By on July 18, 2014

porsche9242

I was doing some legwork on a Reader’s Ride sort of thing that I’m hoping I’ll get to do with a Porsche 968. Time hasn’t treated the four cylinder front engined Porsches quite as well as it has the 928, and that, too, is kind of dismissed by Dr. P’s acolytes of the rear engined faith. You can buy a 968, the ultimate development of the 944 and a very nicely performing, exceptionally handling car, for less than a new Yaris or Versa will cost you and you can get a decent runner 944 for just a few thousand dollars. As for the 924, like the 914, it’s considered eine halbe Porsche.

porsche924

The faithful reject it as a “true Porsche” not just because the engine’s in the wrong end of the car, but also because it was a joint VW/Porsche project intended originally to be a high end coupe for the VW brand in Europe and sold as an Audi in North America. It wasn’t originally even going to be a Porsche, though Porsche did much of the initial development work. However, when Volkswagen decided that the Scirocco met their coupe needs and backed out of the project, Porsche bought the rights, deciding to use the car as a replacement for the discontinued four cylinder 914 and 912 models.

porsche9243

When it arrived in showrooms, the front engine, rear transaxle layout and Porsche’s suspension prowess made it a great handling car. The smog control enfeebled Audi engine, shared with some AMC models including Jeep postal trucks, though, was a dog. The chassis didn’t find its promise until the Turbo, 924S, and 944 models. As a result, the 924 cars that have survived are cheap enough to be considered for 24 Hrs of LeMons use without having to sell off many parts to get under the $500 limit. Heck, some are already at or below the $500 limit as you can buy them. Well, people would consider using them as LeMons entries if they were reliable enough to last in a crapcan enduro, which they aren’t. You can get a running 924 for less than it will cost to put a used engine in a 10 year old Saturn. If that’s too rich for your blood, and you happen to have a spare golf cart laying about and are still jonesing for an affordable front engined Porsche, well, you’re in luck as someone in Hart, Michigan with a 924 is willing to make a trade:

Posted: 

 1977 Porsche 924 – $500 (Hart, MI )

image 1image 2image 3

1977 porsche 924

1977 924 Porschegreat for parts
no title/not running
will trade for golf cart
call or text 616-xxx- three to six three
  • do NOT contact me with unsolicited services or offers
Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can get a parallax view at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks for reading – RJS
Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

42 Comments on “Lo, How the Mighty are Fallen. Porsche For Sale, Will Trade for Golf Cart...”


  • avatar

    Am I the only one who thinks that $500 for a non-running 924 seems about $3k overpriced? (And I say that as someone who is rather fond of 944s, at least in S2 and Turbo versions.)

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Yes, but I just read a report on used car pricing and color which said that used yellow cars sell for $2,500 more than their peers, so you come out even, specially if you have a golf cart laying around (and don’t we all?)

    • 0 avatar
      AJ

      I think that the seller should also include the golf cart.

    • 0 avatar
      dantes_inferno

      > Am I the only one who thinks that $500 for a non-running 924 seems about $3k overpriced? (And I say that as someone who is rather fond of 944s, at least in S2 and Turbo versions.)

      Especially since this iteration of the 924 sported an Audi truck-based engine.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Well what is the price of scrap in the area and what does the car weigh?

        Non running 80s sedans fetched about $200 in the last school district auction and a Caprice weighs enough to bring decent scrap value (FWIW I’ve seen both the non-runners I was interested in running around town since.)

    • 0 avatar
      Superdessucke

      Yes. Back in 77 if you pulled up in this people would know you’d arrived. Today they’d also know you’d arrived – by that nasty chalky yellow hue and probably the stench of burning oil and the thrashy din of that mail Jeep 4 running on 3 cylinders.

      Still worth $500 though. If only to take it to a back field somewhere and teach it a little lesson. I’d get 5 bills of entertainment out of that any day.

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    Waiting for the Porsche Snobs to come on and in discredit this car as “not being a real Porsche”.

    The same way that they do with the 914.

