Porsche has been churning out some of the most remarkable sports cars in the industry for a little over 70 years now. They celebrated the anniversary in 2018 and are still going strong. As we look back over time, the 1980s was a decade in which the automaker delivered some sweet and noteworthy rides. In honor of the history of the brand, here are the ten best Porsche models from the 1980s with the features that make them collectible for current vintage car enthusiasts.
10. 1989 Porsche 928
The 928 didn’t move the earth with hard-core Porsche enthusiasts because it offered a new concept with the water-cooled front-mounted engine that departed from Porsche tradition. The first 928 rolled off production lines in 1977 without a lot of fanfare. Porsche eventually returned to the rear engine models, but not everyone shared this biased opinion. The 928 was a supercar that enjoyed a long production run into the 1990s delivering a top speed of 220 kph and acceleration from zero to 100 kph in just under 7 seconds. It was equipped with a 4.5-liter engine matched with your choice of a three-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmission. During the mid-1980s it was upgraded to a 5-liter engine that ran on low-octane unleaded fuel and it received a few other tweaks and upgrades, including ABS.
9. Porsche 924 Turbo
The 924 Turbo caught the attention of a new generation of Porsche fans with its upgraded engine that featured a new aluminum with a silicon alloy head. It offered a lightweight feel with plenty of spirits and it was a breath of fresh air for the 1980s. It was an attractive supercar with turbo badging that complemented the beast under the hood with an appropriate surname and the looks to pull it all together. Although a four-cylinder it got high marks for performance in addition to a sexy sporty aesthetic.
8. Porsche 911 Carerra
The Porsche 911 Carerra was upgraded to a Getrag G50 transmission in 1987. It also saw an increase in horsepower that took the 3.2-liter flat-six from 172 to 200 horsepower with an increase in torque that followed suit. It was more powerful with an 80 percent overhaul of the engine. Issues with the vehicle’s timing chains were fixed by 1984 and the popularity of the 911 Carerra stored. It’s one of the favorites from the 1980s.
7. Porsche 928 GT/GTS
The 928 GT/GTS models became hot in 1980 when they became the recipients of an engine upgrade to 4.7-liters. The powerplants generated 229 horsepower in the US and 300 in Europe. The following year a special Competition Package was offered in the US market. The GT produced in the later 1980s featured a 325 bhp 32-valve 5 liter engine producing 316 hp that was upgraded to 325 bhp in 1988, and the model eventually morphed into the GTS model that featured a 5.4-liter V-8 cranking 345 BPH.
6. Porsche 964
The 964, also known as the 911 Carrera 4 was released in 1989. It was a new contemporary model with two doors. This model received n update of 85 percent new components and a new architecture that set it apart from its predecessor. It was visually a classic 911 but the design was modernized with a redesigned chassis and new suspension. It was powered with a naturally aspirated 3.6-liter boxer engine cranking 250 horsepower.
5. Porsche 959
The Porsche 959 is a treasure that falls into the category of a rare collectible. It was Porsche’s first supercar. When it was released in 1986 it was the fastest production car on earth. This extremely rare model was built in a strictly limited number of just 294 street-legal versions. Recently, one of them sold at auction for an incredible $1.3 million.
4. Porsche 944 Turbo
The 944 Turbo is the boosted version of the “poor man’s Porsche” except it’s no longer an affordable supercar. The prices for these vintage Porsches have gone up over the past few years to prices between $30,000 as much as $58,000. You can get a new 718 Cayman for that price, but collectors seem willing to pay the cost. The rationale for the recent interest is that drivers are realizing that the 944 Turbo really is a great car when you’re not too busy comparing it to the 911 to notice.
3. Porsche 944
The Porsche 944 was strategically placed on the market as an alternative sportscar with a more affordable price tag. This is how it earned the nickname “The Poor Man’s Porsche. It was smaller and inexpensive, powered by a 2.5-liter four with half the gusto of the 928. However, the model did receive acclaim from Car and Driver as the Best Handling Production Car in America in 1984. If you try to lay your hands on one now you’ll see it’s no longer in the budget category for vintage Porsches.
2. Porsche 911 SC
The Porsche 911 SC was launched in 1978 with a run through 1984. This sweet ride featured window surrounds with chrome-plated door handles. It was powered by a 3.0-liter engine that received an upgrade in 1980 from 180 hp to 188. In the 1981 through 1983 versions the same engine was boosted to 204 horsepower for enhanced performance. Drivers enjoyed the electrically adjustable exterior mirrors as a driving convenience. It had the good looks of the 922 Carrera body with a CAbriolet model introduced in 1983 with a fabric hood as well as a Soupe version and the Targa model.
1. Porsche 911 Turbo
The 911 Turbo was released at a time when Porsche was going through a bit of turmoil. The 930 Turbo ended its US run in 1979 and there was a need for replacement. The 911 Turbo was released in the mid-1970s with a 3.0-liter engine that generated 260 horsepower. An upgrade increased the engine size from 3.0 to 3.3-liters with an increase to 300 horsepower. In 1987 , the Turbo is also available in Cabriolet and Targa body types. It received n upgrade from 4-speed manual transmission to a 5-speed in 1989.