Welcome back to My Wheels, Nehme.
The last time we saw you, you were roaring around in a black 996. Still have it?
Yes, I still own it and I’ve made some minor changes to it since then. I have added an FVD short shifter and I bought Fabspeed Muffler Bypass pipes and fitted them myself. Now, my car has a much more raucous exhaust note and I prefer it this way — it’s music to my ears. It’s my daily driver and the mileage is up to 130,000 kilometres now, but it runs like a charm and is as strong as ever.
We’re glad to hear it. And now you’ve got a lovely 944 S2; it’s fair to say you’ve got a bit of an obsession with Porsche…
I guess I do. It started when I began collecting car magazines and every review I read about Porsche was positive. Every time a new cabriolet was launched they would compare it to the Boxster; every time a sportscar was launched they would put it head to head with a Carrera. Every single time the Porsche would be preferred over the other brand. I knew someday I had to have one… or three!
Three? What’s the third one?
It’s a gold 1989 944, but it has its fair share of problems. The three-speed automatic doesn’t do the 2.7-litre engine any justice. The car handles like a dream, but the gearbox takes all the fun and enjoyment out of it.
It isn’t just Porsches that you’ve owned…
No, I’ve had several other cars includinga 1996 Range Rover, 2009 Audi TT and a 2006 Seat Leon, but I have to say my 1991 Mercedes 300 CE was in a different class. I still believe they are fantastic cars, bullet proof, luxurious and powerful. It was also black on black, the perfect colour combination in my opinion.
Your 944 S2 is stunning. Tell us about it…
Surprise, surprise, it’s black on black, has a normally aspirated dual-overhead cam 3.0-litre 16V inline-four engine rated at 208bhp, coupled with a five-speed manual transmission. It has 93,000km on it, a full service history and three previous owners.
There aren’t that many of these around, how did you come across it?
I actually wanted a manual 968 when my friend gave me the details of a broker in Japan, so I contacted him and he started the hunt. A couple of weeks later, he told me he came across this superb looking 944 S2.
It is the direct predecessor of the 968 and it has the same engine, chassis and gearbox. He gave the car the all-clear and the rest is history. It took around a month to arrive here and the moment I saw it parked outside the RORO vessel in Jebel Ali port, I knew I’d made the right decision. It looked fabulous, the paint was perfect, it started up the first time, but most impressive was the interior which looked brand new. It was as if the car had been preserved in a time capsule and never driven!
Tell us more about the 3.0-litre four-pot. Those were really decent engines…
Indeed they are! The engine has a lot of torque and pulls hard from low speeds, even in third gear. It feels very agile and can hit the 200kph mark with ease. But I rarely push the car hard. These cars have a rubber timing belt that needs to be changed regularly, and if that timing belt fails, you’ll end up needing a top-end rebuild of the engine, which is pretty expensive. So buying one with a full service history is crucial.
The only thing I dislike about it is the sound; it isn’t loud enough. I’d love to remove the muffler and see how the four-pot would sound then!
Do it! What is the performance like?
Very good, but the real beauty lies in its handling. This car was engineered by Porsche to have 50-50 weight distribution; the engine is in the front and the gearbox is mounted on the rear axle and the car is rear-wheel drive. This really gives it a great feel around bends and corners. Also, the rear-wheel-drive set-up allows for some tail action when you’re driving in “Fun” mode. I have to say, this car makes me really appreciate Porsche’s engineering and heritage and deepens my love of vintage Porsches.
I would prefer to pay money for a vintage 930 over buying a brand new 991. This doesn’t mean I don’t like the 991 (I test-drove one and loved it), but I just feel that the older Porsches still offer a lot of driving pleasure.
What plans do you have for it in the future?
I intend to keep it as is, in beautiful, stock condition. Maybe I’ll apply a clear coat film protector to preserve the paint job from stone chips and dings.
Those pop-up headlights were notorious for getting stuck. Do yours?
No, not at all; I believe all these problems were ironed out by Porsche over the years, that’s why this is the best 944 to own — last one on the evolution tree.
Are you anywhere nearer to getting your dream 930 Slant Nose Porsche?
I always keep track of them online; there is one particular website that I keep checking that has a couple in mint condition. I am very close to getting one. Maybe two years down the line it will feature in another My Wheels article!