Skip to content
porsche clothing, synthwave hat, porsche 944 outlaw, porsche hats, porsche sweatshirt, porsche vintage clothing, porsche hoodie, porsche hoodies, porsche hat, porsche clothing

The Essential Porsche 944 Buyers' Guide

Porsche 944 Buyers' Guide

The Porsche 944 was introduced in 1982 as an evolution of the 924 model. With its well-balanced handling, aggressive makeover and refined interior, the 944 quickly became a popular choice for Porsche enthusiasts. In this buyers’ guide, we will take a closer look at the history of the 944, its features and performance, and help you choose the right model for you.

Porsche 944 Model History

The 944 was produced between 1982 and 1991 with various updates and improvements over the years. Here are some of the key changes in the model history:

1982: The 944 was announced in 1982 and the first model featured a 143bhp, 2.5-litre 8-valve engine.

1985: A major upgrade in February 1985 saw the introduction of the 'oval' dash, which improved the cabin ventilation and updated the interior appearance. In July

1985, the 220bhp 944 Turbo was introduced, followed by UK deliveries in November 1985.

1987: The 190bhp 16-valve 944S was introduced, with ABS as a new option.

1988: The engine was upgraded to 160bhp and a limited edition 250bhp Turbo S was introduced. The 944 'Celebration' was also released, marking the production of 100,000 944s.

1989: The engine was increased to 2.7-litres, with 165bhp. ABS became standard on all models and the Turbo was upgraded to 250bhp.

1990: The 944S2 was introduced with a 16-valve 3-litre engine producing 211bhp, available in coupe and cabriolet body styles.

1991: The 944 Turbo Cabriolet was introduced at the start of the model year. Production of the 944 Turbo and 944S2 stopped in July 1991, with the 968 model replacing all 944 models in 1992.

What's the 944 like?

The 944 inherited its well-balanced handling from the 924 model, but with a more powerful engine and refined interior. With its 5-speed gearbox and versatile design, the 944 was a pleasure to drive and offered practicality with its opening tailgate and spacious cabin.

My Thoughts...

I've owned a number of classics and a number of 944's, the 944 S being the latest of the transaxle classics. I ran into many problems with this car that cost me a lot of money. Although there is no guarantee of buying a classic car, that in of itself is a risk as these cars are 30 years old.  

The appearance of the 944 is what drew me in and considering this came out in 1982 - it has aged incredibly well. When pulling up in a petrol station be prepared to be stopped by curious people. The car has an 'every man' style about it that is appreciated by many.

But I think now with knowledge gained from experience, a rare car isn't what you really need. That is unless you have a fleet of cars and then you need the Porsche 944 Turbo S - the most expensive and top-of-the-range. These are around £30k+

What I'm talking about is actually living with a classic, and it could be your only car as these can be daily drivers. 

Porsche parts are expensive whether you have a 993 RS or a 944 LUX. That is certainly something to consider before going for one of these. 

Some parts are cheaper at the Porsche main dealer, for example, the rubber blocks the boot pins sit on, than say Ebay.  Even other Parts shops were more expensive than going to Porsche direct. 

When viewing one of these take someone with you who has some knowledge of general car mechanics. 


944 ENGINE: 

Check the history file for engine work. Ask the owner questions about what he has spent on it. If they have not spent anything on general maintenance in the engine bay whether it needed it or not, then walk away. 

  • Check for service records performed by Porsche specific garages. Once a year these need a check over even if doing no miles. 
  • Check the timing and balancer shaft belts replaced. If not, when were they changed? every 40,000 miles or three years and a new water pump every 80,000 miles.
  • Check if the cam-chain tensioner has been changed on the 944 S.
  • Vibration at idle could be due to the engine mounting or clutch’s thrust bearing. Test the latter by resting your foot on the clutch: if it’s failing, the vibration will stop.
  • Smoke on start-up is due to worn valve stem seals; smoke in general running is due to the cylinder liners.


  • The transaxles do whine. While clutches can last 70,000 miles, they can be expensive to change.
  • Check for a leaking master cylinder. I changed mine when it failed and I needed a 'power bleeder' to bleed the clutch. Not a huge job, but additional equipment is needed for some jobs. 


  • Some 944's were non-power-assisted and vague steering could indicate a worn rack. For power-assisted ones, look for steering pump leaks.
  • If you can hear clonking noises or front-wheel shake, then this could be worn suspension bushes. 

944 BODY: 

  • Check for general paint condition, people can cover these things in wax and hide a poor paint job. 
  • Rust: Check the sills, rear wheel arches, suspension mounts and front jacking points.
  • On early cars, check the fuel tank.
  • Accident damage - check for uneven shut-lines and ripples in the body. Check for colour changes of the paint if it's been resprayed.

944 Wheels and tyres: 

  • Check for cracked alloy wheels and look out for perished tyres. A positive sign of a careful owned is that he's bought new tyres for it. Many don't bother. 

