Deal of the Week – Porsche Put the Engine in the Wrong Place Edition

I was once told by someone far wiser than I that in life, a man must own a certain spectrum of vehicles.  Essentially, by maintaining a proper collection of cars, we can experience the finest the world has to offer on a daily basis.  For example, one should own a Ferrari, if even only for the briefest of times.  Sure, 360s are sliding in prices but even at a $70,000 low end I’m hard pressed to find a DotW from the Prancing Horse brand that I can recommend with a straight face.  I was also told that I should spend more than just a few years with a Mercedes Benz, but I’ve already featured one for the Deal of the Week.  He further said that I should move from the Benz to a Cadillac, but it has been so long since GM’s luxury offering has actually been luxurious, I don’t think I could advise as such in good conscious.  He did say, that while young and unwise, I would without question need to own a Porsche.

Like most that bleed Bavarian Blue and White, I have a strange sort of love hate relationship with the Stuttgart brand.  The ass engined super Beetle of death known to rest of the world as the 911 has always held a top spot in my dream garage, regardless of how hard it is to reconcile that it would sit next to an M3.  The 911 is one of those cars that is wrong on multiple levels, yet everything that is wrong comes together to be perfect.  But deals on 911s really aren’t.  You can pick up a 80s pre 964 for cheap, but it isn’t going to be cheap in the long run.  The 996s are starting to really come down in price, but as with all modern German cars maintenance is going to break the bank unless you are really into DIY*, and you have to deal with all those idiots that say that Porsche doesn’t make a real Porsche anymore while lovingly gazing at their 993s that haven’t run in months because they can’t afford a new head or rebuild**.  But fear not good readers, there is hope.

In 1982, Porsche introduced a front engined, rear driven (“BLASPHEMY”-911 owners) sports car based on the brand’s sports coupe/touring car, the 924.  Internally designated the 951, the Porsche 944 was the budget minded (compared to the 911, at least) enthusiast’s choice.  It followed the tried and true front engine, rear wheel drive, DIY cogswapper in the center formula that we all love.  Offered in a base, Turbo, and Turbo S/S2 specifications, the 944 was well known for not only offering a great drive, but also racing hot on the heels of the 911.  This did not go unnoticed by Porsche***, and it is a well respected unofficial truth that the 944 was detuned from the factory in order to not cramp the Carrera.  While not blazing fast by today’s standards, the 944 in its Turbo and Turbo S, and S2 configuration will still offer most of us an acceptable level of performance thanks to its low curb weight and decent power output and modibility.  The S and S2 will offer better performance, but are harder to find for a deal, much like the 968 that followed.  For those that care for such things, it still carries the cachet of being a Porsche, and even most modern 911 owners must tip their hats to the 944.

Finding a Turbo that hasn’t been molested for a good deal is like finding a fair priced Supra.  There are specimens out there running around on well over 150k miles with owners feeling put off that they can barely move their metal for the paltry sum of twenty grand.  If you are buying a turnkey race car, sure that number seems appropriate.  However, if you are like me and considering a 944 as a secondary toy and project car, then picking up something decent to start with is on par with a clutch job on a Carrera GT.  Much like picking up one of Germany’s other favored brands, you must look for one that has maintenance records.  Be prepared to do a timing belt job every 40-50k miles, and unless you have the prohibitively expensive tool you’ll need a good shop for that.  Other things to keep an eye on are a failing water pump and a cracking dash.  Further, most examples for sale are pushing thirty years old, so budget accordingly.

Excellence magazine (yes, Porsche owners are that douchy) gives us a range of ten to thirteen seven depending on year and condition for a Turbo.  I found this pristine example in Canton, OH.  At an advertised 48,000 miles, this has been someone’s garage queen.  It is on the third owner, so I would take him to task over the miles.  Other than that, the body is straight, the paint is clean, and the interior is nice.  It sits right in the mid range of the prices Excellence suggests at $8995, so while not a complete steal, it is a deal for what you are getting.  I’d offer $8000 cash as it stands, and work from there.  After that, cross one of the wise man’s list.  Click here to go to the AutoTrader link.

*Anyone who says Porsche doesn’t make a real 911 any more should be held in the same regards as someone who says a factory turbocharged M car isn’t a real M car.  In other words, ignore them.

** You must remember that even though deprication and age has dropped that $65k car down to $20k, you are still paying for repairs and parts from an out of production $65K car.

***Finally, a history lesson.  Porsche was actually set to end production of the 911.  It had been the same car for almost twenty years when we crossed into 1981.  Porsche had every intent to kill the 911 at the end of the 1981 production cycle.  However, CEO Peter Schultz nixed that idea from the engineers, indicating that he and future CEOs would keep the 911 alive for what would essentially be the life of the company.

