16 June 2014

Car Club Q&A: Porsche 924 Owners Club

This week we caught up with Phil Watson from Porsche 924 Owners Club

Why the Porsche 924?

For me the 924 represents a single minded proposition (Sports/GT) where the design budget has been concentrated entirely on the car and adaption/development of existing proven powerplants. It is pure Porsche in its mentality and the three models; 2 litre NA, 2.0 litre Turbo and 2.5 litre S offers different facets of the 924 ownership experience. My choice of the NA gives me uncomplicated but top quality mechanicals I can maintain at home, a beautiful fully galvanised body shell and a luxurious period interior. The 924 'grin factor' is well documented and the near 50/50 balance due to gearbox on rear axle location delivers real driving pleasure.

In addition, the 924 has come of age and is beginning to be recognised as a viable classic in its own right. The rare models have always commanded high values (Carrera GT 25k ) but today even the NA is hitting the £5k mark with the very rare Turbo gaining in value rapidly.

The relatively small numbers of all 2 litre cars ensures greater rarity than the MGB for example but the 'route to classic status' model is the same. Poor examples being broken for spares and dropping off the radar, the better ones being maintained and many being restored from the ground up.

All this makes it sound like ownership was a calculated financial move, this isn't the case but it helps.

Having attended the Lemans Classic since 2008 in MGB's and Westfield's, even contemplating making the trip in a Land rover once! I really wanted something that would deliver the fun but also make the trip in relative comfort making the most of the glorious French country roads, the 924 is perfect in just about every way. The club scene is vibrant with the 924 OC offering everything I could possibly want including a packed event calendar.

Where did your love for the Porsche 924 start?

Back in 1995 on the advice of a friend and 911 owner I purchased my first 924. This 1984, 2.0 litre Lux NA model in saphirblau with pascha interior was a revelation, the first car I had owned that would cruise at 90 all day if so required.

The handling was nothing short of fabulous and the build quality superb. This was through the period when the 924 was considered the 'poor relation' and 'not a real Porsche' even among other Porsche owners. I since discovered this to be an ironic view as the snobbery around the inclusion of VW parts was simply history repeating itself as the ancestor of the illustrious 911 is the humble flat four Beetle from the same designer. Moreover it was the 924 that saved the flagging company's fortunes when the 911 had dropped out of favour.

Initially I joined Porsche Club GB but the complete absence of anything for the 924, be it events, magazine articles etc. caused me to leave after a year.
The 924 was my daily driver happily commuting midlands to Uxbridge, taking the family on holiday (including dog) and attending classic events. It was utterly reliable only ever requiring routine maintenance and a CV joint. Only the advent of a company car caused us to part ways, something I've always regretted.

In September 2013 I resumed the relationship with a 1985 924 2.0ltr with only 47k on the clock, I haven't looked back since!

What is your favourite classic car event of the year?

The Lemans Classic (every two years)
The Classic Car Motor show, NEC Birmingham (annual)

How many members does the Porsche 924 Owners Club consist of?

Approximately 300, currently.

What's the best thing about being a member of the Porsche 924 Owners Club?

Firstly, the 924 Owners club is the only club truly dedicated to all models of the Porsche 924. The virtual home of the club is the club forum that offers rapid, accurate advice and support to all paid up members. It may seem an obvious thing to say but compared to the often casual responses of other forums along with occasional distracting firefights (!), they are not in the same league as the 924OC forum. The panel of expert members who seemingly make themselves available almost 24/7 with advice and guidance born of years of experience is utterly invaluable.

In addition, the forum is a hub of communication where we actively seek and commission workaround solutions to NLA (no longer available) parts, build relationships with Porsche via the increasing interest of the company in classic Porsches.

The events, particularly 'Spanner and Sponge' days organised regionally continue the self-help theme with the club experts working down a line of cars curing ailments being a common sight. All are encouraged to learn and the creativity and know-how across the board is staggering. We have some extremely well qualified individuals in our little club!

Our trade relationships are excellent as is our presence in the classic press and growing all the time. I particularly enjoy flying the flag for the car and the club in my marketing capacity with our press colleagues but especially attending the many and varied events to catch up with the guys in person.

What does membership of to the Porsche 924 Owners Club involve?

Joining the club gives full access to all levels of the member’s forum including technical supports and events but for those who prefer not to communicate via the web, we publish a superb club magazine three times a year. The forum is the communication hub but the club thrives through our events calendar where all are welcome.  Recent regional events the length and breadth of the country have included the Ace Cafe, Silverstone, Beaulieu, Battle of Britain Museum, Event City Manchester, Blair Atoll Scotland, Gmund Motors Knaresborough  to name but a few .The annual flagship events are the NEC Classic Car Show in November and the National rally in May. https://porsche924.co.uk/events

As a club we are actively seeking longevity of supply for parts and services to ensure the future of our cars.

Members are encouraged to get involved in all aspect of the club but it's not compulsory!  Committee posts are open to volunteers who would like to bring something to the party.

Our membership is truly international and we have strong links with fellow clubs, OPC's and have negotiated trade discounts on parts .

How can one sign up to the Porsche 924 Owners Club?

Simply follow the links from this page https://porsche924.co.uk or come along to an event to sample 924 OC hospitality, meet the members and see the cars, Turbo 35 on 18th May at Donington is a great place to start.

If you would like to feature your classic car club please email us.

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