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Old 07-17-2013, 11:42 AM   #1
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Sell Miata, Buy Porsche 944. Good idea?

I am seriously thinking about selling my 2003 Miata (1.8L, 6-spd, new suspension, runs great) and buying a Porsche 944. I already own a 996 and a Spec Boxster.

The Miata is fun, reliable, and cheap to maintain/repair but it is also fairly small, underpowered, and I'm kind of bored with it. I'm thinking that a 944 might offer a bigger interior, better performance, and be fun to own.

Cost isn't an issue - I am well aware that maintaining a 944 will be MUCH more expensive than a Miata and can live with that.

The 944 would be used as a daily driver and will see a few DE track days per year (just for fun).

Anyone have experience with 944 ownership?

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Last edited by thstone; 07-17-2013 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 07-17-2013, 11:47 AM   #2
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Yup - loads! They're great cars but getting on in years now. Buy the best one you can and it'll do the tasks you speak of admirably. A turbo can fairly move along too if one crops up! Failing that a good S2 is what you're after!
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Old 07-17-2013, 11:48 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by thstone View Post
I am seriously thinking about selling my 2003 Miata (1.8L, 6-spd, new suspension, runs great) and buying a Porsche 944.

The Miata is fun, reliable, and cheap to maintain/repair but it is also fairly small, underpowered, and I'm kind of bored with it. I'm thinking that a 944 might offer a bigger interior, better performance, and be fun to own.

Cost isn't an issue - I am well aware that maintaining a 944 will be MUCH more expensive than a Miata and can live with that.

The 944 would be used as a daily driver and will see a few DE track days per year (just for fun).

Anyone have experience with 944 ownership?
No & I plan to keep it that way! I think a Box S would be much more fun & a better investment. There's no substitute for seat time.
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Old 07-17-2013, 12:28 PM   #4
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I was thinking of seeing if I could get a 944 for my wife, but so far no-one wants to make the trade.
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Old 07-17-2013, 12:37 PM   #5
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Go for it. I've had 2 Miatas, 3 Porsches, 1 Ferrari. The Porsche 944 Turbo is a great car for the money and still a sweet looking car today.
Find the best example your money can buy to mitigate your financial risk. With these cars, some can be a money pit.

Best


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Old 07-17-2013, 12:46 PM   #6
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944 turbo is about same weight and hp as a box s (250 hp, 2950 lbs) - you may just be trading into a car you already have. the Miata, while underpowered, is different in that it's only 2350 lbs. hard work to get a 944 or a 986 down to that weight. makes it a different driving experience. perhaps put your energy/$ into putting more power into the Miata:

Supercharger Kits, accessories, and electronics for MX5 Miata

or changing up the looks:

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Old 07-17-2013, 01:03 PM   #7
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I wouldn't, only because I had a 944 that was on the fast-track to being a money pit. I sold it before I did any work to it
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Old 07-17-2013, 01:14 PM   #8
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In general: every sentence which contains the words "sell {other brand name} buy Porsche" is a good thing :-)
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Old 07-17-2013, 02:59 PM   #9
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Is A/C important to you? As I recall, 10 yr old A/C on a 944 was less than excellent. 25 yr old A/C will be a lot worse. I really like the 944 as a low cost get around car or DE car because they are fun and well built. I would be less enthusiastic about it as a DD in SoCal cause I do like my modern climate control for searing days in the summer sun.
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Old 07-17-2013, 03:33 PM   #10
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Go for it. I've had 2 Miatas, 3 Porsches, 1 Ferrari. The Porsche 944 Turbo is a great car for the money and still a sweet looking car today.
Find the best example your money can buy to mitigate your financial risk. With these cars, some can be a money pit.

Best

Soucorp,

What's the deal, are you running a wing of the J. Paul Getty Museum out of your garage or something ?
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Old 07-17-2013, 06:02 PM   #11
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Owned an 86 944 for ten years now and done over 30,000 miles with it.

Great all around car. Extremely comfortable, the best HVAC system of any car I've owned, rock solid build quality, and really starting to turn heads as you don't see many nice examples on the roads anymore.

Your all around cheapest 944 to run will be an early 83-85 model, although the only real price difference between early and later cars are suspension parts and the climate control system.

You'll have to decide if you want an early (83-85) with the 924 derived interior, or the modernized oval dash of the 85.5+ models. I've driven both extensively and love the retro charm of the early dash, but they lack the refinement and brilliant HVAC system of the later cars.

