Recently on our Facebook page I posted a poll to see what our fans would like us to write-up. The choice in that poll was between two different generations of Grand Tourer; cars with the same purpose but very different execution. The Porsche 928GTS was at the end of its illustrious production run, the ultimate evolution of the V8 transaxle design. On the other hand, the fairly recently introduced 850CSi wasn’t quite the ‘M8’ BMW had teased, but in a post-Recession economy it was still pretty special. The 928GTS clocked in to work with a slightly revised exterior, 17″ Cup wheels, giant Brembo brakes and a stonking 5.4 liter 4-cam V8 capable of 345 horsepower. The 850CSi was, of course, also naturally aspirated, but a 5.6 liter V12 lay under its computer-designed angular bodywork. The E31 was heavily breathed upon by BMW’s Motorsport division, the S70 laughed at Porsche’s V8 by channeling 372 horsepower to the rear wheels solely through a 6-speed manual gearbox. Like the 928, bodywork revisions, M-System II forged wheels and mega brakes along with suspension updates helped justify the lofty price.
In their days, both of these cars could eclipse $100,000 easily with options. The thing is, they’ve never really come down in price. Both were quite limited production; a total of 1,510 850CSis were made with only 225 sent to the U.S., while 2,877 928GTSs were made, with I believe 451 landing in North America.
The Facebook poll came down to a dead heat between the two, each with 44 votes. So, I did my best to come up with two worthy examples priced closely to consider today:
We feature the 928GTS with some regularity here at GCFSB. They’re phenomenal machines and good ones are highly desirable. Among those we’ve featured we do tend to have a pretty strong preference for those equipped with a manual transmission. Being the enthusiasts that we are, when given the choice of shifting the gears ourselves versus letting the transmission do it for us, we’re naturally going to gravitate toward the more engaging manual option. A manual GTS also is more rare. Of course, as the more rare and enthusiast-oriented versions tend to be, a manual GTS is very expensive. Far more expensive than an automatic GTS.
Of all the Porsches we regularly feature the 928 is perhaps the only one that remains fairly desirable with an automatic. As a grand tourer the automatic doesn’t necessarily detract from the experience as much as it would in a 911 or Cayman. Some owners even prefer it. So why not have a look at one such beast? Here we have a Grand Prix White 1994 Porsche 928GTS, located in San Diego, with Black leather interior and 68,200 miles on it. And here it sits with a 4-speed automatic transmission.
Here we have another very pretty 928. But first a question: The seller refers to monochromatic interior/exterior combinations as an iconic ’80s theme. Was these really iconic? I was a kid so I can’t really recall what the crazy cars were like (My mom had one of those huge Buick or Oldsmobile station wagons. It was not sporty and I believe it was black with tan interior. We slept in the back on long trips. My dad’s 911 was black on black, but I don’t think that’s what they mean.) Color-matching the interior and exterior definitely seems more prevalent in the ’80s. I know I’ve commented on the blue on blue combination that we almost never see outside of the ’80s and early ’90s. Burgundy also seems popular. I’ve seen green on green a few times and those are…quite something. That was the ’70s though. I digress, I guess I hadn’t thought of this as an iconic ’80s thing to do. Perhaps it is and this 928 uses it to nice effect.
This is a Ruby Red Metallic 1983 Porsche 928S with, you guessed it, a Burgundy interior, 47,915 miles, and a very desirable 5-speed manual transmission. One other quick digression: The seller refers to the color as Rubino Metallic, which I had never heard of before. Thankfully the paint code sticker provides clarity and confirms it is rubinrotmetallic or as it’s typically called in English, Ruby Red. It looks spectacular!
We all know I am a huge 911 fan, but I am really enjoying seeing the slew of really nice 928s that we’ve come across. From the wonderful early example we featured toward the beginning of the year to the very rare Wimbledon Green 928GTS it has been a treat to further my own appreciation for these fantastic cars. Here we have another and it honestly might be my favorite: a Minerva Blue Metallic 1982 Porsche 928, located in Chicago, with Navy Blue leather interior and only 18,915 miles on it. If you’ve read these pages long enough you’ll know why this is my favorite: Minerva Blue probably is my favorite of Porsche’s metallic blues. On the lines of the 928 it shows off just how stunning it can look.
When I saw this 1988 Porsche 928 S4 my first thought upon seeing the price was that the interior better be pretty special because, while nice, the exterior seemed fairly standard. Good condition, but a standard color. Well I won’t say the interior blew me away, but given that it too is in fairly standard colors I do think it looks really good and the overall combination of everything looks really nice. There’s a simple elegance about all of it. There’s no flash, but it’s a place I’d definitely enjoy spending time behind the wheel. I guess it’s a little odd because I can’t say it is quite what I was hoping, but I found myself quite happy with it nonetheless. It helps that everything looks very well cared for. I’m not sure it’ll all be enough to get someone to pull the trigger at this price, but we’re at least looking at a nice example of the breed and one that departs somewhat from some of the more usual contrasts.
