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Old 06-16-2018, 07:45 PM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: USA
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I hate air-cpoleds and inflated 924's (mini rant inside regarding 986's)


Five vastly underrated Porsches
Monday, June 11, 2018

Photos courtesy Porsche unless noted

Most people agree on what the undeniably great Porsches areóthey gather crowds at Werks Reunion and enthusiastic bidders at fancy auctions. Itís the merits of the hidden gems of the Porsche world that are the bones of contention among enthusiasts. Theyíre often cars that were overshadowed by what came next or were underappreciated back in the day. Here are five Porsches that are much better cars than most people realize:


Note: The 928S pictured above is a 1985 model year.

Most of the action in the 928 world at the moment is at the beginning and the end. 928 geeks go nuts over an early car with phone dial wheels, no body side rub-strips, and a Pasha interior. They go equally crazy for the wide-body GTS that was the 928ís swan song. Lost are the mid-year cars, in particular, the 928S, which in the US gained a slightly more powerful, 234-horsepower 4.7-liter engine for 1983 and 1984. Fortunately for model years 1985 and 1986, US-market 928Ss received a version of the new 5.0-liter V8 with 288 hp, making the car an even more capable grand tourer and a much closer match to the more powerful European 928S.


To the extent that most people remember the 924S at all, they confuse it with the earlier Audi-engined car. In actuality, the 150-horsepower 924S was a true sleeper, combining the 944ís Porsche-designed, balance-shaft 2.5-liter four-cylinder with the lighter, simpler 924 body and interior. The car handled brilliantly and was reasonably quick, particularly in its last year, 1988, when it got a horsepower bump up to nearly 160 hp.

1973.5 911T

Every iteration of the 911T was underrated. It was always the lowest horsepower variant of the T/E/S lineup, which sometimes made enthusiasts obsessed with bragging rights sneer. The buff books of the day knew better, almost always pegging the 911T as the best daily driver of the three. To a modern owner, carbs and then the mechanical fuel injection that the T had from 1972 through mid-1973 can present an occasional challenge. The Bosch K-Jetronic CIS-injected 1973.5 car might be the most underrated 911T of them all. The CIS system meant that the car always started quickly even from cold and ran sweetly, with no flat spots. And since the injection system was similar to the one used all of the way through 1983, itís a relatively known quantity.

1969 912

Photo by Niels de Wit from Lunteren, The Netherlands. CC BY 2.0 (link is external) via Wikimedia Commons

Most of the attention given to the 912 centers on the early short-wheelbase cars with their green-faced, chrome-ringed gauges and unflared fenders. The unique, final-year 1969 car is generally overlooked in spite of the fact that its numerous refinements likely make it a better car to drive, with slightly better weight distribution and handling from the wheelbase stretch and the ability to accommodate wider tires.

996 Carrera

For reasons that have largely been explained/debunked at this point, the 996 has been a consistently underrated car. And while its days in the woods are behind it, most of the attention has been given to the Carrera 4S and Turbo variants, which ignores what an accessible and pleasurable driverís car the base Carrera 2 is, much like the 911T was 30 years earlier.

My response

OK...I've got to ask.

How in the world did the 986 Boxster not make this article?

Suddenly the 924S is getting press it hasn't received in 30 years, the 928 is the next "it" Porsche, somehow you managed to sneak in a longhood 911, the 912 is not underrated by looking at the prices they are commanding these days, and last but not least, the 996 I can agree with but the photo depicts the more desirable 996.2..."true Porsche enthusiast" would never buy the underdog 996.1.

How does the much better handling, better performing, with heritage styling back to the 550 and 356/1 always elude Porsche conversations?

Can we get over the air-cooled hysteria already? The facts show the air-cooled 964, ancient 928, and refreshed for the 4th time 924, err I mean 968 almost killed Porsche. The Boxster saved it but that somehow gets glossed over time and time again.

It's time the 986 gets the credit it deserves...or wait!
Don't let anyone else know how much of a great daily driver and modern car it is. We wouldn't want the 986 to catch "911 hysteria" having retirees, baby boomers with a fat 401K, and Silicon Valley titans inflate the values of Stuttgart's best bang for the buck.

Kind regards,
Underdog 986 owner.
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