of the 944 was developed and improved.

In its ten-year life the 944 sold 175,000 units and, along with the 924, helped restore financial security to Porsche - until Black Monday and the stock market crash of 1987 kicked the company into turmoil once more. Driving enthusiasts will tell you that the 944 is an extremely sweet performer and handles superbly, without that sphincter-tightening tendency to swap ends that 911 zealots so relish but which real-world motorists are relieved to live without. And as more people become aware of its talents - and more ratty ones head towards the scrapyard, increasing the car’s rarity - so the 944’s values are starting to rise.

Until recently the 944’s problem was one of perception. Your man in the street carped: ‘Yeah, but it’s not a real Porsche.’ But let’s remember that they once asked that about the VW-Porsche 914...


UK LAUNCH At launch in 1982 the 944 cost £12,999, bridging the gap between the base 924 at £9103 and the 911SC at £16,732. That also pitched the 944 just beneath the pacier £13,998 924 Turbo. For wider-world comparisons, Mazda’s RX-7 came nearly four grand cheaper at £9199, while the Lotus Eclat was in base 911 territory at £16,750. Ferrari’s Mondial was £24,500, just £750 less than the Porsche 928S.

944 EVOLUTION At launch in 1985 the 944 Turbo cost £25,311; the 944 S, appearing two years later, cost £23,977; and in 1989 the final evolution S2 was priced at £31,304.

TODAY After decades in the doldrums, the 944’s descent to the bottom of the values curve has ended and prices are beginning to bounce vigorously upwards for good-quality examples. Unlike air-cooled 911s, later-built models have higher values, on account of youth and model evolution. Most valued are Turbos and the last S2s: the highest online asking price in the UK trade is £24,995 for a low-mileage 1991 Turbo S; a rare 1992 Turbo cabriolet, one of 100 right-hookers, is on offer for £19,995. In Belgium there’s a 68,000km 1991 S2 cabriolet, described as mint, up for £20,000. Amazingly, though, in the UK auction market, only two 944s have ever topped £10,000, and average 944 auction values over the past 24 months stand at just £4625. Away from the trade sales market, double that buys very nice examples of any but very superior Turbos, S2s and cabriolets. This is MGB money, for chrissakes, and it’s buying you a whole load of dynamic excellence.
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  •   Basem Wasef reacted to this post about 2 years ago
    Suitably attyred / #1983-Porsche-944 / #Porsche-944 / #Porsche / #1983

    Owned by Glen Waddington

    Two kids, two mortgages, two oldish potential money-pits in the garage… And it’s been an extremely busy year. So much so that the 944’s road tax became rather suddenly due, at which point I realised it needed an MoT, too. And it failed.

    Nothing major, thankfully, but, even without any other work, the need for four new tyres meant I’d have to save up for a while. Before you knew it, late summer had turned into deep winter.

    I booked the Porsche in with Templeton’s Garage (www., my local performance car specialist, owned and run by my mate Stuart Templeton. He’s serviced and worked on my BMW a couple of times, and it’s come back feeling so much better as a result. And he knows 944s as well as he knows E30s…

    First I wanted to sort my tyres. Handily, Vintage Tyres of Beaulieu (www.vintagetyres. com) is run by another mate of mine, Ben Field – we used to work together years ago on another magazine. I’d bumped into him at Goodwood Revival, and our tyre conversation grew from there: which make to go for? And which size?

    The latter was something of a mystery. It’s well-known that some Porsches of that era ran bigger tyres at the back, and the Michelin handbook states that standard-fit OEM front tyres for an ’1983 944 should be 185/70s. Only mine was on 215/60s all-round. Hmm.

    The Porsche-approved fitment is a Pirelli but, well, I told you about my financial commitments earlier. So Ben did some digging and suggested Continental Premium Contacts in the 215/60 size. But then he discovered that Dunlop makes a matching set (185/70s plus 215/60s, V-rated for 15in wheels) in its new Sport Classic range. And they’re much better suited to my budget than the Pirellis or the Avon ZZs that are also available in that combo.

    But then I did some digging. I discovered my original dealer brochure, which states that 185s are standard and 215s optional – though, unlike with the 911s of that era, they’re not mixed. I have a Porsche certificate of authenticity too, which lists the options my car was fitted with at the factory. Bingo! It should be on the 215s after all.

    So, 911 owners, you now have an option other than Pirelli for your odd-sized tyres. And, while I’ll report more on their ultimate grip next time, I have a set of Dunlops that look suitably period, are quiet, ride well, and have proved suitably safe in recent cold, damp weather.

    As for the rest of the works, Stuart discovered that the 944 was running lean and turned up the wick a little. That, and fresh sparkplugs, seem to have liberated more power! It revs much more keenly, and sounds sharper and deeper as it digs in from around 2500rpm.

