1985 Porsche 944 Track Car For Sale – $7500
I am selling my 1985 Porsche 944 track car. This car has been under development by me since 2010. It is now a fully sorted street legal track car ready to put on track immediately. I am a very serious amateur mechanic and restorer. There is a full “build thread” for this car at my website. See https://newhillgarage.com/category/porsche-944-track-car/
This car has been developed with an emphasis on safety, reliability, and handling. If you want a car that will go fast in a straight line, read no further, this is not the car for you. But if you enjoy an “analog” car that corners well and rewards good driving without the aid of any “nannies” this may be the car for you. It is an inexpensive entry to track events and could be easily qualified for several sanctioned racing series. Operating expenses, in the world of high performance cars on track, are very reasonable. A set of tires and brake pads will easily last all season. Unlike the guys with the big engine cars, you will only need to visit the fuel pump once at the end of the day. It runs on 93 octane pump gas.
It is a very light car, weighing in at 2311 pounds. With its stiff race suspension, it corners very well. The 944 is a very neutral car. It is a “transaxle” car and as such, the weight distribution on the front versus rear tires is 50:50. This means that if you do exceed the cornering limits of the tires, it is very easy to catch. It is in a category known as “momentum” cars. This means that it will force you to learn to corner with minimal braking and maximum speed at the apex, as there is no large horsepower to bail you out. That said, you will have to wave cars by on the straightaway. Don’t worry, you’ll catch them again in the corners. This would be a good car for a young driver to learn on, as it teaches driving skills and doesn’t have deadly power characteristics. With its full cage, 6 point Hans ready seat belt harness, and built in fire suppression system, it is as safe as I could make it. By the way, this 944 does not have a fuel cell. The fuel tank on a 944 is in a very protected location, in front of and above the transaxle. It has a kill switch on the left end of the dash that can be reached by both the driver and corner workers. It has an integrated fire suppression system. It has front and rear tow hooks. They haven’t been used on track since 2011!
After some years of running with a non-street legal car, I realized that showing up at the track only to discover some mechanical problem was not a good strategy. As a consequence, a few years ago, I made the car street legal in accordance with North Carolina rules. As you will see in the pictures, there is a console in the middle of the car that has toggle switches for the horn, turn signals, and lights. The pop up headlights must be manually opened, as I do not plan to run at night but if you were going to run in an Enduro after dark, it is a simple matter to pop open the headlights, which are fully functional. The car does have a catalytic converter. In addition to allowing “test and tune” to be done between events, it is a hoot just to drive it around nearby back roads. Just don’t plan on taking your wife to dinner in it!
If you look at the rest of my website, you will see that I’m a pretty serious car guy. I have spared no expense on this car in meeting my goals of safety and reliability. It is presentable but not a beauty queen. You can review the last 5 years of the cars maintenance history in the attached document. Highlights include:
- Current full prep for a typical Driver Education event, include fresh fluids and full inspection.
- Transaxle fully rebuilt by Catellus Engineering in January of 2019. Includes a “short” fifth gear.
- New manual steering rack installed in August of 2018.
- Full engine rebuild completed in January of 2018. Includes a Michael Mount custom head, Wossner pistons, and Molnar rods. For a complete discussion of the rebuild, see my rebuild articles (there are five) here.
- Fuchs wheels with Toyo Proxes RA1 tires and a set of “Phone Dial” wheels with Kumho Ecsta tires.
Note that the car does not have an odometer. Heck, it doesn’t even have a speedometer. Maintenance intervals are tracked by an hour meter on the dash. It has had approximately 50 hours of track time since the engine was rebuilt.
You may have heard of concerns with the Porsche 944 engine being tough on the rod bearings. Nothing is certain in life but I frankly think that using a good grade oil (I use Valvoline 20w-50 Full Synthetic Racing oil) with consistent oil changes (I change the oil and filter every other event) is all that is needed. As you can see if you read my article Harvey’s Half Lap of America, this car has been exposed to just about every crazy track corner arrangement imaginable and has done fine. Also I would recommend that you read my article 944 Oiling System Explained for an in depth technical discussion of this issue. As discussed in the article, this car does have the later improved oil pan with built in crank scrapers. Regarding the timing belt, you do not want to let it break, as this is an “interference engine” and valves will be bent. The timing belt was replaced as part of the 2018 rebuild. I would think about replacing it again in 2023, which represents a 5 year interval.
There is a complete discussion of this cars suspension in my build blog. The simple way to understand the suspension is go to the Paragon-Products.com website and review the description for the 944Spec1-Koni suspension package. I went with 350# front springs and a 30 mm rear torsion bar.
The car has a very robust drivers seat, as manufactured by TheJoieofSeating.com. I am 5’-7” and weigh 180 pounds. The seat was custom fit for my body. It is approximately 15″ wide at the hips. Sorry, either it will fit you or it won’t! The seat is fixed to the floor. There are pedal extensions on the 3 pedals. These stick out almost 4” and can be adjusted in 1″ increments, so if your legs are longer than mine (30” inseam) you could adjust them back quite a bit. Probably the most important thing for a track car is getting the seating and pedals in a good position. This can never be a one size fits all situation so be prepared to deal with this if you purchase the car. The steering wheel is removable. The passenger seat is sized for a “robust” individual. Both seats have 6 point harnesses. The FIA certification on both belts expires at the end of this year. The drivers harness is an OMP with the narrow straps required to use a Hans device. Which I absolutely recommend!
The car has been lightened considerably. The 2311 pound weight is documented in the photo gallery and included a small amount of fuel in the tank. This weight reduction has been accomplished in several ways, as discussed in my build thread. The highlights are an aluminum hood, rear hatch converted to Lexan and aluminum, gutted doors, stock bumpers removed and faired in with aluminum, most interior soundproofing removed, a lightweight Braille AGM battery, and the Fuchs wheels. I have the original hood, rear hatch, and bumpers if you want them. Much of the cockpit is lined with Koolmat, for heat insulation. The heater with defrost is still functional. The AC is long gone!
Speaking of spares, if you purchase the car I will literally give you, free of charge (you pay the shipping), every 944 related spare part that I have and that we can pile on pallets and ship. This even includes a fair amount of stuff required to put a factory turbocharger on the engine. I never went there! The sale will also include a set of stock phone dial wheels with “street tires” mounted. They are Kumho Ecsta ATS. All the tires for this car are 225/50R15 size.
I am selling the car because I am not getting any younger and climbing through a cage to get into and out of the car has lost its allure. I am replacing this track car with a Porsche Cayman, which I plan to keep relatively stock, but track.
There are several photo galleries below. If you click on the any of the thumbnails, a larger format picture will open up.
Also below are links to pertinent receipts and my maintenance records. The car has a clear NC title. I have a trailer for the car. The trailer is not for sale but we might be able to work together on shipping using my truck and trailer, if need be.
A cold start video can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UdJEebCg0MQ
So there you go. If you’ve read this far, you can appreciate that this is not some fly by night project. You are getting a serious track car that should give you a lot of driving pleasure, if you keep your wits about you. And if you don’t, there are plenty of used 944 body shells out there to get you back in business. I can be reached during normal east coast hours at 919 604 2188 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Update 1: When reviewing my photos of the corner balance scale readings, it leapt out at me that the total number was fine but the corner weights were not fine. I immediately knew what had happened. The 350# springs are short and on full suspension droop, they disengage from their seats. Normally when you drop the car back down they make a loud bang, which will scare the hell out of you the first time it happens. I just came in from putting the car on the scales again, this time making sure the spring seats were seated. These numbers are much much better 🙂