el jefe

© Porsche AG
"hey James, check these phone dials out."

"Oh yea...they're quite small, 15s right?"

"what's this "quite" shit? I hear it on TV, radio, and now from you. "quite this, quite that, oh and isn't this quite lovely"...is speaking Her Majesty's English some sort of phase or are you just trying to sound sophisticated? putting sentences on doilies makes you sound like a jerk-off."

"Perhaps you need some alone time..."
being in the company of pretense is like a ruined orgasm.

these days, simplicity seems impossible. it shouldn't be. individuality doesn't need embellishment; a few visual cues are enough. the eyes beg for a chance to rest and absorb details without distraction. do that and something magical happens—clarity. 

the Van Gogh'd 944 did just that. subtle details told a story; I dog-eared the 15" phone dials.

their rarity was clear. these weren't phonies that came standard on 1987-1989 944s. the sunk in centers exposed enough lip to give them away; these were early — the 23,3mm offset kind. 
© Porsche AG
Amurican 944s came standard with15" ATS cookie cutter wheels from 1983 until about '85. of course, you could order forged 15" Fuchs in staggered 7" and 8" or in 7" wide 16s all around. the Turbo would bring in the 16" phonies, but you'd have to wait until '86.

in 1984, the 911 Carrera replaced old pops SC. the 3,0 became 3,2 and while the SCs rolled on 15" ATS wheels as standard, the Carrera would upgrade its new look with phone dials. 

the 17 year old Fuchs remained an option. M395 got you the 16s while M401 took away an inch with 15s...M348 painted them Grand Prix Weiß. the 930 and 911 with option M491 (Turbo look) got the 16" Fuchs standard.

the phonies on a 911 was something to get used to. it wasn't the wheel, Porschistas had seen them with the birth of the 928. the cat's lick was looking at the thing wearing phonies...but you had a choice to make them go away for some extra baksheesh. 
© Porsche AG
6J X 15 phonies on the front of this Carrera. © Justin (jccarr)
7J X 15 phonies on rears...the 944 used these for both front and rears. © Justin (jccarr)
the 944 didn't do away with ATSs until 1986, two years after the 911 did. what Porsche decided to do was add the phone dial to the 944 line that same year. it was a "keeping the family resemblance" thing to visually glue two very different looks together. according to Porsche's parts catalog, the Swiss would get the phonies as standard in 1984. the only year we'd get them as standard would be 1986, the last year for the early offset/suspension geometry on all 944s.

the 911 Carrera had staggered phonies. the fronts were 6J X 15 (911 361 023 46) with a 36mm offset, the rears used 7J X 15 (911 362 104 00) showing some lip with 23,3mm offsets. the 944 (1984 Swiss/1986 US) would use the 911's rear set on the front and back; same part number, same offset.  there are exceptions with the possibility of 1984-1986 US cars wearing these as an "option" from the factory, Porsche could be very accommodating.
a US spec 1986 944 with 7J X 15/23,3mm offset phone dials; last year for these phonies and early suspension geometry.
1989 UK spec 944 with 52,3mm offset 15" phonies — last year for 15" phonies. © The 80s Emporium
1987 and later phone dials with 52,3mm offset.
underscoring this tale goes like this:

944 — early offset/suspension geometry pre-ABS 
  • 1984-1986 — 7J X 15 cast silver metallic alloy wheel (phone dial) ET23,3 part number 911 362 104 00. standard Switzerland 1984/standard US 1986 (except Turbo from 1986)  — quantity of 4 
944 — late offset/suspension geometry optional ABS 
  • 1987-1989 — 7J X 15 cast silver metallic alloy wheel (phone dial) ET52,3 part number 944 362 104 00. standard worldwide (except Turbo/S2) — quantity of 4
911 — early offset/pre-964
  • 1984-1989 — 6J X 15 cast silver metallic alloy wheel (phone dial) ET23,3 part number 911 361 023 46 - front
  • 1984-1989 — 7J X 15 cast silver metallic alloy wheel (phone dial) ET23,3 part number 911 362 104 00 - rear 
forget about the 928 15" phone dial, they're specific to that beast tattooed with a 928 part number. the 1986-1987 924S was excluded for confusion's sake; they used the 1987-1989 944's late offset 7J x 15 phone dial for the rear only with option M755/M756 (Spirit/Le Mans/Special Edition).



01/31/2016 14:51

This is great. I've been looking for this info quite a while but never managed to put up the facts. The 911 managed to look baroque even when wearing phonies!

Now there are also 7x16 et23 phonies available, which I chose since the legal tire options are better for those than for 15".
Would you happen to know when and where those appeared for the first time? The part number started with a 951. I'm not sure if the 951 ever came with the early offset, sounds strange to me.

el jefe
01/31/2016 19:14

dy-no-mite! great to hear the article helped out. the 944 Turbo did have an early offset for one year only, MY 1986.

the fronts were 7J X 16 ET23,3(mm) (part number 951 362 114 00), as you said, and the rears are 8J X 16 ET23,3(mm) (part number 951 362 116 00).

what'll probably blow you away is how these same wheels are also spec'd out for 1984-1989 911 Turbos and Carreras with option M491 (Turbo look). same part numbers, same offsets, the 7J X 16 were used for the fronts on the turbos and rears (optional) on the Turbo look M491. the fatter 8J X 16 were used on the rears for both the Turbo and the Turbo look M491.

although the 911 had them spec'd for use for the Carreras from 1984, they were introduced in 1985 for MY1986 944 Turbos; that's why the part number starts with 951. since they fit the 911 perfectly, and the 911 offsets didn't change until the introduction of the 964, Porsche updated the Carrera catalog to include 1984-1985 Carreras too.

02/03/2016 06:24

Now who's the bigger nerd, me asking or you knowing?

Thank you for coming back to me with all the details! Once again I've learned something, and can now boldly claim to be period-correct (albeit atypical) with 7x16 on my '83 944.

Mike Pollock
02/18/2016 10:10

Not quite, your '83 should only have 7x15 cookies or Fuchs. They
Were the only wheels optioned.
Don't let it bother you though, I have Gullies on my '89 S2, again not an option then as the lightweight option was the CS, standard being D90s.

03/08/2016 15:54

On 944s was the 16in optional?

el jefe
03/08/2016 20:26

Raven, 16" phone dials were an option on the 944S, the 15" phone dials were standard.


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