At the time, it was the most successful Porsche.
From a distance or with merely a passing glance, any modern Porsche two-door coupe - whether a variant of the Cayman or the 911 - looks pretty much the same. But there was more variation in the Porsche coupe lineup in the 1980s, and there is no better example of this than the Porsche 944. It had a long hood to accommodate a front-engine layout, pop-up headlights, and the huge glass dome at the back that completely distinguished it from the 911.
The 944 S2 version introduced later is especially rare, and it's this version that Porsche Klassik decided was the perfect opportunity for a partial restoration. The S2 made use of a 3.0-liter four-cylinder naturally aspirated engine, the largest four-pot of the time for a passenger vehicle.
Outputs were rated at 208 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque, which enabled a top speed just short of 150 mph. The car chosen by Porsche Klassik is a 1991 model with front airbags, which were also especially rare at the time. It was painted in Cobalt Blue Metallic, which was appropriate since this was the color used to market the 944 S2 when it was launched. The only faulty feature was the air conditioning system, which was a problem as the cabin was susceptible to rapid heat build-up with that vast glass section at the back.
Purchased for €18,500 (about $21,200), the partial restoration began with new Continental tires and a Porsche leather gear knob for the five-speed gearbox. A 33-point check at Porsche Center Oldenburg confirmed it was in great shape technically.
New multi-color fabric seats and a fresh leather wrap for the steering wheel were added - an all-new steering wheel couldn't be fitted as the part is no longer available. Following this was a meticulous repainting in the original color that necessitated the disassembly of the doors and lids to ensure a thorough job. This part of the restoration amounted to €2,618 (just over $3,000). The wheels were restored, the air conditioner was repaired, and all rubber seals were replaced.
Overall, the partial restoration came to €33,000 ($37,878 at current exchange rates), breathing new life into one of the most distinctive classic Porsches on the road. Even though the combined restoration and purchase costs could buy you a brand new 718 Cayman, it's hard to match the charm of this retro 944 S2.