As far back as I can remember, I wanted to write for car magazines. Heck, I think I started flipping through my dad’s Car & Driver and Road & Track magazines when I was still potty training! As I got older I’d find myself taking beauty shots of the family cars, studying the specs, and even putting pen to paper from time to time. I’d go to car dealerships to get brochures about cars I liked but as a 12 year-old expat kid in Hong Kong was not likely to purchase – under the auspices of them being “for my dad.” Suffice it to say: I was addicted from a young age, and it’s only gotten worse.
It was 1986, and she had just moved to my buddy Dave’s neighborhood. I was 15, she was 16, and despite my awkward teenageness, she agreed to a date with me. That night I experienced two first times, unfortunately neither was that one I was hoping for. You see, she fell ill (or did she?) and had to go home early. Since she drove and I didn’t she took me back to her house for her dad to drive me home. First #1 was that she had an early pop-up headlight Accord which I thought was cool (and still have a soft spot for – was also the first car I coached my wife through buying) and got to ride in; and First #2 was the ride in her dad’s new Porsche 944. I’d been in Porsches before (two, I think), but never a 944. Bear in mind “Sixteen Candles” was still all over HBO, and really, who among us wasn’t jealous of Jake Ryan and his 944?
Find this example here on Craigslist in Boston, Massachusetts for just $3,495.
If you were a teen with raging hormones in the 1980s, then surely you remember Sixteen Candles – Long Duk Dong, Samantha’s undies, and most importantly Jake’s 1983 Porsche 944 (and his dad’s Rolls Corniche). That year the Porsche 944 was introduced in the US as a replacement for the lackluster 924, sporting fat fender flares and a 2.5 liter watercooled inline-4 designed by Porsche (basically half of a 928 motor) in place of the 924’s 2.0 liter Audi-sourced motor. Add to it the rear-mounted transaxle, and the result was a very well-balanced car – Car and Driver calling it the “best handling production car in the world” for example – and one that was powerful enough to be handfuls of fun on all types of roads. Road tests of the day placed 944 performance in the mid-8 seconds 0-60mph and nearing 140mph on the top end.
These days many 944s, especially early ones, have fallen into states of disrepair due to basic ambivalent neglect on the part of their owners. This example
for $2500 on craigslist in Tyson’s Corner, Virginia may have some needs here and there, but appears mechanically solid and even has functioning AC. If top-down driving isn’t necessarily your bag there are very few, if any, cheaper ways to get behind the wheel of a Porsche – but it is a Porsche through and through.