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1988 PORSCHE 944 Turbo S

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1988 PORSCHE 944 Turbo S

Background

The Porsche 944 was introduced in 1982. Based on the existing Porsche 924 chassis, they became famous for their handling, rather than the performance they offered; while the 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine of the early cars was an eerily smooth engine for an inline four thanks to the innovative use of two counter-rotating balance shafts, no-one ever got out of one raving about the in-gear acceleration or top speed.

This is hardly surprising, as the early normally aspirated cars could only muster around 143bhp, and while the first turbocharged cars could summon up 217bhp, even this was a relatively modest boost albeit one that enabled the more powerful car to hit 60mph in 5.9 seconds.

Which was a shame, because the 944 is still a top-flight sports car with handling that still holds its own, even now; with near-perfect 50:50 weight distribution thanks to its front-engine, rear-transaxle layout, it garnered praise from press and owners alike - even if everyone agreed that the chassis was easily capable of handling more power.

Porsche, sensitive to criticism and with more than half-a-mind on the bottom line, introduced the 247bhp Turbo S in 1988 (marketed in the UK as the Turbo SE) which took nearly half a second off the early Turbo’s 0-60 time. From 1989, the normally aspirated models were relaunched as the S2 which had a front and rear restyle and finally got the power it deserved thanks to a 208bhp 16-valve, 3-litre engine.

Available as both a coupe and a convertible, the 944 range died in 1991 after selling around 163,000 cars in total. The Turbo S, like the one we have presented for sale here, is relatively rare among the 944 family accounting for only 1% of total production (1635 cars). At the time, the 944 was the most successful model Porsche had ever made.

The Vehicle

This Porsche 944 Turbo S was first registered on 13 June 1988 by Charles Follett of Mayfair and sold to an advertising agency called Young & Rubicam (now part of Sir Martin Sorrell’s WPP Group) for the on-the-road price of £43,408.06.

After company ownership, the car spent the nineties in Kent’s commuter belt before being kept by its third owner in the Northern Home Counties for over 16 years.

The current owner located the 944 in 2017 and commissioned Gmund cars of Knaresborough to inspect and buy it on his behalf. After they’d fixed a few things on it, he put it into his dry storage along with several other cars that he had collected. Recently he brought out the 944 and, with a light recommissioning including new tyres, put it through an MOT ready for sale.

On the Outside

Whilst there is much talk of so called “Silver Rose” 944 Turbo S cars which had a pink-tinged silver exterior and burgundy plaid interior, there were also others with a more discerning colour and trim choice.

This example is factory-painted in Alpine White, which may be simple but looks anything but plain with its classic-80s contrasting black window surrounds and trims. The exterior is immaculate, near perfect in fact, and we struggled to find fault with anything about how this car is presented. For a 30+ year old car, it is absolutely stunning.

The lower sills are coated in body-coloured stone guard paint and all the wheel arch paint protection film panels are in place and intact. Originally supplied to the first owner without the “turbo” rear badge or decal on the front wing - presumably to be (slightly) less conspicuous - these have since been restored to the car just so everyone knows how special it is.

The car sits on its original 16-inch Fuchs-forged light-alloy 7-spoke Club Sport wheels, which are in very good condition with just a few small nicks in some of the rims. They also have full-colour Porsche shield centres and all are fitted with brand new Pirelli PZero tyres.

Although they’re hardly visible behind the wheels, rejuvenating the rather pitted callipers would be a relatively easy improvement to what is otherwise an utterly fantastic looking car.

You don’t have to take us on our word about the condition of this Porsche - take some time to scrutinise the detailed photos in the gallery. We’re looking after it during the sale so why not use the ‘Contact Seller’ option to arrange a visit - subject to Government guidelines - or a one-to-one video call to look around the car for yourself.

On the Inside

The interior of the car is pretty special too. The leather upholstery and accompanying trim is all black and appears to be original and in very good condition. The front sports seats are electrically adjustable and all four seats have perforated leather facings. There’s nothing but the usual wear on the seats, more noticeable on the edges of the driver’s seat of course.

The steering wheel is trimmed in hand-stitched leather, as is the gear stick and the leather dash, instruments and controls all seem in very good order. The original stereo has been replaced by a Alpine Radio CD and MP3 unit, which is in some ways a shame, as the centre armrest storage features a very much “of its time” cassette storage flipper.

As far as we have been able to test, all electrics and interior equipment - including the air conditioning - are working as expected.

The charcoal grey carpets throughout are clean and intact and have fitted overmats for additional protection.

Underneath

Under the bonnet, the turbocharged 2.5-litre in-line four looks in good order underneath the intakes and air ducting. Everything else around the engine bay is pretty clean and very tidy, with signs of renewal to perishable hoses and cables. There are no signs of significant rust anywhere around the bonnet or opening.