    By the way- LOL- I’m really diggin’ those raised white letters. If only they were Coopers :)

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Nah, too busy beating-up on the Cayenne and Macon to bother

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        Porsche needed to expand its definition of what a Porsche was, or else the company would have become as irrelevant as Lotus is now. So for what it’s worth, I do consider the Cayenne and Macan to be “real” Porsches in that they carry the spirit of the company’s performance-oriented legacy to the crossover market, rather than just having whored-out pedigree badges (a la Aston Martin Cygnet). But the bulk of them will likely never going to be preserved as family heirlooms or collectible cars. In fact, I seem to remember one “New or Used” article in which the letter writer had been offered an unwanted 2006 Cayenne S by his father-in-law.) Is this 924′s fate going to be the same one that befalls the Cayenne and Macan after they pass through the buy-here/pay-here government-assisted customers? Will they all have disintegrated before they ever reach that price point?

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          I like them too, the only Porsches I would consider

        • 0 avatar
          319583076

          As I understand it, Porsche was going to discontinue the 911 and was developing a “proper” car to replace it – i.e. a proper car with the engine in front driving the rear wheels instead of the engine hanging behind the rear axle. Porschephiles reacted violently and viciously and so here we are today with roughly 3.14 x 10^6 variations of 911 available, the company’s best driver’s cars held back from their full potential, and a thriving CUV business. It’s worked out well for the company, at least.

          • 0 avatar

            I have the same understanding.

          • 0 avatar
            tonycd

            The 928 was intended to be the top of the line, wasn’t it?

          • 0 avatar
            319583076

            The story (as I understand it) basically goes something like this:

            Internally, Porsche engineers realized the 911 was a ridiculous car – inherently poor weight distribution with accompanying bad handling manners due to the drivetrain layout. Accordingly, the front engine, RWD cars were being developed as superior replacements for the 911. I believe you are correct that the 928 would be the top of the line. Supposedly, the company culture was full of derision for the 911 but the moneyed consumers felt the opposite. I don’t think anyone can fault Porsche for continuing to build the 911 and taking their customer’s money. I think we can fault Porsche for handicapping it’s best driver’s platform to artificially maintain the 911 at the top of their lineup. But, hey, I’ve never had the means to buy a new Porsche – so what’s my opinion worth to the company?

            And…if you’re thinking of retorting with an argument along the lines of the 911′s storied racing legacy, don’t. It’s been covered ad nauseam. Sure, the modern 911 handles well, drives well, and everyone loves it. Porsche engineers have improved the handling and performance of the 911 generation after generation. However, that doesn’t change the physics of the design (although the latest iteration did move the engine forward but the car also got larger). If there was anything inherently positive about installing an engine behind the rear axle, someone else would have done it. No one else has.

          • 0 avatar
            vcficus

            Your story is implausible as it assumes German automotive makers listen to Finance instead of Engineering.

            I have hundreds of examples of the reverse, starting with the VW Phaeton and ending with… well, we could use the new Phaeton but it’s too easy.

            Sadly, Porsche didn’t piss off Ralph Nader and sell 1000 times as many swing axle cars as Chevy did with the Corvair or else we might not have Cayennes but we would have Turbo Monzas.

  • avatar
    RogerB34

    Classic Cars on Line is a good site to look at Porsche, prices and buyer interest.
    One 924 for $950.
    If I were going to do foolish and Porsche it would be a 912.

  • avatar
    319583076

    Cheap to buy, but still expensive to maintain and a nightmare to work on. Nice drives when they’re running, though.

    • 0 avatar
      mankyman

      That’s just it. My brother saw a clean looking 924 in a mechanic’s lot once and fell in love with it even though it wasn’t running. He bought it for the princely sum of ~$2K (the garage owner must have been delighted) Spent several years working on in a desultory fashion. He never got it running and eventually sold it to someone with more time.
      I think he just enjoyed telling people he owned a Porsche and enjoyed sitting in it and fantasizing.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      This is the Audi engined version. Its not much more expensive to maintain than a similar year Scirocco. The biggest issues will be that it is just plain an old car.

      The 924*s* does have Porsche normal maintenance costs though.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I was just reading about this car’s development, and about how VW backed out. Was it *ever* particularly desirable? And the 914 you mentioned is practically agricultural.

    As for this example, I could deal with a “classic” Porsche that had some issues, but buying a *non-running* one could be very expensive. And I’d have to re-title it, too? No thanks.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      I’ll bet there are very wide variances on what it takes to re-title a vehicle across different states. I’m almost certain it’s a PITA in Ohio.

