Fuel Injected Freedom: Now with a Turbocharger

944 Turbo 06

400 pounds of intricately designed metal makes this car go, with help from bits of rubber and some explosive fluid. Technology is weird.

This morning my truck decided to blow out its head gasket and spit coolant and oil all over the exhaust header, thus producing a pungent cloud of smoke. I was about halfway to work when I noticed it running poorly and making weird noises, so I drove the other half-mile and waited for the sun to come up before I looked at the engine. After a quick and easy diagnosis (there aren’t many issues that cause a mixture of oil and coolant to spew out from the middle of the engine), I ordered the gaskets.

Then after work I sputtered one mile back home and hopped in my latest Porsche for a short spirited drive on some twisty roads to improve my mood.

Oh, right, I haven’t written about this one yet. Once again, I failed to stick with a car (the gold Golf) and traded it for a 1987 944 Turbo. I had to add some cash, but it was too good of a deal to ignore.

I've wanted one of these for a while. Who wants to bet I still have it in six months? I wouldn't take that bet.

I’ve wanted one of these for a while. Who wants to bet I still have it in six months? Don’t bet very much.

Powered by a version of the same engine that lives under the hood of my 924S, this 944 was one of the top sports cars of its time. With a turbocharger and plenty of upgrades, it takes the already awesome 944 platform to a new level. A level with a top speed (in MPH) that’s nearly the same as Einstein’s estimated IQ.

Most non-Porsche vehicles I’ve owned have broken down at some point and forced me to go back to daily-driving my Porsches. Fortunately, the Germans are always ready to save my butt. With my truck out of commission for now, I have to settle for driving this beautiful machine that, nearly thirty years ago, cost somebody more money than I earned in the past year. And that’s without adjusting for inflation. I could also drive my 924S, but I might as well get as much time in the Turbo as I can before I sell it.

As I parked my gasping truck and then climbed into the Porsche, I reflected on my first-world problems. Of my four vehicles, two of them can’t be driven at the moment. The other two are so fun that I’ve missed freeway exits simply because I was greatly enjoying them. What a life I have, when my truck breaking down means I have to drive a Porsche every day.

I stopped by the post office, and then headed out on the highway to the next town, planning to pick up something I needed. After a moment I totally forgot what it was (as well as forgetting which store it would be at…groceries, hardware, or auto parts?), so since the roads were dry I found a nice twisty route free of traffic and drove in a big circle instead. I still haven’t remembered what I was going to get, but I’m sure it’ll hit me at some point and then I’ll forget about it again.

I didn’t push the Turbo very hard, since I wasn’t familiar yet with its handling and limits (I’ve discovered several limits in my 924S with various exciting results). But even so, it was fantastic. The upgraded suspension is far better than what I have in my 924S, and allows the car to make shockingly fast changes of direction without body roll. As for the brakes…you could speed at 60 MPH toward a tight curve, wait to touch the brakes until a passenger would be very nervous, and then stop before even reaching the curve. Although that really depends on the passenger…your mother would probably give you a lot more room than Vin Diesel.

When I leave for work, I’ll need to be careful not to run through both first and second gear like I have to in my truck. The speed limit is 25. Second gear in the Turbo will get it to 60 mph, and pretty damn fast too.


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