This car started its life back in 1983 and as an 8-year-old boy, I remember looking in amazement at this particular Porsche 944 model with its pop-up headlights and flared arches. Years down the line, I kept spotting these cars on the road. I had never kept any of the cars I owned as standard and I figured that modifying one of these Porsches would differ from the mainstream cars a lot of the guys are changing.
This car originally belonged to a client of mine’s wife who was the 3rd owner and had owned the car for 18 years. It took me approximately 10 of these to convince her to sell it to me. So, this is my version of an iconic, old-school sports car with a few modern twists.
The good news is that these cars are still not as sought after as the “sell your child’s kidney” to own an air-cooled 911 which makes them very affordable. The bad news is that they probably cost more to keep on the road and are also deemed to not be “real” Porsches due to the engine being in the front. The fact is that these cars will make you smile the moment you get into one and turn the key. And let’s face it at the end of the day, that’s what counts, right?
In stock form, the 2.5L – 4 cylinder puts out approximately 120KW. Which, in today’s world means that you won’t be winning any robot to robot races, but that is not what these cars are about. However, take it to a mountain pass and your smile gets bigger. The 50/50 balance from the transaxle makes them pretty stable. This particular car was fitted with factory 17-inch GT2 rims and 20mm spacers. Therefore it provided me with a good platform as a beginning.
Time for change
I have now owned the car for three and a half years and I started changing things from day one. Firstly, I made a few cosmetic changes – clear indicators from a Golf 2 and I painted the mirrors and rims black. These few changes seemed to annoy a few grumpy old folk in the club that I had joined. So my mission was to create a rebellious car and thus “Outcast” was born. The car was put on stands in my garage and I pulled out the suspension. The seats were sent to be re-upholstered in Audi red leather.
The carpeting and soundproofing were removed and then things took a change of direction. Two Cobra fixed bucket seats went in along with Poly bushes and coil-over shocks front and back. This made me even more popular at the next club meeting, with much hissing and hand gestures from some of the pensioners. I was actually enjoying the attention – negative or positive.
The next gathering was a walking stick-waving match when I arrived with a forest camo-wrapped bonnet, external oil cooler, new Momo steering wheel, and still no carpeting. Even the oil pressure gauge duct-taped to the dash seemed to aggravate them. But I assured them that by the end of all the modifications it would look great.
I took the car to a few track days where it seemed to be very welcome and decided to chase good times rather than be harassed by senior citizens. To help on the track, I added a power-flow exhaust, induction kit, camber plates, and 40mm spacers. It gave the car a really good stance and my design direction changed yet again.
I installed the red leather seats, and the black carpeting then added a sound system including a sub that was ready to deafen anybody in close proximity. I felt that the car needed something to give it a newer feel and the quickest way to achieve this look is to add wheels. Preferrable I wanted something more “period correct”. I eventually sourced a set of 17-inch BBS RS, 8.5J up front and 10J on the rear.
To complete the stretched look, 205 and 215 tyres were fitted. Now I had completed most of the major changes and so the next step was going to be updating the lighting. I put in an HID Kit and LED interior lights and number plate and dash bulbs were fitted.
The new look seemed to turn quite a few heads and it was great driving around and getting lots of thumbs up. However, I was still chasing the more aggressive look. I removed the stock seats again (my wife was pregnant at the time and the Cobra bucket seats seemed to induce labour every time we went out for a drive). Then I installed bucket seats, harnesses, and a dished suede steering wheel.
Changes to come
A front spoiler/lip and bonnet livery toughened up the theme along with a factory branch manifold replacing the old cast item. There are still a lot more changes to come. A half roll cage and upper strut brace are patiently waiting for installation. Other future plans include a 5-cylinder Audi Turbo motor and possibly an Audi Nardo Grey colour change. I also have a Porsche 924 turbo transmission waiting under the workbench to join in the fun.
The most satisfying thing about this is that all of the work completed was done at home in my garage with some really good friends there to help. The old-timers at the club have now accepted that things don’t always have to remain the same and they now seem curious as to what is coming next…………
Don’t buy it, build it!!!!
Photos by Jan van der Walt