Guest contributor: Cory Eastman on his Porsche 944 Turbo
After deciding to finally pursue my motorcycle license, I was faced with the prospect of selling my much loved Boxster to purchase a less expensive sports car and a motorcycle. It was a tough decision, but I put the Boxster up for sale, bought a 1996 Ducati 900 SS SP and started searching for my next Porsche. As chance would have it, a relative of mine had recently acquired a 1987 Porsche 944 Turbo and let me know they may be willing to part with it. I was considering other cars at the time (E36 M3, B5 S4, CLK55, R32, 928 S4, 911 SC) mainly because I already own a 1980 924 Turbo and thought, “Do I really want two cars with the same taillights?!”
Nonetheless, I went to look at the 951 and was surprised on more than one level. First, the car is light years ahead of my 924. I know that may seem obvious, but for being only seven years apart, the car feels like a lifetime more refined. The engine revs incredibly smooth and free, and the ride quality is excellent. Secondly, I was shocked at the level of technology and performance you get for the money. This car had under 90K miles, was equipped with a powerful 2.5L Turbo and loaded with options like ABS, Brembo brakes and dual airbags, and I could purchase it for under $7K! The car is very spirited, definitely quicker than my Boxster, but equally quiet and comfortable at cruising speed. After my first drive, I was hooked.
Coming from a Boxster, my standard for handling was set high, and the 951 feels nearly as good, a feat considering its front-engined layout. Its peak power is found near the top of the rev range, so you need to wind it up to get it going, but considering the ease at which it will add revs, this is not a problem. I do wish I could hear the turbo spool up a bit more (like my 924… sounds like a semi truck!), but the performance parts I’ve purchased should help with that :) The gearbox is much more “manly” than the earlier 944s and 924s I’ve driven, but I enjoy the meaty feel of the throws. Steering isn’t too light… just right. As a driver’s car, this is top notch.
The car has been fairly easy to own, with only some minor issues surfacing. Sunroof gears replaced, power steering pump leaking, brake pad sensors replaced, ABS relay replaced. Sourcing the parts was cheap and easy, and having a family lift, installation wasn’t too bad. I dare ask what a Porsche dealership would charge for service… those places scare me. When it comes time to install my performance parts (larger turbo, MAF, larger intercooler piping, injectors, coilovers, etc.) I will also address the leaky oil pan. All in all, I believe the 951 will be very reliable for me and continue to please me every time I turn the key.
Words and images: Cory Eastman