Need recommendations for a cheap old Porsche that I can modify


Old 01-27-06, 11:02 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 811
Need recommendations for a cheap old Porsche that I can modify

For the longest time I've wanted a Porsche (944, 968, 928, or 911) but I don't want a newer one because:
a. I can't afford it or the insurance/maintenance/taxes
b. The engine is so crowded there's no room to work (I used to have a VW that I would maintain & modify slightly)

Now I'm always hearing about people modifying Honda Civics to go 500 mph (or faster than just about any stock car under $100K) and I'd like to do that with an old Porsche simply because I like the look of it much better than the Civic.

So my question is: What year/model/options (S, turbo, etc.) has a good amount of after-market parts made for it so that I can keep upgrading/modifying and am less likely to find myself in a situation where either that part isn't made anymore or only the factory makes that part and it costs $50K.

I hear the 928 is very reliable?

This project is about a year down the road but I'd like to collect as much feedback/information/recommendations as possible so I don't go into something at the last minute,



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Old 01-27-06, 02:19 PM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: North Texas
Posts: 2,345
350 mid engine

I had a friend that had a Porsche I think 911 the mid engine one and he had a small block chevrolet motor in it.Sounded real sweet and was fast as a whip.
Only problem is he would float the valves when he got on it
Old 02-06-06, 09:28 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 811
SOLUTION: There really is no such thing as a cheepie Porsche

The 911 is the car that really is Porsches' flagship.
The others mentioned (944, 924, 968) are more of intro models to cature new consumers.
Not a whole lot of after market parts, and fixing these things up can cost big $$.
Pre-early 80's Porsche (or any other make that I know of) didn't use rustproofing so you have the risk of rusty parts breaking.
Unfortunately the only thing one can tinker with is a mid 80's on up 911 but that's not going to be a "cheepee"

Hope this helps someone,

Old 02-09-06, 08:15 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Israel
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Old 02-25-06, 08:26 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 61
I'm a former 928 owner - I bought an older one just to tinker around with a few years ago.
It was a very fun car - and they're dirt cheap to buy, but theres a reason.

They aren't particularly reliable cars. They have some quirks that are unusual: First - the manual transmission on the early ones liked to eat up its syncronizers - and believe me, rebuilding one of them is unbelievably complex. Second - the Bosch Jetronic fuel injection could be temperamental. and Finally they had some hard to diagnose electronic gremlins.

And here's the catch - don't even think about it if you have to pay someone to fix it. Repairs on Porsche's start at $1000 and go up in multiples of $1000. Expect to pay about 5 to 10x what you would pay for domestic parts. For example - when my transmission synchronizer went out - I took the transmission out, and tried to get it apart - couldn't - then bought a rebuilt transmission for $2500 (with exchange) - had to pay for shipping from California and install it myself for that price. With labor it would have been over $5000. There are a couple of good sources for new and used 928 parts.

But they are really fun to drive. Interestingly, I've had several Corvettes - faster and much more reliable - but nobody wants to ride in the Corvette - everybody wanted to ride and drive the Porsche. My 928 listed a top speed of 144 mph and at 20 years old it would do about 148.

If you can afford it, the 911 has much more appeal to most Porsche owners, and parts are much more available. But they cost more to buy also.

Hope this helps.
Old 02-25-06, 08:31 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 61
Also, I'll disagree with the earlier poster. The 928 was Porsche's flagship product - designed for the American market.

It just never caught on with Porsche enthusiasts - a liquid cooled, V8 powered front engine car was the opposite of what they thought was special about the brand. Even though it was better in every way than the 911, they thought it was a copy of a Corvette.
Old 02-25-06, 09:59 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Cape Cod
Posts: 4,320
Where as the 944 was also for the American market
The engine and suspension was designed, and intended, for a Volkswagon
The management decided to put it an a Porsche shell and sell it in America to all the newly "rich" Reagan Era Savings and Loan Real Estate scammers, Wall Street Inside Traders and Coke Dealers clamoring for a Porsche and not knowing the difference between a Porsche and a Volkswagon

Although they were jokes as far as Porsches are concerned, it's actually kinda cool to see them now
Mainly because not many survived
They were extremly prone to rust and breakage, and as noted above, not purchased by enthusiasts who knew how to drive and take care of their cars
As they still said "Porsche" on them they were still expensive to fix
Many headed to the boneyards and many just rusted away, with most (if not all) Porsche-philes not willing to touch the "VW" Porsches

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