Waiting for a Star to Fall: Maxichamps 1/43 Porsche 944 S2
I want to reach out and pull you to me, who says I should let a beige Porsche go free?
This has been a review months in the making. I finally bought a model of my favorite Porsche the day the first one went up for sale on eBay. I was willing to plonk down any amount of money for perfection. And thus, I did. There's nothing quite like seeing your favorite car from your favorite brand in your favorite color. When you come across something like that, you have no choice but to buy it. Is it the most interesting Porsche? No. Is it the most exciting Porsche? No. Is it the rarest Porsche? No. Is it the one that speaks directly to my heart? You fucking bet it is.
I know you guys haven't heard from me in months, but in all fairness, I've been working hard at my new job. I decided to do this because it's the least I could do for the little 944. I love that car with all my heart. There's no better place to share my feelings than here with you guys. I bought this model sometime in June for about $50 and haven't really done much other than admire it and occasionally dust it off.
If you don't know what this is, I'll kindly ask you to either pull your head out of your ass or step out from under the rock you've been living under. This is perfection. Take notes. The Porsche 944 debuted in 1982 as a better 924, if you will. It became a hit for Porsche since it was fun and sporty at a fraction of the price of what the average 911 transacted for. The 944 Turbo is still a cult classic among weirdos like me to this day. Although rear-engined Porsche snobs looked down upon them at the time, there's no denying they had a smash hit on their hands. The 944s quickly dominated any Porsche racing events such as track days and autocrosses over their Beetle brethren. Among the air-cooled elitists, the 944 was known as somewhat of a red-headed stepchild, or Guards Redheaded stepchild if we're being accurate. This specific one is a 1989 944 S2 in Bamboo Metallic, which is my favorite color for the car with Guards Red being a close second. I've waxed lyrical about the 944 before, but that was all the way back when I did the review of the Hot Wheels 944 Turbo.
Right off the bat, you'll notice that it's very beige. Contrary to popular belief, beige is an excellent color for cars. This is no longer an opinion; this is a fact. Maxichamps did an excellent job in bringing back the Minichamps 944 and making it look a bit nicer. The car looks great overall, especially when you consider this is half the price of a normal dealer edition Minichamps Porsche.
When the headlights are down, the 944 looks sleek and sporty in a very 80s sense. This was the beginning of the idea that Porsche could make a fun car whose engine wasn't mounted at the very back. Under the hood was a 3.0 liter inline-4 with 208 hp mated to a 5-speed manual transaxle. This helped the car rocket to 60 in just 6.0 seconds onto a top speed of 150 mph. Mind you, this isn't even the Turbo we're talking about here.
You can tell this is a European model due to the omission of the CHMSL and a slightly different rear bumper. I personally wish this were a US-spec Turbo, but hey, we can't win 'em all. It also says 944 S2 in case you confused it with a 356A or Taycan Turbo.
The 7-spoke D90 wheels are truly the best wheels for the 944, regardless of how many people complain about how the phone dials are better. This car reminds me of the dying breed of Porsche enthusiasts who prefer cars like this over whatever the quickest and fastest are at the time. This is a true driver's Porsche. The only thing keeping you somewhat in check is the ABS. Everything else relies on your visceral connection to the car. This is a Porsche that'll put a smile on your face every time you drive it. As nice as cars like the 991.2 GT2 RS and 992 Turbo S are, this is the kind of car that put Porsche on the map for younger enthusiasts looking for an entry into the brand.
Maxichamps really knocked it out of the park with the tiny details around the car. It amazes me to see they still put this much effort into resurrecting a relatively unloved model in a rather obscure color.
If the rear valance looks broken to you, don't worry, it isn't. I do appreciate how well executed the lights and Porsche decals are around the car. The exhaust tip also looks nice. They even went so far as to include the tiny keyhole for the trunk and the rear wiper.
If we look inside, we find that the interior is nicely detailed with full buttons and gauges galore. You notice a new little detail every time you look at this thing. Even the door handles are separate pieces with tiny keyholes.
In the trunk, we sadly don't have a stethoscope, but instead find a spare tire hump where it would go under the carpet. The rear wiper is simply vibin' on the glass until the next rainstorm hits. Unfortunately, there aren't any Puffalumps in there either. Sorry, Stef.
As I said earlier, the car is extremely well detailed for a Maxichamps. This is probably their best rendition of a Minichamps casting to date. I hope they end up making a Guards Red one.
I buy model Porsches left and right of all shapes and sizes. None have spoken to me quite like this one has. This is easily my favorite model in the collection, 991 50th included. This little model gives me hope that I'll find my perfect 944 one day. Until then, this'll have to make do. I'm thoroughly impressed by how far my $50 went. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this model to anyone in the market for a 1/43 Porsche. Even if you aren't, go and buy one of these.
This may not be a real 944 in my driveway, but hope springs eternal.