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1979 Porsche 928

Andy McCulley from flüssig magazine is back with another early 928 for sale in Michigan.

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Minty fresh! This 1979 928 appears to be very reasonably priced considering the mileage and condition (more cosmetically challenged examples have sold for between $17,000 and $21,000 within the past week). Despite being an automatic, the condition of this car certainly adds a significant premium to the value. It also sports the classic Ferrari color combo of red on tan (Guards Red on Cork in this particular case is quite comparable to Rosso Corsa on Cuoio).

I spoke with a salesman at the dealership where this 928 is advertised, and he informed me that the car is on consignment and that the owner is a very loyal client. Although I had some difficulty understanding the salesman over the phone, he mentioned that he believes the car has been entirely repainted, that it is a one owner car, and that it comes with a complete service history and multiple concours awards. An Internet search informed me that this car won 3rd place in the 924, 944, and 928 Touring category at the 2010 Porsche Club of America parade concours in St. Charles, Illinois in 2010.

Click for details: 1979 Porsche 928

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Year: 1979
Model: 928
Engine: 4.5 liter V8
Transmission: 3-speed automatic
Mileage: 34,533 mi
Price: $19,900

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As with any used car, but particularly with a repainted example, I would certainly advise potential buyers either make a trip to Detroit to see the car in person or have a recommended 928 expert perform a Pre Purchase Inspection before closing a deal. However, before making such aforementioned arrangements, I would recommend asking the seller for more detailed pictures of the engine compartment, spare tire area, tool kit, interior, and undercarriage to confirm that the condition of these areas is consistent with that of the rest of the car and the supposed mileage (which appears to be accurate given the condition of the areas shown).

Despite a few typical flaws, which include slightly worn carpet, wear on the front seats, and the absence of the gasket that surrounds the lock to the rear hatch, this appears to be a top notch early 928. The only modifications I noticed include an aftermarket exhaust and what appears to be an “Unleaded Fuel Only” decal placed directly on the paint above the fuel tank flap. To my knowledge, this decal was usually placed inside the rear glass above the gas tank flap. These are pretty insignificant flaws, and should be easily correctable.

I must give credit where it is due and mention that the dashboard appears to be in excellent condition with no apparent shrinkage around the defroster vents. Also, I love that the original radio is still in place, as I have never understood the rationale behind aftermarket stereos in old cars. I may get slammed in the comments for this view, but it is my opinion and is unwavering. Overall, if the condition of the car is consistent with what is shown in the pictures and the mileage, I’d say that this car is a good buy even before negotiation at just under $20,000.



  1. Jim Doerr
    Jim Doerr February 16, 2015

    Hi Andrew,
    Great to see you have done another valuation, and another early 928 at that!
    Seems we have similar taste, particularly wrt original radios.
    I’m curious about the respray. Does the carpet match the drapes (is it the original color)?

    I believe your near $20k good buy valuation is optimistic for these reasons:
    It’s a 79, not a first-year 78
    It’s an Auto, not a 5 speed
    15″ phone dials, not the preferred 16″
    It’s a respray (this loses some of the market, and a recolor will lose more)
    It does have lower miles, but not collector crazy-low miles
    I think this one has been for sale for some time

    At face value, I’ll be kind and say $16K.

    Keep ’em coming, Andrew!

  2. Andrew McCulley
    Andrew McCulley February 17, 2015

    Hi Jim,

    I agree with you that if the repaint wasn’t done in the factory original color, then the value would just be killed. I got the name of the previous owner and was able to view some pictures of the car on his Facebook page, and do believe that the car was originally Guards Red (spare tire compartment, wheel wells, engine bay, etc. were all Guards Red in the pictures).

    I also agree that not being a 5-speed ’78 hurts the value a bit, but the condition of this one, in my opinion, makes it worth just as much as that beige ’78 that McLaren Chicago had on eBay a few weeks ago. If this example were a ’78 5-speed, still owned by the original owner, came with a full service history, and under 35,000 miles, I’d estimate the value to be closer to $30,000.

    But to your point, the car has been for sale for a while, so perhaps the market just isn’t ready to fully embrace the values I put on these things. They are just such cool cars and so rare in good condition that I can’t help but overvalue them!

  3. Jim Doerr
    Jim Doerr February 17, 2015

    Hi Andrew,
    Just to be clear, I’m not suggesting the value would be killed. What I’m saying is the market would be greatly diminished – read more difficult to sell. Depending on what else the car has going for it would determine the impact on its value. However, the car will never achieve the highest values like original paint would. The same logic we could apply to higher miles vs uber low miles.

    I highly value early 928s too! I believe they are greatly undervalued and have been for too long.
    Increased demand and interest coupled with an ever increasing attrition rate place the early 928 in an excellent position. The market is beginning to speak. And since the market recently spoke with the two 928s you referenced, consider those the high-water mark for now.

    Let me suggest you may be applying to high a value on condition wrt to presentation and detailing.
    This one certainly rates higher than the other two in that regard, but it’s not the most important aspect to consider. I’m suggesting more emphasis on desirability. Ask yourself what inherent features make one more desirable than the other, and place a higher value on things that can’t be easily change, ie VIN#, miles, 5 speed manual, cool color, pasha, etc.

    Just like we’ve generally disregarded mechanical condition (it is what it is and can be improved), one could similarly disregard condition… only to a certain extent before one questions if the owner really took care of it. Point is, we look at the broken bits or non-original pieces and say ‘no worries, I can fix that”. But an automatic transmission can’t be fixed (tongue in cheek… is Roger following along?)

    This is my logic yes, but I believe it’s fair to say the bidders of those two auctions we’re thinking similarly. They paid a fair amount of money to get the ‘right car’ with ‘good bones’… knowing they will need to address condition and mechanicals.

    Long story long, this one just isn’t that car. It is however, the right 928 for the right buyer at the right price. That buyer is looking for a very nice driver 928, with lower miles but not too low (where he/she might feel bad driving it). Said buyer is not concerned about resale value and plans to drive this ’til death do them part. That buyer is ready to pay $15-16K.

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