Update 9/26/18: This 928 S4 sold for $15,211.11
In a recent post of a 928 GTS there was a comment wondering about their pricing relative to that of one of its not-too-distant predecessors the 928 S4. It’s a good question to ask if you’re looking at the 928 in general as the value of a GTS is significantly higher than any other 928 out there. Heck, the GTS has shown higher values than even a few of the turbocharged 911s from similar periods. Before considering one you do need to know what you’re getting into.
Why the GTS is so much more expensive is pretty straightforward: they’re quite rare and they are the last of the 928s. They also are arguably the best looking 928, though I’m not sure that really has a huge impact on value. For the buyer thinking about an investment and long-term value a GTS probably is the way to go, assuming you can afford that initial cost of entry. However, if you want to drive and enjoy a 928, or simply don’t have $100K to spend on a ’90s Porsche, then one of the earlier models provides nearly as much performance for far fewer dollars.
Case in point: this 1988 Porsche 928 S4, located in New Mexico, with 117,456 miles and the desirable 5-speed manual transmission. Unlike just about every 928 GTS this S4 is up for auction with no reserve and bidding sits at only $8,100. That’s a much easier pill to swallow.
This is one of those holy **** cars. Here we have a 1982 Porsche 928 Weissach Edition. I will admit before looking at this one I did not know much about the 928 Weissach Edition. I’ve seen plenty of the 911 Weissach Edition, but not the 928. Like the 911 Weissach, the 928 was intended to celebrate Porsche’s Motorsports department located in, you guessed it, Weissach, Germany. It was the 20th anniversary of the groundbreaking at the site. And we know that Porsche likes to make special editions.
Like many Porsche special editions, the 928 Weissach doesn’t hit you with a bunch of performance upgrades. It’s all cosmetic, but while the 911 made do mostly with interesting colors, the 928 turns the luxury dial up with its additions. The most obvious of these additions is the leather. The Weissach came with medium brown leather and if you could touch it, then it probably was leather. You also received a matching leather 3-piece luggage set made by Seeger. Because who would dare travel in their Porsche Grand Tourer without matching luggage? The exterior is Hellbronze Metallic, which is a nice color and furthers the theme of elegance. Other items were included as well: upgraded stereo, electric sunroof, forged alloy wheels, and front and rear spoilers. The overall impression though is straightforward: the 928 Weissach was for the buyer who wanted their Porsche luxury cruiser to be even more lux and more exclusive. The package cost $5,940 so you definitely had to want it.
Porsche said they’d make only 205 of them. That’s almost half the number of the 911 Weissach built so they’re pretty rare. I don’t know how many of those were equipped with a manual transmission (a 3-speed automatic also was available), but this one is a manual. It also has a stupid low 14,030 miles on it. Hot damn!
If you’re interested in how the 928 market has changed over the last few years this example might offer some useful insight. But let’s get to that later.
This is a Horizon Blue Metallic 1993 Porsche 928 GTS, located in Florida, with Blue Topaz leather interior, the automatic transmission, and 56,995 miles on it. This is a very attractive shade of light blue that shows well on the 928 and certainly stands apart from the many silver and black examples we’ve seen. The interior makes the car a little monochrome overall, but it’s a bright blue that stands out even more than the exterior. I’m not sure I’d consider this the ideal color combination, but it certainly is an interesting one. In a sea of uninteresting cars, this 928 definitely will attract notice. It also looks to be in really nice shape. And, of course, it’s a GTS!
We talk a lot about period specific and period correct cars around here and this 1978 Porsche 928 seems to fit that bill just about as much as possible. While I’ve said frequently that I think the 928 design still looks great today, we wouldn’t confuse one with a modern car. It has pop-up headlights and is a bit more pointy than it is round, neither of which we see much on today’s designs. But really it is the colors of this one that plant it firmly in the ’70s. The exterior is said to be Apple Green Metallic and the interior is Brown with pasha seat inserts. I’m not at all familiar with Apple Green Metallic on a Porsche so I’m not sure if this is its original color or not, but the interior is one that we’ve seen before from this period. It’s wild and the contrast with the metallic green exterior certainly is pronounced. I cannot imagine any manufacturer would offer such a combination today, nor am I sure anyone would buy it, but it certainly makes for an interesting looking 928!
Last week I posted a 928S as a potential roll of the dice project. Like a lot of high-end cars, the 928 doesn’t always make for the best roll of the dice given how complicated they can be to work on and the cost to get everything back in proper order. But the color combination and general cosmetic condition really made me want to love it and for some it might be unique enough to take the risk.
This 928 seems a lot more secure and while we can never fully trust a seller without verifying that everything is as it should be, the level of detail here looks such that further investigation should be worthwhile. This is a Guards Red 1987 Porsche 928S4, located in Pennsylvania, with automatic transmission and 72,996 miles on it. The price certainly is higher than last week’s project, but you could easily invest more in that project without returning it to this 928’s apparent condition.