I sold “Red Sonja” last week and bought an NB Miata.
When I first bought my 944 it was on the suggestion of many in the Austin automotive community. It was in good shape, it had a wonderful engine, and it was the right color. I was very excited to join the world of Porsche ownership and camaraderie. But, after a year, I have some thoughts on the car, and some more on the state of Porsche ownership in general.
- Porsche owners are on the whole, pretty lovely people. Of course there were some in the community who turned their nose up on me and my car. “Oh the key is on the right?” they sneered, “not a real Porsche.” Those people were dicks, but at least they were the minority. I found tons of help with technical questions, tips and tricks, or just letting me park with them at events. That I will miss about owning the 944.
- However, I will not miss the numerous annoyances. Finding the proper oil weight is confusing and no one seems to have a really good answer. The rear hatch lamination is terrible and turns rear visibility to near zero. The camshaft position sensor requires going under the hood if you want your car to start. The sunroof is terrible, and the clips are useless. Oh, and god help you if you have an AC system that hasn’t been changed since it was new. Lastly, the Porsche part tax is insane for this car
- What was awesome about the car? That engine is beautiful. It sounds good, it’s got nice power and torque for the era. The handling dynamics are along the lines of an NA Miata. I could see the car being a real track weapon if it got some love. It’s a classic car that gets a lot of love. People always let me in, gave me tons of rooms, and I always got a few friendly waves when I was out. It’s shockingly practical. I had four people in it once and was totally fine. The hatch is nice and roomy.
- That car is just an astounding Grand Tourer to dedicate a bullet point to it. Living in Austin with parents in The Woodlands meant a ton of trips back and forth and the car never broke a sweat. The suspension is nice and has enough give that the ride is always comfortable. The speakers were actually very nice for their age. You will want a new head unit however.
- Tires and brakes are cheap due to the size of the OEM equipment. You do have to use premium fuel which can add up on long journeys, but fifth gear is tall enough to make MPG stay out of the gas guzzler range.
- Lastly, what have I learned anything from all of this? Everybody should own a car that is at least 25 years old. They just feel like nothing else has since. They feel heavy and nimble all at once. They smell like gas and fumes and that’s good. They remind you where we have come from, and where we can go. They give us a window into just how good cars are now. Go out, drive a classic, and embrace your heritage. Who knows where we go next.