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Javelin
Javelin GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/2/23 12:49 a.m.

I think this is a question for the ages. What's your best starter Porsche? 944 or 986? Here's my opinion on it:

 

I know, I know, I copped out and said both. It really depends on what you want though. Vintage feel, head turner, and classic plates? Get the 944. Track rat, top-down, and flat 6 noises? Get the 986.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
1/2/23 11:43 a.m.

Why not a 928?

laugh

https://i.pinimg.com/736x/fb/b6/66/fbb6664f0c24ea9df0f9eee73f182f3f--risky-business-tom-cruise.jpg

Javelin
Javelin GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/2/23 2:57 p.m.

In reply to 1988RedT2 :

I love a 928, but man they do not exist in 2023. Everything for sale (all of like 3 cars within 2 states of me) is either a $30K low-mile S4 or a $500 seized-engine, rat-infested hulk. I haven't seen a driver-quality 928 in at least 15 years.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
1/2/23 4:06 p.m.
Javelin said:

In reply to 1988RedT2 :

I love a 928, but man they do not exist in 2023. Everything for sale (all of like 3 cars within 2 states of me) is either a $30K low-mile S4 or a $500 seized-engine, rat-infested hulk. I haven't seen a driver-quality 928 in at least 15 years.

And you would be exactly right.  Still, it was a question that needed to be asked.  laugh

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/2/23 6:40 p.m.

924S, because more cheap VW parts than a 944 and just as fast (they have a 944 drivetrain), and they're still a bit cheaper on marketplace vs. 944s since people forget about them.

Just had mine out doing 250 miles today :)

May be an image of outdoors

Javelin
Javelin GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/2/23 7:15 p.m.

In reply to irish44j (Forum Supporter) :

Agreed 100% if you can find one! I think really nice 924 S's are outpacing 944's right now. The narrow body is cool. 

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/2/23 7:57 p.m.
Javelin said:

In reply to irish44j (Forum Supporter) :

Agreed 100% if you can find one! I think really nice 924 S's are outpacing 944's right now. The narrow body is cool. 

and to think, I bought two of them for $1000 each just 5 years ago (which I combined into the one above) :)

Javelin
Javelin GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/2/23 9:08 p.m.
irish44j (Forum Supporter) said:
Javelin said:

In reply to irish44j (Forum Supporter) :

Agreed 100% if you can find one! I think really nice 924 S's are outpacing 944's right now. The narrow body is cool. 

and to think, I bought two of them for $1000 each just 5 years ago (which I combined into the one above) :)

That's probably a $15,000 car today, even after the bubble pop. 

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) UberDork
1/2/23 9:59 p.m.

Miata

Javelin
Javelin GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/2/23 10:53 p.m.
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) said:

Miata

I'm a bigger Mazda fan boy than Porsche. I've had 8 Mazdas, including an NA Miata built with the right autocross goodies. Not going to scratch the same itch by a long shot. Even with all the chassis bracing and suspension work in the world, the engine is still in the wrong spot and the interior is still, well, Mazda. 

I'd seriously cross shop a new ND2 versus a 944 though, that is a way harder call. Neither of them are mid engined though. 

Tom1200
Tom1200 UberDork
1/2/23 11:45 p.m.

In reply to irish44j (Forum Supporter) :

I'm thinking that is the Porsche I will end up buying. The air cooled cars are past my pain threshold.

nlevine
nlevine GRM+ Memberand Reader
1/3/23 12:15 a.m.
irish44j (Forum Supporter) said:

924S, because more cheap VW parts than a 944 and just as fast (they have a 944 drivetrain), and they're still a bit cheaper on marketplace vs. 944s since people forget about them.

I concur. Been enjoying mine since I got it back on the road...

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) UberDork
1/3/23 12:11 p.m.
Javelin said:
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) said:

Miata

I'm a bigger Mazda fan boy than Porsche. I've had 8 Mazdas, including an NA Miata built with the right autocross goodies. Not going to scratch the same itch by a long shot. Even with all the chassis bracing and suspension work in the world, the engine is still in the wrong spot and the interior is still, well, Mazda. 

I'd seriously cross shop a new ND2 versus a 944 though, that is a way harder call. Neither of them are mid engined though. 

I understand.  Everything about a Miata is less expensive and the performance leap to a 944 or 986 isn't very large IMO.  An ND would be awesome IMO.

Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter)
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
1/3/23 12:56 p.m.
Javelin said:
and the interior is still, well, Mazda. 

