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Porsche 928: Buying guide and review (1977-1995)

Porsche 928: Buying guide and review (1977-1995) Classic and Performance Car
Porsche 928 Porsche 928 Porsche 928 Porsche 928 Porsche 928 Porsche 928 Porsche 928
Designed to replace the 911, but ultimately fulfilling a very different role, the Porsche 928 has always stood apart from its rear-engined brethren. With four seats, a decent amount of space for luggage and a large V8 engine nestling under the bonnet, the 928 made a far better grand tourer than the 911 ever could. 
 
It was a genuinely ground-breaking car when it was launched in 1978 too, and after scooping the European Car of the Year award, the model’s future looked bright. Porsche spent a lot of time and money making sure that this front-engined, V8-powered coupe would blow the world away. It was an engineering masterpiece, and was such a groundbreaking effort. 
 
So advanced was this Porsche at launch, the 928 remained in production – basic design effectively unchanged – for around 17 years. Of course the 928 evolved over the years with added spoilers, more equipment and and more power, but the basic formula of quick and comfortable ability remains a constant through the range. 
 
As impressive as the 928 was as a package though, the traditional 911 buyers were simply not interested – which is why the 928 was never replaced.
 
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, many good cars were stripped out for track day or race use, although this has slowed down in recent years. 
 
Despite its recently discovered potential as a racing car, the 928 was always marketed as a GT and about 80 per cent 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. 
 

Which 928 to buy?

 
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 long term 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. Among the restyled cars, the S4 is the sensible buy – as its engine is bulletproof – while the GTS is the most hardcore and most expensive to fix, having unique brakes and engine. 
 
While track work might not immediately spring to mind for a 928, quite a few have been stripped out and prepped for track day and even competition use. While it was relatively easy to pick up a cheap example and convert it into a track car a few years back, increasing values and rarity have made it less popular. You can still find the occasional track car for reasonable money, but unless it has been prepared (or at least thoroughly inspected) by a reputable Porsche specialist, we would advise caution. 
 

Performance and specs


Porsche 928
Engine  4474cc, 16-valve SOHC V8
Power 237bhp 
Torque 268lb ft
Transmission Five-speed manual/Three-speed automatic
0-60mph 7.5secs
Top speed 142mph 
Insurance group   -
Fuel consumption  21mpg
Price when new  £19,499
 

Dimensions and weight


Wheelbase              2500mm
Length 4448mm
Width 1836mm
Height 1313mm
Weight 1451kg
 

Common problems

 
• 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. Accident damage is obviously where trouble can start, and even a proper repair from 10-15 years ago can start to show its age.
 
• 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 or 60,000 miles. It’s wise to renew the water pump at the same time. 
 
• When the GTS was launched, a number of engines suffered from excessive oil consumption due to porous cylinder liners. Many cars had new engines from Porsche, however if the car you’re looking at wasn’t one of them, ask the owner about oil usage. If it uses an excessive amount today it could spell big bills in future. 
 
• The 928’s suspension hardly changed during production, which means that you could, in theory, fit GTS suspension to a 1970s car. OE-spec dampers are now hugely expensive, although specialists do offer aftermarket sets for considerably less. 
 
• 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. Make basic checks on the operation of the electric windows, mirrors, seats, headlights and central locking, as these could be costly to rectify if paying a specialist. 
 
• 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. While good condition second hand items are nearly impossible to find, reproduction fabric is now available through specialists. 
 

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.
 

The rivals

 
Jaguar XJ-S – If you want a great-looking GT, the XJ-S is right up there with the 928 for style. This British choice is less unreliable than you might think, but the repair costs of a poorly maintained example (of which there are many) can be even more eye-watering than the Porsche. 
 
BMW M635CSI – Perhaps lacking the drama of the Porsche’s stunning aesthetic, this big BMW coupe is perhaps more of driver’s choice. That’s not to say it doesn’t look great! 
 
