Pick of the Day: 1978 Porsche 928

The V8-powered Porsche 928 was the second front-engine car from the automaker
The Porsche 928 was the second front-engine car from the automaker

Porsche, one of the most storied marques in the world, has had tremendous racing success and its cars are some of the most desired and coveted. From the company’s original 356, though the 911 series, and all the way to the landmark 918 Spider, Porsches are something that just about every sports car fan sees as an integral part of a collection.

Despite this history, the company has made a few model missteps, cars that were too different from what the traditional Porsche buyer expected. But unlike most Porsche fans, and I have owned a passel of 911s, I believe that all Porsche cars are special. Some of their best cars are the ones that broke the mold of what people consider a Porsche to be.

The 928's styling was initially polarizing
The 928’s styling was initially polarizing

The Pick of the Day is a first-year 1978 Porsche 928 coupe, which until recently was a red-headed stepchild in the Porsche family. But despite the criticisms, the 928 – Porsche’s second front-engine, water-cooled road car – was an absolute technological tour de force. The 928 is powered by an overhead-cam V8 engine and has a rear-mounted transaxle that makes it a well-balanced car.

According to the seller, a dealer in Chicago, Illinois, advertising the Porsche on ClassicCars.com, this car is the 1,003rd 928 built. The car is finished in Silber Metallic with a black leather and cloth pinstripe interior, with 67,061 miles on its odometer and a rare five-speed manual transmission.

The seller notes that while the paint looks nice, it isn’t without a few imperfections, including a light scuff on the front lower driver-door crease, a couple touched-up small scratches on the driver door, a mark on the rear bumper from where the previous owner had stuck an extra Porsche crest sticker, and a bit of a rash around the key holes on the doors and at the top corner of the passenger side tail light.

The Porsche is powered by a small but powerful V8 engine
The Porsche is powered by a small but powerful V8 engine

The rubber window trim isn’t in great shape, the seller adds, and the rear quarter-window trim shows some fading. The body of the car is in excellent shape with no dents or dings, according to the ad, and the car retains its original single side mirror.

This 928 still wears its original “phone dial” wheels, which are still in nice shape with no curb rash and just some slight weathering.  The interior looks beautiful in the photos, and the seats are in good condition, with just a couple of small tears on the upper outside bolster of the driver’s seat.

This ad provides a lot of information about the Porsche, noting that it still has its original Blaupunkt stereo, though it’s not working, and that the dash would be in nice shape except for a crack at the top right corner of the glovebox. Rust is limited to surface corrosion at the corner of the battery tray, and floors and rockers are in excellent shape, the seller says.

The 928 runs and drives well, the seller adds, with just a couple of idiosyncrasies to be aware of; for instance, on a cold start, the car needs to idle for about 30 seconds before you can get moving.

The seats are leather with corduroy inserts
The seats are leather with corduroy inserts

The 928 was a landmark car for Porsche when it was introduced, feeling much like a jet aircraft from the inside and having an almost billet-like quality of construction, which is hard to convey unless you actually sit in one. I remember when I first drove one in the early 1980s being staggered by the quality of construction, which is so good that it makes the awesome BMW 6 Series cars of the era seem like an also ran.

The 928 styling met with mixed reviews when new but seems to get better with age, making it a recent darling of the collector car world. The most desirable of these cars are either the first-generation models, like this one, or the final GT and GTS versions.

I have seen perfect examples of early 928 cars sell for as much as $50,000 in the past year, making the asking price of $16,900 for this one seem like a pretty good deal.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day

5 thoughts on “Pick of the Day: 1978 Porsche 928”

  1. I owned a couple of these (~$7000). Awful. Extremely heavy & cumbersome. Despite huge engine, sluggish. Uncomfortable–your legs are extended horizontally. Sold both and was happy to see their rear end.

  2. I LOVE MY 1981 white 928 PORSCHE I have had this car sine new,. with 65000 miles its a real performer and gets the attention and respect it deserves.

  3. I’ve had my white 1980 Euro S 5 speed since 1996; a great car. So far advanced for its time. Hard to believe it is approaching 40 years on the road. Maintain it right and you won’t be disappointed. Most people still don’t get the GT concept. Mine is quick and fast and still turns heads. I will never sell it.

  4. My ’85 928 S has the 32 valve engine and keeps up with the 2015 Cayman S in town. Nothing really compares to the acceleration, high speed stability, comfort, cornering, road handling, continent eating speed, or balance of the 928. Aluminum body and engine, transaxle, leather awesome Porschhe V8 sound. The greatest GT car of the millennium.

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