15 Jun Extremely Affordable and Reliable Exotic Car: Porsche 928
The first rare and exotic car I ever bought was 1986 Porsche 928. Technically I am not sure how exotic the 928 is, but they were the most expensive car Porsche made at the time. My 928 was $56,000 brand new in 1986 which equates to $120,000 in today’s dollars. The 928 was built from 1978 until 1995, a very long run with the best cars being the later models. The 928 surprises many people because it has a front engine aluminum V-8, much different than the 911 with a rear engine 6 cylinder. The 928 was fast for its time, very comfortable, very roomy and looks awesome. You will probably remember the car being featured in Risky Business, Weird Science and Scarface. Today you can get decent 928’s for under $10,000 and even the last and rarest 928’s are under $50,000.
Why did Porsche make the 928?
The 928 was developed to replace the 911, but that obviously never happened. There are many die-hard 911 fans in the work and many of them did not take to the 928 which was almost the exact opposite of the 911. The 928 was a great car and many people loved them, but they had some problems from the factory and never won over the 911 fans.
There were many 928’s made over the 17 year life-span with production totaling over 60,000 cars. The 928 is obviously much more common than other exotics from the time period like the Lamborghini Countach or my Lamborghini Diablo. They made 1,700 Countach’s over 16 years and 2,500 Diablo’s over 10 years. You can also buy a really nice 928 for under $15,000 or a Countach for $400,000. The high production numbers are one reason I hesitate to call the 928 an “exotic”.
Why do I love the Porsche 928?
I loved the 928 as a kid when I saw it the movies I mentioned and on the road. The car is very recognizable from a distance because of its unique head lights and rear end. I drove a couple of 928’s in high school and was extremely disappointed with them, but I realized later I had driven poorly maintained cars and the wrong models. Before 1985 the 928 only had only 234 horsepower in the US version. If you can get a hold of a European model (no emission controls) they had around 300 horsepower and were completely different cars.
The car I also drove was an automatic and most 928’s were actually automatics. Automatics in the 1980’s did not help the performance of a car like modern day automatics do. The 5 speed manual 928 is much more peppy and fun to drive, but harder to find. If you are in the market for a 928 I would make sure any car you drive is maintained well, newer than 1985 and a five speed to make sure you get the full experience. The cars in 1985 had 288 horsepower and can easily be upgraded to over 300 horsepower with a computer chip and X pipe. Cars newer than 1986 have over 300 horsepower with the latest cars (the GTS) having 350 horsepower.
The Porsche 928 is one of the best sports cars for tall people
I am 6-1 and I have a size 14 shoe. I don’t fit well in many sports cars, because they are made to be light and as small as possible. For people who are taller than me it get’s even tougher. The 928 is the only car I have driven where I was able to put the seat all the way back and I had trouble reaching the clutch pedal. I know many owners who are over 6-5 and have no problem fitting in the car. I took my 928 down to a car show in Denver last weekend and my buddy Dave drove the car (I was driving the Diablo) and he is 6-9! He was a little crunched for space, but most sports cars he can not even dream of driving.
The 928 also has rear seats and plenty of storage room with the hatchback. I am a real estate agent and I can easily fit for sale signs in it and golf clubs. I cannot put a sign or golf clubs in my Diablo, unless I use the front seat.
Can you modify the Porsche 928?
The 928 can be easily modified especially the 1985 and 1986 models. I put a Porken chip in my 928 as well as an X pipe and it transformed the car. I did not dyno the car, but many owners report seeing the horsepower jump to over 300 at the wheels after adding these two modifications. The stock horsepower is 288, but that is measured at the crank, not the wheels and cars usually lose 10 to 15 percent horsepower between the crank and wheels. That means those two modifications, which can be bought for under $1,000 add close to 50 horsepower and I felt it.
There are many more modifications available including supercharger kits. The engine is very reliable if maintained and can handle a lot of power.
How reliable is the Porsche 928
The 928 has many very expensive parts and parts will break and wear out on an older car. The engine uses a timing belt and you must replace the timing belt and water pump on a regular basis. If the timing belt breaks on the later model cars it can cause the entire engine to seize and need a rebuild. The rebuild on a 928 will cost about as much as the car is worth.
If a 928 is maintained then it can be a wonderful car with few problems. If the car is not maintained it can be a nightmare just like any older car. My 928 has over 140,000 miles on it and runs fantastic with very few problems. I have had to replace bushings, suspension parts, brakes and the injectors, but nothing that was overly costly.
If you are going to buy a 928, get one that has records and has been maintained. Trying to resurrect a neglected car can cost well more than the car will be worth even if you get it for free.
The 928 is an awesome and unique car. Many people have no idea what they are, but recognize them from 1980’s movies. I see very few if any 928’s on the road anymore and if you want a rare, affordable and reliable sports car the 928 is a great choice.