1982 Porsche 924 Turbo hatchback coupe

“… one of the fastest production two-liter cars in the world.”

1982 was the final model year for both the Porsche 924 Turbo and the base 924. The 924 S would return in 1987 and 1988, but the 944 would take over as the entry-level Porsche from 1983 to 1986, with the 944 Turbo coming in 1986.

The 924 Turbo‘s engine was a 154 bhp 2.0 liter/121 ci inline four with a single turbocharger and Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection. 154 bhp isn’t that impressive almost forty years later, but in the early 1980s, it marked a significant upgrade from the base 924’s 110 bhp—enough to drop 0-60 times by about two seconds. Fuel economy ratings were 20 city/33 highway. With a 17.4-gallon gas tank, a 924 Turbo driver could expect a range of about 415 miles with a 10% fuel reserve.

1982 Porsche 924/924 Turbo advertisement

The $21,500 924 Turbo was about $59,000 in today’s dollars or just about exactly what a 2020 718 Caymen costs. Standard exterior and mechanical equipment included tinted glass, a four-wheel independent suspension, rack and pinion steering, power four-wheel ventilated disc brakes, and 185/70VR15 tires (a size still available thanks to Pirelli and Vredestein) on 15-inch light alloy wheels. Inside, air conditioning, power windows, and an electric rear window defroster were included. Upholstery features included reclining bucket seats, full carpeting, and a leather-covered steering wheel.

Options for the 924 Turbo included headlamp washers, a limited slip differential, an electric rear window wiper, an alarm system, leather sport seats, a digital cassette radio, and a power antenna.

There is good club support for the Porsche 924, as there is for all Porsches. According to Hagerty’s valuation tools, all the money for a 1982 Porsche 924 Turbo in #1/Concours condition is an astounding $36,000, with a more normal #3/Good condition car going for $10,300. Porsche 924s frequently show up for sale in the Hemmings Motor News classifieds and on eBay Motors. However, when I checked in May 2020, there were no attractive 924 Turbo examples.

Make mine Diamond Silver Metallic, please. The 924 always looked good in silver.

Other eighties Porsches I have written about include the 1982 928 hatchback coupe, the 1986 944 Turbo hatchback coupe, the 1987 911 3.2 Carrera coupe, and the 1988 944 hatchback coupe.

1982 Porsche 928 hatchback coupe

“the finest Porsche ever built”

1982 was the final model year for the first-generation Porsche 928, which would be replaced by the slightly more powerful Porsche 928 S for 1983. Despite the aerodynamic look of Wolfgang Möbius’ exterior design, the 928’s drag coefficient was a middling 0.41.

The standard powertrain remained the 228 bhp M28 4.5 liter/273 ci V8 with Bosch L-Jetronic port fuel injection mated to either a five-speed manual transmission or a Mercedes-Benz sourced three-speed automatic. To the eternal horror of many enthusiasts, the automatic was ordered about twice as often as the manual.

In a car that weighed 3,197 pounds with the manual transmission, 0-60 mph came in approximately 7 seconds, with a top speed of just over 140 mph. Fuel mileage was rated by the EPA at a class-competitive 16 mpg—with a 22.7-gallon gas tank, the proud new owner of a 928 could expect a range of about 325 miles with a 10% fuel reserve.

1982 Porsche 928 advertisement

The 928 came well-equipped—a good thing considering it had a base price of $39,500 (about $109,400 in today’s dollars or a little more than a 2020 Porsche 911 Carrara 4 costs). Standard exterior equipment included halogen headlamps, a headlight washing system, and a rear window defogger with a rear wiper. Mechanical equipment included power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering, four-wheel disc brakes, and P225/50VR16 tires (a size still readily available) on 16 x 7 inch wheels.

Inside, automatic cruise control, adjustable pedals, power windows, a central door locking system, and automatic full climate control were all standard. Bucket seats with a driver’s side power seat, a partial leather interior, a leather-covered steering wheel, a steering column that adjusted along with the instrumentation, and an AM/FM stereo radio with a cassette player and four speakers and a power antenna were also included.

Exterior and mechanical options included an electrical sliding roof, protective side moldings ($195), and pressure-cast alloy wheels ($795). Inside, options included a front passenger power seat, sports seats (either leatherette/cloth or leather), an alarm system ($300), and a Hi-Fi sound system with eight speakers.

