At $9,500, Is This 1990 Porsche 944 S2 An Everyday Cabriolet?

At $9,500, Is This 1990 Porsche 944 S2 An Everyday Cabriolet?

The seller of today’s Nice Price or No Dice 944 S2 cabriolet calls it a collector car that would be equally capable as a daily driver. Let’s decide if its price makes either option worth considering.

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In the ad for yesterday’s 1998 Acura Integra, the description hinted that the car had some quirks. Those, it claimed, were owed to the car’s age but, frustratingly, it wasn’t shared as to just how quirky those quirks might be. There seemed to be nothing quirky about the Acura’s $5,500 asking price, however, something 70 percent of you acknowledged by awarding it with a Nice Price win.

At that nominal asking price, the fact that yesterday’s Acura had over 200,000 miles didn’t seem to be much of a bother. It was, after all, an Acura, and they are generally pretty sturdy cars.

Another company known for building stout and capable cars is Porsche, and we’re going to have to see how we all feel about this 1990 Porsche 944 S2 cabriolet, which, at 190,000 miles, has almost caught up to the Acura’s numbers.

The S2 is notable for being the final iteration of the naturally aspirated version of the 944, as well as for introducing the largest four-cylinder production engine in Porsche history. The 3-liter M44 is a bored and stroked edition of the earlier 2.5/2.7 liter four, which in turn is a derivation of the 928’s V8. From the factory, the big double-cam four made a healthy 208 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque. How much of that is left in this car is anybody’s guess, but at least the ponies that do remain get to play with a five-speed transaxle and limited slip rear end.

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According to the ad, the car “Runs great,” with a “strong motor” and a clutch that “shifts smooth.” That latter boast is important since changing the clutch on a 944 is a fairly unpleasant job. Per the seller, this cabriolet’s condition makes it ready for either a collector or a commuter. As such, it comes with a clean title and current tags.

Aesthetically, however, the car does show its age and those onerous miles. From most angles, it looks just fine; the Alpine White paint appears to have held up well and matches nicely with the new blue convertible top. Factory alloys underpin, although, based on the pictures in the ad, it’s up in the air as to which ones will actually come with the car. Then there’s the issue of a sizable dent in the left-rear quarter panel, just ahead of the side marker light. That looks to have pushed into the wheel arch, which might make the repair a bit of a challenge without going the full bodyshop route.

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More of the car’s age is showing on the interior. The upholstery shows lots of tears and a good bit of cobbling in places. It seems that some work has already been done in here — whether for better or worse — as evidenced by the mismatching color on the front and rear seats and the unfortunate modification on the passenger door card for an add-on speaker. The dash is also topped by one of those crummy toupees which looks even worse than the automotive aisle steering wheel cover.

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Do any of these issues appear insurmountable or unrepairable? No. Will they require a bit of time and money to fix? Yes. Yes, they will. And that is likely why two thousand dollars have recently been lopped off the asking price of this Porsche from the original $11,500 to its present $9,500. The big question, of course, is whether the expensive bits — engine, transmission, suspension, etc. — all pass muster. At 190K, one has to wonder if they will.

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That brings us around to ask, what might we make of this 944 and that $9,500 asking? Is that a reasonable enough roll of the dice on a classic Porsche? Or do the cons outweigh the pros by a big enough margin to make that price a risky proposition?

You decide!

Los Angeles, California, Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to Don R. for the hookup!

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