By on August 19, 2015

00 - 1978 Porsche 924 Down On the Junkyard - photo by Murilee Martin

Many Internet Car Experts believe that any Porsche, no matter how battered, is worth big money. Spend some time around the 24 Hours of LeMons and you’ll learn otherwise, and of course you can always find 924s, 944s, 914s, and even the occasional 928 in the cheap self-serve wrecking yards. The 944 is the most common, but for some reason I have never shot one for this series. I’ll remedy that soon, but for now here’s a much-abused 924 I spotted in Denver not long ago.
08 - 1978 Porsche 924 Down On the Junkyard - photo by Murilee Martin

My favorite Fun Porsche 924 Fact is that you could buy a DJ-5 mail Jeep with just about the same Audi engine as the Porsche 924 (you could get the engine in other AMCs as well, including the Gremlin).

09 - 1978 Porsche 924 Down On the Junkyard - photo by Murilee Martin

Still, the 924 was fairly sporty for its time, and I’ve seen plenty of well-driven ones knock out decent lap times on road courses.

01 - 1978 Porsche 924 Down On the Junkyard - photo by Murilee Martin

This one doesn’t seem rusty, but we can assume that its last half-dozen owners were not meticulous types who treated it gently.

05 - 1978 Porsche 924 Down On the Junkyard - photo by Murilee Martin

There’s a 944 at the same yard now, and I’m still bummed that some guy beat me to its nice VDO gauges by about 30 seconds at the All-You-Can-Carry-For-$59.99 junkyard sale. I’ll go back and photograph it soon.

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26 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1978 Porsche 924...”


  • avatar
    IHateCars

    Man, that thing is used up…and them some. Never really liked the 924, I’d rather have a Scirocco.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    I’m thinking if you wanted a Porsche of this style, you’d get one of the later 944s. The 924 was underpowered and that Audi engine was nothing good. If you really wanted a 924 I expect you’d get a 924S, they were much quicker.

    Back in the 80’s 944s were quite common and were used as daily drivers. I would expect that both 924s and 944s would get used up and junked, and would be surprised if either ever became a valued collector car, other than the handful of high performance specials that were built.

    • 0 avatar
      MRF 95 T-Bird

      In the late 80’s early 90’s 944’s were quite common as daily drivers since they were priced roughly the same as a 280ZX/300ZX or RX7.

      They are now recommended as a future collectable since 911/912 prices have skyrocketed.

      http://thesportscarguys.com/2013/07/25/10-porsches-to-buy-now-before-they-are-out-of-reach-part-9-–-porsche-944/

  • avatar
    energetik9

    I remember in Junior high thinking that the 924 was pretty awesome. I think they’re still probably a fun car, but I’m a Porsche owner now, so I admit to being nostaligic for almost any older Porsche. The unicorn most owners talk about that I hear of is the 924 Carrera GT.

  • avatar
    JimC2

    I remember seeing one of these in the shop I worked in when I was about twenty years old. There were obvious similarities between the cylinder head on these and on the red engines in the Volvo 240. Sort of an “ah ha!” moment for me.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I never had any love for this model. It’s not cute and charming like a 914 (http://www.914world.com/bbs2/uploads_offsite/www.p914.net-1110-1270835625.1.jpg). It’s not powerful like a 944, and it’s not a design legend like the 928 or 911. It’s just there, a cheapo thing with odd, giant reflectors and an engine from a mail truck.

    Meh. Don’t see much point in keeping a model like this nice and tidy, even. Save that for the 944 S2 or a pretty late model XJS.

    http://www.performance-car-guide.co.uk/images/L-Jaguar-XJS-4-0-Coupe.jpg

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      That is the perfect background for the Jag, and the only possible place where it wouldn’t look garish and misshapen.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        It’s a vision there, agree.

        I imagine the owner’s name is Ian Waithcliffe, and he works presently for Rover, after making the transition from B-L a couple years before.

        • 0 avatar
          bumpy ii

          He is a descendant of a cadet branch of a family in the peerage, and the “cottage” was His Lordship’s hunting lodge before the great estates were broken up. He is a proper Tory, though a tad dismayed at Thatcher’s boorishness.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I watch Downton Abbey, so I know what you’re talking about in this case. If I had not yet watched that show, I wouldn’t know most of that except Thatcher.

            The car for driving in the wet would certainly be a Range Rover, and probably an 80’s 2-door. In green or gold.

          • 0 avatar
            bumpy ii

            Green, of course. He also keeps his grandfather’s Daimler garaged in the old livery stable. An ancient chap of his acquaintance comes around periodically to tinker at it for a few quid.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            This man has excellent, refined taste.

