1987: The Enthusiast

Words: Aron Norris | Photography: Jonny Smith

The Enthusiast.

Some cars just look like they have a story. For me, there’s something very special about a classic car and the miles that have been before. Character and charm simply cannot be created on the production line, it only happens with time. For me this is why I have such an affinity with pre 90’s cars.

Meet Sascha Jäger and his amazing Porsche 944 Turbo. Flip up headlights, gleaming Satin Schwarz LY9Y paintwork, turbo power plant... this car is so very 80's.

Cars like this evoke questions; who was the first owner? How did they make their money? Did they spend every Sunday morning with a bucket and sponge or were they out partying and too hungover to care? Was it a special weekend car or the daily commute to the office?

Sascha's story with this car spans just over 3 years. He first heard about the 944 through a specialist car dealer in Poland, who found it in France where it had been collecting dust for over 15 years. After countless phone calls to France the decision was made to make the drive from Germany to see this rare car.

"US spec, with this engine, Sascha knew the rarity of this car and took the plunge..."

As you can imagine it wasn't in the best shape with everything either seized or covered in crap. But in US spec, with this engine, Sascha knew the rarity of this car in Europe and took the plunge on what would turn out to be a true labour of love and a new chapter for the 944.

The project was always going to be a two part process…Part one; get the car safely back to Arnstadt, Germany and up and running as Porsche intended. Part two; period modify.

"Flip up headlights, gleaming Satin Schwarz LY9Y paintwork, turbo power plant... this car is so very 80's"

Sascha went over the car from top to bottom servicing, replacing and repairing any mechanical parts required to get the 944 back on the road. With the original paint and body in good shape underneath the storage dirt, Sascha put hours bringing back the shine we see in these pictures. This car is a product of good old fashioned elbow grease.

Part one complete and timed well with Wörthersee, Sascha made the trip in his stock US spec 944 turbo. As a first hurrah in a freshly road-going 944 Turbo, you probably couldn’t pick a more fitting destination than lake Wörthersee in Austria.

Having spent a glorious week blasting around the Austrian mountains, upon his return Sascha set about part two of building his dream 944. This is where the story moves from 1987 Stuttgart's idea of a sports coupe to Sascha's visions of something a little more menacing and closer to the black stuff.

Retaining Porsche's classic styling cues this is a completely sympathetic build. From the wooden Nardi wheel to the Schmidt wheels, this car looks like an 80’s throwback and that’s precisely why I love this thing. The Turbo featured different bumpers to a regular 944 and in rare US guise, marker lights in the bumpers. Isn’t it strange how here in Europe we go crazy for anything US spec and the guys in the states want our marker-less Euro bumpers?

The brakes on the Turbo models were handled by larger 911 4 pot Brembo callipers with a 301mm disc front and rear.

This car was built to be driven, but of course it had to sit right. Sascha replaced the stock Turbo suspension for H&R ‘Clubsport Nordschleife Edition’ coilovers with front camber plates for additional adjustment. 18” Schmidt Race 2000 wheels fill the arches perfectly, 9” at the front, 10.5” at the rear and adapted to Porsche fitment.

The sound this car makes is just excellent. The 2.5 litre straight 4 turbocharged powerplant features forged pistons and was the first production turbocharger to use a ceramic port to retain exhaust gas temperature. Interestingly enough, this engine was also the first to produce identical power with or without a catalytic converter such was its advancement at the time. 

"The 2.5 litre straight 4 turbocharged powerplant now produces a raucous 280bhp"

As any car guy would, Sasha wanted more go; chipped with a Lindsay Racing boost exchanger and custom exhaust the engine now produces a raucous 280bhp through the rear wheels which as you can imagine shifts very well with fantastic balance through the twisties and that infectious Turbo spool and boost.

It’s fair to say I bloody love this Porsche 944. It’s one of those rare cars that I simply would not change a thing on.

For me, seeing and hearing Sascha's car being driven hard on Austrian mountain roads epitomises why Porsche built this car in the first place. This is time travel. Hearing the turbo spool up just as violently as it did in 1987 is what this car game is all about, driving enjoyment.

Take some time to check out www.waterwerkz.de

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1 comment

  • beautiful turbo i have a grey one .86 .do your wheels rub or contact the fenders ? and what kind of splitter do you have on the lower front bumper. love it l would like to get one any info ? please nice car great build.thanks Frankie

    Frank Hope

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