    All four brake calipers have been rebuilt, and now bite harder. Best of all, my 944’s strange tendency to tramline and to weight-up in corners is now banished. Perhaps the tyres (29psi front, 36psi rear) are due some credit. But I reckon that refitting the front anti-roll bar the right way round certainly has something to do with it…
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  •   Glen Waddington reacted to this post about 2 years ago
    Porsche 944 Evo

    The 1980s 944 may have not have been as critically acclaimed as the 911, but this one can certainly eat more than a couple for breakfast.


    TIME LAPS Ill-informed bores have been slagging off the Porsche 944 for far too long. It’s time for someone to redress the balance…

    Old skool 8-valve lump is modified to perfection… although Patrick is building a newer 16-valve unit as we speak.

    In this world nothing can be said to be certain,” said Benjamin Franklin, “except death and taxes”. That’s what’s known as an immutable constant, a perennial given. But his scope isn’t really broad enough, is it? The universe is packed with such generalisations, harnessing received wisdom to propagate the myths of pseudo-truism. Dropped toast always lands butter-side-down, cats always land on their feet, decrepit billionaires always have hot young wives with plastic embellishments… and, as any ill-informed pub bore will tell you, the 911 is the only Porsche worth having.

    These are the sort of dumbwads who’ll gleefully refer to any other model from the marque’s history as a ‘poor man’s Porsche’ – surely one of the most execrable phrases a person can utter. It’s absurd. The new Cayman GT4 could tan many a contemporary 911’s backside all day long, and this behaviour resonates through Stuttgart history. The much-maligned 924, for example, was actually a peach of a thing with a gorgeous chassis. (And if that pub bore berk uses the phrase ‘van engine’, be sure to grab him by the hair and rub his face in the complementary peanuts.) Its successor, the 944, was rather a rum cove too; a luxury-sports poppet with lusty, bigcapacity four-bangers and oodles of puppylike eagerness. It fairly strained at the leash to go horizon-chasing.

    Of course, there will always be naysayers and negative nellies. The 911 fanciers (you know, the ones who’ve never actually driven them but have seen them on Top Gear) will still want to put the boot in to the poor, misunderstood 944. But sod that – life’s too short for that sort of negativity, so we’re cranking this argument up to the next level: behold, the Porsche 944 Evolution.

    OK, sure, this isn’t a production-spec 944 – quite a long way from it, in fact – but you are reading a modified car mag after all, you knew exactly what you were getting into. What we’re looking at, in essence, is the final and definitive answer to the question of the 944’s credibility. What began as a car that was already of little trouble to the weighscales now finds itself liberally adorned with such ounce-shavers as carbon-fibre doors and polycarbonate windows, and its power output has spiraled to an otherworldly 505bhp at the wheels. There is much to trouble the laws of physics here.

    When you scratch beneath the surface, you’ll find two indelible words at its core like ‘Herne Bay’ through a stick of rock: Time Attack. And all suddenly swims into focus. ‘But wait – what exactly is Time Attack?’ we hear you ask. Well, that’s a good question, thanks for joining in. The answer, in short, is this: Time Attack grew from Japanese race cars of the 1960s, that were built to celebrate the art of the aftermarket tuner – the doors were open to everyone from low-budget home-spannerers to big-bucks corporate showcases, with everyone racing on, as it were, a level playing field. This is very much the ethos of the series today.

    You just need to start with a production car as a project base, and then the tuning potential is near-limitless. Throw in a load of horsepower, tinker with the chassis and drivetrain, develop some custom aero, do whatever it takes to make the car as fast as it can physically be.

    Time Attack today exists in numerous series across the globe, with competitors bracketed into various groups; ‘Clubman’, for instance, is a UK class for cars with basic modifications – rollcages are merely ‘recommended’… the ladder climbs through ‘Club Challenge’, ‘Club Pro’, ‘Pro’ and ‘Pro Extreme’, with the cars getting incrementally madder as you go. In essence, then, Time Attack is the dream series for aftermarket tuners – you can do pretty much what you like to the car without having to worry about a governing body disqualifying you for running the wrong thickness of head gasket or a frowned-upon diameter of air intake.

    It follows, then, that cars built for this series tend to be somewhat on the bonkers side. But you’d deduced that from looking at the photos, hadn’t you?

    This project is the work of Paul McKinnon and his team at Evolution Custom Industries (ECi). And it’s pretty obvious for anyone with the power of sight that they’re about as far removed as it’s possible to be from the day-to-day sensible-trousers efficiency of Stuttgart, and that’s quite possibly what allowed their trains of thought to go so very wild with this car. The company’s bread-and-butter comes from hot rods and custom bikes, but their extensive skills in fabrication meant that the creation of this feisty 944 Evo wasn’t too much of a stretch.

