Yesterday, I was out in the Philadelphia suburbs picking up some hoagies (known as subs or heros to a good portion of the rest of the country). A young man parked next to me in a black Porsche 944. As we waited for our sandwiches to be made, he told me that his family had recently picked up the car, that it was quite original, that it had only about 50,000 miles, and that it was a 1988.
“Driving in its finest form”
For the 1988 model year, the 944 stood mostly pat. The engine continued to be the 147 bhp 2.5 liter/151 ci inline four with port fuel injection, paired with either a standard five-speed manual transmission or an optional three-speed automatic transmission.
0-60 with the manual transmission was about 8.5 seconds in the 2,800 pound car while mileage was 20 city/28 highway by the standards of the day (18/26 by modern standards). With a 21.1 gallon fuel tank, range was an impressive 420 to 455 miles with a 10% reserve.
Standard exterior and mechanical equipment on the $31,650 car (about $65,900 in 2015 dollars) included pop-up halogen headlights, an integral front air dam, power rack and pinion steering, vented disc brakes, and 215/60VR15 tires (a size still readily available) on 15-inch cast alloy wheels. Inside, all 944s came with air conditioning, a leather sport steering wheel, a digital quartz clock, power windows, and an electric rear window defroster.
Options included anti-lock brakes, automatic cruise control, a tilting sunroof, sports seats, front heated seats, driver and passenger airbags, and a selection of Blaupunkt digital cassette radios.
There is good club support for the Porsche 944, as there is for all Porsches. According to Hagerty’s valuation tools, all the money for a 1988 Porsche 944 in #1 condition is $17,500, with a more normal #3 condition car going for $6,700. Porsche 944s frequently show up for sale in the Hemmings Motor News classifieds. As I write this in June 2015, there’s a red 1986 with the manual and 82,000 miles available for $12,000.
Make mine silver, please.