There is excellent club support for the Porsche 928, as there is for all Porsches. According to Hagerty’s valuation tools, all the money for a 1982 Porsche 928 in #1/Concours condition is $48,300, with a more normal #3/Good condition car going for $18,500. Porsche 928s frequently show up for sale in the Hemmings Motor News classifieds and on eBay Motors. As I write this in April 2020, there’s a Medium Metallic Blue 1982 with dark blue leather seats, an automatic, and 36,000 miles available on Hemmings for $36,500.

Other eighties Porsches I have written about are the 1986 Porsche 944 Turbo hatchback coupe, the 1987 Porsche 911 3.2 Carrera coupe, and the 1988 Porsche 944 hatchback coupe. Other sports cars from the 1982 model year that I have written about include the Chevrolet Corvette coupe and the Fiat X1/9 coupe.

1988 Porsche 944 hatchback coupe

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.

1987 Porsche 911 3.2 Carrera coupe

“The Classic Porsche”

For 1987, the Carrera version of Porsche’s evergreen 911 continued with the Bosch fuel injected 3.2 liter/193 ci flat six in use since 1984, but with a new fuel mapping that increased horsepower slightly to 214 bhp. With the standard Getrag G50 five-speed manual transmission (also new for 1987), you could expect to hit 60 mph in 6.1 seconds, with a top speed of 149 mph in the 2,750 pound Carrera (the 2020 911 Carrera S is almost 3,400 pounds). Fuel mileage was 18 city/25 highway by the standards of the day (16/23 by today’s standards) with premium gas.

The 911 was certainly not an entry-level Porsche: in 1987 that was left to the 924S (starting at $19,900) and the 944 ($25,500). For your 911’s $40,425 base price (about $92,100 in 2019 dollars) you got four-wheel vented disc brakes (but no ABS) and an engine oil cooler. The exterior included forged alloy wheels, heated power mirrors, heated windshield washer nozzles, fog lights, and tinted glass. Inside, power windows, air conditioning, fold-down rear seats, and Blaupunkt’s AM/FM stereo cassette (either Charleston or Portland) with four speakers were all standard.

By 1987, Porsche had figured out that the real money was in the options—a behavior that continues to this day. They included the Turbo-Look 911 Turbo body components ($12,593!), limited slip differential ($741), sport shock absorbers ($247), and front and rear spoilers ($1,604). Inside, you could add cruise control ($365), power door locks ($334), heated seats ($164 each), an alarm system ($240), and Blaupunkt’s upmarket Reno AM/FM stereo cassette ($133).

Things hadn’t gotten that comfortable, though—that would wait for the 1990s. There was as yet no automatic transmission option, and many (including Car and Driver) mentioned that the ergonomics still showed their 1960s origins when compared to the 928 or 944.

911 Carreras from the 1980s have held their values quite well. According to Hagerty’s valuation tools, all the money for a 1987 Porsche  911 3.2 Carrera coupe in #1/Concours condition is $86,000, with a more normal #3/Good condition car going for $45,500. A cabriolet can fetch up to $68,900 while a targa can get up to $77,700.

Porsche 911 3.2 Carreras have (of course) excellent club support from many sources and are often available in the Hemmings Motor News classifieds. As I update this in February 2019, a Guards Red 1987 coupe with 40,000 miles is for sale for $74,500. Make mine Silver Metallic, please.

Updated February 2019.

1986 Porsche 944 Turbo hatchback coupe

“Keeping Up with a Porsche 944 Has Just Gone from Difficult to Impossible”

Porsche released its Turbo version of the 944 for the 1986 model year, marking yet another step in the evolution from the original 95 bhp (!) 924 “almost a Volkswagen” design, which dated from 1976.

The 944 Turbo featured a turbocharged and intercooled version of the standard 944’s 2.5 liter/151 ci inline 4 that produced 217 bhp. New forged pistons were included along with a strengthened gearbox and standard external oil coolers for both the engine and transmission.

Despite some major turbo lag, performance was quite good for the mid-1980s: Car and Driver managed to get a 0-60 time of 6.1 seconds and a top speed of 157 mph, though they noted that the price of almost $30,000 might freeze out some previous 944 customers.

Looks weren’t sharply different from the “civilian” 944, which stayed in production. The nose was somewhat simplified with an integrated front bumper and the rear had a fairing fitted to clean up the appearance of some underside components. Wheels resembling those on the “big brother” 928 were fitted. The result looked quite good in commercials.

There is excellent club support for the 944 Turbo, as there is for all Porsches. According to Hagerty’s valuation tools, all the money for an 1986 944 Turbo in #1/Concours condition is $24,300. I’m beginning to see 944s at judged car shows and they maintain a reasonable presence in the Hemmings Motor News classifieds and on eBay Motors. Make mine Guards Red, please.