Practical Classics (UK)


J-J is reminded why he was an oaf to sell his one


‘My 924 Turbo was more fun by far’

Now, I say this as a former owner of several frontengin­ed Porsches: factory 944s, and especially stock 924s, are underpower­ed.

If you never push your classic hard, or only get your kicks from going fast in a straight line, you’ll likely think that’s the end of the story – far from it. The chassis balance and grip available from these machines is almost unparallel­ed for the period – the only contempora­ries I’ve driven that can match or top these Porsches are made by Lotus.

I owned several 944s many years ago, but more fun by far was my 924 Turbo (wish I hadn’t sold it). I loved how its 170bhp (177bhp from ’81) turbocharg­ed motor allowed me to make the most of that deliciousl­y balanced and forgiving chassis.

The delivery was laggy, of course, but that added to the theatre; and unlike its blown 911 cousin, it didn’t try to kill me before I’d learned its ways. I was always amazed how the combinatio­n of a great chassis, low weight and power that you’d find in your average diesel hatch these days, could catch out drivers of cars that were supposed to be far faster.

I wasn’t the first to learn of the 924’s giant-slaying character, of course – as an interview with Tony Dron and Andy Rouse a few years ago proved to me.

This pair of racing legends, now sadly down one member (RIP Tony), recalled to me their famously patriotic 1980 Le Mans campaign.

It was a slog with plenty of thrills and near-spills, but the long and the short of it was that all three cars entered finished in the top 15, with one placing on the podium in its class.

That history isn’t too well known, which makes examples for sale like this fantastic London-based 924 Turbo a real steal. Offered by The Market with an estimate of between £12,000 and £16,000, when we last checked the auction, it was struggling to top £10k. There are very few other Le Mans podium finishers that drive this well that you can get for so little cash.

 ?? ?? The 170bhp motor: laggy but lovely.
The 170bhp motor: laggy but lovely.
 ?? ?? Athletic handling made this the best seat in the house.
Athletic handling made this the best seat in the house.
 ?? ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom