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944 Turbo S 2.5 – 250 ch [1988]

This Unmodified Porsche 944 Turbo S Is A Rose With No Thorns

The most recent episode of Matt Farah’s One Take series features a very rare one-year-only Porsche 944 with a special commemorative options package, an incredible 1988 944 Turbo S Silver Rose Edition. Only 380 of these were built, and they’re held in high regard among transaxle-lovers. And for good reason. Technically the 944 Turbo S was only built for 1988, but in 1989-1991 all Turbos were built to Turbo S specification, so really any late 944 Turbo would have all of the goodies this one does, including the 928 « Big Black » brake calipers. Compared to the 1987 model, the ’88 Turbo S had a whole host of upgrades and cool bits that takes it from good to great.

Farah, after caning this car on amazing roads, came to this epiphany: « This is exactly the kind of car that should be worth money. If you can take a car that is 30 years old, and come out here and drive it like this without any modern upgrades, that is a good car, » and then followed that up with a punctuating « Hell yeah! ». A near-perfect condition 944 Turbo is one of those life-affirming kinds of cars, letting you know that it is capable of everything you want to throw at it. The interior is perfectly wrapped around the driver, and with a very extended-leg position, it feels like you’re really sitting in it, rather than on it. The driver/car connection is about as great in a 944 as you’ll find in any sports car, certainly among our favorites.

As the One Take series is coming to a close, it’s been awesome to see the percentage of Porsche content increase lately, and now that Matt has his own Porsche, he’s truly one of ‘us’, he’s joined the club. It’s good to know that he gets it with Porsches like this one, and isn’t just in it because it’s the trendy thing to do. If you love driving, and you love cars, chances are, you’ll eventually end up in a Porsche of one kind or another. I started my journey in a 944, and the only thing I regret is selling it.

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Classic Car and Driver Magazine Road Test: 1988 Porsche 944 Turbo S

The June 1988 issue of Car and Driver magazine tested an ’88 Porsche 944 Turbo S, one of our all time favorite sports cars and one that we feel is currently far undervalued on the market. When you compare them to all of the other box flared cars of the same era that have absolutely skyrocketed in value (namely E30 BMW M3), you are getting a lot more performance for the money just because they were never FIA homologated factory specials for Group B, N or A racing. That all suits us just fine if that is what will keep their prices down, as it makes absolutely no difference to us. But let’s keep this between you and us, as good ones are becoming harder and harder to find. Check out the rest of the article on the following page… Source And just for shits and giggles, how about an ’86 Turbo Cup doing a burnout? They look good on Fuchs, don’t they? (’86 being the only year they would fit a Turbo)

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Red Rocket – Daily Driven 460 HP 944 Turbo

