23K Mile Automatic: 1988 Porsche 944 – Sold?

by | Nov 2022 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Free For All Friday

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December 20, 2022, Update – We confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found, we’re assuming this ride is “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

The Porsche 944: this is the sports car seemingly everyone can still buy. It has remained somewhat affordable (if you stay off the PCA classifieds) and can be bought for relative peanuts if you buy a project car. But those occasional high watermark sales are driving sellers to ask top dollar, even if their car doesn’t match the specs or condition of the models sold in a mid-five figures transaction. The seller’s car was a 1988 944 with a lofty asking price, likely driven by its very low recorded mileage of 23,752. The seller once had it listed on Craigslist in November 2022 on Long Island for $25,000.  Comparing that price against the Classic.com model guide shows us that the seller is asking slightly above the going rate for a 944, which is pegged at $20,661.

We do love the 944 here at Guys With Rides. It’s a solid performer in any configuration, but especially when found in “S” specification or with the turbocharged four-cylinder under the hood. The market has been ticking upwards for the best cars, especially late production 944 Turbos with the updated bumpers and wider phone dial wheels. The naturally-aspirated cars are obviously worth a touch less, but not by much – and the 944 S2 is one of the best handling cars sold in 1990s, and it remains somewhat attainable, too, if not a low-mileage or time-warp specimen (those cars are commanding top dollar right now). The seller is right to ask for all the money for his low-mileage example, but I’m afraid it has a major strike against it: the automatic transmission. While I am not an “anti-automatic” crusader, I do feel a 944 deserves three pedals.

The PcarAutodotcom YouTube Channel features this collection of Porsche 944 commercials:

Now, for a time, I was not one to be swayed by low mileage. I thought buying a vehicle with a robust maintenance portfolio was more prudent than judging it by its odometer reading alone. However, I have come to adjust that thinking in recent months. Here’s why: I bought a truck from a junkyard that needed new floors and some rocker repair. It had 55,000 original miles on it and was a fairly rare model. After living with it for a few months, I can see why enthusiasts pine to own cars with 50,000 miles or less: they feel different. Better screwed together, fewer damaged plastics, no funky smells – the list goes on in terms of small details I find on my truck that are not always shared with well-loved but also well-driven vehicles. An automatic transmission may saddle this 944, but the sub-30,000 miles on the clock may very well sway someone to ignore the two-pedal “upgrade” for the chance to drive a 944 that looks and feels largely the same way it did when it rolled off the assembly line.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“1988 Porsche 944
2 owner car 2nd owner since 1991 Garage kept
Very rare all leather target top options
Car is in excellent condition Runs and drives great
Clean Title
Only 23k miles
Asking $25,000.”

Low-mileage or cheap driver: would you spend more for a car with low miles? Or choose a cheaper but well-maintained driver?    



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