944 CORNER – 944 – An appreciating classic?

Darren MG_5454By Darren deRoos, Provinz Assistant Editor (from Provinz March 2015 page 31)

While sitting around my brother’s house today watching the Barrett-Jackson auction, I noticed a distinct lack of Porsches.

I am by no means a car collector, but I am a car guy through and through. While I am surely a Porsche-Phile I also love a late 60’s Mopars and 90’s exotic as well. Some of the cars I saw on TV today got me thinking about the potential of the 944 as a collectible or a valuable custom car. If you spend as much time as I do on the web, you’ve probably come across some Porsche custom car atrocities, and we can’t include those.

What this type of Porsche blasphemy seems to contribute to a rise in prices for truly good cars. I remember seeing a 924 Carrera GT for sale about a decade ago for under $5,000. At the time I had no idea what it was but I sure know now. While recently cruising the Hemmings Motor News website, I saw one for sale for $85K. While I’m sure it’s a very nice car, $85K sure is pricey for a 924! Love for the 924/944 is growing, and for good reason. If you’ve ever driven one, you’ll know exactly what I am talking about and if you haven’t, you should. These cars are currently a bargain but I think that may be about to change.

911 pricing has gone crazy. You want an original longhood car? Good luck. Cars that were attainable a few years ago are now out of reach. Even later air-cooled cars like the once unloved 964 have gone crazy. I sometimes blame Singer, the California tuner company that makes 964’s into jewellery that you can drive, for driving up prices of the 964 but maybe it’s just that people have realized it’s a really good car.

That brings me to the 944. People are starting to realise it’s also a really good car. When maintained correctly, it can be near bulletproof. It’s great looking, has tremendous utility, it’s terrific on fuel and a blast to drive around a track. For the money, in my opinion, there is no equal. This is why I think the prices are set to rise on the 944 series cars. Having said all that, my personal car will probably never be worth much. Being so far from stock means that people looking for an original numbers matching car will probably run screaming. But wait, what’s the difference between what Magnus Walker is doing to longhood cars and early 930’s, to what I’ve done to my 944?

I do understand that customisation is a slippery slope and building a car that you love means many other people potentially won’t like it. But then why are tuning companies so popular and command so much money for their work? Is something improved from stock really less valuable than a bone stock car that has sat in a garage for years? Time will tell, but from what I saw today on TV, people were paying some huge money for customised cars that were so far from stock you could hear the purists in the crowd sobbing.

While cruising the Porsche forums a common theme is “The one that got away”. I’m not talking about high school crushes, but cars that were once owned and sold for little money that are now worth 10 times their sell price or more.

356s seem to be the most common in my research. Cars that sold for under $5K many years ago are now into the hundreds of thousands. Nobody could have predicted it, but can we learn from it?

I’ve had many discussions with 944 owners who don’t believe their cars will ever be worth big money. But is that short sighted? I never thought the Boxster’s Grandpa, the 914-4 would ever be worth over $2,500 but look at it now. The 914 is now much loved and appreciating by the minute. Who would have thought? In my opinion the value of the 944 will start to climb, dramatically, compared to the prices we’ve seen over the last decade. A $4K 944 will soon be a thing of the past, I think it may already be. My advice? Buy yours now, enjoy it, because pretty soon you’ll have to put it away and drive your 996 instead.

Happy cornering!


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  1. As a young man who is a new member of PCA-UCR, and purchased his first car a few years ago now (An 86 Porsche 944NA), I enjoy reading your articles Darren. I purchased my 944 for 4 reasons: 1) Budget. 2) It just so happen the car came to me. 3) At first, having no knowledge about 944’s I became attracted to the vehicles driving dynamics and design. I then found out they make a good track car for beginners, such as myself. And 4) I am a driving enthusiast and nothing beats a Porsche! Yes, not even a 29 year old NA 944!! This will be my first year tracking the car. I’m sure it will be a very interesting (and exciting!) learning experience.

    Happy Driving!

    -Sam and the 944

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