Porsche's 924 Watered Down the Recipe
Mass appeal. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, and not necessarily a good thing, either. Just like a band with a loyal following dedicated to their own particular brand of standards-challenging, groundbreaking, neo-soul-alt-squaredance-prog-opera-roots-funk-revival-rock, Porsche of the 1970s had a vehemently loyal fan base devoted to their highly unorthodox way of building sports cars. And just like when Daylit Lobster Network turned it down a notch in hopes of gaining a broader audience for their sophomore record “Excessive Sandwich”, Porsche caught a lot of flak for the 924.
Introduced in 1976 as a ’77 model, the 924 was Porsche’s first front-engined, water-cooled car (though the 928 was designed earlier, it wasn’t released until a few months after its entry-level brother), a recipe that was bound to rankle purists—regardless how tasty a dish resulted, Stuttgart must’ve expected controversy. That isn’t to say the 924 didn’t have flaws, it certainly did, many of which weren’t insignificant—it was expensive ($9,395 base US at release), underpowered (95 HP, again initial base US spec), and in some ways quite outdated as launched, with a four speed manual and drum rear brakes, both marked steps backwards from its 914 predecessor.