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The Porsche 924 was the fuel-efficiency-minded replacement for the 914, and both cars had quite a bit of Volkswagen/Audi DNA in their ancestry. The early 924s had horsepower ratings uncomfortably close to the 100-horsepower level (in the case of the first couple of years, below 100 horsepower), so the introduction of the 924 Turbo in 1979 gave American Porsche shoppers a well-balanced sports car with 143 horses. Here’s a well-worn but non-rusty 1980 924 Turbo that I spotted in a Denver self-service yard not long ago.

1980 Porsche 924 Turbo decklid emblem

The sun has bleached the emblems, but you can still make out the Turbo Awesomeness here. Photo by Murilee Martin

Compared to the draw-through-carbureted turbocharging system on the Turbo Trans Am, the K-Jetronic fuel-injection system on the 924 Turbo was futuristic as all hell… but it still remained difficult to get one of these cars to run correctly every day. Not many years later, Starions and Omni GLHs and even I-Mark Turbos ran better and cost a lot less, and then the 944 came along with plenty of reliable naturally-aspirated power and the old 924 Turbos fell out of favor. It’s impressive that this car was able to avoid a place like this as long as it did.

1980 Porsche 924 Turbo speedometer

I can’t drive 85. Photo by Murilee Martin

Because this car was sold in 1980, it has the hateful 85-mph speedometer that was required on US-market cars during that era. Nobody is going to buy this, but many more desirable parts remain on this rare Junkyard Treasure.