1983 Porsche 944: Track Friendly

1983 Porsche 944

There was a time when autocrossing was a big part of my spring and summer routine. I loved it – getting up at the crack of dawn, walking the course, chatting with other drivers and the exhilaration of banging the car all over the course. I did grow a bit weary of it, however, largely due to wanting to keep my car a summer driver and put an actual interior in it. However, there are some vehicles that make me want to get back into it with vigor and attack some cones. This 1983 Porsche 944, found by Credit Card Classics reader Jim S, is an ideal candidate for track days and autocrosses, and it’s listed here on eBay for just $3,900.

1983 Porsche 944 Headlights

The 944s have stayed relatively cheap for as long as I can remember. While it never had the cache of a 911 or the brute-force power of a 928, it still offered a well-balanced chassis with decent looks and not-awful acceleration. Handling was a strong suit thanks to the front-engine/rear-drive layout, and it delivered near-perfect weight distribution. They weren’t the most impractical things, either, with the rear hatch design perfect for chucking in some helmets and track tires, or a duffle bag for an overnight trip depending on your needs.  The 2.5L four-cylinder provided 165 bhp of scoot and was good for a top speed of just over 135 mph.

1983 Porsche 944 Interior

As an older 944, this car didn’t benefit from the improvements made to the cabin in the 1985 model year. Other features it missed out on are the classic “phone dial” wheels, making do with the less attractive cookie-cutter design. The more rudimentary interior appointments, lacking niceties like premium sound systems and heated seats, is perhaps why I like this 944 as a track rat. Strip out the carpeting, dispose of the likely-rotted seats (that’s what seat covers are usually for) and go racing. Though I would take steps to preserve the dashboard, as it looks crack-free – hard to find in older German vehicles. Ask me how I know!

1983 Porsche 944 Spoiler

The seller notes that the car has been used primarily as a commuter for most of its life, and it’s a claim I’m inclined to believe. However, I suspect it received a quickie repaint, as the finish appears quite shiny and the lenses haven’t been replaced on several corners. This wouldn’t be hard to do, so I’m a little puzzled why they haven’t taken the time to do it. And while the seller does his best to convince us that the A/C is functioning, hot air coming from a working compressor still requires some investment to get it running right. Of course, that’s also one more reason to tear out the system and buy a trailer instead. What do we think, readers – is this one too good to relegate to autocross duty, or is it the perfect candidate to tear around some cones?


  1. rjc

    I had a 1977 924 loved that car handled beautifully.
    but the 944 I think would be more fun having almost double the hp.
    good find.

  2. Alan (Michigan)

    Not to quibble, but I’m not sure that hot air coming out of an AC system means that the Air Compressor is working…

    Also, I’m not quite convinced that the claimed “average value” of $6500 is really “well below” the seller’s $3900 BIN. 😀

    I always worry about “fresh paint” in any case, It is really hard to get a car decently painted for even a thousand dollars, IF the owner does all of the trim work, etc, That amounts to 25% of the ask, so why was it done, to hide something? Yes, I am an admitted cynic. But this car screams for a personal inspection before pulling the trigger.

    Pretty short commute to only rack up the claimed miles in 30 years. Oh, and WHEN was the cam belt done, if ever???

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