The undersides of the car appear pretty clean and undamaged with no sign of corrosion, aside from surface rust on parts of the exhaust and a few of the fixings. The underbody and wheel arches have a good coating of underseal.

Lifting the tailgate - which holds very well on its struts - the boot linings are clean and tidy and the original load space roller-cover is present, although it has a few small tears in the cloth. Underneath the liner are a spare wheel with collapsible Vredestein Space Master tyre, Porsche air compressor, tool roll and scissor jack. There’s just a small amount of rust in the wheel well but nothing appears to have penetrated beyond the surface.

History Highlights

The car has a current MOT valid until February 2022 which it passed after some light remedial work. Whilst in storage it hasn’t been tested but before that it had pretty much annual testing right back to its first inspection in 1991 - and there are paper copies in the file to prove that diligence and to validate the current mileage.

The car comes with a bulging history file containing the aforementioned MOT certificates and numerous invoices back to the early ‘90s for work done and parts purchased. It also holds the original bill of sale from Charles Follett of Mayfair. A previous owner started the process of logging all the receipts and mileages, copies of which are also in the file.

There are a full set of original owner’s manuals and service booklets which have a number of stamps showing regular routine servicing as follows:

Dec 1988 - 476 miles - Charles Follett, London

Jun 1989 - 1,332 - Charles Follett, London

Sep 1991 - 9,100 - Lancaster Jaguar, Reading

Apr 1992 - 17,471 - Parkwood, Maidstone

Nov 1992 - 26,902 - Parkwood, Maidstone

Apr 1993 - 33,320 - Prestige Porsche, Dartford

Jun 1994 - 38,406 - Prestige Porsche, Dartford

May 1996 - 42,763 - Parr Porsche, East Grinstead

Jan 2000 - 50,605 - La Rose Porsche, Sevenoaks (incl. belts)

Jul 2001 - 60,308 - Barr-Tech, Cambridge

Mar 2003 - 64,122 - Barr-Tech, Cambridge (incl. belts and water pump)

Mar 2003 - 65,707 - Barr-Tech, Cambridge

Apr 2005 - 66,181 - Barr-Tech, Cambridge

Mar 2010 - 70,818 - unknown

Jun 2014 - 74,002 - unknown

Jun 2017 - 74,898 - Gmund, Knaresborough

Invoices show that prior to sale in 2017, the 944 had its air conditioning re-gassed and a number of parts replaced, such as the gas struts on the boot lid and bonnet, and various decals and badges.

What We Think

The Porsche 944 Turbo S is regarded by some as the ultimate 944; decent performance and old enough to be largely analogue in response and repairability, but new enough to benefit from the sort of reliability and safety features like anti-lock brakes we’ve all come to take for granted.

This car starts well and drives absolutely superbly, with the characteristic sudden rush of adrenaline when the turbo cuts in. The Turbo S is a rare car; there are fewer than fifty still registered in the UK. This one is a highly original example in an excellent, unmatched condition with low mileage and an impressive history file - and we think it will sell for between £27,000 and £32,000.

If evaluating the purchase of a modern classic car is all about desirability, provenance and condition, then this one gets a big tick in all three boxes. It would be very hard to find another better, or even this good.

Viewing is always encouraged, within Govt. guidelines of course, and this particular car is located with us at The Market HQ near Abingdon; to arrange an appointment please use the ‘Contact Seller’ button at the top of the listing. Feel free to ask any questions or make observations in the comments section below, or try our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.

If needed, please remember we have a network of trusted suppliers we work with regularly and can recommend: Classic & Sportscar Finance for purchase-financing, Footman James for classic car insurance, Classic Concierge for storing your car plus we have a list of contacts who can help with transport and shipping.  

BORING, but IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst we at The Market always aim to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings available, we cannot claim they are perfect analyses of any of the vehicles for sale. We offer far greater opportunity for bidders to view, or arrange inspections for each vehicle thoroughly prior to bidding than traditional auctions, and we never stop encouraging bidders to take advantage of this. We do take a good look at the vehicles delivered to our premises for sale, but this only results in our unbiased personal observations, not those of a qualified inspector or other professional, or the result of a long test drive.

Also, localised paint repairs are common with collectable and classic cars and if they have been professionally carried out then they may be impossible to detect, even if we see the car in person. So, unless we state otherwise, please assume that any vehicle could have had remedial bodywork at some point in its life.

Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using simple cameras which often result in 'average' sound quality; in particular, engines and exhausts notes can sound a little different to how they are in reality.

Please note that this is sold as seen and that, as is normal for used goods bought at auction, return policy does not apply. See our FAQs for more info, and feel free to inspect any vehicle as much as you wish.

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  • Location: Abingdon, Oxfordshire
  • Odometer Reading: 74900
  • Chassis Number: .
  • Engine: 2500
  • Gearbox: Manual
  • Colour: White
  • Interior: Black Leather

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