After almost 30 years of exclusive dedication to rear- and mid-engined cars, Porsche decided to tackle the front-engined market with the 924 in 1976. The entry-level sports car was followed by the 928 in 1977 and the 944 in 1982. Come 2022, and these cars aren’t as valuable as the first-gen 911, but here’s a 944 that stands out.
Just like the 911, the 944 became increasingly faster and more powerful as the years went by. Originally offered with a 2.5-liter inline-four rated at 161 horsepower (143 horses in the U.S.), the 944 gained a Turbo version rated at 217 horsepower in 1985.
Porsche introduced the most powerful iteration of the 944 in 1988. It came with a “Turbo S” badge and featured a beefed-up four-cylinder good for 247 horsepower, a sportier, adjustable suspension, and front brakes sourced from the 928 S4. At the time of its release, the Turbo S was the fastest production car with a four-cylinder engine.
The turbocharged 944 remained in production until 1991, but Porsche dropped the “S” badge from 1989. The Turbo model that “replaced” it was similar but lacked the M030 Koni suspension and the Club Sport wheels, which turned the Turbo S a one-year wonder.
In addition to that, Porsche also offered a special Silver Rose exterior color, matched by a burgundy plaid interior in most cars. Often described as a “smokey silver with a hint of raspberry to it,” the Silver Rose Turbo S is regarded as the rarest and most desirable 944 ever built.
How rare is it? Well, Porsche sold around 700 of them in the U.S. for the 1988 model year, and not all were finished in Silver Rose. So we’re looking at a few hundred examples in North America. This Turbo S that popped up on eBay recently is one of them, and it’s looking for a new home.
Now there’s some good news and some bad news. The good news is that the exterior is in really good shape. Likewise, the dashboard and the console, both prone to cracking, were wrapped in leather. The not-so-good news is that the interior was taken apart for a color conversion.
The seller intended to change the original burgundy plaid interior to black, but he never got around to completing it. Now he’s looking to sell the car as-is, meaning you’ll have to do all the work. And it comes with about 85% of the interior parts needed for the conversion to a black layout.
If you’re concerned about original factory specs, you should also know that this Turbo S now sports Porsche 968 side mirrors and door handles, as well as 996-gen 911 five-spoke rims. The original wheels are included in the sale, though.
It’s a bit unfortunate that the original burgundy plaid interior is no longer in the car, but hopefully, the seller still has most of the original parts. Because this layout is exactly what makes the 944 Turbo S special.
On the flip side, the dismantled interior lowers the car’s value rather dramatically, which leaves plenty of room for a proper restoration. Auctioned off by eBay seller “mebbert77,” the 944 has attracted a high bid of $15,000 with almost four hours to go. That’s half the value of a 1988 Turbo S in very good condition.
Is this a good deal? Would you restore the original burgundy plaid interior? Let me know in the comments.