    The car belongs to a customer of theirs, Patrick Garvan, who’d been quite happily using the car as a street-and-track dualpurpose machine until one unfortunate day when he spanged it into the wall at Sydney Motorsport Park, and a certain amount of remedial work was required. Employing an admirable ‘Why not?’ mentality, he decided to go all in with the build, eradicating the element of road-biased compromise and making the thing as fast as it could physically be. With sights firmly set on Time Attack, Patrick briefed ECi to just go nuts and see what happened.

    …and what happened was, er, rather a lot. The car still runs its proper turbo four-pot motor (stroked from 2.5- to 3.1-litres not via a stroker crank, but a natty integrated deck plate and Darton sleeves), although it’s now stuffed with bona fi de race-bred kit – forged pistons, knife-edged crank, mind-boggling fueling, the works. It’s dry-sumped and ready to rock. The aforementioned peak power figure speaks for itself, really.

    The most noticeable transformation, of course, concerns the body. Time Attack cars are famously extreme, designed to eke out every iota of downforce, and this 944 is no exception: a full-on widebody kit is joined by copious carbon-fibre, wings, splitters, canards, vents… it’s as subtle as being smacked in the head with a slice of lemon wrapped around a large gold brick.

    Naturally, with this sort of vastly increased horsepower and downforce, some manner of chassis upgrades were called for, which is why you’ll find the 944’s guts bristling with whacking great Brembos, a 968 transaxle, Eibach springs on Moton shocks, and antiroll bars like a weightlifter’s wrist. The interior is equally businesslike, as you’d expect, with little more than a sturdy cage and a set of buckets and harnesses to spoil the clinical minimalism of the thing. Oh yeah, and there’s air-jacks underneath. Y’know, because race car.

    So what does this all tell us about immutable truths and received wisdom? Well, quite simply, it’s all a load of cobblers. Sure, the 911 is a formidable machine, but it’s not the only option. Just ask Patrick Garvan; his 944 eats 911s for breakfast (quite possibly in a literal sense, it really is mad enough). And the scary thing is, given the relentlessly evolutionary nature of Time Attack, you can guarantee that he’s far from finished tinkering with it.

    TECH SPEC: #Porsche-944-Turbo / #Porsche-944-Turbo-Tuned / #Porsche-944 / #Porsche / #Garrett / #Porsche-944-Evo

    TUNING: 3.1-litre four cylinder turbo, integrated #Performance-Developments deck plate, line bored, pinned girdle, #ARP head studs, custom flywheel, #Cometic head gasket, knife-edged and balanced crank, Arrow rods, CP forged pistons, ported alloy race heads, Ferrera valves, titanium springs and retainers, CPE hydraulic camshaft, #Petersons 3-way dry sump, #Garrett-GTX3582r turbo, Turbosmart wastegate and BOV, #Bosch-HEC sequential ignition, #Motec-M400 management, #Bosch in-line fuel pumps, #Evolution-Custom Industries surge tank and 3-inch turbo-back exhaust, Porsche 968 6-Speed H-pattern transmission, CEP 4-1 stainless headers, custom 5-paddle race clutch, #KAAZ-LSD , custom transmission cooling system.

    CHASSIS: 11.5x18-inch #Fiske-Mach-V in anodised black, Yokohama AO050 295/30 tyres, #Eibach springs with Moton Club Sport 2-way shocks, Tarrett anti-roll bar, 330mm discs (front) 298mm (rear), Brembo 4-pot calipers and PFC pads.

    EXTERIOR: #Broadfoot-Racing front bumper, widebody kit by I.F.C., front splitter, D9 GTR headlights, Van Zweden carbon bonnet, custom carbon doors, custom wheel tubs, ducted cooling cores through bonnet, GT Racing rear guards, rear stock diff user, DJ Engineering rear spoiler, gloss black respray by Motographics.

    INTERIOR: Cobra Evo seats, full rollcage, suede dash, Sparco harnesses, Motec SDL gauges and shift lights, Tilton pedal box, air jacks.

    THANKS: Paul McKinnon @ Evolution Custom Industries, Buchanan Automotive, Dave McGrath @ Custom Engineered Performance, Neil Harvey @ Performance Developments, Mike Warner @ I.F.C. USA, Simon McBeath @ Aerodynamicist UK, all my friends and family - especially my longsuffering partner Helen.

    There’s actually light aircraft with smaller wings… and the odd 747!

    Designed to eke out every iota of downforce!


