Many of the improvements the 928 introduced were just not the kinds of things most owners were looking for-at least not in 1978

Porsche's distinctive 928 was announced in 1977 and followed the pattern of the groundbreaking but underwhelming 924, with a forward-mounted, water-cooled engine. Although similar in basic layout, the 928 shared no components with the 924.
The 928's gently rounded 2+2 coupe coachwork was of steel monocoque construction with aluminum alloy doors, hood and rear hatch, and came with a six-year corrosion guarantee. The 928 was powered by a 90-degree V8 engine of 4.5 liters, with single overhead camshafts and fuel injection. It was available with both a five-speed manual and a three-speed automatic transmission. Its Weissach (say "vy-sock," named after Porsche's proving grounds) independently sprung rear axle was a new safety feature, significantly enhancing high-speed stability.
The 928S upped the ante with significantly enhanced performance from a 4.7-liter powerplant, developing 300 hp and providing a thoroughly exhilarating top speed of 152 mph.
The 1985 Porsche 928S on offer here is in right-hand-drive specification, presented in green livery with a brown leather interior. Factory fitted extras include an automatic transmission, limited-slip differential and electric sunroof. This car was acquired new by the seller and has covered just 7,318 miles at the time of cataloging. It comes complete with a valid registration document for its distinctive "A928 WJW" registration number.

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:1985 Porsche 928 S
Years Produced:1983-86
Number Produced:Approx. 61,200 (all 928 models)
Original List Price:$50,000 (1986)
SCM Valuation:$9,000-$12,000
Tune Up Cost:$750
Distributor Caps:$45
Chassis Number Location:on horizontal bulkhead under front hood
Engine Number Location:stamped into alloy engine block near head
Club Info:Porsche Club of America, 5530 Edgemont Dr., Alexandria, VA 22310
Alternatives:1976-89 BMW 6-series, 1975-96 Jaguar XJ-S Coupe, 1980-84 Ferrari 400i
Investment Grade:F

This 1985 Porsche 928S sold for $30,489 at Bonhams’ London sale, held December 6, 2004.
It’s a safe bet that 928 owners the world around have been drooling with excitement since hearing of this sale. But does this excellent result really foretell resurgence in 928 prices? Is this the beginning of a new era in collectibility for these GT cars? Hardly.
Rather, this sale proves a point that has been made in these pages frequently as of late: Currency fluctuations have driven the dollar so low that many overseas sales are appearing to set record prices. But even if you had Speed Channel cameras present, there is no way you’re going to see a similar result at a U.S. auction.
The price of the 928S pictured here was also influenced by a parochial factor, and that was its U.K. number plate. The British are quite wild about having a license plate that has meaningful numbers on it. I would speculate that this car’s plate, with its “928” numerals, may have added as much as $5,000 to the car’s value.
But that bump aside, even $25k is about double the SCM Price Guide value of $9,000-$12,000 for a 928S. Perhaps if we take anything away from this result, it’s to have an answer to a question that no one is asking: How much is a low-mileage 928S worth?
The bottom line with the 928 is the same as it ever was. It’s a fabulous car for high-speed touring, but it doesn’t fit into the classic Porsche mold of a small-bore, high-revving engine placed at the rear of a lightweight, tossable chassis with a roomy and comfortable cockpit. Although the 928 has always made great sense as a car, it has never made much sense as a Porsche. As such, it’s never going to be worth much of anything.
While being completely different from Porsche convention didn’t stop people from buying and enjoying the 928’s performance when new, it did keep the 928 from its intended purpose as a replacement for the 911. Porsche discovered that many of the improvements the 928 introduced, such as better high-speed stability, quieter operation due to water cooling, higher horsepower due to larger displacement, higher top speed, and a true automatic transmission, were not the kinds of things most Porsche owners were looking for-at least not in 1978.
The noisy, raucous, and somewhat jittery 911 was desirable because of-rather than in spite of-its lovable quirks. While the 928 faded away a decade ago, Porsche’s other high-performance icon, the 911 Turbo, has continued in several new iterations right up to today. In the end, the customer is always right. Luckily for us, Porsche listened.
The relatively low production volume of the 928 has caused two problems for owners. First, most parts are only available through official Porsche dealers at official Porsche prices-better take out the official Porsche home equity loan. Second, these are complex cars that require extremely skilled mechanics to keep them on the road. If you know the right Mr. Fixit, then you just need a well-stocked checkbook to keep your 928 humming. If not, things can grind to a halt in a hurry.
The toughest part about owning a Porsche 928S comes when it is time to sell, and you add up your purchase price and all the maintenance expenses, only to realize that no one much cares about your prize. Even if someone gives you a 928, you’ll find your fun comes at a fairly high price.
With most 928s, that blow is softened by a modest initial purchase price. In this case, the buyer doesn’t even have that to fall back on for this “just a used car” car. I think the only one who should be drooling with excitement at this result is the seller.
(Descriptive information courtesy of the auction company.)

Comments are closed.