Porsche 928

Launched in 1977, the Series 1, or S1, was a huge departure from anything that Porsche had hitherto produced, and only the second front-engined water-cooled Porsche after the Audi-inspired Porsche 924 of 1976. Greatly impressive, beautifully made and with a technically fascinating rear suspension, the 928 had impeccable road holding and flexibility, with 143mph perfomance from their brand new all-alloy 90 degree V8 engine with a capacity of 4,474cc and Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection system. Porsche had entered the grand touring class with a very torquey and flexible 240bhp engine which raised 60mph in just 7 seconds. Equipped with the 4-speed automatic transmission, many were fitted with the Mercedes-Benz automatic transmission, widely acknowledged to be more desirable than the manual versions, spares availability and corrosion resistance said to be good.


VITAL STATISTICS

Engine 4474cc/V8/DOHC

Power 240bhp@5250rpm

Torque 268lb ft@3600rpm

Top Speed 143mph

0-60mph 6.8sec

Economy 20mpg

Gearbox 5-speed manual or 3-speed auto


WHAT TO LOOK FOR

BODYWORK

A galvanised steel body with aluminium panels, which include the doors, front wings and bonnet, means that serious rust is rarely an issue. The body-coloured polyurethane bumpers were unusual at the time and not only contributed to the clean design, but improved aerodynamics too.  Replacements for these and other body panels are becoming scarce and will be costly. Damaged tailgate seals can let water into the luggage compartment so feel around the carpet and side panels for any signs of damp. It is also worth checking that those pop-up headlamps work smoothly – replacing the relay can be a simple fix but a new motor will sting financially. Bodywork repairs on a car such as the 928 are a costly affair too, so a thorough check is to be recommended.

ENGINE

The powerful V8 is a tough unit and with regular care is capable of racking up huge mileages. Proper servicing is the key here though high costs led many to neglect this aspect of ownership. Check the service history carefully.

Under the bonnet, oil and coolant leaks are the main things to look for as overheating will lead to headgasket failure and a large repair bill. Make sure you see evidence of regular cambelt changes too; the 4.5-litre engine doesn’t suffer valve to piston contact in the event of belt failure, but replacement is a tricky and expensive task. Engine management system faults can cause misfires or lumpy running which can be hard to track down while replacing a corroded exhaust system is getting on for four figures. The 928 is not the ideal candidate for home servicing, but professional care will pay dividends.

RUNNING GEAR

The 928 uses a transaxle layout and there is a choice of 5-speed manual or 3-speed automatic transmissions. Autos can suffer from a problem with incorrect tension and cracking of the flex-plate which is located at the flywheel.  Incorrect setting leads to wear in the crankshaft thrust bearing and ultimately complete engine failure. Oil leaks from the transaxle casing are common, as are worn driveshaft bearings within the torque tube connecting engine and transaxle. Some specialists can replace the bearings separately rather than fitting a new tube, significantly reducing costs. That said both the auto and manual are tough. Suspension-wise, worn bushes in the cleverly-designed rear axle and leaking dampers are the main things to check for here. Worn brakes (particularly on autos), power-steering fluid leaks and uneven tyre wear are also things to look for. Replacement ‘telephone-dial’ alloys are hard to find now, but specialists can refurbish them for a reasonable cost.

INTERIOR & ELECTRICS

Niggling electrical problems and failed air-conditioning are the main issues, followed by temperamental central locking.  The check-pattern ‘Pascha’ trim is almost impossible to get hold of now so a complete re-trim could be necessary if the condition is poor.


OUR VERDICT

The 928 is a fantastic example of the grand tourer breed, and that it flew in the face of Porsche convention of the time is reason enough for many people to buy one of these cars. Yes, maintenance costs can be high but that is to be expected at this level. Avoid the abused and neglected cars that languish in the classifieds and find one that has been looked after by a respected marque specialist. Do this and the 928 is likely to prove a satisfying and enjoyable ownership experience.


Reviewed by ClassicCarsForSale.co.uk on

Customer Reviews

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Buckwheat

928 is very fun and fast

Performance 2   Maintenance 4
Reliability 2   Overall 2

Dazzy

the most gorgeous car ive ever owned,i miss her desperately and everyday i look for my next one

Performance 5   Maintenance 4
Reliability 5   Overall 5

Spike

An engineering tour de force with soul.

Performance 5   Maintenance 3
Reliability 4   Overall 5

Jimboy

I've had them all, RS3100, Tickford Capri, M6, 850i, SL500, Z4M.
All great cars, but none of them put a smile on your face like a 928. No car sticks to corners like a 928. Scalelectic in real life. A true drivers car, even 911 owners nod in appreciation. And probably the most beautiful rear end of ANY car ever made. You'll fall in love !

Performance 5   Maintenance 5
Reliability 5   Overall 5

Ady

I am on my third 928, and now settled on a manual S2. Just a super car, mine is 26 years old and feels as tight as a three year old 997. Don't listen to others, try one for yourself, yes the maintainance is expensive but this is a super car!!!!

Performance 5   Maintenance 4
Reliability 5   Overall 5

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