    • 0 avatar
      raresleeper

      Let me grab my ear horn: agricultural Porsche, you say??!

      Google Porsche tractors, Sir.

      Also, on the list for Tractors of Honorable Mention:

      *Lamborghini tractors

      *Ferrari tractors

      (Hee hee hee.)

    • 0 avatar

      It’s desirable to the same people who look like they belong on “The Jersey Shore” or shop at Gordman’s to buy Ferrari cologne.

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      “Was it *ever* particularly desirable? ”

      Not really. Even for the Malaise Era, these things were slow, and the looks are just “meh”. I actually think the 928 and 944 are pretty handsome, but there’s something about the 924 that just puts me off. If you wanted your car to make a statement, this said “I wanted a Porsche so badly, but this is all I could afford.” And they weren’t cheap, unless you compared them to a 911.

      • 0 avatar
        CGHill

        Contemporary equivalent: Mercedes-Benz CLA250.

      • 0 avatar
        MK

        I had one of these in high school, it was a 77 Championship edition (martini colors for the interior), the AC never worked while I owned it but it was still a lot of fun to drive. Of course I would’ve preferred a 944 but this was $3k and I won it in a repo auction.

        one of the other guys on the soccer team trotted out the “its not a real Porsche” comment and I judg looked at him “Pete, you’re driving a pinto man??”

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      Hey, hey, hey. Two of my brothers have owned 914′s. Not because they couldn’t get any other cars, but because they found that mid-engine handling so seductive. Just gotta get a 2.0 with the proper exhaust system and the carburetion straightened out.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Are you talking about the 914-6? The 4 cylinder 2.0s were fuel injected. The 914-6 had the same problem the Cayman does today. It was so inherently superior to the 911 that they only fitted it with an unnecessarily detuned engine.

  • avatar

    LeeeeeeeeeeeMMMMMMMMMMooooonnnnnnsssss!

  • avatar
    Halftruth

    Yellow cars get chics.. see other post.

  • avatar
    JaySeis

    I’ve an old 2 stroke Yamaha golf cart. It’s worth a heck of a lot more and far more utilitarian. And I can go golfing.

  • avatar
    SaulTigh

    My JR. High English teacher and her husband had his and her Porsches, both in Guards Red. His a 944, hers a 924. We thought they were a badass couple. She even let me gently drive the 924 a couple of times (I mowed their lawn when I was in high school). This was in the early 90′s. Good times.

    Just before I graduated high school, he traded his 944 in on a lightly used Mitsubishi 3000GT, also in Red.

  • avatar
    rockets

    I had a ’83 and ’85 944. Both were purchased for around $4k in the past 15 years. Both ran and handled great, but broke even better. Timing belts, seals, water pumps, boots and minor issues all very expensive labor. Parts were readily available but to even change the distributor cap was a chore. Add in terrible HVAC systems and they just did not get driven enough to justify (for me at least) to keep. I still have a soft spot for them though.

    • 0 avatar
      rockets

      Of course, what do I know…I turned around and bought a ’99 Boxster. My 18 year old son, who salivates at the mere mention of driving it, says ” We don’t fear the IMS failure, the IMS failure fears us!” Yeah…about that…maybe I should spend that $2k on the repair kit, and do some other related pre-emptive repair also…

      • 0 avatar
        MK

        Lol, 99 996 here with 95,000 miles and daily driven.

        i don’t know how many miles you have on yours but if it hasn’t failed yet it prob won’t.

        however you will be replacing plenty of other items (mostly those items formulated with the same crappy plastics Porsche has been plonking in their cars for four decades).

        everything breaks or wears out, the key is to enjoy it until it does.

        • 0 avatar
          rockets

          62k miles, new top and tires…and it was only $9.5k, bought it from a good friend who had a good history with it, and he had done the 60k service early. But if that engine blows it will turn into an expensive garage door stop!

          • 0 avatar
            rockets

            So three Porsches in 10 years, even though I looked seriously at Miatas 10 times. Are Porsches the equivalent of automotive crack? Jack Baruth, some insight here please…


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • Tycho de Feyter, China
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India