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Why the 924S?

So why did I go for the 924S?

Not my specific car, but the Porsche 924 generally.

I have to open by confessing that the first time around [c 1980] the 924 pretty much passed me by. Porsche to me [as many others] was the 911, something sparked in me by the black “911 [930] Turbo” that I’d seen in Condor Man, anything less just left me wanting. Later I took a liking to the front engined models, well, the 928 and then the 944, the latter after a friend’s parents bought one. And by association the 924? Well, it didn’t look as purposeful as the more aggressively styled 944. Then when I was told that the 924 had a van engine, I pretty much dismissed it entirely, a black mark on Porsche’s heritage.

Porsche 911 964RS and 2.7RS

Move on a number of years and very little changed, except, about the time I began lusting after the 968 and gained an appreciation for the smooth profile of the 924, it was actually quite attractive but it wasn’t a real Porsche.

Yet more years passed and generally cars changed, apparently advancing, but my love of the aging / evolving 911 maintained my interest in the Porsche marque.

Possibly 2 or 3 years ago, egged on by a 911 fanatic friend, I was toying with the idea of classic 911 ownership, alas not the RSs shown left, which was something I had been doing for a number of years to a greater or lesser degree of seriousness. To keep my eye in I was eagerly studying the 911 and Porsche magazines. Taking one such magazine on holiday I had pretty much read it cover to cover and was left with one unread article I’d been skipping over, it was a chap’s account of tracking a 924.

That article changed my views. If I recall correctly, it was a 924S the chap was driving. What I am sure of, was that the car had next to nothing by way of modifications. The startling revelation was the author’s love for the car after one day with it. He was surprised at how well it performed. It performed well, this was something of a shock. The lack of power, relative to the other cars on track, was compensated for by the balance and feel [remember steering feedback?] which made for quick progress through the turns. I liked the sound of that. Liked it a lot. I was now loving the simple design of the car so this newly discovered information really captured my interest.

Porsche 924S Promo ShotSo I did a little 924 research, nothing serious, just dabbling. Firstly, it turned out the 2.0 didn’t have a van engine; it had an Audi 100 engine, which to be fair was also used in a van. It also transpired that the look I’d grown so fond of gave the car a lower CD than the flared 944, and with the 2.5l engine in the 924S many thought the 924 felt quicker at the top end. The 924 was also lighter than the 944 and allegedly all the better for it. Suddenly, from relative obscurity [in my mind] the 924S sounded like it should be on my ‘ones to own’ list. I had been a fool, very much mistaken, this was every bit a real Porsche.

By this point I was taking keener interest in articles about the 924, and the good reviews kept coming. Digging a little deeper I discovered something else that moved the 924S further up my list; parts. In addition to the engine the 924S shares many of the drivetrain components with the 944 and some with the superb 968. Spares shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Better though, some of the uprated parts from the later cars can provide an easy and cost effective upgrade – as much as upgrades are ever cost effective. Taking it even further, with a small adapter the 924S will even take the brakes from a Boxster. The parts situation looked very good and the upgrade options looked great, should the car actually needed for anything.

Ultimately, with modern cars becoming more complicated, driver aided and capable, the idea of a basic well-balanced sweet handling modern classic really got under my skin. I still had a fondness for the superior 944 but somehow the more basic underdog edged it. The Porsche 924S was now firmly cemented at the top of one list of cars to buy. I really wanted one.

So began the perusal of classified ads and online auctions.


9 thoughts on “Why the 924S?

  1. I have an Excellence Mag lying around with a story about a German Porsche Mechanic who has put a 944 Turbo S engine in a stock looking 924. It runs at 178 mph and he uses it to annoy some very fast metal on the Autobahn. An idea for you? (enter demon smiley here…)

    Posted by CarQuiz | November 29, 2011, 8:13 pm
    • I was wondering what I’d do if the specialist came back with bad news about the engine… was thinking 944S2. But oddly, I like the idea of keeping it stock. For now. That one must be a great sleeper though. Good input 😉

      Posted by #Project924 | November 29, 2011, 9:21 pm
  2. Great article! I look forward to readig more updates on your work on these under-rated cars. Tellingly, Derek Bell still has his 924 Carrera GT, of all the exotica he’s owned over the years he’s said its the one he’ll never part with.

    Posted by Rob B | December 14, 2011, 9:22 am
  3. I’d be interested to compare my early 944 with your 924S when they’re both finished.

    Mine has the same interior, no power steering, no ABS or sunroof or anything else that weighs things down so it essentially like a 924S with a wider track. Well it did have Air Conditioning but that’s been placed in the bin now to help lighten things up.

    Posted by Rob King (@FistsOfHam) | February 2, 2012, 9:45 am
    • Definitely – wider track and an extra 10bhp. Although I dread to think how many horses mine has dropped over the years. That said, this was a car purchased for the handling rather than outright performance. When I have the funds [and the car] I’ll definitely be getting a full geo done, suspect it’s all over the place at the moment.

      Posted by #Project924 | February 2, 2012, 10:24 am
      • The torsion bars could probably do with reindexing on mine as one side seems to sit a tad higher than the other. Other than that pretty much everything else is off!

        I dread to think how much power mine is still pushing out, considering the smoke screen it dumped out the back when I hit 6000rpm on the way to the MOT it probably has a few more now 😉

        Posted by Rob King (@FistsOfHam) | February 2, 2012, 10:31 am
  4. I remember after a year or so of it coming out the press made a small thing that the 924 was faster when driving it backwards. It wasn’t that bad a looking car at the time – but the press gave it a hard time – it was always going to be compared with the 911.

    Posted by Mike @kseal | May 8, 2013, 11:17 am

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