Pick of the Day: 1980 Porsche 924 Turbo, an underrated sports coupe

Turbocharging boosted the power, which was the only real fault in these models

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Porsche improved the power for its front-engine 924 by turbocharging the 2.0-liter engine

One of my favorite places of the classic car hobby is on the fringes. Cars in this category are often from a storied marque, such as Porsche, but are models not on most people’s radars. They might be good, solid vehicles but are priced nowhere near the values of more-significant cars from that manufacturer.

Some examples are the first-generation Nissan 300ZX, Mercedes-Benz 380SL and the Porsche 924. All are good cars, and when new were well-reviewed, but because of the models that followed from Nissan, Mercedes, and Porsche, they often get overlooked.

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The Pick of the Day is one of these undervalued cars, a 1980 Porsche 924 Turbo sports coupe, a nice example of the German automaker’s front-engine transaxle cars.

Now before you all go crazy telling me how bad the 924 is, please qualify yourself as someone who has actually driven a 924 in good condition. The Porsche 924 is an exceptional-handling car with tremendous build quality that was let down only by its lack of engine power. That was rectified by turbocharging, which boosted the engine to nearly 170 horsepower.

This 924 Turbo is being advertised on ClassicCars.com by a dealer in Oakwood, Georgia, who describes the Porsche as being an excellent example in Alpine White, a repaint in the car’s factory color with all the appropriate graphics re-installed.  

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The interior has comfortable tan leather seats, which have been reupholstered with the proper Porsche leather, the seller notes, adding that the interior is in good condition, although the dashboard has received cap. It is quite common for these dashboards, which seem to crack all too easily.  The car is also equipped with Coco floor mats that look close to new. The stock radio has been upgraded to a modern Blaupunkt unit.

Photos of the engine show a clean and tidy compartment with no apparent issues. These Porsches are inexpensive to service; the timing-belt replacement for a 924 is about as easy as it gets.

Just 5,895 924 Turbos were built for the US, and with so many used up and scrapped, it is a fairly rare car today. This 924 Turbo is being offered for only $11,900, which seems like an interesting and offbeat way to own a rare turbo Porsche for short money.

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All I would change would be to replace the new Blaupunkt with a Porsche Classic radio unit and drive the car next year to the Porsche Parade in Monterey, as well as Radwood.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day

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Andy Reid's first car, purchased at age 15, was a 1968 Fiat 124 coupe. His second, obtained by spending his college savings fund, was a 1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2. Since then, he has owned more than 150 cars—none of them normal or reasonable—as well as numerous classic motorcycles and scooters. A veteran of film, television, advertising and helping to launch a few Internet-based companies, Reid was a columnist for Classic Motorsports magazine for 12 years and has written for several other publications. He is considered an expert in European sports and luxury cars and is a respected concours judge. He lives in Canton, Connecticut.

2 COMMENTS

  1. The red “turbo” reflector in back is a common but incorrect aftermarket addition that necessitated relocating the rear license plate which was originally located between the taillights to the bumper (and consequently drilling mounting holes in the rear bumper). To be correct, the reflector would be removed and the license plate would be returned to its proper location.

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