    This motor is, in short, a work of art. While it would have been easy to hoik out the stock lump and start afresh with something bigger or more modern, ECi have instead retained the 2.5-litre turbo engine and refined every individual element. It now displaces 3.1-litres, but instead of achieving this with a stroker crank it uses an integrated Performance Developments deck plate and Darton sleeves to increase bore and stroke. The crank has been knife-edged and mated to forged CP pistons and Arrow H-beam rods; at the opposite end we find extensive headwork with oversize Ferrea valves with titanium springs. Throw in the usual spiky cams, serious bolts, custom exhaust and chunky intercooler and you have a recipe for success. Oh yes, and the turbo… it’s a #Garrett-GTX3582R-turbo , which brings the twin guns of improved tractability and massive horsepower potential. The system’s designed to run E85 biofuel (there are three fuel pumps and massive 2000cc injectors), and Motec management keeps it all in check.

    That, folks, is how you squeeze over 500bhp from a 944 engine. And that’s just for starters…

    Huge 11.5x18-inch hoops get plenty of rubber on the tarmac


    So why a 944, Patrick, rather than a 911?

    “Well, I did initially want a 911, but it was way out of budget. But after a chat with a Porsche mechanic, Bruce Buchanan, I learned that the 944 Turbo was an affordable choice with a lot of potential. The upgrade costs were more reasonable, and there was a lot more scope for modi¬fication.”

    What inspired you to build a car for Time Attack?

    “My original brief to ECi was to build a full-on door-to-door race car, but after evaluating the potential damage and repair costs, Time Attack made a lot more sense. I already had a bit of experience with it, and I also really like the format, with its more liberal rules and focus on aerodynamics.”

    Ah yes, that aero - tell us about that.

    “There’s a #DJ-Engineering rear wing, and a #Broadfoot-Racing front bumper with ECi’s own splitter; the pop-up headlights have been swapped out for flush D9 GTR items, and there’s various flics and canards – a piece from here, a piece from there, you know how it is.”
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  •   Andy Everett reacted to this post about 3 years ago

    Porsche’s runt of the litter has finally stood up to its bigger brothers and is now being taken seriously. But it still can’t escape the inevitable… it’s not that quick. Fear not though, help is at hand. Words: Andy Hinks images: Jackie Skelton.
    Why would you modify a #Porsche-924 ? It already boasts more desirability than most cars dare-dream of. It is a Porsche after all.

    A ‘proper’ rear-wheel drive sports car, and perhaps most importantly, it has pop-up headlights! That said, it’s not really a proper #Porsche ; the engine is in the ‘wrong’ place for starters, and in standard from they’re a bit tame to be honest. Not something you’d attribute to say a #911 , but you probably wouldn’t buy one of them to start modifying it (I would, but I’m broken – I doubt a car exists that I’d leave alone). The good news is, as Porsches go, a 924 represents really rather excellent value.


    I’m going to start with aesthetics, because that’s likely where most of you will too. Despite my somewhat mean introduction, a decent condition #924 will perform and handle pretty well for what it is. Unfortunately ‘what it is’ is now quite old (both chronologically and in terms of the technology) so it probably handles as well as your mum’s new Astra diesel. The good news is there is absolutely nothing you can do to make a new Astra look anything but horrible, unlike what we’re charged with here.

    If I had a 924 I’d make it look like it was in California in #1975 . That may sound crazy (or more likely you have no idea what I’m talking about) but most people will expect or even demand that you make it resemble an ‘80s race car, and that would be rubbish. I love a race car for the road as much as the next guy, and sure, you could put wide fibreglass arches on it (like the #1980 #Porsche-924-Carrera-GT #Le-Mans car for example) and some big spoilers (think ‘80s Can-Am perhaps?) – all common possibilities are available, though often not cheaply. But I can’t help but see that as too easy or obvious, and a 924 is never actually going to be a convincing race car is it? Porsche themselves barely raced them; that’s what 911s are for.

    So what would my plan include, well it would involve imagining an air-cooled Volkswagen on Huntington Beach Boulevard in the ‘70s, and applying that classic ‘Cal-look’ to a 924. In a nutshell: stock but immaculate bodywork, in a single flat colour (no metallics or two-tones), no aftermarket additions or bodykits (save perhaps for a carefully chosen period accessory or two), period correct wheels (which we’ll discuss shortly) tucked up in the arches, and sitting low. Preferably very low. Performance & handling modifications don’t really come into it; not to say that you can’t, but it’s not the priority. The focus is firmly on the look and it’s a very cool one at that.


    Whether you want to keep things sporty or agree that a Low-Cal, air-cooled VW-influenced 924 would be amazing, you’re going to want to change the wheels. The issue with this is that all bar the fancy ‘S’ and Turbo models are a fourstud by 108mm PCD fitment, which broadly means either a poor choice of uninteresting wheels (95 per cent of people who own cool old cars that take 4x108 wheels fi t 13x7 Minilite replicas) or expensive custom-made options (or adaptors, but they steal space for dish and therefore ruin your life). The best solution is to convert the car to take five-stud wheels, which fortunately can be done very simply and quite inexpensively with the right combination of parts from other Porsches.

