The 944 Turbo S was a special 1-year-only car. Automotive magazines touted it as the fastest 4-cylinder in the world. Back-to-back track tests against the Porsche 930 showed that the 944 Turbo S was actually faster and half the price (still nearly $50,000 U.S. new). Porsche rightfully proclaimed: “Not since the 911 Turbo have we transferred a race car so directly into a road car.” These Turbo S cars were direct descendants of Porsche’s 944 Turbo Cup racing program. They received the coveted M44/52 turbo engine, which produced 247hp and 258 ft-lbs of torque. 0 to 60 times were 5.5 seconds, which is incredible for an 80’s car. Furthermore, the cars received the famed Porsche suspension package, internally designated as the M030 option. This package included height adjustable Koni shocks, stiffer torsion bars/torque tube, stiffened sway bars, and lightweight Club Sport forged alloy wheels (7×16 / 9×16). Porsche’s 928 S4 4-piston ABS braking system was also included. To handle this power upgrade, the Turbo S got a strengthened transmission (1st and 2nd gears were hardened). An external oil cooler was added for longevity and reliability. A new high-friction clutch was installed to allow for quicker engagement and more precise shifts. Finally, a limited slip differential (with 40% lockup) helped transfer the power to the ground. In total, 1,635 Turbo S cars were built worldwide of which 718 were imported into the U.S. Only 36 produced were in the rare color of Zermatt Silver, which was a special order.
This Turbo S was built on May 17th, 1988, and sold new by Fred Lavery Porsche + Audi of Birmingham, Michigan on December 30th, 1988. Although this limited edition model was extremely well optioned from the factory as standard, this example was further ordered with the following additional equipment:
- 944 Turbo S Option Package:
- Larger Turbocharger
- M030 Sport Chassis: Koni Adjustable Shocks, Lowered, Larger Sway Bars
- 7×16 / 9×16 Club Sport Lightweight Forged Alloy Wheels
- Bosch Anti-lock Brake System
- Limited Slip Differential
- Full Power Seats
- Split Rear Seats
- Rear Window Wiper
- Headlight Washers
- Protective Side Moldings
- Hi-Fi Sound System
- Special Interior
- Blaupunkt Reno Radio
- Cruise Control
- Removable Sunroof w/Electric Tilt
- Zermatt Silver Metallic paint (special order)
- Porsche Script Cloth seat inserts (special order)
The MSRP was $49,035, which is approximately $103k in today’s dollars.
The first owner was a Mr. William Alexander of Farmington Hills, Michigan. He serviced the car regularly at his local Porsche dealer. In 2003 with around 31k miles on the car, he relocated to Ft. Myers, Florida. He continued to service the car at his local Porsche dealer. Highlights of services he had performed beyond routine oil services and fluid flushes include:
- First belt service (04/96 @ 22,822 miles)
- Cam shaft timing belt
- Balance belts
- Oil service
- Second belt service (05/03 @ 33,391 miles)
- Timing belt
- Tension roller
- Poly-rib belt
- Balance shaft belt tensioner
- Distributor and rotor
- Spark plugs
- Third belt service and other services at Porsche dealer (02/08 @ 36,757 miles)
- Cooling, transmission and brake system flush
- Timing belt
- Water pump
- Drive belts
- Spark plugs
- Air, oil, and fuel filters
- Cam cork gasket
- Oil pressure sender
- New tires and alignment
- A/C system service
- Cost of service was $6,888
- Engine gasket and resealing (12/24/10 @ 39,451 miles)
- Cam housing gaskets
- Power steering hoses
- Oil pan gasket
- Valve cover gaskets
- DME pump relay
- KRE unit (knock regulator unit)
- Cost of service was $4,561
- A/C system restoration (06/12 @ 41,362 miles)
- Convert system to R134
- Dye test and recharge
- High pressure hose
In February of 2013, William’s son sold the car to a good friend of ours, Garry Roberts here in Costa Mesa, California with just over 42k miles. Roberts ran an automotive clubhouse/garage storage. He kept the car for a little over 3-years and only added a thousand miles. He sold the car in June of 2016 with 43k miles to Mark Bibaeff of San Mateo, California who had a pre purchase inspection with Auto Strasse of Costa Mesa (the same shop that serviced the car for Roberts). They found the car to be in excellent condition with leak-down results of only 2% to 3% off on all cylinders. This is extremely good for a 30-year-old car.
Mark kept the car for a few years and only added a thousand miles as well. He sold it to the recent Southern California enthusiast in March of 2019 with just over 44k miles. Shortly after purchase, this owner took the car to Avus Autosport of Glendale, California for a timing belt service. Highlights of Avus services over the next 18-months/4k miles included the following:
- Fourth belt service and other services (03/19 @ 44,681 miles)
- Timing belt kit
- Roller timing belt on water pump
- Water pump
- Expansion tank
- Coolant flush
- Transmission and diff fluid flush (Redline)
- Stainless steel brake line upgrade/fluid flush
- Rebuild steering rack
- Adjust front wheel bearings
- Replace ABS sensor connectors
- Front sway bar bushings
- Engine mounts
- Spark plugs, air filter and fuel filter
- Cost of service was $8,938
- Pirelli P Zero tires (03/19 @ 44,707 miles)
- Catalytic converter (06/19 @ 45,564 miles)
- Fresh brake pads and oil service (12/30/19 @ 47,365 miles)
- A/C system service (09/20 @ 48,503 miles)
We sold the car in November of 2020 to a very good friend of ours and a local Orange County collector. He has dozens of cars and a full-time on-staff mechanic. His mechanic is a transaxle expert who has done work on our personal 928 in the past. When we sold it to him, his mechanic went through the car and confirmed it was in excellent shape. The only repair he did was to reseal the cam housing with a new upgraded gasket from Greg Brown at Precision Engineering.
