1981 Porsche 928 Euro model from North America - Comments

3rd Jun 2005, 16:17

The Porsche 928 is a different animal from the 911 series. I bought one knowing virtually nothing about them except that Tom Cruise drove one in the movie that launched his acting career "Risky Business." After paying the seller for the car, I embarked upon a 600-mile driving adventure back to my home state.

I was lucky. the particular car I bought turned out to be in excellent shape, and made the trip without a hitch, except for a curious refusal of the A/C to cool for more than one hour without blowing warm. Switching off the compressor to allow for de-icing didn't work. The air worked fine the next day... but only for another hour or so. Haven't solved this riddle yet...

As for the 928's personality, I'd say it's not a car for the timid or weak-hearted. The 928 is a robust, masculine machine that feels more like a musclecar than a sportscar. The clutch is heavy, and the gear lever is long and truck-like. But once you get used to it, the car can be a real pleasure to drive, especially on the open road.

The car's handling is tight and stiff, but not so harsh as to be rough. The chassis is well-built and the car is rattle-free, giving the impression of quality. The cabin is quiet enough to enjoy a good sound system, even at high speed.

The most pleasurable aspect of driving this car is its gutsy V-8 engine, which will set you back in the seat HARD when you punch it. Plenty of low-end torque, too. Hi-way passing is a breeze, even in 5th gear. The car will accelerate smoothly and strongly in any gear with just a little throttle. Flooring it will get you moving rapidly, and you'd better be aware of your speed, as the 928 will top 100 mph effortlessly and quietly. A real ticket getter if you're not careful. If you buy one, do NOT let your teenage son drive it!

From what I've learned about this most unusual breed of car (somewhere between a musclecar and an exotic), I'd say buy one ONLY if you have a love for its odd looks, and can afford to keep it nice. Many examples of the 928 have fallen into the hands of inexperienced and under-heeled enthusiasts who have driven them hard without maintaining them properly. These are the ones you can buy off eBay for cheap, but are also the ones that will frustrate you and cost you thousands in repairs and upgrades.

Once fixed however, the 928 will delight and excite its owner... that is, if that owner can appreciate this car's narrow range of usability. Always a head-turner and a kick to drive on special occasions, one should not buy this car for the daily commute... unless your commute is an hour or two on the interstate, with a few curvy back roads thrown in just to remind yourself that you are NOT driving an ordinary car!

Once the worn out ones have all been finally retired and parted out, I see the 928 as a car that will rise in value as time goes by. The ones that are kept original and in top shape should become classic high performance GTs, and will be highly sought after by real car lovers for decades to come. 911 snobs be advised. This is your DADDY!

11th Jun 2007, 18:35

My son and his girlfriend have a 1981 928S limited, 5spd, v-8 Porsche. Regretfully I never have been "into" porsche so when they asked me what they could expect to get for the car. I was and still am, at a loss. I believe the car has ac (not working). Has a STRONG engine, (according to my son, will really hug the road) power windows with the body in good shape. Regretfully, I haven't even seen this car so I can't honestly say what condition it is in. But, if someone more familiar with these cars would give me a heads up, I could pass it on to them. Thank you for you help in this matter. Just from what I have been able to find on the net, I am guessing they should be able to find a buyer willing to pay something in the neighborhood of $4000-6000. Depending on the over all condition of the car. Again, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time. D. Lewis.

27th Jun 2007, 17:02

Yes, I think the 928 is a very sweet classic novelty item for the enthusiast who is looking for a more unique vintage. I recently inherited a Champagne 1980 928 with the optional 16" (chrome) Phone Dials, Pascha Interior and 95K original miles. The body and paint are nearly pristine and overall the car looks great! I am currently in the process of doing all maintenance and whatever little things it needs either myself, or done by the repair shop. I replaced the master cylinder myself and bled the brake lines which was a very time consuming process because of the limited space under the hood. This car was actually supposed to be 2" wider on each side, but was scaled down to fit European streets.

I will probably have to invest $3~$4K into it to get it to where I want it after I have all the maintenance done; front engine re-seal, transmission service, new CV boots, etc. I plan on doing everything it needs so that it runs and looks like a Champ. I am a young guy and this is my first Porsche and a nice starter car until I can afford to really splurge on what I really want.

I must give a shout out to the man telling the 911 boys that they need to listen to their daddy! I like 911's, but I like variety and to say that this car is not a Porsche is purely ridiculous and ignorant. People seem to forget that the 928 was Porsche's most expensive robust offering for nearly twenty years. There is also a possibility of the 928 going into production for 2012 that will retail for about $150,000+ along side the Panorama, V8 and all. Watch these old 928's go up in price if a new edition hits the streets as then it will become a hot item.

As far as weeding out goes, and to answer the man's question about what his son can possibly sell his for; it really all depends on the overall condition of the car and how much needs to be fixed. If it needs a whole lot and the body and interior have seen much better days then you will probably get $3K or less. If the car is in great shape inside and out and you find the right buyer you could maybe get $7-$10K (this is probably the '78-87 model range). Either way, they do underprice themselves considering my '80 went for $40,000 when it was new and prices climbed to almost $100K by '95. But hey, cars depreciate and that is generally a fact until they become a sought after commodity.

I will side with the other poster and say be leery of bargain deals - just because it is being sold cheap doesn't mean you are purchasing a cheap automobile. Do not confuse the two as once again just because you paid $4K for a $60K car doesn't make it a $4K car. Because chances are if you buy a $3~$4K car you will spend at least double or 4-times the price of it just to get it up to snuff. It is wiser to shop for one that is maybe twice as expensive as the bargain that doesn't need much and came from a reliable source. I think this is true for anything, however.

Besides, it is cool to drive a car that people don't see every day and a Porsche is a Porsche is a Porsche! Just don't buy a hoopdy OK ladies and gentlemen!

8th Feb 2012, 01:39

As for staying away from a "euro" 928, the early ones (up to 81) had quite a bit more hp, and are way more car than the North American versions. I have had two, and still miss them; they are built like a leather bank vault; sit down, shut the door, and you know you are sitting in a machine that is also a work of art.

You can do things in a 928 that you would have to go to driving school to do in a 911. Long live the 928!

BTW, those engines, if treated well, will go over 300K miles.

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