    The most obtainable (I suspect) are parts from a pre-1985 #944 (later ones have differences), from which you will require the following: front knuckles and hubs, with the complete brake setup, and the rear trailing arms and the hubs with the complete brake assembly from the back. Brilliantly that all bolts straight on and depending on what spec 924 you have may also be a bonus brake upgrade (most are rear-drums, for example).

    Post-’85 components can be made to fi t if you happen across some, but with a bit more fiddling it would make more substantial brake upgrades possible as some came with big Brembo setups. Another top tip here is that the front and rear anti-roll bars from all 944s are a direct fi t so now would be an ideal opportunity to make that upgrade too, especially if ‘sporty’ is your chosen path. With that done, the world is your oyster – Porsches are massively supported in the aftermarket and there are a wealth of wheels from later models, (OEM+ style) to set your retro motor off a treat. For my look, period correct wheels are massively important - I’d be going for the classic Fuchs, replicas of which are now available in more ‘modern’ sizes. Something like 17” with a significant stagger (fronts much narrower than the rears) to allow the fronts to really tuck inside the arches once it’s lowered.

    That segues us nicely into the topic of suspension and achieving the all-important lowness. For this section I’m going to ignore which style of car you’re looking to build, as the answers are all the same. The rear will cost you only your time: 924s are torsion bar suspended, so take everything to bits turn it round however many spines you require and put it back together. This is called re-indexing and in popular 924 wisdom one spline will equal around 40mm of drop. Sounds easy, but can actually be a total pain because they’ll very likely be well and truly stuck. You’ll need an assistant with plenty of tea and elbow grease. Ideally do it when you’ve got the rear trailing arms and hubs removed to do the previously mentioned five-stud conversion.

    For extreme lowness some shorter rear shocks might be required to stop them bottoming out, or if you’re feeling flush, coilovers are available off the shelf to ditch the torsion bars altogether and go fully adjustable - 40mm increments leave no scope at all for fi ne-tuning your stance. Front suspension is of a very conventional MacPherson strut, single wishbone design, and so is very easy to lower. Either fi t shorter and stiffer springs or convert to coilovers (readily available to suit most budgets and intended uses, or if you can weld/ fabricate a bit, kits are available to convert your existing struts to coilovers).


    So it looks and sits how we want it. Some would call that done, but some of you might understandably find yourself thinking about making it go a bit better. Performance figures for 924s are hardly scintillating by the standards of the marque. Your options are a 2-litre 4-cylinder at 125bhp, or the same but with a turbo at around 175bhp. Towards the end of its production life (86-88) Porsche made the 924 available with a detuned version of its 2.5 4-pot from the 944, making around 160bhp. Due to the normal ‘parts bin’ approach of the Volkswagen Audi Group, and the fact that the 924 was originally designed and developed as a Audi/ VW (before the oil crisis led them to opt for the lower budget Scirocco instead) the aforementioned is actually an Audi engine. This is brilliant news for us, as there are some fantastic Audi engines, which will bolt to the existing 924 gearbox.

    Since we were talking about wheel fitment earlier and we said that four is not enough and five is better, why stop there? Five-cylinder engines sound amazing and Audi units are available in various specifications (10v singlecam or 20v twin-cam, N/A or turbo) to suit your budget and performance requirements. The list of where to obtain one is endless, Audi put them in all sorts and as I’ve said in other articles in this series, starting with a complete donor vehicle will always make your life easier. I’ll focus on the 2.2-litre 20v Turbo because more is more, but the principals apply equally to the naturally aspirated and single cam variants. For installing one in a 924, handily the inlet and exhaust manifolds are on opposite sides of the engine, which is great for fitting it all in, especially where turbos are concerned. Also the inlet and throttle are on the same side as standard, so you won’t even need to re-route the accelerator cable.

    There are no OE engine mounts to put a five-cylinder Audi engine in a 924, so these will need to be fabricated – a fairly simple job of lining up the engine in the bay and making card/hardboard templates before transferring onto steel plate. Even if you can’t weld yourself, having a pair of mounts made up from a decent template would not be an expensive thing to commission. The only real complicated work will come in modifying the sump and the exhaust manifold to clear everything. The 20v sumps are aluminium, which is more of a specialist welding job so if you can’t do that, then a steel 10v item can be utilised.

