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Porsche 928

Porsche 928 Published: 28th Jul 2014 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Porsche 928
Porsche 928
Porsche 928
Porsche 928
Porsche 928
Porsche 928
Porsche 928
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If somebody tells you that you can buy and run a 928 for pennies don’t believe them! But budget right and you’ll own a brilliant GT that won’t break the bank

If you think that a 928, the fat cat’s ultimate express, can be bought for peanuts and run on a similar budget then think again. It can’t. When new, they cost between £80,000-£100,000 – today they go for a few grand! This certainly makes 928s highly tempting, but a tired, ratty one can quickly consume two or three times its purchase price to put right, and still be worth zilch. Think Jaguar XJ-S but with even bigger bills.

Sadly, yes, especially at the lower end of the market but this wasn’t due to the car’s failings because it is beautifully engineered! No, it’s the owners who traded up from their GTis and found that they couldn’t afford the super car running costs. For this reason it’s best to buy the best you can run to – or leave well alone!

The 928 was designed to replace the 911 and originally revealed in 1977 with a 240bhp, 4.5-litre V8, and a Mercedes auto option, winning the 1978 Car of the Year award justifi ably. Come 1980 the 928S arrives along with a fuel injected 4.7-litre pushing out to 300bhp. In 1984, UK cars featured an upgraded fuel injection (310bhp). 1987 saw a mild facelift but also a 5-litre engine and sexy Brembo brakes to handle the added power.

A manual 928GT (boasting 10bhp more) is added while 1991 saw an electronically controlled limited slip diff fi tted on manual models. The fi nal 928 came out in 1992. The GTS has a 5.4, 350bhp engine, wider rear wheel arches, air con, driver’s seat memory, and more.

Diffi cult to say as the 928 is as different to drive to the 911 as chalk and cheese. With its ingenious Weissach rear axle, which automatically corrected the rear wheels geometry and 50/50 weight distribution, the 928 boasted impeccable road manners although it lacked the 911’s pure fun factor – being an auto in most cases hardly helped either.

All this makes the 928 a very different proposition and an acquired taste but for those after relaxing super car motoring, it’s ideal and those who have owned one say they are fabulous rock solid 140mph tourers – including racer Derek Bell, no less! The last of the line GTS were true 170mph machines and widely regarded as the best GT ever made.

Hold on – just because you’ve ran a 944 doesn’t mean you can afford a 928! It’s a different proposition altogether and a lot more expensive and complex to run plus is even dearer than a 911 to maintain most of the time but that said they are capable of huge mileages; 300,000 miles in many cases.

That said simple things like oil leaks can be costly to fi x because there’s very little room in the engine bay. The engine itself has two cams, the left one is longer than the other, drives the distributor and is prone to snapping, with expensive consequences. Replacing them costs around £700.

Most 928s are automatic; these Mercedes units have secondary oil coolers built into the rad matrix. With age this can break down forcing oil into the coolant.

Early cars can have problems with the computers that control the fuel injection and ignition. Second-hand items are rare and new ones are mega dear but can be rebuilt cost effectively by JDS Porsche as can engine airfl ow seonsors. The engines can drop on their mounts which leads to a bill not far short of a grand.

No, that’s just for starters! Check for worn suspension parts. If there’s excessive wear in the wishbone bushes and ball joints, you won’t get much change out of a grand for renewing both sides.

The transmissions are robust but torque tube bearing failure can lead to whining noises and vibrations that damage torque converter and oil seals on four-speed automatic 928s. Getting at the tube means removing bits of rear suspension and that’s a big job but leaving it can even wreck the V8! Power steering leaks are common and the fuse box is the size of a tea tray. All the wires that go in to it are grey, so electrical faults, which makes folks fl og their 928s, might be anything but easy to put right – oh and there’s lots of computers, electronics, ABS etc to go wrong…

Sure. Bodily, these Porsches last forever, if cared for but the door skins, front wings and bonnets are made of lightweight alloy, which means they don’t come cheap to replace. Happily there’s a healthy following and respect for the 928 – go to Paul Anderson at Porsche 928 Spares (01453 299363), JDS Porsche (01223 709915) for help and advice while you can even race one in a special racing category run by the Porsche Owners Club.

Happily that’s just about enough for a good, cared for 928S4 which shouldn’t bankrupt you in a year’s time. Prices for the older S1 and S2 are slightly cheaper but with this classic, condition counts above all else and we’d sooner have a good S2 than a ratty 928GT – and so would your bank account! Given the pitfalls of getting it horribly wrong, we’d seek the help of a good Porsche specialist to fi nd us a good car for the allowed budget, which if unlimited can run well into fi ve fi gures for a top 928GT.

Not really as their repair and restoration costs will easily outstrip their worth several times over. What is a good move however, if you have the space and inclination, is to buy such a basket case for well under £2000 purely for its spares – or what’s left of them. You can break a 928 and sell it all on eBay with ease and it’s certainly a way of containing the cost of spares but be warned, despite the car being almost 40 years old, it’s still a complex piece of kit that not every Fred-in-ashed can handle.

Look – a bad 928 will be a thirsty, morale and money sapping nightmare on wheels, but a good one (and there are still many around) makes a rare, interesting and hugely desirable performance grand 2+2 tourer even though the rear seats are as good as useless. 928s are fast, innovative, beautifully built and possessed with a certain panache that’s well up to Ferrari standards. It might not be a 911 and will never be worth as much but for some that might be part of this great car’s appeal. We have one over an XJ-S (but perhaps not a Jensen Interceptor) and to hell with the risks!

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