Mercedes-Benz 560SEC – Comfort and speed don’t come much more easily than in the big Benz, and if you like toys this is the car for you. This was the most expensive car Mercedes built at the time, and as well as offering fantastic luxury it’s beautifully built. 
 
Ferrari Mondial – This four-seater Ferrari might be a little unloved, but at the end of the day it’s still a Ferrari…
 

Owners clubs, forums and websites

 
• www.928.org.uk – Porsche 928 community
• www.porscheclubgb.com – UK-based Porsche owners club
• www.porscheownersclub.org.uk – Free to join UK Porsche club
• www.tipec.net – The Independent Porsche Enthusiasts Club
 

Summary and prices

 
Porsche 928 prices have been generally very steady for the past decade, with a very gentle upward trajectory for the most desirable examples. To some extent, the condition is more important than model or year. A superb car, early or late, might sell for up to £45,000, but good usable examples start at around £15,000. 
 
Very early cars start from around £6000 for something needing work (although projects can still be picked up from upwards of £2500), with the later models becoming more expensive as the power and spec levels increase. The advice is to steer clear of anything too cheap, as the potential bills associated with these will often be substantial. 
 
The most valuable is the high-performance GTS model, with prices usually starting from £35,000-£45,000. Perfect examples, especially with low mileages, are often advertised at more than £85,000.
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Last updated: 29th Nov 2017
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Porsche 928
15950 47995 GBP
  • PORSCHE 928 S SRS 4 1988

    £17,500 £17,500

    1988 Porsche 928 S4 5.0 V8 Auto. Only 89,000 Miles From New. Grand Prix White. Grey Leather Interior. Service Booklet Stamped Up To 77,000 Miles. Cambelt Replaced At 87,000 Miles With Receipt. Previous MOT's. Sunroof, Cruise Control, 16" Alloy Wheels, Electric Seats. Recorded Insurance Claim Fourteen Years Ago (2004) Complete With VOSA Inspection Pass Certificate. A Very Nice Example. Part Exchange Considered.

    • Mileage: 89000 mi
    • Engine size: 4.957
    For sale
    £17,500 £17,500
    David Stockton Specialist Cars
    01253 737709 View contact number
  • Porsche - 928 S4 - 1989

    €24,001 - €31,201.30 est. (£0 - £0 est.) €24,001 - €31,201.30 est. (£0 - £0 est.)
    Auction Date: 01 Jan 1970
    RESERVE PRICE
    Online Auction
    €24,001 - €31,201.30 est. (£0 - £0 est.) €24,001 - €31,201.30 est. (£0 - £0 est.)
    Auction Date: 01 Jan 1970
    RESERVE PRICE
  • Porsche - 928 - 1982

    €18,001 - €23,401.30 est. (£0 - £0 est.) €18,001 - €23,401.30 est. (£0 - £0 est.)
    Auction Date: 01 Jan 1970
    RESERVE PRICE
    Online Auction
    €18,001 - €23,401.30 est. (£0 - £0 est.) €18,001 - €23,401.30 est. (£0 - £0 est.)
    Auction Date: 01 Jan 1970
    RESERVE PRICE
  • Porsche - 928 - S - 1981

    €25,001 - €32,501.30 est. (£0 - £0 est.) €25,001 - €32,501.30 est. (£0 - £0 est.)
    Auction Date: 01 Jan 1970
    RESERVE PRICE
    Online Auction
    €25,001 - €32,501.30 est. (£0 - £0 est.) €25,001 - €32,501.30 est. (£0 - £0 est.)
    Auction Date: 01 Jan 1970
    RESERVE PRICE
  • PORSCHE 928 5.0 GT 1993