As a fellow 986 owner, I'm not sure you should be throwing stones at anyone else's interior quality. laugh

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) UberDork
1/3/23 10:06 p.m.

In reply to Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) :

I too have owned all of the cars in question.  I'm not ruling any of them out in the future but my recent Friday fun car for driving on rural roads was another Miata.  I've owned a 944, 944 S2, a 944 turbo, a 986 S and about 5 NA Miata's and now one NB.  

Javelin
Javelin GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/3/23 10:11 p.m.
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) said:
Javelin said:
and the interior is still, well, Mazda. 

As a fellow 986 owner, I'm not sure you should be throwing stones at anyone else's interior quality. laugh

Well, yes, but a (non-ND) Miata is a low bar to trip over...

Seriously though, the late 944 and the full leather 986 interiors are both decently nice and hold up well. Every NA left has a broken gravestone and collapsed seat lumbar bolsters. The 986 is worth getting over the Miata solely for the mid-engine placement though. I don't know that a 944 is worth getting over a Miata unless you specifically want a an older car or a 951 or something like that. I definitely, definitely would not get any 944/968 cabrio over any Miata. 

I'm thinking really hard of buying a new ND2 RF next year before you can't buy a new manual trans car anymore. 

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/3/23 11:08 p.m.
Javelin said:
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) said:
Javelin said:
and the interior is still, well, Mazda. 

As a fellow 986 owner, I'm not sure you should be throwing stones at anyone else's interior quality. laugh

Well, yes, but a (non-ND) Miata is a low bar to trip over...

Seriously though, the late 944 and the full leather 986 interiors are both decently nice and hold up well. Every NA left has a broken gravestone and collapsed seat lumbar bolsters. The 986 is worth getting over the Miata solely for the mid-engine placement though. I don't know that a 944 is worth getting over a Miata unless you specifically want a an older car or a 951 or something like that. I definitely, definitely would not get any 944/968 cabrio over any Miata. 

I'm thinking really hard of buying a new ND2 RF next year before you can't buy a new manual trans car anymore. 

FYSA, Boxster seats are practically bolt-in to a 924/944, are more comfortable and more adjustable, and pretty much look the same at a glance (for the purist types). Also way less beat-up than stuff from the 1980s :)

Edit: oops, didn't realize you were talking about the Miata seats. In any case, post still holds true :)

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) UberDork
1/4/23 12:12 a.m.

I agree German leather is very durable.  I've experienced it in Porsche's and Audi's.  At 100,000 miles it can be very nice.  A domestic interior at 100,000 miles is usually scrap.  Miata seats are very affordable to reupholster and tons of choices exist to do it.  I'm thinking about something custom for mine, Tartan even.  And then I will get matching cloth for the door panels.  Miatas are a blank canvass with nearly limitless options.  A 986 is a great car, but they are more expensive to maintain and own, and it's more expensive to upgrade or personalize.  A 944 is a very 80s experience. 

If I bought an ND, I'd skip the RF.  I want a pure convertible in my Miata with an optional hardtop.  I don't want a hardtop all the time.  The RF is essentially a removeable targa top, which think Porsche and GM probably do better.  I don't know for sure, but if I want a Targa top, I'd have to look at all 3. 

docwyte
docwyte PowerDork
1/4/23 6:48 p.m.

Miata is not a replacement for a Porsche. 

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) UberDork
1/4/23 7:03 p.m.
docwyte said:

Miata is not a replacement for a Porsche. 

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I'd argue it depends on the specific Porsche and Miata in question.

I'd probably take a FM built V8 ND over any Porsche, but that's just me.  

docwyte
docwyte PowerDork
1/4/23 7:44 p.m.

In reply to AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) :

For the amount of money a FM built V8 miata would cost, I'd rather buy any of the Porsche choices that money would buy me instead.

That's not really what was thrown out here tho, is it?  A used miata isn't really a replacement for a used boxster, to keep it apples to apples.

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) UberDork
1/4/23 10:03 p.m.
docwyte said:

In reply to AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) :

For the amount of money a FM built V8 miata would cost, I'd rather buy any of the Porsche choices that money would buy me instead.

That's not really what was thrown out here tho, is it?  A used miata isn't really a replacement for a used boxster, to keep it apples to apples.

You said a Miata is no replacement for a Porsche.  I said it depends on the Porsche and Miata.  There was no money limit on that statement or qualifier. I also already stated a Miata is a blank canvass to do whatever you want to with.  That's one of the many reasons I chose it.  If I had to have a 944 or 986, I'd probably take a silver 04 anny 986 or a 944 S2 coupe just for it's coolness.  But honestly if you want to just enjoy having a fun to drive car, a Miata is a lot easier to live with (if you fit in one, and I know it doesn't work for you).  And if you want to make the car uniquely yours, the Jap chassis is an easier blank canvass to work with. 

