Of Course A 35-Year-Old Porsche Can Road Trip Across The Country.
PCA’s new Editor-in-chief, Rob Sass, takes his new $2000 924 on a 2000 mile trip.
As some of you Porsche aficionados will already know, Mr. Rob Sass recently left Autoweek Magazine to head the Porsche Club of America's newsletter. He's been a Porsche enthusiast for years but had always owned aircooled cars, including five 911s and a 912E [Hey, I've got one of those]. Shortly after joining the magazine staff, he decided that it was about time he gave watercooled cars a try, and found a really nice example for really short money... On the other side of the country. Rob lives in Ann Arbor, MI, and the car was in Seattle. So a road trip was in order, eh?
In our experience, transaxle Porsches are among the most reliable cars in the world, so long as they're kept in reasonable shape and the maintenance isn't deferred too far. Of all of them, the 924 is the simplest and least likely to leave you stranded on the side of the road, even on a 2000 mile adventure. If you have a half-assed decent car and a reasonable understanding of how the car's pieces fit together, you'll probably get by scot-free. If you're planning a long road trip, bring a big sack of tools and a bunch of spare parts, because the more prepared you are, the less likely you are to need the parts you've brought along.
Rob broke up his trip into a few short legs to limit the number of miles covered in a single day. Seattle, WA to Missoula, MT - Missoula, MT to Rapid City, SD - Rapid City, SD to La Crosse, WI - La Crosse, WI to Ann Arbor, MI (via the ferry across Lake Michigan). All those miles in the cosseted comfort of a 924 cockpit makes for a reasonably comfortable drive. My first Porsche was a 1983 model 944, which shares the same exact interior layout, and it was a spectacular road trip car. That giant lift-out sunroof makes for an excellent open-top motoring experience as well, nearly Targa-esque. As an enthusiast of transaxle Porsches, the last truly affordable way to get into a P-car, I remain wholly unsurprised that this car made the trip without even the smallest of issues.
You can read more about the trip here, and in an upcoming issue of Panorama [Assuming you're a PCA member... You are a PCA member, right?]. My personal favorite part is the list of current Porsche 911 options that cost more than this 924 did. Long live the 924. If you haven't driven one lately, I suggest it. Well done, Rob, you picked a good one.