Porsche 944 S – the dream begins

[flickr-gallery mode=”photoset” photoset=”72157629483748827″]

Since I was a young lad, I have loved cars, and loved racing. The sounds, the adrenaline, the smell – it all gets me properly excited. Up until recently, I had only really watched from the sidelines or on the blessed invention of television (and even HD now!). The past few months though, myself and Adrian (my business partner) have been cooking up a plan. A plan that smells very much like the best smoked bacon.

When I say a plan, I really mean the following sentence. ‘I think we should get a car, kit it out, get some tuition and advice, and go racing’. The first part of that plan centered around what metal to purchase as our base. There’s a wide range of tantalising options out there from the very cheap to the seriously expensive. While we knew massive budgets were not possible, we also didn’t want true banger racing – we like speed too much for that.

So we settled on the reasonably iconic and very well regarded Porsche 944. One week later and we’d both spotted a tasty black 944 S on Pistonheads for and very reasonable price that seemed to tick all the boxes. One super sunny bank holiday Monday, we sauntered down the M6, M42, M40 and M3 to get to Kingston on Thames to check it out from our Cheshire base. 3.5 hours later and I was checking the arches and sills for rust (no problems there) and making sure everything worked and seemed in good tidy order (which it did).

The car has only done around 10,000 miles in the last 10 years having been sitting around waiting for someone to use it as a project. A swift test drive later and I believe we’ve got a pretty solid car. There’s a few things that need checking – the handling is slightly off (possibly as simple as tracking) but we know we’re replacing the suspension, wheels and tyres anyway as part of our preparation. The cambelt is due on age if not mileage and due to it’s troublesome reputation (thanks to Jon Bradbury for the tip) we’ll make sure that’s done. The final issue is reasonably pronounced ticking from the top of the engine. All sorts of possibilities here from it just being the injectors that are not silent by any means through to lifters and all sorts. We’re thinking a quick dash some to EMC Motorsport in Birmingham may well be worth it to get them to thoroughly check things out for us.

Today we met with Sarah who helps people become better racers and also get into racing. A good overall chat about what series, what tuition and also what to do about the car. The jury is still out; however her feeling was to buy a race prepped 944 and keep the currently purchased 944 S for track day work and be generally useful for tuition and improvement. We might also prep this over time and have two race cars! We’ll see about that though. We’re still going to sort out the one we bought in terms of better handling, tyres and so on so that it can be a good learning machine. The race prepped one can wait until we’re ready for it.

The car itself deserves a proper review on here once we have sorted out it’s few niggles so I know I’m driving the genuine experience of a 944 S. First thoughts though are very positive. Considering the car is now 23 years old (that’s only 5 years younger than me!) it drives very well. Smooth acceleration that comes in two waves in the rev range with a lovely noise to accompany the rapid progress. With 190bhp it’s not a rocket by any stretch of the imagination but it’s rapid enough. The steering is actually nicely weighted once you’re moving with decent handling and feel. The brakes need a right shove to get working properly but do well once they are pressured. It looks much better in the flesh than I expected and has that lovely eighties feel to it that is just retro enough to be cool (for me anyway).

So there you have it – the start of something awesome, and something very, very exciting.

About Rob

I'm an average petrolhead - I love cars and get as much driving experiences as I can out in the world from test drives to track days.