I put Porsche ownership right there with C4 ZR-1 ownership.  I'd say it is similar to Javelin's C5 Z06 experience too.  It's pretty over rated in a lot of ways.  The only Porsche's I'm really interested in moving forward are a nice clean 987 S with sport seats, sport chrono, M6 with a whole lot of shifter mods and sport exhaust.  If I ever ran into that Porsche in a rare color, I'd have to give it a long hard consideration.  Any other Porsche that is street legal, I'd rather have a V8 ND convertible (not an RF), but that's just me.  If I could have any car, I'd have a 22B Impreza, but I know I'm an oddball on this forum. 

944 and 986 ownership are cool, but it's not all it's often touted to be.  The 944s are underpowered and the cockpit is wierd unless you are very tall or super thin.  The 986 is a constant worry about when my IMS or AOS is gonna give up on me, and the shifter just plain stinks IMO.  The understeer is epic compared to the cars neutral balance reputation.  Once you exceed the front slip angle of maximum grip the car plows like a truck.  The front grip just never matches the rear grip without extensive modifications from what I have seen.  The Boxster hands down has the best steering feel of any car I've ever driven though.  I will always admit that. 

And I can compare apples and oranges all I want.  Both are fruits, both grow on trees, and you can make fruit juice from either quite easily. 

 

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
1/4/23 10:46 p.m.
Javelin said:

In reply to 1988RedT2 :

I love a 928, but man they do not exist in 2023. Everything for sale (all of like 3 cars within 2 states of me) is either a $30K low-mile S4 or a $500 seized-engine, rat-infested hulk. I haven't seen a driver-quality 928 in at least 15 years.

I hate driver quality cars. I feel like I'm violating them preparing them for the track.   Taking out nice interiors to toss in the dumpster?  To weld a cage in?  Breaks my heart.

    Far rather buy an engine seized rat infested one for next to nothing.  I'm going to take it down to bare metal anyway and then trim off all those brackets and stuff that won't be used in the race car.  If the car gets too light I can add lead where it helps me.  
        I may be different but driving a vintage performance car on the street is like kissing your sister. I just don't get anything from it. That Ferrari, Jaguar, Porsche is  capable of so much more than doddering   Along  with all the  shoppers and traffic. 
     Roaring into the sharp turn following the long straight?  Tires dancing on the edge of traction?  A whisper away from total loss of control?   That's life!   Planing how you're going to pass that Corvette in spite of the punch he has off the corners?
     The out-braking  maneuver into turn 5?  Dance past him on the outside of the carousel?  Set him up in the hurry downs?  Making him protect the outside while you go for the inside?  He may pull past you up hill on the main straight but  by drafting him up the hill you can slip by at the start- Finish.  
 That's why you own a Vintage sports car.  It's not something to polish up and put on display. 

Nockenwelle
Nockenwelle New Reader
1/4/23 11:00 p.m.

First Porsche? 944 hands-down. Have driven, built, and worked on lots of them and need two hands to count the number of 944-family cars under current ownership by friends. I'll give the 986 credit where due, but with the caveats we all know or read all over the internet.

The 944 will give you a taste of the Porsche "special" as it was in the days of analog audio and cassette tapes. It will also not eat you alive with parts, maintenance, and consumables costs and enjoys terrific aftermarket support, as well as a thriving spec class in club racing. It kinda is the Porsche version of a Miata...

Irish makes a valid point about the 924 though...driver-quality 944s are getting harder to find.

dps214
dps214 Dork
1/4/23 11:42 p.m.

IMO, having had both...944 if you want to get the porsche bug out of your system, 986 if you want to get fully drawn in and end up spending a bunch of money on a newer generation car. Both have their pros and cons in that way.

I think the 986 might actually be the easiest porsche to work on overall. It's from the era when porsche really started putting effort into serviceability, but before they started stuffing ten gallons of drivetrain into a five gallon engine bay, so to speak. They made a bunch of them over quite a few years and the front 2/3 of the car is common with the 911, so there's actually a lot of cheap replacement parts available and a fair amount of aftermarket as well.

The boxster will generally be a reliable semi-modern car, but if something does go wrong it probably involves an engine replacement. The 944 has a few weak points but overall they're surprisingly hard to kill. But at any given point in time there will be 1-5 minor issues that need at least slight attention.

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