DSC_0177 In 1988 when the Porsche 944 Turbo S was first sold, there were only three other production cars in the U.S. with higher top speeds – the Porsche 911 Turbo, 928 and Ferrari Testarossa.  With a rear transaxle, the 944’s balance was excellent, and won praise as having the power and running gear to now go along with the praise as perhaps the best-handling sports car in the world. This story is about one of those 944’s, purchased new and still maintained by its original owner, Robert Hemphill, who’s driven it daily for nearly 240,000 miles.  Like other sports car fans in the 80’s, Robert fell in love with the 944 style and affordability, and when the Turbo S was available, he upgraded from a beautiful silver 944 NA to a “car with some real beans” and never looked back. Tough Choices Eventually some tough decisions had to be made.  An engine rebuild was needed, and the inevitable choices about whether it would be worth it to invest in a car with over 190,000 miles.  The process began rather simply, but, of course, inertia took over and much more went into the process.  The first rebuild wasn’t pretty, nor reliable.  Well, actually, it looked good on the outside, but one mistake was to try to work with a fixed bid at a low price, to keep things reasonable.  The result was a car with upgraded power, poor drivability, and a failed engine in under 25,000 miles. DSC_0159 Power Highlights With significant upgrades to the engine, turbo, intake, exhaust and electronics, the power has jumped from 250 hp to 460 hp @ 5989 rpm and from 248 to over 504 ft/lbs of torque @ 3832 rpm, a massive change in power running at 1.175 bar (17 psi) of boost, on 93 Octane. Road Talk The idea was to have a great improvement, with only minor changes to appearance reflecting the changes for performance and style, without changing the base nature of the car’s lines. Robert decided it would be a waste to try to hold all that power on the road with the tires that once seemed to have plenty of grip, but would not stand up to the new power.  DSC_0072The new wheels are 18” in diameter; interestingly, sixteen inch wheels were considered large in 1988, but time marches on.  The rears are 10” wide, and 9.5” in the front, at 22 pound weight, with no spacers needed.  Single piece, forged 6061-T6 aluminum, by CCW (Complete Custom Wheels) of Florida, were literally CNC engineered to HMR’s specs for the correct fit and offset. With only some of the performance upgrades in place, Red was breaking loose with fat Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 tires, so the next change was to try Michelin Sport Cup tires (street legal track/competition DOT tires).   Now as long as the tires are warm, Red doesn’t break out in third gear on a straight acceleration runs!  The tires are much lower aspect ratio in order to keep within a reasonable rolling radius; the fronts are big, fat 265 x 35 and the rears are 295 x 30. The 944 Turbo S had great brakes, but with all the power and grip, an upgrade was in order.  New “Big Red” 4-piston calipers originally used on newer Porsche 993 twin turbos were installed, with 12.7” diameter, cross-drilled rotors. Engine Umpf The engine block was fully blue-printed on HMR’s in-house CNC engine machining center.  For longevity, HMR modified the oil galley to flow more oil volume on a wet sump engine.  In order to eliminate all possible debris, all the factory freeze plugs were removed, and CNC threaded plugs installed.  Crankshaft oil galley plugs were removed, cleaned, and a CNC tap was done with a threaded plug installed. HMR Superalloy main studs (260Kpsi tensile) were installed, and main journals were line bored on HMR’s unique vertical line-bore machine.  Jason explains that keeping the crankshaft from whipping and moving at high rpm is critical for engine’s longevity.   HMR also included their custom engineered, very large head studs, made from an Austenitic Superalloy that have never experienced a head gasket clamp failure. HMR worked with JME (Jon Milledge Engineering) to test and develop unique cam profiles for 944 turbos.  A new cam, HMR.498.16L2 was made for Red, using a chill-cast German blank, with a much better acceleration ram angle and harmonic characteristics, to reduce valve float. With all the extra torque, the car has gone through two sets of factory motor mounts in 15,000 miles.  HMR had a solution – a new motor mount design that can vary from solid mount to a semi-solid version with damper shims for a streetable durability. DSC_0134 Special 8:1 CR Mahle racing pistons were used against Porsche’s Alusil bore, with HMR’s custom oil jet to shoot oil at the bottom of the piston, cooling the piston, and better oiling the piston pin. The 2.5L cylinder head was fitted with HMR lightweight Inconel racing valves, HMR titanium valve spring retainers (stronger than Ti6AL/4V), HMR racing valve springs, and CNC machine head porting. Both the intake and exhaust valves were enlarged significantly to feed the need for more air flow,  with the internal runners tweaked with extrude honing and hand polishing.  The original exhaust headers had cracked, again, and were replaced with Billy Boat racing headers. A much larger, HMR ball-bearing turbocharger was installed, with HMR custom caste  hot-housing.  Turbo boost is kept in control with Motec controlled Tial wastegate and blow-off valves.  The old airbox was removed and a custom cold air intake installed.  A HMR custom mandrel-bent hard pipe feeds the intercooler.   Did we mention they look really cool?  The turbo boost is now controlled by a custom programmed Motec M400ECU, with available settings from 8 to 17 psi boost thru a Motec 11 position switch, which accesses a different location of the Motec Map specifically tuned for that boost setting, with correct fuel, ignition and boost trim. Electronics, Dash, Speedometer DSC_0207All engine electronics, controls and wiring were replaced and upgraded to Motec gear, removing the Motronic ECU and boost controller.  Known around tuner circles as a premium brand for racecars, it takes a certified tech to be licensed to custom program the Motec ECU, and Jason at HMR is one of those guys.  Tuning and testing in his clean facility was greatly helped by being able to hook up Red’s rear axles directly to HMR’s advanced Dynapack dynamometer for calibrated results.   Driving, Not Parking The Red Rocket has been driven a lot over the last twenty-two years.  Yes, it’s parked in a garage at night, and hasn’t been subject to much snow, but it’s not babied that much.  Ten years ago it was repainted after a front nose fender bender, but the guards red paint still looks pretty dang good for a driver.   Photos: 9 Magazine
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Diaporama : Porsche et le Turbo… Une histoire d’amour !

 


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