944 Interior: 

  • I've done another article about water leaks and 944's can be dreadful for it, and pay the price in rust. Check for any damp carpets - in the front and back - lift carpets up behind the seats. 
  • Check for leaks, behind the rear lights and in the rear wheel wells. You can lift the carpet up in the boot and examine the whole rear area. 
  • Ensure all the motors work, pop up lights, and the fascia isn’t cracked.

944 AIR CON:

  • If you can buy one for aircon then definitely do so. Without aircon in the summer with the amount of glass this has is like driving a greenhouse around. Sweltering. 


I would personally now steer clear of the 944 S. One of the reasons would be purely for the scarcity of parts for the 16v engine. This model was made between 1987-88. It has 190bhp which is more than the standard model of around 160bhp.

It took me a while to locate my S, the miles were 85k, and I wanted good service, I wanted decent paperwork with bills denoting it had some kind of records of money being put into it.  It was in a garage and had no rust. This ticked a lot of boxes. The interior was in very good condition. 

But the achilles heel is the 16v engine in the 2.5 litre guise and for me I found it very difficult locating parts. Although I did a lot of work on the car myself, when I had an idle problem (common issue) I felt a Porsche Specialist Garage would be best. 

The idle issue was actually a number of issues - the AFM unit, the Throttle body, and an Oil Breather hose. 

The AFM had already been 'reconditioned' but in fact I learned you can't fix the metal strip on these, so I had to purchase one from Germany - this unit is particular to the 944S. This was over £900!

The throttle body was £700 to replace with the O Ring and labour. 

The Oil Breather Pipe could not be acquired and the garage asked for my help. This was an alarm bell in that these "S" parts are becoming very difficult to acquire. There was one unused pipe in Denmark. I couldn't find another one anywhere on the internet. I managed to get this one and along with these parts being changed the car then ran. 

But I think this is a warning that this model in particular could be problematic for parts now and in the future. So I would select a different model. 

Which 944 should I get?

When choosing a 944, aim to get the latest model you can afford, and make sure to check the condition of the car. On the early models, the 'oval' dash introduced in mid-1985 greatly improved the interior, so aim for a later model if possible. The 944 had a limited option list, so many cars will be selected based on their colour. Metallic colours tend to give the 944 more appeal, but make sure the paint quality is good. The 944S with its 16-valve engine was not as popular due to its disappointing performance, but the 211bhp 3-litre S2 was widely regarded as the best all-round 944. The base 944 was upgraded to 2.7-litres in 1989, giving it better overtaking capabilities. In the Turbo, the 944 gained a maturity that put its performance on par with the contemporary 911 Carrera. The 1989-90 models with the 250bhp engine are the best buys in the Turbo category. If you are looking for a convertible experience, the Cabrio is the only option.

944 variety to suit all styles

So, whether you're a seasoned Porsche enthusiast or a new fan of the brand, the 944 is a must-have addition to your collection. The 944 model range offers a variety of options to suit different driving styles and preferences. From the base model with its smooth and well-balanced handling, to the sporty S2 and the powerful Turbo, the 944 has something to offer for everyone.

When it comes to choosing the right 944 for you, it's important to consider the model year, the engine size, and the performance upgrades that came with each iteration. Keep in mind that the latest model year you can afford, with a good service history and condition, is the best option. The mid-1985 "oval" dash upgrade and the 1989 engine increase to 2.7 liters, for example, greatly improved the car's interior and performance.

Check out our Porsche 944 Apparel


porsche 944, porsche 944 clothing, porsche 944 t shiort, porsche 944 hoodie, porsche engine, porsche 944 problems, porsche 944 buying guide

The Ultimate 944 Turbo

If you're looking for the ultimate 944 driving experience, then the Turbo models are the way to go. The 220bhp Turbos deliver a refined drive, while the later 250bhp Turbos offer even more exhilarating performance. The Turbo Cabriolet, with its top-down experience, is also a great option, but it's important to note that rear quarter visibility can be limited and the cabin can get quite dark.


In conclusion, the Porsche 944 is a true classic that offers a unique blend of versatility, performance, and style. With its smooth handling, powerful engines, and iconic design, the 944 is a timeless piece of automotive engineering that will never go out of style. The best way to find your 944 is to test drive a couple to find the right one. The LUX is a cheaper option, the S2 is an ideal option. So, get behind the wheel of this classic Porsche today and experience the thrill of driving a true sports car.

Older Post
Newer Post

1 comment

  • Great ,informative article. Thank you

    Gerry Coffey

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

Close (esc)


Use this popup to embed a mailing list sign up form. Alternatively use it as a simple call to action with a link to a product or a page.

Age verification

By clicking enter you are verifying that you are old enough to consume alcohol.


Shopping Cart

Your cart is currently empty.
Shop now