In Case Of Lack Of Financial Emergency, Dial 944


My God, it started right up and ran.

Five years after “Rodney” killed the clutch slave cylinder while borrowing it (how ironic), and more than two years after I towed it out of a barn, I popped the hood, put the jumper cables on, and cranked it. Don’t ask me why I let it sit in my garage since March of 2011 without starting it. I’ve been busy.

With just a few thousand dollars’ worth of repair, the little guy would be completely ready to go. But the reason I started it was because I had an offer on it, and another car I’m preparing to buy… What to do?

As some of you know, I’m running a freshly-built Mercedes 450SLC in the Houston LeMons enduro at the end of this month, together with my brother, TTAC managing editor Derek Kreindler, and multiple SCCA national champ Marc Pfannenschmidt. It’s unlikely we will win, but we are certain to have the most awesome car. Unless you don’t consider an R107 hardtop awesome…


THAT’S RIGHT. I thought so.

In any event, I have a chance to pick up an absolutely gorgeous R107 560SL, in the right color, with all the right options, in the right condition, for peanuts. Then I can drive it down to my father’s place in Hilton Head and swan it around with the top off. This is a capital plan. The 560 is the one to have and it can knock on the door of 140mph.

There you have it. Race a 450SLC, drive a 560SL to the South. What could possibly go wrong?

Well, one problem is that I already own four street cars and one race car. So something has to go.

Town Car? I need it for the kid.
993? Ha.
Boxster S? Baby momma is using it to go on dates, oddly enough. I’ve driven it once in the past few months.
944? Hmm…

I have a buyer for it. He’s willing to give me solid 944 money — in other words, about 25 cents on the dollar. And he will make it disappear. But he wanted me to start it first. So I did that. And then I sat in the passenger compartment, and I let John crawl in there with me.

“Daddy, I like our old Por-sha,” he said.

“I like it too, but I think we might have to sell it.”


“So we can roll around here like Robert Wagner.”

“Who is that?”

I think he’ll come around to the idea. But when I see those flared fenders poking out of the garage, when I slide behind the low-slung wheel and experience the general perfection of the idea that was the early Porsche 944, when I look at the real Fuchs wheels… I wonder if I could hold on this and do the SL?

7 Replies to “In Case Of Lack Of Financial Emergency, Dial 944”

  1. Luke

    I wish I hadn’t sold my 1986 944. I had a literal blood bond with the car…the financial cost of rebuilding the engine paled in comparison to both the emotional and physical toll AND the lifelong friends I made while taking it on.

    But I wanted a 911 and at that time in my life I just couldn’t afford two toys. In hindsight it was such a short-sighted move. I wish I had it back, and I won’t make the same mistake twice.

    If you’ve bonded with the car, keep it. If not, let it go. You of all people know exactly what I mean.

  2. Tre Deuce

    The Merc is interim play… a temporary fancy, a Summer car for this Summer, only, unless…

    The 944 is a back roads bruiser with finesse in the esses… a keeper.

    Or… build a bigger(12+ car) garage or rent a big shop.

    Here is a 944 recipe contemplated for a Winter customer build that will put those pesky super cars and Mustang GT500’s on I-5, on notice.

    One 85-1/2 or newer ‘944’. Ls376(530Hp) crate motor. C4 transaxle/suspension brakes. Re-arched and flared rear wheel opening. Ditto front wheel opening with front brake upgrades. An un-turbocharged Ls376 in a 944, has a better P/W then an Aventador.

    OK, purists, let it fly, but with around a 85,000 US spec 944’s out there, they are not rare. And, after a ride in the above 944 build, your objections will disappear with the ear to ear grin on your elated face and your palms will sweat in anticipation of your turn at the wheel.

    Jump Off Joe, here comes the 944-Ls376. Aventadors, come out and play with my little Porsche 944-Ls376, that cost less then $30,000.

    After the Miata, the 944 is the best used sports car value out there, but the Boxster is catching up fast.

  3. Wulfgar

    I’m not sure you should take advice from a guy with 7 motorcycles in the garage (Hey- at least 2 of them currently run!) but if it doesn’t speak to you, it has to go. Sounds like the Boxster needs to go to me.


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