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Porsche 928 (1977-1995)

Porsche’s grand tourer is now also grand value.

Porsche 928 (1977-1995)

INTRODUCTION

if there can be such a thing as a ‘forgotten Porsche’, the 928 is it. Although built for a remarkably long period – about 17 years – it’s not a car you read much about in the classic press. And yet the 928 is quick, extremely comfortable and has a big V8 under the bonnet. What’s not to like?

‘Thirst and complexity’ are the usual retorts. It’s true that 20mpg is a best-case scenario for any 928 – but with most of the survivors now being kept as second cars, that’s less of an issue. And while there seems to be an awful lot of engine shoehorned under the bonnet, it’s really a straightforward design that can rack up enormous mileages.

Of course, the 928 was an expensive car when new, with commensurately high servicing bills. But today’s non-franchised specialists charge more reasonable prices and there are plenty of secondhand parts around – sadly, good cars are still being stripped out for track day or race use.

Despite its recently discovered potential as a race car, the 928 was always marketed as a GT and about 80% were sold with automatic transmission. Manuals are now sought after for track days, but the 928’s big V8 is ideally suited to an auto ’box and gives a relaxing drive.

MARKET VIEW

You won't hear a bad word said among 928 owners about Paul Anderson (above). He has been specialising in the cars for the past ten years, and race-prepping them for six – as a 1970s model, the 928 is fast catching on among the historic race and rally crowd.

‘928s are definitely on-the-up at the moment,’ he says, before adding: ‘…but prices are lower than they were four years ago. Interest goes in peaks and troughs, and it’s the current price of fuel that dictates values.

‘Condition is more important than model or year. A superb car, early or late, might be £15,000 but good examples start at around £5000, slightly less for an S2. A GT will be at least £6000-6500 and the GTS £8000 upwards.

‘That said, you can pick up a 928 for much less if you’re lucky. One of our customers recently bought a tidy 928S for a grand…’

IN A NUTSHELL

First, the good news: the 928 bodyshell was galvanised right from the start of production, so structural rust is rare. Early cars will typically show the odd bubble around rear windows or hatch (where trim clips have broken the galvanising), but usually corrosion is restricted to paint scabbing on the alloy bonnet, front wings and door skins.

Mechanical parts also last well. Cambelt failure is the biggest danger: on 4.7-litre and later engines the valves can then collide with pistons (4.5s aren’t affected). The belt should be changed every four years/60,000 miles; it’s wise to renew the water pump at the same time, which accounts for over half of the c£500 that a specialist will charge.

The 928’s suspension hardly changed during production: ‘You could, in theory, fit GTS suspension to a 1970s car,’ claims Paul Anderson. OE -spec dampers are now hugely expensive but Paul offers a set of specially produced gas-filled units for £700.

The 928 has its gearbox mounted just ahead of the rear diff, and it’s connected to the engine by a torque tube. Manual ’boxes don’t have the sweetest changes but are tough, while the automatics are Mercedes-Benz units, so very reliable. However, failure to check the flex plate tension regularly can lead to a worn crank thrust bearing and, ultimately, a wrecked engine block.

928s do suffer electrical gremlins if not driven for any length of time – ‘but the wiring is actually quite easy to trace,’ says Paul – while air-conditioning will rarely work on an older car and may cost £500-600 to repair. Interiors last pretty well but the 1970s pyschedelic-check trim known as Pascha eventually falls apart at the seams; it’s hard to find, even secondhand.

CONCLUSION

Chances are that if you fancy a 928 you’ll already know what you want: either the design statement of the original car (no spoilers, no side strips, Pascha interior, telephone-dial alloys) or the sheer speed and greater luxury of the S4-and-later models. Buyers tend to fall into one or other camp.

The late-’70s cars are by far the rarest now and are the only 928s likely to have any longterm investment potential. They are not particularly fast by modern standards but they’re the simplest and cheapest to run.

Moving on a few years, a 1980s S or S2 still has a certain period appeal, retaining the egg-shaped rear of the original car. With decent examples available from £2500, they’re amazing value. Among the restyled cars, the S4 is the sensible buy – ‘its engine is bulletproof,’ says Paul Anderson – while the GTS is the most hardcore and most expensive to fix, having unique brakes and engine.

Buying any older high-performance car is a gamble. But one thing’s for sure: petrol is never going to get any cheaper…

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11 Comments

John Greenland

Very fair article. The comments mirror our experience here in Australia.

By JohnG on 24 November, 2010, 10:47pm

Lovely cars. Do be aware that the Pascha seat material is infact readily available so early interiors are easy to repair. Oh and they are oh so retro!

By leemich on 28 November, 2010, 9:09pm

Oh really?!

"You won't hear a bad word said among 928 owners about Paul Anderson"

Ha. I'm currently investigating the possibility of getting trading standards to pursue this guy for various complaints from last year. Avoid at your peril!

By 928guy on 31 January, 2011, 12:10pm

928s2reborn

I was totally ripped of by Mr Anderson and I have had my engine rebuilt again by a pro porsche enginering business in Lincolnshire. He wont answer calls, total cowboy avoid

By 928s2reborn on 29 August, 2011, 11:32pm

Cowboy?