One ‘Ring to Rule Them All

Twelve point nine three miles long.  Seventy three official turns.  Estimates put the fatality rate at twelve to eighteen a year.  This massive stretch of asphalt that snakes through the Eifel Mountains in Germany is a Mecca to automotive enthusiasts; it is a proving ground that separates those who play with their cars, and those who drive them.  It is the track by which all others are judged, and on which all cars are judged good or bad.  Formula One drivers refused to race on the track.  There are no restrictions to driving it: show up, pay your due, get baptized in the fire.  Jackie Stewart called her The Green Hell.  We call it the Nordschliefe.  Everyone else calls it The Nurburgring.

She is a cold hearted thing...

Just a thought…

Just a quick thought after reading this article.

I can understand how adding automation to our daily drives could reduce accidents.  The varying number of reasons of why automation sucks not withstanding, by letting computers drive for us I can see the argument for how it would be inherently safer.  That being said, I also am want to wonder if people would put down their damned cell phones, stop texting or talking while driving, actually kept up with maintenance on their cars, and actually paid attention to the rest of the world while piloting their Toyandison Camcordimas and Ford/Chevy Land Mammoth Chrome Plated Platinum Edition Jesus Christ Eff You Ten Thousands, maybe we would see the same results.  I mean, I know I’m odd, but I wonder what it would be like if we went back to treating driving as a privilege to be revered, not a god given right that is bestowed upon us on our 16th birthday.

When We Sell Our Dignity

The rumors of our demise were greatly exaggerated.  In other words, the break is over, time to get back to work.  Posting may still not be at the fast and furious (heh, car joke) level that it was, but things have changed a bit in the real world for my intrepid cowritter and me.  Fear not, valued reader: our posts shall still contain the same level of vitriolic hatred (or unabashed fanboism, either way) if not more!  After all, with more time between posting, why not make the posts better?  If not that, at least get a better content editor so we look less stupid.

But I digress.  Steve has returned from the top of a mountain and will most likely be sleeping for the next month so that leaves me sitting here with the keys to this whole affair.  This isn’t a horrible thing, because I still remember the password to our side of the website so I can still post, and post I shall!  Today’s topic?  Whores and escorts.*

Deal of the Week: Aurora Blue Mica Edition

I’ve been out of town for quite some time visiting Colorado; the state that touches the sky. While driving to the top of mountains in my truck I did two things well; saw a ton of blue sky and got shitty gas mileage. But it’s the most fun I’d had in years. So why not have a deal of the week that’s blue and gets shitty gas mileage too?

What?……EXACTLY (don’t ask questions)

The Mazda RX8 was an incredible vehicle that is often overlooked. The engine is a work of art. The rotary engine is brilliance in total defiance of things like torque and gas mileage. It’s moderately powerful but when you think about how small the displacement is things get put in perspective. Over 232hp from a 1.3 liter NA engine is outstanding. It’s not a lot but it’s plenty to have fun with and fun is what the RX8 is all about. With a low curb weight and a perfect 50-50 weight distribution the RX8 is a dream to take ’round corners. Not only that, but it has rear seats and a large trunk. How the hell is that possible? Our specimine today is basically brand new. Mileage so low it’s barely been driven off the lot. It’s an R3 (the pretty one) and has all the bells and whistles. Listed at $24,000 this car is a STEAL. You could easily get them down to $20k for the ride.

Take me home....*puppy eyes*

Car Porn – The Good (Bad?) Old Days

I secretly like old cars.  I know in the past I’ve berated them for sucking, because carburators and drum brakes and leaf springs (shhh, don’t tell GM) do suck.  Fuel injection, disc brakes, and proper suspensions make the world a better place.  Yet I still look at my dream car list and see them stick their heads out every now and then.  A Sunoco Blue Ferrari Daytona.  A Carrera RS from the time before everything from Stuttgart had a number.  A 2002 Turbo (what BMW fan boy wouldn’t).  I’ll be honest and say I really, really like older European cars.  Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t kick a Chevelle SS396 out of bed, but there is something special about the Euros from those days.  While we were building super highways to get us from one side of the country to the other (why do you think even sports cars built in the US are roomy with the ability to cruise flat out for hours), the Europeans took a dedicated focus on driving dynamics and handling, which really translated to killing the young and wealthy beautiful people.  The positive?  They sure as hell looked good doing it.

The Holy Grail

In the mid 70s, you could buy one of these for the equivalent of $20,000 of today's dollars. Now you can't even look at one for that much

You can’t tell me that isn’t a looker…

The ass engined super Beetle of death before everything became an option

Steve McQueen drove a 911 like that, so no, you are not worthy.

Super cars and tractors. Makes sense to me.

