Porsche 928 Buying Guide
Overlooked for far too long, the 928 is now coming into its own as a fabulous grand tourer
• Project £5000 • Good £10,000-25,000 • Concours £25,000-70,000
• Most expensive at auction £222,589 (ex-Derek Bell Club Sport)
Running costs ★★
DIY Friendly ★★
Porsche gave itself a clean sheet of paper for the 928, and it came up with an engineering masterpiece. The all-aluminium engine was the first to be planned with Bosch’s K-Jetronic fuel-injection system in mind, the transaxle layout gave 50:50 weight distribution, and the ‘Weissach axle’ rear end resulted in a well-planted, predictable nature. Little wonder, then, that the 928 was voted 1978 Car of the Year.
Some road-testers, however, found the 928 hugely capable but difficult to warm to, while Porsche enthusiasts were a little slow to accept anything that wasn’t from the 356-911 bloodline. Marque big-wigs envisaged its rear-engined stalwart as being on borrowed time during the 1970s, but in the end it comfortably outlived the 928.
For a long time, you could secure this incredible GT for buttons. And even though prices are on the rise, there are few classics that rival the 928 in terms of value for money.
Your AutoClassics Porsche 928 inspection checklist
The big V8 can look somewhat intimidating when you first lift the bonnet, but the all-aluminium unit is robust and reliable if looked after. Make sure that you carefully sift through the car’s history to see what’s been replaced and what hasn’t. Budget for a cambelt swap at least every four years. It’s a vital area: from the S’s 4.7-litre engine onwards (so, 1980-on), the valves can come into contact with the pistons if it fails. The early 4.5-litre unit isn’t affected. It makes sense to change the water pump at the same time.
Check that the car doesn’t kick out any oily smoke when you first start it, as well as when it’s up to temperature and you rev it. If it does, suspect worn valve guides or even worn bores. Some GTS models suffered from porous cylinder liners, so check those in particular to ensure that they’re not burning oil. Poor running could be a knackered ECU (worst case) or it could just mean that the distributor and leads need renewing (best case).
While some purists prefer the manual gearbox, which is strong but not particularly sweet-shifting, the more plentiful automatic suits the 928’s nature down to the ground. The latter was a Mercedes unit that originally had three ratios – a fourth was added for the S2. It’s as solid as you’d expect, but a lack of pressure will lead to a slow or clunky shift. Check underneath to ensure that the torque converter or gearbox aren’t leaking.
Clutches last well, but pre-S2 manuals can suffer from problems with the synchromesh so listen for any untoward noises. It’s important to regularly check that the torque tube, which connects engine to gearbox, isn’t putting any untoward loads onto the flex plate at the flywheel. If it is, it will wear the crank thrust bearing and eventually damage the block.
Suspension and Brakes
A good 928 will feel secure and surefooted. If the suspension bushes are worn, you’ll both feel it and hear it during the test drive. If the car’s too ‘wallowy’, it could be worn dampers. Bushes are relatively cheap, dampers are not – especially the OE-spec units. Aftermarket alternatives are available, though.
It’s worth checking how old the tyres are, too, even if they look as if they’ve got plenty of tread left on them. Get underneath the car and make sure that the brakes and brake lines are in good condition, and look through the history for evidence of the fluid being changed.
MG Midget Mk III 1971
1971 MG Midget MK III GAN5 Convertible. The 1275cc A-Series I4 has been stripped & rebuilt, with the cylinder head converted to unleaded petrol in the process along with new spark plugs, HT leads and full service. Brakes have undergone a complete overhaul. Chassis needed minor welding work & is now in very good condition, rust free. New stainless steel exhaust has also been fitted. The list of worFor Sale | 22 May 2018 | Lincoln, UK£ 7,995
BMW Z3 Roadster 1996
On offer is my personal 1996 007 Edition BMW Z3 with 37,000 original miles. I am an automotive journalist at Autoclassics, cassiccars.com, and at Sports Car Market magazine and I searched for a 007 edition Z3 for 4 years before finding one. It is a 5 speed manual equipped car (half of the 100 cars were automatics) and what sold me on it is that it has every single piece of it's original documentFor Sale | 22 May 2018 | Connecticut, USA$ 25,000
STUDEBAKER R10 PANEL VAN 1950
Studebaker R10 Panel Van 1950 rare collector’s item. This Studebaker R10 was originally delivered as Panel Van, a very rare model. This unique appearance was in a museum for several years. This beautiful Panel Van has deep red paint with beige striping. The interior of this Studebaker has a marvellous metal dashboard with the original Studebaker ‘climatize controls’. The cargo space is hugeFor Sale | 22 May 2018 | Kleiweg 1 5145NA Waalwijk, The Netherlands, Industry No. 1302€ 24,950
1952 Plymouth Cambridge
