I recently had to move my 1983 Porsche 944 project from long term and slightly forgotten storage in a lock-up garage to a friend’s barn where some of my other cars are kept. The garage rent payments had increased to the point where they were being noticed rather than just drifting out of my account every month, so it was time for a change.
My Porsche projects have been right on the back burner for several years since I got back into old BMW motorcycles, but I haven’t lost any appetite for the three classic Porsches that remain as part of my fleet. The 924 Turbo is having a fuel system refresh with a new filter and pump arrangement to get around the issue of the in-tank pump and hopefully that will be off to storage somewhere else soon, leaving me with some garage space. Now the 944 is back on my radar after spending a day dragging it about and stripping some aluminium arms off a rear beam which is supposed to be heading its way, it is lined up to be next in the garage.
Porsche 944 Project: Rust Update
Moving the car was a good excuse to stop off at the Racing Restorations workshop and take a closer look at the only real rust on the car: small patches at the rear of both sills and a sizeable hole in the battery tray. I had a go at the sills with a hammer and chisel and – as I always suspected – they are really not bad: nothing like the shocking rust one sees on later 944s that have been used every year since manufacture. This 86k-mile example car has been in storage for over twenty years so I am not too surprised that the shell is in good condition.
The battery tray damage is rather more substantial than the rust on the sills, but my colleague assures me that repairing it properly will take less time than should be needed to pull the fusebox and loom out of the way. I’m taking that as a challenge. Having broken several 924s and 944s for spares and spent a lot of time lying in the driver’s footwell of my LHD Porsche 924 Turbo sorting out the wiring loom, getting all that copper out of this car won’t be that difficult: there’ll be a lot more room to work in once the brown dashboard has been removed.
This weekend was the first time I had driven some of my other cars for a while, including the lovely old 1993 Mercedes 500 SL in Malachite Green, my Daytona Violet E36 M3 saloon and my old Landcruiser 80-series. Still love those, too. Why would anyone buy a new car when old ones are so much cooler?