Reviving a ‘Garage Find’ Porsche 944 Is No Simple Task. Or Is It?

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Purchased from an estate sale, this 20-years-dead 944 is one intrepid Rennlist member’s passion project.

In the course of less than one month, Rennlist user Western_PA 944 has purchased this early-production Canadian-delivery 944 that was sitting in a garage for twenty years, figured out all of its faults, had each of them repaired in kind, and is now driving it. We are blown away by their stunning commitment to, and rapid turnaround of, such an awesome endeavor. We adore Porsche’s transaxle sports coupe, especially the earliest models with manual steering racks and manual sunroof operation, as they provide some of the most communicative driving we’ve ever experienced.

Given that this car had been sitting for so long — the most recent registration sticker featured the numerals “1-9-9-7” — it was a bit of a surprise that it was still in such good condition. The new owner aired up the tires and rolled the car onto a flatbed hauler to get it home. Once the 944 had been torn loose from its tomb, they also set about putting in a fresh battery and testing out the electrical components, quickly finding out that the dash lit, the door buzzers made their annoying symphony, the radio worked, and even the windows lowered without a problem. So far, so good.

Thanks to intrepid forum-goers, Western_PA 944 heeded advice to avoid attempts to crank the engine until after the timing belt, balance shaft belt, and water pump had all been replaced. Not prepared for the full extent of that job, the car was taken to a proper Porsche mechanic for the balance of the service work it needed. That list of repairs also included a new set of tires (always a good idea), a fuel pump and filter, a fuel tank and fuel rail cleaning, and a replacement crank reference sensor. It’s amazing how little work this car actually needed to get back on the road, and we commend them for making sure it was completed.

This is a gem of a 944 and makes for good conversation fodder with a speedometer in kilometers, little French language warning decals, and some amazing collateral material. This car came with both operators manuals (one in English, one in French), and both dealership window stickers (one in English, one in French). Throw in the fact that the car features a gorgeous set of bronze basket weave wheels and a rare rear-mounted fog-lamp, and this is a truly special 944. We’re in love. Well done, Western_PA 944, you’ve got a heck of a car there.

Bradley Brownell is a regular contributor to Corvette Forum and 6SpeedOnline, among other auto sites.

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