There is a wonderful simplicity and purity about the design. It looks like a sports car should, with a sharp snout containing pop up headlamps and a fastback rump. On steel wheels it looks silly so alloys are essential. You would not want an early four speeder, or three-speed auto, but the transaxle is another nice touch and a boon to weight distribution. Although a Mark 1 Golf GTI would leave it at the lights, performance was certainly adequate and perfect for this speed camera era. However, the 944 engined 924S provides hot hatch performance if you want it.
Nowhere near as cheap as they used to be, certainly a Classic Bangernomics favourite,
Why buy a Bangernomics Porsche 924? (a 924S that is)
Well there were quite a few reasons not to buy the entry Porsche, mainly because it seemed like the cynical coming together of VW group bits that should have been badged an Audi. In fact the last iteration of the 924 in the shape of the S was arguably the best and unarguably a proper Porsche. For many it may never have been anything more than an upmarket Capri but that was their loss. The 924S has to be judged in context and by 1985 0 to 60 mph was hot hatch quick taking 8 seconds to get there. The larger 2.5 engine was torquey and made the S feel usefully lively even though it was detuned from the 944. Many criticised the handling at the time as being a bit on the soft side, but then it was never meant to be a hardcore performer. By contrast the 924 Turbo was quicker, but far more complex and anyway you would trade up to a 944 for that. No, the 924S styling is neat, understated and has never looked better. There are precious few mid ‘80s coupes that look this good or are going to be as easy to look after. It’s the no brainer classic buy.
Finding a Bangernomics Porsche 924
Not as easy as it once was. As the cheapest Porsche it suffered at the hands of multiple owners with less and less to spend on maintenance which left only the worst examples around. The 924S was pricey when new and is the last of the line so potential you stand a better chance of finding tidy and well maintained examples. Certainly the Porsche specialists at the affordable end of the market still swear by them as good value and easy to keep cars. They should also have serviced and sorted them out before sale for your peace of mind. The Porsche Owners Club GB remains the best of its kind and the best source for superbly maintained examples that you can buy with confidence. At the very least the membership can help you find and inspect what is for sale, which is a huge help. The 924S is now a classic car and you should buy one that’s in perfect running order, rather than run into the ground.
Checking over a Bangernomics Porsche 924
The body was hot dip galvanised, so rot should not be a serious issue. Just look at the battery tray and at untouched up stone chips at the front. Otherwise you are just looking for accident damage (manufacturer stickers on the inside of the rear panel should look original) and less than perfect panel gaps. Engines are tough but watch out for overheating which will blow a head gasket. Engine vibration means fractured offside engine mounts. Oil leaks can be traced camshaft oil seals that are worn. Gearboxes are tough but bearings will go at six figures. Brake discs can be consumed at a high rate when used regularly. Interiors were not that tough and now look their age especially the lighter colours. The tailgates leak especially if slammed shut awkwardly whilst sunroof seals fail giving you a wet head. Dashboards have been prone to crack and replacements are either impossible or pricey depending on whom you ask. There could be intermittent electrical faults because of the poorly designed loom, the ignition switch was prone to let owners down and sunroof motors can be temperamental.
Running a Bngernomics Porsche 924
What you have is a long life classic with an engine that will rack up a huge mileage although you must prepared to change the oil on a regular basis. Experts say that should be at least an oil and filter at the 6000-mile mark. Also a good antifreeze is crucial plus a two yearly change will stop cylinder head and water pump corrosion. Most crucially on the 2.5 engine you need to budget for drive belt changes, but not at 45,000 miles, mechanics say that 36,000 miles is much safer. Also manual gearbox oil should be changed often and the experts suggest 12,000 miles would be a good idea. The galvanised body is a huge boon but it still helps to keep on top of any chips or body damage. Experts reckon that greasing the fuel lines where they kick up near the rear axle is worth doing. So it will make sense in the long run to maintain a 924S properly even if some parts and servicing are pricier if you go to a Porsche specialist. Major failures will be rare, you will also benefit from classic insurance and reasonable economy that cracks 30mpg with careful driving.