    The OE exhaust manifolds have proved tricky to those that have done this conversion and while they look like they should work, everyone I’ve seen has ended up making one/having one fabricated. Again, if welding and fabrication isn’t for you, there are people out there that specialise in this kind of thing and I wouldn’t expect to pay more than a few hundred pounds for an exhaust manifold. All bar one more small part, and probably the need to route coolant and intercooler pipes, can then be used from the stock donor engine (loom, ECU, inlet manifold, throttle body, clutch, flywheel, all ancillaries, etc.). There is one small part I need to mention which is actually something you’ll probably need to order from your local VW main dealer: the clutch and flywheel for the 5-cylinder engine will not fi t in your 924 bell-housing. VW themselves actually used a spacer plate for certain applications to get around this and the item you need is from an Audi RS4 with the bi-turbo V6. This spacer bolts between your new engine and existing gearbox and sorts this issue out entirely. Don’t forget to bolt this in place before you mock your engine up in the ‘bay and fabricate your engine mounts!

    One final point of note on the engine front is that we are not talking about the common #VAG family of bell-housing pattern here, that’s actually a different fitment – so the regular favourites in terms of engine conversions, like the 4-cylinder 20vT, superchanged G60, or VR6 are not really options. At least not without bespoke fabrication and with the other options available there is really no point. Theoretically the 2.7t and even the Audi 4.2 V8 would bolt up, IF you could fi t it all in (and account for the weight) – I’ve seen at least two that I can recall that have been converted to small block Chevy V8 power, so it’s definitely possible if you’re skilled/brave/rich enough.

    Throughout this piece I’ve found myself saying “here are some good ideas…” shortly followed by, “but here is what I would do… (something daft).” Well in the engine department I would genuinely be looking at a big smoky diesel, with a silly great turbo. I love diesels and Cal-Look VWs with smoky motors with that distinctive note and aroma, suits the theme in my opinion. I wouldn’t even run an exhaust to the rear, but have it exit via the front wing giving more clearance underneath for lowering. Options include, but are by no means limited to, the whole range of 1.9 TDis (AAZ, 1Z, AFN) and even a 5-cylinder diesel from an #Audi 100 or early #Volvo V70 . With what I imagine to be a very low drag coefficient and a frugal yet torquey tuned TDi, my imaginary modified 924 has all the practicality and daily usability (assuming all the roads you frequent are flat) to match the fantastic Low-Cal look. I’ve almost talked myself into doing it…
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  •   Lester Dizon reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    The GTS was built to homologate the model in Group 4. This one is on offer at £190,000

    Six-figure #Porsche-924-Carrera-GTS / #Porsche-924-GTS / #Porsche-924 / #Porsche / #Porsche-924-Carrera / #Porsche-924-Carrera-GTS-937 / #1981 / #Porsche-937

    If our article on Stuttgart’s fourcylinder transaxle family has piqued your interest in these underrated models, North Yorkshire- based Specialist Cars (www. is currently offering a rare example of the ultimate 924 – the Carrera GTS.

    Based on the homologationspecial Carrera GT, just 59 GTSs were produced. Besides featuring lightweight glassfibre panels, a thinner windscreen plus Perspex side and rear windows, the cars also boasted a limited-slip differential as well as modified suspension and brakes. The turbocharged engine, meanwhile, was tuned to give 245bhp, meaning a none-tooshabby top speed of 155mph plus a 0-60mph time of 6.2 secs.

    Like all GTSs, this one is lefthand drive, and is described as being in excellent condition – hardly surprising, given that it’s covered fewer than 10,000 miles. The model was, of course, remarkably successful at #Le-Mans . If you need any further recommendation of its sporting pedigree, look no further than five-times winner of the endurance classic, Derek Bell: the British ace has owned his for more than 35 years.
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  •   Daniel 1982 reacted to this post about 4 years ago

    You’d expect a Porsche advert to be all about the performance – after all it’s not a marque renown for its environmental credentials – but this advert demonstrates that back in the late 70s (with the oil crisis still fresh in many people’s minds) that the little 924 was marketed with more than an eye on practicality (although we’re not exactly convinced that the Phantom is a fitting comparison). The US market in particular felt this more than most, as they were offered a sub 100bhp variant, which seems almost unthinkable today.

    As you’ll probably know the 924 didn’t have an easy birth, being passed around by VW and Audi like an unwanted child before Porsche took on parenting duties. But what great parents they made! From the early days of being a low powered, softly spring ‘practical’ sports car the 924 spawned some exceptional variants, from the cool Turbo to the simply sublime Carrera GT. That it eventually went on to evolve into the 944, and subsequently the 968, is a testament to just how good the 924 really was.
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  •   Matt Petrie reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    Long-term fleet #1986 #Porsche-924 S

    The #924 S has gotten off lightly this month, with very little meddling. This has not been in favour of the blue car, but merely outside factors and, in part, laziness. That same laziness has even seen a reduction in use, only as I cannot be bothered swapping the cars around in the morning.