    £39,950 £39,950

    Black Metallic;Black Leather Interior;1993 (5-Digit Private Plate Included, Valued at GBP 1,200) ;82,000 miles;Rare 5-Speed Manual Gearbox;;Air Conditioning / Climate Control;Electric Mirrors, Windows and Sunroof;ABS;Electric Front Seats ;Green Tint Windscreen;17” Cup 1 Alloy Wheels;Side Protective Mouldings;Bilstein Sports Suspension;Limited-Slip Differential (With Locking Ratio of 40%);Remote Alarm and Immobiliser;;We are delighted to offer for sale this very rare and high spec Porsche 928 GT. The ultimate Grand Tourer has covered just 83,000 miles from new, and comes with an exceptional Full Service History, consisting mainly of main dealer and specialists.;;The 928 GT was a blend of the 928 Clubsport and S4 models, with all the luxuries of a S4 and the performance of the Clubsport. 330bhp @ 6,200rpm matched to the famous dogleg 5-speed manual gearbox. Hotter camshaft, larger diameter intake manifold, free flowing exhaust makes for a 0-60mph of 5.5 seconds and a top speed of 174mph, still impressive even by today’s standards. ;;Our car is a MY91, only superseded by the GTS which started production in 1992. It is believed to be one of the very last GTs imported by Porsche to the UK in 1993. As such, it left the factory with optional 17” Cup 1 wheels, teardrop mirrors and side protective rub strips. This is a UK numbers matching car.;;A new clutch kit, 4 new tyres, full geometry set up, water pump, cam belt, tensioner and idler pulleys, alternator, air pump and PAS drivebelts have all been done in the last 2,000 miles so it needs nothing doing except driven and enjoyed. ;;Starts, stops, drives and handles beautifully as you would expect from a car that’s had “money is no object” attention over the years. Last owner for 10 years cherished this car and it is testament to Porsche build quality how good this particular GT is. ;;Perfect 50:50 weight distribution, gorgeous soundtrack from the V8 brings a smile to your face and admiring glances wherever you go. Looks absolutely stunning with a black on black colour scheme. A classic Porsche which will only continue to rise in value due to its rarity, spec, and impeccable provenance. ;;Just had a big service, with all oils, filters, fluids replaced, plus sparkplug change. Any other consumables needing replaced will be done at the same time for new owner’s complete peace of mind. ;;For more information or to arrange a test drive please call Clive.;;All our cars are fully HPI checked and clear.;;Debit and Credit Cards Accepted .. Part Exchange Welcome .. Finance Arranged .. International Shipping Arranged.;;VIEWING BY APPOINTMENT ONLY

    • Mileage: 82000 mi
    • Engine size: 5
    For sale
    £39,950 £39,950
  • Porsche 928

    £47,995 £47,995

    We are very pleased to offer this stunning and rare 928GT One of just 38 right-hand drive and manual gearbox 928 GTs and finished in the highly desirable Guards Red with Linen Leather 71,000 miles with a fully documented history, 5 Speed manual gearbox, Limited Slip differential, Full electric seats, Height adjustment, Air conditioning, Electric Sunroof, Electric Door Mirrors, Porsche book pack We sent the car Porsche specialist Strasse for a complete check over and there 117 point check and the fitment of a new clutch. One of the finest examples on the market and possibly one of the best sounding v8 cars you can buy! An incredibly clean example requiring absolutely no spend.

    • Year: 1990
    • Mileage: 71000 mi
    • Engine size: 5
    For sale
    £47,995 £47,995
  • Porsche 928

    £42,950 £42,950

    928 GTS 1992 Midnight Blue with light blue leather interior, Auto, RHD Very low mileage 4,341 one previous Royal owner, excellent condition, No Rust, factory fitted sun roof, tyres all good, mot till Aug 2018. This GTS has recently had £4,000 of recommissioning work carried out, including new Cam belt, new water pump, thermostat, Spark plugs, plus full service including the brakes, new brake fluid, brake hoses, pads etc. Tel 07518.426427

    • Year: 1992
    • Mileage: 4341 mi
    • Engine size: 5.4
    For sale
    £42,950 £42,950
    Chris Bateman
    Chris Bateman