** IMPORTED FROM THE DRY STATE OF TEXAS BACK IN 2016, THIS EXAMPLE IS NOT ONLY MOT & TAX EXEMPT, BUT IT’S ALSO RUST FREE & IN SUPERB ORDER THROUGHOUT **. This beautiful 1952 Plymouth Cambridge 2 door coupe is finished in red coachwork with a contrasting oatmeal and red interior. The car was originally imported into the UK from Texas back in 2016 and it is a totally rust free thanks to it’s locFor Sale | 22 May 2018 | OFFICE 2, GATE 1, TEC PARK, TENENS WAY, BOSTON, LINCOLNSHIRE PE21 7PA£ 17,995
FRAZER NASH LE MANS REP - CROSTHWAITE & GARDINER
Frazer Nash are one of the best known names in motor sport despite only producing just over 400 cars during their 33 years of production. These light, well handling cars are the benchmark to which all cars of the period are compared and the array of events in which they competed was quite incredible and included Le Mans, Mille Miglia, Targa Florio and the TT to name but a few. Perhaps the most iFor Sale | 22 May 2018 | Gloucestershire GL7 5NX England£ POA
Citroën 2CV6 1987
In 1934 Michelin took over the bankrupt Citroën company and the new management ordered a market survey to determine what type of car was needed by the large rural population which could not yet afford cars. Citroën used the survey results to prepare a design brief for a low-priced, rugged "umbrella on four wheels" that would enable four people to transport 50 kgs of farm goods to market at 50For Sale | 22 May 2018 | Mortlake, London, UK£ 9,995
PORSCHE 996 C2 TARGA- BLACK - BASALT BLACK METALLIC
Information. 2004 Porsche 996 C2 Targa- Black. 104000 Miles. Tiptronic. Beige Leather Interior. Satellite Navigation. Telephone Module. BOSE surround system. CD Changer. BOSE Surround Sound system. Memory Seats. Fully Electric Seats. Heated Seats. Part Electric Seats. Silver/White Dials. Climate Control. 18 Alloy Wheels. Rear Wiper. Porsche Crest Emboss. Full Service History. INTERESTED IN VEHICLEFor Sale | 22 May 2018 | Hendon Way Motors, 393-395 Hendon Way, London NW4 3LP, England£ POA
JAGUAR E-TYPE SERIES II 4.2 ROADSTER - GUNMETAL GRY
Information. 1969 JAGUAR E-TYPE SERIES II 4.2 ROADSTER. Matching Number Example. 250 miles (since full restoration) - 6 figure cost today! Heritage Certificate available. Only 5 Former Keepers, complete history, detailed and documented. Series 2 4.2 - combines pure lines of launch car - with added power over 3.8 model. LHD. Manual Gearbox. Gunmetal Grey Coachwork. Red Leather Interior. 15” ChromFor Sale | 22 May 2018 | Hendon Way Motors, 393-395 Hendon Way, London NW4 3LP, England£ 125,000
Anatole Lapine’s dramatic shape has aged well, in particular the uncluttered lines of the earliest cars. The bumpers were hidden behind polyurethane panels, while the doors, front wings and bonnet were made from aluminium. The rest of the structure was galvanised steel, so overall the 928 was protected against rust far better than some of its contemporaries.
In general, the bodywork should be standing up well, even 30 years later. Look for signs of mis-matched paint, though, especially on those bumpers, and poor panel gaps. Check underneath and in the wheelarches for corrosion, as well around the rear hatch. Areas that have received accident damage are prime candidates for rust, too.
If you’re used to a classic 911’s haphazard approach to ergonomics, the 928’s interior will be a delight. The build quality is impressive, too – as you’d expect – and from 1989 onwards the S4 gained a digital dashboard.
Early examples had the fabulous Pascha checked trim, which can come apart at the seams – reproduction material is available via specialists. For cars with full leather, patina is fine but tears are not.
Ensure that water isn’t getting in through the tailgate or sunroof by checking that the carpets aren’t wet. The electrics can play up on cars that aren’t used very often, so make sure that everything works – from warning lights and clock to headlights, windows and, if it’s fitted, air-conditioning. All can be expensive to fix.
- 1977: Launched at Geneva Salon
- 1980: S added with 300bhp, 4664cc V8
- 1984: S2 introduced with 310bhp and new four-speed auto
- 1985: S3 for North America only – 288bhp five-litre V8
- 1987: S4 goes on sale with 320bhp variant of S3 engine
- 1989: GT goes on sale
- 1992: 5.4-litre GTS replaces S4 and GT
- 1996: production ends
Buy a 928 on condition rather than spec – it’s easy to end up with a money-pit if you don’t. In fact, the wisest money you spend will be on a pre-purchase evaluation. The Official Porsche Network, for example, offers a 111-point inspection. Also bear in mind that, while keen owners will be able to carry out simple jobs, you’ll benefit from having a friendly specialist on hand. And neither is the 928 the most economical option.
That said, this is a truly great car – reliable, fast, comfortable and stylish. It also has the advantage of being eminently affordable now that 911 prices have taken off. Really good early 928s are getting rare, but the S4 is a brilliant all-rounder and – if your budget allows – the GTS offers near-supercar performance.
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