How Hard Can It Be? 1977 Porsche 924


1977 Porsche 924 1977 Porsche 924

Some marriages appear to be made in heaven but wind up in the inevitable hell. Witness Winona Ryder and Johnny Depp, two intelligent and impossibly attractive people who still couldn’t make it work. Other marriages you can see as doomed right from the start. Witness any attempts at mating globally gigantic Volkswagen and the perfectly petite Porsche, up to and including the recent takeover swordplay between the two.

Hell always brings us back to How Hard Can It Be?

The first modern-day joint venture between Porsche and Volkswagen yielded the 914. Originally designed to be sold by both companies, the 914 was to be VW’s flagship in four-cylinder form and Porsche’s entry-level model when powered by the flat-six. However, it wound up in only Porsche dealerships in North America. The 914/6 was deemed too expensive, priced closely to the 911T, and the 914/4 captured most of the sales.

Later came the 924. Originally penned as the flagship Volkswagen, it was cast aside for the more economical Scirocco during the 1973 fuel crisis. Porsche picked up the mantle as a replacement for the 914. Powered by an anemic Audi four-cylinder, at least the 924 handled well due to its four-speed manual transaxle and 48 front/52 rear weight distribution. It wasn’t loved by the critics, but was cheap to build and sold well.

Porsche made small running changes to the 924 during its North American production run from 1977 and 1982. However, the platform was solid enough to spawn the 944 and 968, as well as the 1987-88 924S, a 944 in the old 924 clothing.

This particular example is bad even by early 924 standards. The car was purchased from a storage yard in Idaho, where it still sits. It either lounged in that yard for seven years or the seller, who lives in Montana, bought it and then abandoned it there for seven years. It’s all kind of fuzzy.

1977 Porsche 924It doesn’t run so the motor condition is unknown other than the fact it will turn over. Compression? Jumped timing belt? Only the ghost of Ferdinand knows. The motor and everything else in the engine compartment exist on some material plane, so that’s a bonus. The engine thinks about starting when huffing ether, but apparently the fuel pump has packed it in.

It goes downhill from there. While complete, the car has severe and extensive needs. The paint is a mélange of primers black, except for the curious mark in the middle of the hood that looks suspiciously like something underneath it has caught fire. The front bumper appears to have been chewed on by either a wombat or Sarah Palin. Sad, really, because despite the signs of solar decay and human neglect, the classically clean and simple shape of the pre-944 body shines through as it is slowly reabsorbed by the earth.

The lucky buyer will be handed the title, the ignition key (which won’t work in the driver’s door lock because the handle is missing) and the address in Idaho where the car sleeps. My favorite line of the ad? “A Porsche is a Porsche, no matter how you look at it.” Words of wisdom, kids, words of wisdom.

[ Craigslist ]