  • avatar
    319583076

    The Truth About Porsche – “Porsche is a religion and an image.”
    -Jobst Brandt

    http://yarchive.net/car/porsche_vw_beetle.html

  • avatar
    Syke

    Quietly bummed out seeing that picture, as I was damned fool enough to trade a 924S that treated me very well on a Pontiac Solstice that wasn’t bad but ‘meh’ in comparison. Because I had to have a roadster.

    Next spring, once the garage is built, I start looking for a replacement 924/944/968. And this time I keep it.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      So I always forget about the 968, and also have a hard time realizing it’s you without your motorcycle pic.

      The 968 would seem to me like the replacement for the 944 and the 928, a nice median offering as their model line consolidated, yeah? I feel like with the frequency I see the 968 (never) that it didn’t sell well.

      You should look for one in this color, though.

      http://www.ssip.net/upload/porsche-968-back-3_193.jpg

      EDIT: Total US sales for the 968: 4665. Wow.

  • avatar
    CriticalMass

    I’ve always thought that the RX-7 drove a stake through this things heart and brought on the 944. Image and name are indeed religion with regard to Porkers.

  • avatar
    Lack Thereof

    In the late 90’s, I had one of these, in similar condition, for my first car! A 1977.5 model with an automatic. Between the automatic and the allegedly-100hp engine, it really could not get out of it’s own way, in our hilly town. When I traded up to a 5-speed 3-cylinder Geo Metro a year or two later, I felt like I’d made a performance upgrade.

    The transmission shift points were all over the place, as it’s throttle position lever would get stuck in various positions during around-town driving. The K-jetronic injection was constantly getting various components plugged by rust flakes from within the fuel system. The goofy complex plug wires kept falling apart making it run on 3 cylinders. It had a blown head gasket when I got it, and it blew another one before I sold it.

    After I sold it, my buyer never completed the title transfer. A few months later, the state patrol came to visit me and tell me that they had “my car” in an impound lot… they’d found it abandoned on the shoulder of the freeway.

  • avatar
    lon888

    I worked on several of these in the early 80’s to support my engineering school habit. My only take away from that experience was that the entire car was constructed with cheap, brittle crappy German plastic. Mechanically these cars were a piece of junk but oh it’s a “Porsh”.

  • avatar

    I like platforms. Particularly platforms whose use spans decades (like my Falcon).

    As I understand it, you can pretty much bolt everything from the gnarliest 968 onto the lowliest 924. Which…would be cool in its own way, I guess.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    I hope there are still 944s left by the time I can afford one.

    Granted, I want a S2 or Turbo and those seem to hold onto their value better and get treated better than base 944s.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    At the time, C&D i believe, wrote that the Porsche 924 was designed by Porsche for Volkswagen and later built by Audi as a Porsche.

  • avatar
    wmba

    It had a nice solid mechanical feel to it when relatively new, including the shifter.

    And that’s about it. The 944 was much nicer due to a modicum of actual grunt, and the 968 was pretty darn quick, my test drive being much too short and the price too high.

  • avatar

    I’ve also found one of these! (http://phxjunkyarding.blogspot.com/2015/07/1981-porsche-924.html).
    Cosmetically, it was in much better shape. still surprised to find one though. Its not something I’d ever consider someone junking.

  • avatar

    I recall seriously considering one of these new. The 944 had just come out, and the 924 was still being sold as the price leader. Two things made it a no sale. The steering column was low…in your lap low. This was fixed in the 944. The other was that I’d recently had a VW Scirocco, from the “cheap and cheerful” side of the lot, and I was floored by the amount of common parts in this “very expensive” “Porsche”.

    Lots of that was fixed when the 944 got its own engine and the platform was revamped, but for the-at the time amazing price of $25,000, I wasn’t using the same climate controls, door handles, and such “behind the facade” parts that my VW had, in the 924 loss leader.

    It was pretty, though, and for the time, very pretty. My GLH Turbo was less pretty, but way faster.

  • avatar
    RHD

    One Saturday morning few years ago a day laborer knocked on my neighbor’s door, looking to do an odd job or two. My neighbor gave him a bucket of paint and a brush, and said he could paint his porch, since he hated painting and had a long list of chores to do that day.
    A couple of hours later the day laborer found the home owner in the back yard, repairing a sprinkler. He handed him a few bills, and the day laborer smiled and said, “Thank you. But you are mistaken, Meester. It ees not a porch, it ees a Volkswagen!”

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