Hot Wheels is helping Porsche celebrate its 75th birthday by turning a 1987 944 into an off-roading shooting brake. Called the Dirtmeister, the model stands out as the first Porsche inducted into the Hot Wheels Garage of Legends, and it exists as both a toy car and a real car.
Released as an evolution of the 924, the 944 was offered as a coupe and as a convertible from the factory. Hot Wheels took a completely different route: It enlisted the help of California-based Kudensport to create a shooting brake. The roof line was made flatter, though the overall silhouette leans towards the sporty side of the scale, and the 944 consequently gained a bigger trunk and a third side window.
Hot Wheels then turned its attention to giving the Dirtmeister the kind of off-road capacity that a stock 944 can only dream of — even the aftermarket, which has been obsessed with 911-based rally-ready builds, has largely steered clear of the 944. Again working with third-party companies, it fitted the coupe with a custom-designed roll cage, Recaro front seats, a PCI race radio system, and a Garmin Baja Tread XL navigation system. Coilovers, LED lights, and Pirelli off-road tires further increase the 944’s ability to go far off the pavement.
It doesn’t sound like the Dirtmeister received major mechanical modifications. Stock, a base 1987 944 is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 147 horsepower and 140 pound-feet of torque. The engine spins the rear wheels via either the standard five-speed manual transaxle or the three-speed automatic unit that Porsche included on the list of options; we’re hoping the Dirtmeister has three pedals.
While the Dirtmeister will join the Hot Wheels catalog of die-cast cars, you won’t bag it for a buck the next time you go grocery shopping. It’s a made-to-order model that needs to be purchased online, so production will presumably be limited. Pricing hasn’t been announced yet.