    When I have been driving the #Porsche 924 the changeable weather has definitely provided some fun. Again this has been partly due to my student-like motivation. I had been very good at resetting the suspension after track days. It is quite easy: take the carpet from the boot, lay on the ground and turn the adjuster on the bottom of the coilovers to dial back the rebound and compression to make the car more compliant on the roads. The thought that I could be heading back to the track sometime soon means I save the small amount of time spent laying on the ground, trying to remember, upside-down, how a tap works, time that would otherwise be devoted to a combination of working, drinking coffee, eating Jaffa Cakes and watching the West Wing. So I have tended to leave the car set in track mode. In the dry months the firmer ride made very little difference, aside from the obvious rattles and bumps. In the wet there is a little more to contend with. The firmer setup makes the car more fidgety on the road as it moves with any imperfections, and where I live there appear to be plenty of sections where the road that may as well have been corrugated.

    There is an upside to the firmer setup, and that is sensitivity. The car may be moving around a lot but there is so much information about what the tyres are doing and what’s underneath them, that driving around the imperfections in the roads and slippery patches is far easier than one might expect. Even for me. With the shocks dialled down I get less information but the car absorbs the bumps, so I ultimately have less of a need to know every little mark in the Tarmac. Another factor with my track setup, is that I have the rear shocks set firmer than the front, in an attempt to dial out some of the understeer, not only does this stop the nose pushing wide but it adds a layer of entertainment.

    Busy times at work mean I have been heading into the office a little earlier these past few weeks; the upside of this is that I quite often have the more interesting stretches of road to myself, and goodness knows there are some dawdlers when I don’t. There is a lovely section of road that dips to a sharp 90-degree left into a short climb. One damp morning I exited the corner in third and applied the throttle a smidge too eagerly, with superb communication through the steering wheel I felt precisely what was about to happen: the rear wheels broke traction and the back of the car slipped gently to the right, no more than about a foot. The feeling from the road to the cabin was such that I could adjust the steering and maintain throttle and the car eased itself back into line.

    That briefest of sideways moments was not intentional but it felt great and I had a spring in my step when I arrived at the office. Trying to intentionally repeat the action at the next corner, while it could have left me feeling full of win, would more likely have seen me into a hedge.

    Interested in the limits of these cars I enjoy looking through Porsche driving videos on YouTube and, more often than not, the better rated ones see drivers drifting gracefully from corner to corner, something which GT Porsche’s Jethro Bovingdon makes look so natural and fluid, frustratingly so, although I like to think there are plenty of unpublished spins.

    I’d love to have that level of ability and confidence in my kit bag, partly for showing off, but mostly to have such incredible car control. In pursuit of that I could well go out each morning and try my hand at taking the corner sideways, but my commute really isn’t the place for such learning. Neither is the road, generally, for fear of damaging mine or other cars and being, you know, not legal. What confidence I do have, if the car gets out of shape, comes from track days. Technically speaking track days are not the place to master the art of oversteer either, but chasing better lap times there is often no choice but to get slightly sideways.

    Some of you may be wondering, other than for showboating and being a nuisance to other road users, what the point is in being able to drive my sensitive little 924 in anything other than a straight line? That is a valid point of view, and there is a lot to be said for driving to the conditions. However I believe there is merit in having a fighting chance of keeping the car on the road when things get out of shape. That applies double for the older Porsches that don’t have the hero monitoring technology of the modern cars. It isn’t always driving too fast or misbehaving that causes the little moments that I have, a big lift off due to some other driver’s antics or, as is more likely around here, Bambi bounding out in front of me, can provoke the 924 S into oversteer, even in standard setup. I should get myself along to Silverstone and take one of the Porsche driving courses as it would no doubt help me out on both the track and road, but for now I will keep on tracking and hopefully staying out of trouble.

    One factor is in no doubt: I will be dialling back the suspension settings before the full-on winter weather arrives. While I may have pretensions of being a handy wheelman I am no born again hooligan.
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  •   Matt Petrie reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    WIN A PORSCHE 924!

    Classic Car Win launches its first competition by giving you the chance to own a #1981 #Porsche #924 historic rally car, all you have to do is answer the simple question below...!

    The car itself has undergone an 8-year nut-and-bolt restoration included a fully re-built engine and gearbox all under taken by a #Porsche main dealer.

    Not only does the car look the part by being decorated in the famous Martini Racing colours but it also performs, with twin-Weber 45 carburettors fitted to a Jam engineering manifold.

    The car was prominently displayed at last year’s #NEC Classic Motor Show and in readiness for the Show it was prepared, detailed and underwent a professional studio photo-shoot by 4 Star Classics of Guildford. For your chance to win this car you need to text the answer to the following question to the number at the bottom of this article fairly sharpish as entries close on January 31st. To be in with a chance of winning this amazing car, simply answer the following question: Who was the founder of the Porsche motor car company?