European sports cars were so hard to drive, that even an Italian tractor salesman said “Eh, maybe we need to try again”.  And I think the world is a better place for it.  Eventually, though, even the boys over at Porsche figured they had killed enough stars and starlets, and started making their cars easier to drive faster.  However, they soon realized the error of their ways, and in order to correct this error, decided to go kill a bunch of drivers out in the wilderness.  They called it Group B.

You can turn your back on a driver, but never turn your back on a Group B car.

Now a days, the Europeans brag about pedestrian safe bumpers, a million airbags, night vision cameras, auto braking, adaptive cruise control, and a host of other technologies to keep you from ending up backwards, upside down, on fire in a ditch.  Shame that.

Bunch of antisocial, murderous bastards. The lot of them. If I were alive then, I think I would miss those days.


Weekend Car Porn: From the Era when Men Drove Racecars Edition

Special thanks to the fraternity brother and occasional reader that sent this one in.  Why classic Ferrari?  Because your wrong wheel drive econobox with super stretched tires and slammed herrafrush fitment IS NOT A RACECAR.

From a time where men were racecar drivers Your Hellaflush and slammed Civic is not as cool as this.

Things you should know about gas mileage.

Fuel efficiency has been a hot topic lately. All of this hippy “green” talk and gas approaching $4 a gallon has people in an uproar. Everyone is looking to get the most out of every drop of fuel. But a lot of the fuel consumption stuff can be fairly confusing to the average person. EPA….MPG….WTF?

If you’ve read any of my previous articles you’re probably aware that I view most people as legally retarded. Yes, that’s sort of like being legally blind. I’m not sure if the government has standards yet for such a thing. If they don’t, my thought is that they’ve put off this legislation because the majority of the public wouldn’t make the cut. But rather than bitch about it (like I normally would) today I’m going to teach. Hold on to your asses everyone.

No gas guzzler tax means you're not trying hard enough...

Deal of the Week: Before it’s time edition

Deal of the week on a Tuesday? That’s both out of character and also too early right? EXACTLY….I’m doing it like this for two reasons. The first is because the vehicle I’ve chosen was a prime example of what happens when you give people too much too early. Not only that, but my content article for the week isn’t finished yet and I need a day to finish it up.

Think about all the crazy technology we have in cars today. Things like turbos, AWD, 4 wheel steering, active aerodynamics, electronically adjustable suspension. It’s getting nuts right? The technology at our fingertips is simply unreal. Now take a step back and steady yourself because I’m about to blow your mind. Every crazy tech gadget I just mentioned came standard on the 1991 Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4. In Japan it was known as the GTO but most places called it the 3000GT. 320hp from a twin turbo V6 and AWD meant that this thing was a monster. The other techno goodies meant it was also nice at speed and ’round corners.

But the fact remains that this beast will be lost beneath the sands of time. Unfortunately, it’s way more car than people were prepared to handle in 1991. All of those technologies packed into a car today still sounds techy and cool. Now try and wrap your mind around all of it 20 years ago when your phone wasn’t mobile and still had a cord that attached it to the wall. This was….gasp….before the internet! Now that I’ve successfully blown your mind and we’ve gone back to the future let’s look at the example we have today. It’s a perfect condition, white, 1991 3000GT VR4. All the goodies and only 24k on the clock. Not bad for $15k! Click the link for the sale posting.

When this baby hits 88mph...

Weekend Driving Music – Never Satisfied Edition

It’s a curse.  I’m never satisfied.  If I woke up tomorrow to an E46 or E92 M3, my first thought would be “awesomesauce”, my second would be “where is the FI?”  Oh, free Supra?  Thanks, what about a big single turbo?  You could hand me the keys to a Veyron and I’d say “thanks, cool, no lets start changing stuff.”  I am honestly envious of those who are satisfied with what they have.  I mean sure, most of my car friends would love it if someone just handed them the keys to a GT-R (especially sometime reader Matt B), but otherwise they are happy with what is theirs.  I don’t get how they do it.  I don’t think I could be satisfied with less than X horsepower, or Y top speed, or Z acceleration.  What’s worse is that as soon as I got XYZ, I’d want more.  Some see this as a desirable trait in a person – always striving to be or do or have better.  Try living with it for a bit then get back to me.

Sometimes this lack of satisfaction comes from finding out that what you are satisfied with is just not enough.  For example, my adventurous cowritter was perfectly happy with the Taco, until our offroading expedition last Sunday.  Now he just must have a lift for more ground clearance.  I believe this goes back to what that one politicritter said about things we know we don’t know and things we don’t know we don’t know.  Steve possibly falls into the later category.  I fall into the former.  I know I don’t have the performance I want.  I just know I want it.  That’s why this week’s weekend driving music is all about finding that satisfaction and the sacrifices we often make to get it.

Oh, and a very happy birthday to my stalwart and sturdy cowritter Steven.  May the next year be as rewarding and satisfying as the last!!!!

I bet you bastards thought I was gonna play the ‘Stones. I got you good.