The small number of problems we have had over the the last 12 years have always been rectified to the customers total satisfaction. If you have issues with my work then let me know and i will solve it.

By Oc5_3a8b369a9dc on 9 July, 2012, 11:03pm

Balance

I wouldn't presume to comment on other people's experience of Paul Anderson but reading the two comments here I feel compelled to add my own. We (my father and I) have owned our 928 for the 28 years since it was first registered. In that time it has been serviced by all the usual suspects from AFN to Autofarm and a variety of other specialists and franchised dealers along the way. I therefore feel well equipped to add some context to this debate. I discovered Paul's operation about 5 years ago but wished I had sooner. I now rely on Paul to keep my S2 in tip top running condition and I have complete faith in his ability to do just that. He has changed cam belts, fuel and water pumps, brake and fuel lines and a raft of other components that other specialists often failed to spot as the root causes of some consistent problems. Paul is always happy to take my calls and advise on any niggles or queries I may have and he is enthusiastic about working on this wonderful car in a way that very few people seem to be these days. I wouldn't take my pride and joy to anyone else.

By WillWhinfrey on 12 July, 2012, 10:18pm

Balance No.2

I had ten years of many so called 928 experienced garages look after my S4 before finding Paul Anderson,now I would'nt take it anywhere else.

By DanielWright on 2 October, 2012, 11:45pm

911 vs 928

I am on my second Porsche 996 and am thinking of trading it for a 1990 S4 5.0. I love the 911 and could extend to a 997, but I'd like a break from having to commit to driving full on every time it's taken to the shops. I've always adored the 928 S4 and have sold the idea to the wife and children. I'd like some honest comment on how practical it is for an everyday car to get to my office down the road, trips at weekends. How thirsty? How reliable? How comfortable? How safe? Would appreciate some input.

By Rawcus on 17 January, 2013, 1:11am

Rawcus
I've just got out of my 911 for a 928 S4 - love it. Totally different in terms of size and delivery BUT still very much a Porsche. You can pick up a very clean, straight, full historied car for circa £6k, like I did. I saw examples for £10k that were no better than the car I bought.Do it, I have had 3 911s (all aircooled) and a 944S2 (another super little car that are nega cheap). I just wanted to experience tyhe 928 S4 as I have always viewed them as very interesting and classic Porsches.

By VR46Yamaha on 30 January, 2013, 12:40pm

Rawcus
I've just got out of my 911 for a 928 S4 - love it. Totally different in terms of size and delivery BUT still very much a Porsche. You can pick up a very clean, straight, full historied car for circa £6k, like I did. I saw examples for £10k that were no better than the car I bought.Do it, I have had 3 911s (all aircooled) and a 944S2 (another super little car that are nega cheap). I just wanted to experience tyhe 928 S4 as I have always viewed them as very interesting and classic Porsches.

By VR46Yamaha on 30 January, 2013, 1:27pm

Stoycho

Thanks to Paul for the help,and understanding, and hope that with litle more help we can do my classic Beast-928S to be better than 30 years ago. The best choice for all of us-Mr.Paul Anderson!Cheers!Best wishes from Bulgaria!

By Stoycho on 6 June, 2014, 2:02pm

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Porsche 928 (1977-1995)
  Porsche 928 (1977-1995)
Porsche 928 (1977-1995)
  Porsche 928 (1977-1995)
Porsche 928 (1977-1995)
  Porsche 928 (1977-1995)
Extra Info

MODEL HISTORY

1977-1982: 928 launched with new water-cooled, 4.5-litre V8 engine giving 240bhp and 140+mph top speed, five-speed manual or three-speed auto transmissions.
1979-1984: 928S gains bigger, 4.7-litre engine, plus small front and rear rubber spoilers and side-protection strips. Power now 300bhp and top speed 152mph.
1984-1985: S2 has 310bhp; auto option now a four-speed.
1985: US-only cars gain new 5-litre V8 with DOHC , four-valve heads and unofficial ‘S3’ title.

1986-1992: S4 restyled with smoother front end, wraparound tail-lights and big rear spoiler. 5-litre V8 already used in States gives 320bhp. Digital dash and auto ’box standard for ’89-on S4.
1989-1992: Manual-only GT introduced with stiffer suspension, wider wheels and 326/330bhp.
1992-1995: GTS has 5.4-litre V8, 340bhp and ‘Cup’ alloy wheels.

SPECIFICATIONS

1991 Porsche 928 S4
Engine:
4957cc all-alloy V8, DOHC, Bosch LH-Jetronic fuel injection
Power: 340bhp @ 6000rpm
Torque: 317lb ft @ 3000rpm
Transmission: Four-speed automatic, rear transaxle
Suspension:
Independent via coil-and-wishbone, anti-roll bars
Brakes: Discs front and rear
Weight: 1600kg
Performance: 0-60mph 5.5sec; top speed 165mph

CLUBS

Porsche Club Great Britain
www.porscheclubgb.com

The Independent Porsche Enthusiast Club
www.tipec.net

928 web forum
www.928.org.uk
+44 (0)1787 249285

Specialist

928 Spares (Paul Anderson)

Stroud, Gloucestershire, UK
www.928spares.co.uk

 
 
 
 

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