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Almost Great: Porsche 924

2 years ago

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David Twohig | Engineer


5 August 2022

I should love the Porsche 924. It’s not only an engineer’s car, but a bean-counter’s car too. And I’ve always disliked the engineers versus bean-counters stereotype – finding it even more forced than the engineers versus designers stand-off. 

With apologies to ‘Maximum’ Bob Lutz and his provocatively titled book Car Guys vs Bean Counters, I actually relish the challenge of engineering cars to a tight budget. I’ll admit that I’m guilty of trotting out the tired old chestnut of ‘An engineer is someone who can do for a nickel what any damn fool can do for a dollar’ – usually, and probably wrongly, attributed to Henry Ford. And I personally never felt the need to call on anyone else to count my beans – feeling well capable of keeping track of them myself, thank you.

The 924 is a car that came out of intelligent engineering and frugal economic-industrial strategy. It was originally kicked off as project EA425 – not by Porsche, but Volkswagen. In 1972, the top brass at Wolfsburg decided that their model range was a little boring for the cool new decade of huge flares and maxi-dresses, and approached Porsche to design a flagship 2+2 sports car to inject a bit of pizzazz into the Peoples’ Car line-up.

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