    A: Ferdinand Porsche…
    B: Frederik Porsche…
    C: Franz Porsche…
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  •   Matt Petrie reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    Car #Porsche-924-Carrera

    The standard #Porsche-924 remains one of Porsche’s least lauded models, but this remarkably in-depth publication charts the development of the Carrera variants. Roy Smith has trawled the company’s archives to produce a comprehensive hardback, and the result is impressive. From the history of the marque and the #Porsche Carrera name, via the 924’s Le Mans appearances and on to its final period outings in America, no stone is left unturned. There is a detailed race record, and the model’s rally history is covered, too.

    Considering how many column feet have been devoted to the 911, it’s about time that somebody did the same for its lesser-known sibling, and Smith has delivered. With input from drivers such as Derek Bell and Jürgen Barth, this is a highly readable account. Only the steep price and uninspiring layout count against it.
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  •   Matt Petrie reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    The #1986 #Porsche-924S

    I find it odd how some things stick in my mind. A couple of years ago, I had planned on taking the engine out of the #Porsche-924 and changing the oil seals over the Christmas break. I booked my days off and got everything teed up. Infuriatingly the day after Boxing Day I put my back out and for 24 hours I could barely move from the floor, let alone anything else. So the job was on hold. In January of that year I got back on it and a while later the car was fixed, a few upgrades done, and was MoT’d. So it’s about early February that I start to get the sense that I need to sort the 924 for its MoT. Only this year, I was a little late. One day I arrive at work and I am convinced the MoT must be due imminently, so I go on to the web and look up the expiry date using the reg number – it was due that day! At least it wasn’t late…

    As soon as the commuter traffic had died down I drove to the local test centre and was told to return in a couple of hours. I was a little concerned about the emissions, what with the new exhaust not having been run in properly, but this would at least buy me some time to get the car sorted properly, and not be illegal. When I went back to the test centre to collect my car I was told it had passed! Again, I underestimate the 924 S and again it comes through. This is by far the oldest, tattiest car I have ever owned and yet it is also the most reliable. There were a few advisories, but nothing that wasn’t on there before – corrosion to non-structural parts that I am tempted to replace with lighter alternatives.

    It may have got a straight pass with none of the usual prep and testing (not even the once-round to check all of the lights!) but I had actually done a little work on the car in the weeks prior. Firstly I had another look at the rear light cluster, and the near side brake light was becoming a little intermittent again. The problem with the light turned out to be the connector. I cut and routed the wire for the brake light separately with a little bullet connector so it can be removed if needs be, along with the rest of the light cluster.

    I had also fitted the new exhaust. I didn’t believe the old one was MoT worthy (well, the centre section at least) and so it seemed like a good time to replace the back box while I was at it. I am happy to report that the exhaust has now quietened down a little. It seems to be getting quieter at the lower end of the rev range, which is better for pootling about, especially first thing in the morning as I leave for work – I can’t imagine I would endear myself too much with the new neighbours were I screaming by at daybreak. The weird thing about it, for a standard exhaust, is how loud it still gets as the revs climb. At about 3000rpm it still goes a bit nuts. I really need to bring it to work and get it sound-checked to make sure I will still be able to get on to some race tracks this year! I am itching to get out, but the house and other distractions have stopped me so far.

    How much track time I get will also depend on how long I keep the car. Its future is in the balance, and that actually makes me a little sad. This is the part in the article where I play a gentle melody in the background and get more serious. You see, I have now reached a point with the 924 where a good deal of time and money has been spent getting the car up to standard. I am pleased to report it’s a lot better than I originally suspected it ever would be, and it has proven its worth on track. But I think that I would now want to spend yet more on it. I would love to replace the wings and rear screen with plastic of some sort to drop some weight. The way the car looks in profile on the SPAX coilovers would look fantastic with a few of the dings hidden and a fresh coat of paint applied. From what I have read and been told about the difference one would make, I would also love to fit a lightweight flywheel. These updates are all going to cost and the improvements will be incremental compared to the money involved, but it would be fantastic to see the job through and finish the 924.

    So I am at a bit of a crossroad and need to make a decision, not that I won’t continue to enjoy the car as it is at the moment. If I do decide to let it go I hope it will be quick and painless. I mooted the idea on Twitter the other day and almost immediately had a message from someone I know from track days asking about it. I’m proud that I’ve rebuilt a scrapyard-bound nonrunner into something others actually see as a job well done.

    I have poured so much time and effort into the little Porsche that my view is arguably rose tinted but it has been a great starter car for both the garage and the track. It has taught me a lot. If only I had more space… and money… and time…

    Matt’s #Porsche 924 flew through its MoT this month, but could it be time to part with it?
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