It's probably true that the Porsche 928 owes its surge in popularity to the stratospheric prices of old 911s. It's as if the V8-powered 928 has become the next-best option for people who want an exotic Stuttgart experience, but can't stretch to the six figures required for the very best rear-engined cars. Well, that's how someone concerned with only investment potential might see it, but those of us in the know understand that the 928 is much more than just a less expensive classic Porsche. It's a retro supercar in its own right, a model that in many ways is far more advanced, and therefore worthy of acclaim, than a contemporaneous 911.
For starters, the 928 used a water-cooled V8 engine. Such a powerplant never satisfied the purists, but to an engineer, it was considerably more modern than the air-cooled motors featured in Porsche's more expensive cars. Earlier 928s were equipped with a 222hp 4.5-litre engine, with the last GTS versions endowed with a 350hp 5.4-litre. Yet what really set the 928 apart from other fast machinery of the time was its transaxle setup. The 928 wasn't the first car to use this layout, with the 924 preceding it, but it was the most powerful.
This layout helped to give the 928 a 50-50 weight distribution, making it neutral in balance and therefore rather pleasant to drive at pace. That couldn't be said for the 911, which back then was notoriously nervous on the limit thanks to the pendulum effect of its powertrain location. Little wonder the heavier and larger 928 was often described by drivers as the better all-round performance car.
Much of the 928's appeal came from its design which, compared with the rest of traffic on the road in 1978, made it look like it'd just landed from space. A pair of pop-up round headlights cemented the car's futuristic look and probably played a significant role in making the 928 a car to be bought and celebrated by yuppies the world over. Also, there was more space inside than a 911 and the big V8 up front had plenty of torque to enable effortless progress.The 928 and its transaxle siblings never dented 911 sales like Porsche had expected them to. Even though the engineers in Stuttgart themselves admitted that the front-engined, rear-drive and water-cooled line-up was developed to modernise the Porsche range and take over from the 911, demand from customers meant that it was in fact the 928 and its ilk that would eventually die off after the 968.
For used car buyers, this has promoted the 928 to a higher realm of desirability. A front-engined V8 Porsche sports car is as special now as it was then, and for that reason some 928s have ridden near the peak of the wave for inflating Porsche prices. Not all of them have, mind (some are still selling at £10k), but desirable variants such as the GT command prices to rival certain 911s. Aside from the model's rarity (it was sold between 1989 and 1991), the GT's standard fitment of a limited-slip differential and a power bump to 330hp (the standard 928 S4 had 320hp) helps to justify its higher value.
Today's Spotted is the cheapest of seven GTs listed on the PH classifieds, with an asking price that's less than half that of the most expensive. But it looks to be in excellent condition, with an engine rebuild just 2,000 miles ago by reputable specialist Paul Anderson. It's been slightly modified with an enhanced track focus, which includes the fitment of bucket seats wearing period chequered centre sections and Clubsport-esque weight saving, said to be inspired by the pre-production prototypes for the GT, so it's best described as enhanced rather than molested.
The changes also mean it should be absolutely lovely to drive. If you've got £28,500 to spend, this one's got to be hard to resist.
SPECIFICATIONS - PORSCHE 928 GT
Engine: 4,957cc, V8
Transmission: 5-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
Torque(lb ft): 317@4,100rpm
First registered: 1990
Recorded mileage: 104,000
Price new: N/A
Yours for: £28,500
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