Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The $200 Porsche – Is There Really Such A Thing?

November 26, 2012 by  
Filed under Featured Content

About six years ago I bought my first Porsche. It was not the nicest of Porsches or the fastest (in fact it was one of the slowest), but it was one of the cheapest Porsches that one could buy. The car was a 1977.5 Porsche 924 and it was sold to me for just $225.

I bought the Porsche on eBay and was amazed when I saw that a running drivable Porsche was available for around $200 with no reserve. The car did have a few issues, it leaked oil, the battery was dead and the shifting was sloppy. From the pictures it looked like the car had a straight body, a livable paint job and a decent interior. I figured for such a low amount of money, it would be worth a chance that the issues weren’t going to cost too much to fix.

After winning the auction I arranged to go pick up the car in Oakland, California. Not knowing the Oakland area very well, my wife and I headed to the area after I got off work (it was about a 2 hour drive for me at the time), so it was starting to get late and we had about 30 minutes of daylight left when we got there. The neighborhood where the car was located was not the greatest. If you know Oakland, it was near the Oakland Coliseum and this isn’t an area where you want to be when it gets dark. We got to the place where the car was located and the owner had the car on the street ready to go, but did all of the paperwork through a chain-link fence (which I thought was odd). After doing the deal he suggested getting the car out of there as soon as possible as it was getting very late.

The car had a dead battery, but having been told this beforehand, I brought a new battery for the car. As I went to work replacing the battery two cars kept circling the block with the drivers yelling things at each other, including “Are you going to kill me” and the reply was “Yes”. Figuring I didn’t want to be around to find out how that whole situation turned out, I hurried to get the battery ready and sent my wife ahead in our other car. As soon as I got the battery hooked up, I got in the car and hurried off.

The rest of the drive home was still an adventure. Because of the car leaking oil it was smoking pretty badly and I had to stop and put oil in the car every so often. One of these times I managed to lock the keys in the car which caused us to go looking for a department store to buy a coat hanger. After finally finding the store and buying a wire coat hanger we were able to get the car unlocked and get on our way again.

A bit down the road I needed to stop for gas. I filled up the car and got it started and went to turn on the lights (it was pretty late by this time) and of all the things to happen, the light switch breaks. This caused me to not be able to turn on the headlights and because of having no headlights I was forced to have the car towed the entire rest of the way home (at the cost of $250, so more than the sale price of the car).

After the adventure of buying the car it was a good restoration candidate with the oil leak being from the oil pan gasket and the sloppy shifting being from a worn shifter lever. The engine ran well and it was a good car, but it wasn’t very fast and eventually it was time to move up to something with more Porsche like performance. So, I purchased a Porsche 944 (and am currently keeping my eyes open for the right air-cooled Porsche 911) and have enjoyed the better performance ever since. I fondly remember the $200 Porsche, my first Porsche. It was the Porsche that started my obsession with Porsches and I have been hooked ever since.


David Hurth is a guest contributor to 9 Magazine and Porsche enthusiast that writes more of his thoughts about Porsches at The Sports Car Guys.


Photo: Bonhams