While Porsche provided the (relatively) inexpensive 914 and 924 to American buyers during the 1970s and into the early 1980s, the debut of the 944 here in the 1983 model year resulted in the price tag on the cheapest possible Porsche starting at $18,980 (about $52,240 in 2021 dollars). While the white-powder-dusted 928S listed at $43,000 that year (about $118,360 today), it must have pained the suits in Stuttgart to have nothing to compete for sales with the likes of the affordable Mitsubishi Starion and Nissan 280ZX. So, for the 1987 and 1988 model years, American Porsche shoppers could buy a 924 with a detuned version of the 944’s engine, keeping the cheap(-ish) price tag of the 924 while ditching the VW engine that— humiliatingly— went into American Motors economy cars and even DJ-5 mail Jeeps. This car was known as the 924S, and I’ve found this one in a San Francisco Bay Area self-service yard.
The MSRP on this car came to $19,900, or about $48,175 now. That was still quite a bit more than the $15,469 Starion in 1987, but it was a real Porsche and it cost a lot less than the closely-related $25,500 ($61,730 today) 944.
147 horses from this 2.5-liter four, which didn’t come all that close to the 944S’s 188 horsepower but beat the Starion’s Turbo Astron engine by three ponies.
Of course, if you’re going to get a three-speed automatic transmission in your Porsche, why spend the extra for wider fenders and a few dozen more horsepower? That must have been the logic behind the original purchase of this car.
It appears to have spent some time in Southern California prior to migrating 400 miles north to the Bay Area.
A minor footnote in Porsche history, the 924S, but this is the sort of story your local U-Wrench yard excels in telling us.
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