The Porsche slice of my life seems all aflutter with 928s recently. To start, having acquired a Porsche flat six, I’ve now got a hankering for a Porsche V8. This is probably due to the aching, empty spot in my heart where the rumble of my lost Audi RS6 used to reside, but that’s another story. Anyway, the 928 is the obvious choice for someone such as myself that lacks limitless means, or so it seems by the starting bids on eBay. Plus I dig the long, low profile and the unmistakable 80’s air about the thing.
Before we left for Rennsport, I dropped off my car for a pre-emptive oil change at http://www.carlsplace.org/ and coincidentally, the lead customer service guy, Brandt (insert Big Lebowski joke here), had just finished completely fixing up an ancient 1981 928. Well, the mechanical bits were fixed up, anyway. The interior is worn and rattles like crazy and the exterior looks every bit of its thirty years. But I tell you, he tossed me the keys and told me to drive it around a bit, and the car pulls you along with such smooth, effortless authority that you’d swear you were in something of much more recent manufacture. “It’s not a zero to sixty car,” Brandt remarked. “It’s a sixty to a hundred and twenty car.” Absolutely true. The 928 isn’t a machine that rewards you for being hectic, but it delights in the more refined, superior subtlety of silently mowing down the freeway miles at a fantastic pace. There’s almost no tire or powertrain noise in the cabin, the driving position is relaxed yet commanding, and the view down the endless hood beckons you toward the horizon. I had just a sip of 928 that day, but it was intoxicating.
Then, in the latest issue of Panorama (the Porsche Club of America magazine), EVO magazine’s Chris Harris, a man famed for his excellent car journalism, his preference for Porsches, and for his recently stomaching the financial blow necessary to obtain a new GT3RS 4.0, lets on that he’s finding himself fascinated with 928s as well. He locates a local one for sale, snaps some pictures for the magazine, gives it a test drive, and calls it a day…then calls the seller back some time later with an offer to buy, only to suffer a pang of regret at his delay when he’s informed it’s already been sold. Unfortunate. But think–if Chris Harris has trouble resisting the 928, shouldn’t we all?
Of course, 928s are cheap these days for a reason–they’re extremely expensive to keep running, and a bad one is certainly capable of doubling, if not worse, its purchase price by way of time-intensive repairs. Gas mileage is in line with what you’d expect from an old V8; Road & Track got 16.5mpg combined in their February 1989 test of the 928S4. And some (my wife included…blast it) don’t like the look.
But if you want a Porsche V8, and want something a bit more special than the Cayenne or Panamera, then the 928 is your answer. I can’t promise it will be inexpensive, but it will be unforgettable.