a door handle is a trifle different.
you see, it's something a bit more obvious and much less difficult to explain its significance to someone who may just give a damn; never mind that it's an important clue necessary in determining a 924's correctness and vintage which is, aside from turning you into a Porsche history Divvy, the scope of this and every article we write.
beginning with chassis 9248100209 (ROW) of model year 1978, black became the new chrome. curiously, Porsche thought only a letter needed to be tacked on to the old part number making it 477 837 037 B; the same for both left and right—the plastic grainy cover 823 837 239 was also used. so as it stood, model year 1979 would carry on using the this handle for both the 924 Normal and the 924 Turbo.
additionally, some sources note that the changeover from chrome to black also applies up to chassis 9248200356 (fifth digit 2 for USA, CDN CAL MY 1978) and 9248330068 (fifth digit 3 for Japan MY1978). from 9248200357 (USA, CDN CAL MY1978) and 924330069 (Japan MY1978), the black handle is used.
by model year 1980, things change. the handle remains black but the part number shakes of the "B" suffix in exchange for an "H" and there would be a left and a right with two different part numbers; 477 837 037 H for the left and 477 837 038 H for the right while the 823 837 239 cover piece tags along unchanged. then part numbers on these two change over to the third generation of handles found on model year 1986-1988 924 S and late '85 944s numbered 944 538 905 and 944 538 906 (left and right respectively) as the replacement for 1980-1985 924s and 1982-early 1985 944s.
924/931 model year 1976-1979
924/931 model year 1980 -1985
for the sake of keeping things clear, it's best for me to go no further into explaining what happens with the 924S from model year 1986-1988, but I will say that early 944s from model year 1982 to early 1985 also uses 477 837 037 H (superseded to 944 538 905) and 477 837 038 H (superseded to 944 538 906).
I'll leave it there. retaining information is best when the information to be retained is short, sweet, and to the point. now go out and have some fun picking off early 924s.
image sources: http://www.ebay.com, http://www.einmaligparts.com, http://www.ebay.com, http://924er.blogspot.com