1981 Porsche 928 Review

1981 Porsche 928 Euro model V8 from North America

Year of manufacture1981
First year of ownership1996
Most recent year of ownership1998
Engine and transmission V8 Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 6 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.2 / 10
Distance when acquired88000 miles
Most recent distance134000 miles
Previous carChevrolet Corvette

Summary:

...more than a feeling!!!

Faults:

Clutch (pressure plate), hoses, timing belt (expected), A/C, alternator.

General Comments:

Wanted one since I was a kid. This one was owned by a doctor who owned two of them, this being his daily driver, it looked brand new. I drove it hard, up and down I95 from SC to VA nearly every weekend. Nothing, repeat NOTHING can replace the feel of down-shifting from 5th > 4th and down to 3rd, still maintaining 65mph, pressing the pedal to the floor and taking off like a rocket.

Unfortunately it only had a 85mph speedo (joke!), I could bury the needle in 3rd gear. Okay, so money problems and high maintenance forced me to release it... I nearly cried when I saw the new owner driving it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th April, 2001

26th Sep 2001, 08:18

Although I haven't driven a 928, I agree there's no better feeling than needing to overtake, dropping from 4th to 3rd, mashing your right foot to the firewall & glancing down to see ALL the needles jump to the top.

2nd Nov 2001, 22:10

I have a 1981 928 5 speed, of which I understand only 768 were made. If you buy one, or even before you buy one, you should contact 928@rennlist.org. I could tell you stories about the acceleration in third, but the trouble is shoving the notchy transmission into gear in order to get there. Most 928s have notchy transmissions. I've heard recent criticism of the synchros in the 928s as "good for the 356 in the 1950s, but lousy for the 1980s." Even if it was good then, you're getting the car 20 years later. Expect to retrofit.

If you're a gear head, your first purchase is a $350-400 nine-volume set of factory manuals to fix all the things that will go wrong with your new shark - they call it a shark, BTW.

Some people suggest getting a certified 928 mechanic to check out your would-be purchase, but it's often more inconvenient than it sounds. Especially if it is in a part of the country with which you are unfamiliar.

The biggest thing you are going to want to look for is whether the previous owner (PO) has recently changed out the timing belt and water pump. This is major $$$ and lack of the paperwork should make you walk. Okay, it didn't for me, but I figured in a timing belt and water pump change in the price and it was reasonable.

Don't buy this car because you think it is a cheap thrill - 928s were undervalued by Porsche snobs because they were not "true" Porsches. Dumb %^&^$% crap. Even so the market is relatively undervalued compared to same model year 911s. Don't ask me why 911 owners want greater resemblance between their cars and Dr. Porsche's other air cooled exemplar, the VW bug, but they do. And if it ain't an air cooled rear engine Porsche variant - it can even be 914 or 912 for crying out loud - it ain't "classic" even in the eyes of the manufacturer (see Porsche website on parts -- "classic" is 356, 911, 912, or 914). But it's still a Porsche through and through. The company hand built the 928 along side the 911s in two German factories. And frankly, it was the company's flagship from 1977-93.

Anyway, I digress. The bottom line is that it is expensive to maintain because it is a Porsche, even though it is cheap to buy. Don't use it as a daily driver. Don't buy it to impress chicks in college. It is a jealous mistress that will leave you stranded. Wait until you graduate and buy a Boxster unless the 928 is the dream car you never owned twenty years ago. Love is blind and all the rest is BS.

What are you waiting for? Go out and get her. She's waiting for you. Can you hear that 4.47 L V8 purr? The handling is crisp even after 20 years. The hood on this baby is longer than that of a Fleetwood limousine. It's wide, real wide. And low. Sweet and low.

Last tip #1: make sure your would-be love is not a Euro. The European models are difficult to insure in this country, and difficult to maintain without serious funds and expertise.

One last tip: make sure there's no overspray or that the car was never a different color. A good way to do that is to peel back the rear hatch carpet, lift the compact spare out of the trunk, lift off the plexi false-floor between the spare and the battery box and take a look at the paint in there. Also, check out the paint code on the door and run a match with 928gt.com

Don't plan on going to the factory to get touch-up. It's discontinued. Have a local paint store mix some up. Good luck.

Average review marks: 6.2 / 10, based on 1 review