This 944 Turbo S is in excellent original/survivor condition. It is clear between the long time single ownership history and low miles that this example was never abused, regularly serviced, and always garaged. The exterior is in very nice condition and a large majority of the paint is still original. The front has been lightly repainted/blended decades ago due to rock chips and front spoiler damage. There’s also a slight bit of paint blending on the right rear quarter panel. No signs of anything beyond superficial repairs. NO damage from accidents and NO corrosion or rust. The rest of the paint is original as verified with a paint meter. There are a few minor rock chips on the front from normal use. They are minimal. There is also a small paint bubble on the plastic side molding strip. All factory VIN stickers are present (front fenders, doors, hood, and rear hatch). The glass is in excellent shape with no major chips, scratches or cracks. The windshield was replaced over a decade ago with the proper factory replacement and wears the appropriate stampings. The rare Club Sport lightweight wheels are in good original shape with just a few minor curb rashes and nicks. They are wearing Pirelli PZero tires that were installed in 2019 and have 3k-miles with ½ to ¾ life remaining. The brake pads are fresh with near full life left. The rotors have a slight lip but are not warped or showing any age signs. The exterior trim, rubber, and plastic are in very good shape as well with no signs of age or discoloration from being in the sun, which is quite common with these cars. The rear glass shows just a tad of de-lamination along the top edge.
The interior is in equally impressive original condition. The Porsche-script factory cloth inserts show minimal signs of wear with no stains. The bolsters are also just as fresh. The rear seats, headliner, and carpet are all in excellent condition with no major blemishes either. The door panels have no signs of warping or other faults. The original dash has no cracks and is one of the better examples of this vintage. All the gauges work properly. The digital clock display is also operational with no bleeding of the LCD screen. The power mirrors, windows, and sunroof all work properly. The original Blaupunkt Reno radio also works. The luggage area fabric cover has three long tears in it, but is complete. The interior and exterior lights all work. The A/C system has been maintained over the years and was recently converted the correct way to R134. It blows very cold.
This Turbo S is not a garage queen that just gets rolled out periodically onto the Concours lawn. Although it would look quite respectable at any show, it is clear that this example has been driven and enjoyed. The past owner lives near the famed Angeles Crest Highway where he frequently enjoyed exercising the car. This car feels like it was designed for that road.
It starts easily on the first try with no excessive smoking and holds an even idle. Power is smooth with of course the surge as boost comes on. However, it doesn’t have the excessive lag you find in 930s. It’s much more progressive. Shifting is nicely balanced between smooth and precise. It has a nice factory firm feel that inspires confidence. There is no grinding or slipping and the clutch engages properly. The brakes are one of this car’s highlights. The system was designed for a car that weighs several hundred pounds more. As a result, braking is strong with no fading or pulling. It has one of the nicer factory-balanced brake systems. Handling is also one of this car’s shining points with nearly perfect weight balanced from front to rear. It’s impressive how much speed can be carried through both tight and sweeping turns. It’s no surprise that these cars were faster around a track than the Porsche 930 and most 911s of the day.
Many vintage driving events are expanding their inclusion years to 80’s cars. This could be the perfect toy for a long-distance tour as well as weekend canyon carving drives with friends. In fact, I just took our ’88 Turbo S on a 1,500 vintage drive and it performed flawlessly.
This Turbo S passes California’s strict emissions/smog test.
This Turbo S comes with extra keys (2 main keys), wheel locks with keys (not installed), original owner’s manuals including maintenance book/vinyl cover, original MSRP/window sticker, original sales agreement, many service receipts going back to new, copies of magazine new car review articles, Porsche service notebook with pen, factory vinyl sunroof panel cover, original luggage area fabric cover, original tool kit, air compressor, floor mats, jack, and space saver spare.
**Note: VIN and other numbers withheld to protect against fraud. All numbers including VIN, Engine, and color will be provided to serious buyers.
What Porsche to buy if I like to drive?
I get this question all the time. Usually, it’s followed up by, “What’s the value vintage Porsche to buy?”
Porsche 944 Turbo is usually my answer. I took my own advice and bought one for myself. I just drove it on a 1,500-mile rally and it was one of the best vintage driving experiences I’ve had. It does so many things right.
Plus, they are still relative bargains. This Turbo S was the best of its era. It was the top dog. It even beat the coveted 911 Turbo (930) in a back-to-back test by Derek Bell and Bill Adam. It’s easier to drive. It gets better fuel economy. Also, it is far more practical and comfortable.
Imagine how much money a unique color and immaculate 930 with 48k miles would be today…three times the price of this Turbo S or even more?
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Paul at 714-335-4911 or email@example.com
This vehicle is sold “as-is” with no warranty, written or implied. In some cases, the vehicle does have the remaining factory warranty still in place and will be described above if that is the case. All taxes and fees are the responsibility of the buyer and are not included in the listed price. All vehicle sales will require a $170 administration fee. The vehicle listed is described to the best of our ability. The information is based on our own research and statements made to us by the previous owner(s). To the best of our knowledge, the above information is accurate. We are not responsible for errors in our description of options or any other details. The above-mentioned vehicle is used and can be expected to show some wear and tear. It is not a brand-new vehicle. We do welcome all local pre-purchase inspections on vehicles in order to verify their condition. For payment, we accept bank transfers, cashier’s checks, or cash. Check’s take up to 10 business days to clear. Vehicle and title will be held until all funds are cleared and verified. Bank transfers usually only take 24 hours.