words by pablo deferrari
notice the porsche script on the bottom of the rear glass on the 1978 japanese 924 brochure.
there are two classes of porsche owners, the connoisseur and the dilettante...if you happen to be the latter, our aim is to make you the former.
let's start with the 924.
from MY 1976 up until MY 1978, the badge, emblem or logo if you like, of the 924 was made of plastic and plugged into the upper right-hand corner of its rump. it read "Porsche 924" letting those driving behind one that this was in fact a Porsche and not a VW hybrid of some sort...it was nicely obvious. but that wasn't enough.
you see, Porsche wanted to re-emphasize the fact that this car was indeed a Porsche and not lead you to believe that some yobbo simply slapped a Porsche emblem for the sake of prestige. so in order to make this fact a bit more bona fide, and not something that could easily be forged, they also used an adhesive film on the rear glass that read "Porsche."
no mistake would ever be made. maybe they too, meaning Porsche, wanted to convince themselves of its pedigree as well because we would also see this double badging continuing with the 944 series; both under the rear tail lamps and embossed into the spoiler. precisely why they chose to repeat this fact probably went to the grave with it's originators.
this one, a promo shot, also has it on the glass but only the 924 badge all by itself at the rear.
this 924 not only has the period correct emblems, but also a "second" Porsche script on its period incorrect rear spoiler.
a closer shot of the emblems...note the early "4" on this one.
now Porsche has the "Porsche" and "924" pieces as two different parts each with their own part number. the "Porsche" half is part number 477 853 606, while the "924" carries the number 477 853 605 with six grommets, part number 477 853 663 up to 1978 models. it seems that the European and ROW market cars may have gotten just the "924" part of it while the American market, the one that marketing thought needed further convincing, married the "Porsche" bit along side it.
so, beginning with MY 1979, the 924 got the adhesive label versions, this time with "924," in black or white, on the upper right hand corner, and "Porsche," also in black or white, along the entire length of the panel beneath the rear lights that would continue on until MY 1991, the last 944...the S2.
from a collector's perspective, even though the 924 remained pretty much unchanged from birth up until 1985, the early versions had this unique, if not subtle, difference to them making them just a bit more special. it also makes for an obvious visual clue for the budding aficionado to spot the differences.
how the rear of a 924 looked beginning with MY 1979. this particular car, with a bootlegger muffler, is an ROW version in Argentina that belonged to Diego Maradona, the famous footballer.
now look, with all that being said and before you get your panties into a bunch, there are exceptions because nothing is ever cut and dry with Porsche. what I've just put down in words are the facts found on paper...I'm sure there's variances somewhere down the line, in fact, you can probably expect it.
all told, I really dig the "Porsche" script on the glass...it has a pretty refined, sophisticated look to it much like the script on the Porsche 5621 series sunglasses...it looks cool as hell. and apparently, only a handful, something like 4000 out of the 52,303 cars made from '76 to '78, got this label on the glass.
so count yourself amongst the elite if you have one of these early 924s.
your author's 5621 Porsche sunglasses...the Porsche script somehow looks cooler on glass, er, poly-carbonate.