Problem areas include:

1) Motor Mounts. If the car vibrates your fillings out at idle, plan on about $600. Use the updated Turbo variety.

2) Clutch. If the car has not had an updated spring center clutch, or has no record of the clutch being done, subtract at least $2000 off the price as it will likely need one very soon. The rubber cents of the original Sachs units perishes with age and is a very labor intensive job.

3) Oil cooler seals. Another labor intensive job, plan on spending $800-1000. It's unusual to see head gasket issues on 944's, so if you observe fluids mixing, this is most likely the culprit.

4) Major Services. The 944 is sensitive to timing and balance shaft belts, they do break, and thus a major service is recommended every 45k or 5 years (depending on who you ask). You can get by doing the water pump every other belt change. Budget $2000 if you can't do the work yourself.

5) Power steering racks. Prone to leaking on 944's. Mine leaks, many others leak. It's expensive to fix. Some people convert to manual racks if you're lucky enough to find PS parts from an 83, otherwise budget $1000.

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Old 07-17-2013, 06:20 PM   #12
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My mechanic fixes all Porsches, vintage and new. There are two things I'm guaranteed to see in my mechanic's shop:

1- Old tires stacked in the back.
2- A 944 in for repairs.


If I were looking for daily driver that would get to the track once in a blue moon, I'd get an S2000.
Drives like an Accord in-town. Runs like a sports car when you have the hard hat on. No Porsche part bills. Lots of modern road car safety.
I don't think you can beat all those factors. When I'm on public roads every day, I like modern safety.
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Old 07-17-2013, 07:02 PM   #13
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I loved my 944, it was expensive to maintain but fun to drive. If you can find a good one that has been well maintained then go for it. If you by a $4K to $5K car expect to put loads into it.

Keys Guy

PS It just happens that tonight I was going through some of my stuff and found a copy of my 924/944 special tuning book. If anyone out there that owns a 944 would like it send me a PM and I will send it to you for the cost of postage
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Old 07-18-2013, 02:13 AM   #14
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I've owned 3 944's since 1995. I loved the cars, but the Boxster is much more refined. You will have to test one out for yourself and see if it's the car for you. I do not miss the maintenance.
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Old 07-18-2013, 10:01 AM   #15
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Thanks to all for the great advice - I knew my 986Forum brothers and sisters would come through for me.

I'm going to start looking at 944's and drive a few to see if my perception and expectations of the car meets reality. If I get serious, I'll post up a few candidates.
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Old 07-18-2013, 11:23 AM   #16
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If I may offer a minority opinion...

Get a MINI Cooper S, preferrably 2005 or 2006. That car is the true definition of pocket rocket and with a few choice modifications will kick some serious butt. The car with stock suspension handles like it is on rails and adding a nice rear sway bar gets rid of understeer.

I mention the specific years because those were the last of the R53 model with the supercharger. They did make the 2007 convertable S with the same engine as well. I'm in Burbank so if you ever want to check mine out for a comparison, just let me know.
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Old 07-18-2013, 11:43 AM   #17
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p.s.
I regret selling my Miata, i should have kept it if not just to keep for AX. It's hard to find one of these have been well looked after. Mine was a two owner car with a long list of mods. The time committment alone would make me think twice about doing it again. The guy I sold it to (in like two days) flew all the way in from Florida to buy it. He stepped off the plane and drove right back to Florida. BIGGEST mistake I ever made. I should have just found extra space for it somewhere.
What I ended up selling it for would not have paid for a new Fabspeed exhaust.
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Last edited by Perfectlap; 07-18-2013 at 11:47 AM.
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Old 07-18-2013, 11:56 AM   #18
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'85 944 was my first P car, had a great time with it and regretted selling it for years. I'd recommend a 1985.5 or newer, much nicer interior & some other improvements. Turbo would be the fastest, would also recommend looking for a 968. Even harder to come by, but usually in real nice condition when you find one. Make sure you change the timing belt BEFORE 65k or else you will be adding some shiny new valves to you charge card - don't ask me how I know...
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Old 07-18-2013, 12:56 PM   #19
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Quote:
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Soucorp,

What's the deal, are you running a wing of the J. Paul Getty Museum out of your garage or something ?
LoL, I'm just a car nut... I get bored easily and on my 28th car since college. Good thing is I usually do all of my own maintenance so it helps when you are a weekend grease monkey.
Looking to restore a 66 Fiat 500D next.

Cheers

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Old 07-19-2013, 12:42 AM   #20
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Hey,

Find yourself a 968 CS, you will make money in 10 years on this one.
Its the best 944.

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