Alright, I’ll admit this before I get started – as I said, it was a mistake to trade my Audi A4 for this car, but, in my mind, at that time, it made sense.
Maybe you know about the Porsche 944, affectionately called the 951 by the aficionados. Maybe you don’t. Maybe it just looks like some shitty Porsche from the 80s.
Well, let me learn you a thing about these cars. They had their humble beginnings with the 924, which was basically a sports car commissioned by Audi in the 70s, with an engine from a VW, built and designed by Porsche – until Audi/VW ran out of money and Porsche said “FUCK IT! WE’LL BUILD IT ANYWAY AND SLAP OUR BADGE ON IT!”
They produced a horribly shitty little car pumping out a grand total of 100 and nothing horsepower that barely held together and had electrics one step above a 1960s British sports car. On a side note, I do own one of these shitboxes.
Anyways, the car eventually evolved into the 944, which was pretty good. Front engine, rear wheel drive, transaxle, 50/50 weight distribution, good grip – you had a car that could bring it to the 911 while delivering modern amenities. If you’ve driven a 911 built before 1990, you know what I’m talking about.
Then they came out with the turbo. The 944 turbo was fucking awesome. It was faster than a 911 in a straight line. It had modern aerodynamics. It had better handling in terms of linearity and predictability. It had more grip than the 911. It cost less! There’s a reason Porsche won’t produce a Cayman turbo these days – they learned that from the 944.
My example was fine, just fine. When I got it, it was a little rough.
Just check out those sick color matched phone dials! I don’t think the prior owner had the funds or the inclination to maintain it. I promptly dumped thousands of dollars into the car bringing it up to basic maintenance, including timing belts, water pumps, etc etc etc.
Let me say, the car did haul ass. It was fast, it was fun. It was easy to drive. It handled great. By the time I was done painting it, it looked cool.
Oh yeah, I painted it.
Well, we painted it. Me and my 7 month pregnant wife. She’s pretty cool. I’m sure the fumes fucked our kid up somehow, especially the bondo.
Now, there’s definitely a right way to do things, and a wrong way. And let’s be clear – I was a stupid kid who just got his hands on his first Porsche, which was a stupid decision in the first place. Judgment was not (still isn’t?) my strong point.
What did we do? We taped the car off and sanded the fuck out of it. I used a grinder where I felt necessary. I used bondo where I felt necessary. We sanded again. Then we primered. Then we wet sanded the primer. A few coats of paint, a day of drying, a few coats of clear, done. No, I didn’t bother buffing. Fuck that shit, that’s for those tarts who like detailing. You know, the ones with “kits” that include tooth brushes?
It did look cool. And it drove cool. Then it blew up. Then I sold it (non-running) for more than I paid for my A4.
And, I had to go get more Porsches – the addiction – the way they drove, the attention to the driver feedback. Despite the fact that the company is full of uncle fuckers today, they sure knew how to build a car.