I didn’t intend to share this with you originally, I shot these very few snaps to text to a Porschaholic friend of mine and when I came across them again today, figured what the heck, it’s not everyday anyone sees a Porsche 928S in a scrap yard. Oh, how the mighty fall too, everything is equal under the gaze of Father Time and eventually the time comes to donate so others of its ilk can continue to roam. Let’s pour out a Doppelbock for this once mighty war horse.
There isn’t too much left of this stallion but even it was a donee at one point, that back hatch above is finished in a blue color as opposed to the Ruby Red of the rest of the car. That back picture also shows off what was the first example of a fully integrated bumper with the crash structure fully enclosed within the flush body end cap.
The front picture with the bumper skin conveniently already sold to someone shows the aluminum structure underneath and we get a good view of what’s left of the front suspension. The 928, originally launched in 1978 and winning European Car of The Year honors its first year was originally meant to replace the 911 for Porsche; as we all know, that never really panned out and the 911 lives on today, albeit as more of a grand tourer in the way that the 928 really mostly always was.
Sporting Porsche’s first production car V8, originally a 4.5l, by the time 1983 rolled around, it had been upgraded to a 4.7l unit generating 234hp, a whopping 62hp less than what was sold back in Germany. The vast majority of 928s have an automatic transmission, originally a 3-speed Mercedes unit, and then upgraded to a 4-speed for 1983. The “S” is supposed to have a little rear spoiler on it that wraps around the hatch area, this example doesn’t have it which is curious but it may have been taken already although I would think we’d be able to see the mounting points. It does have the bodyside molding that I don’t believe I’ve ever seen on an earlier non-“S” car so I’m fairly confident it really is an ’83.
That once was a very luxurious place to sit and drive a car. It has since deteriorated somewhat. I’m going to take a wild guess and say that this car may have finally succumbed to some sort of overheating malady but that’s just a guess based on the evidence in the passenger footwell.
These days the really early cars are valuable (pre-1980), as are the latest ones after the body was refreshed. This version is sort of a tweener, the engine didn’t get really good again until 1985 when the 4valve heads arrived in a 5.0l engine along with most of the “missing” power.
I’ve always liked these, even if or perhaps precisely because they were a bit of an outlier and underappreciated at the time. This particular example has a very nice color combination that I’d be proud to have in my garage but the days of me really wanting to care for a 35+year old finicky and expensive European are likely behind me. Still, seeing it here between a similar vintage Toyota Panel Van and what I think is an old W123 missing its roof is a little shocking. At least it looks like a lot of the parts have been put to good use by others. We’ve also had a few very good treatises on the 928 here at CC, some of them listed below. There’s a surprising amount of 928 love, or at least respect, here.
Don Andreina’s excellent synopsis
Paul Niedermeyer’s usual marvelous take
I got to drive one once, a later 5 liter one and I to this day still wouldn’t kick it out of my driveway.
This spot in the yard must be reserved for “Schwaben” products. many of the missing parts may be found on E bay.
Speaking of “mighty war horses stumbling to the ground.” This car was dropped in a field a couple blocks from my house. It hasn’t totally succumbed, as it is still nearly complete; but it’s future isn’t looking bright. No idea whose it is. Just dropped off in a vacant commercial lot. A 1970 Trans Am still sporting it’s 6.6L shaker under the hood. I assume it’s a Ram Air III, as there were less than a hundred Ram Air IV’s produced that year; if it were the latter it’s a find.
Could it have been stolen and then abandoned?
I have no idea. No one knows anything about the car.. I accidentally deleted the post. I don’t see any pics.
Picture didn’t load first time.
It’s probably too large. I often have to resave the pic at a lower resolution and then it posts in the comments. Had the same issue yesterday, once resaved it worked fine and looks good on screen.
Maybe this pic will post. Never had this problem before.
I’ll try the pics again later.
It hurts a little to see the word “vintage” scrawled on a car from the 80s
While I’m only in my late 20s and am not too fazed by an ‘80s (or even ‘90s) car being called “vintage”, I can relate whenever I hear an ‘00s song on “classic rock” radio. I have heard Green Day’s “American Idiot” from 2004 on there.
Mind blowing of the day. If you were actually a teen when “ smells like teen spirit” by nirvana came out in ‘91, you would be between 41 and 47 now.
Time passes quickly!
Less time separates “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and “Feel Good Inc.” by Gorillaz than “Feel Good Inc.” and the present day.
Not only is this Porsche’s structure solid as a 35 year old car, but the Toyota and MB appear rust free. And they each have very good looking paint. The ’80s Suburban in the rear also has limited rust, and good paint as well.
This Porsche was probably bought new only a few months before Risky Business came out.
Fun fact – that side moulding and rubber rear spoiler were optional on early cars and made standard for the S. This looks like a pre-’82 non-S to me.
And that’s enough pedantry for today. I do love this site!
I didn’t know that. Were they separate options or available only together?
Might explain why there’s no adhesive marking left by the piece of rubber spoiler that attaches to the rear fender panel. I’ve never seen one with the moulding and without the spoiler, and this may well be one.
They were separate, but rarely not bought together. This here’s a unicorn!
I realize it predates flush windows by a bit, I always felt that this automobile sorely lacked their visual impact. Looking at a 928 always reminds me of the not quite finished look look of the Ford Tempo or Sierra.
That Jensen Healey featured a couple of days ago will probably end up like this pretty soon. 928s have hit the bottom of the depreciation curve and good examples are starting to climb in value. That still leaves plenty of rough and needy examples out there that can be purchased for a song. Electronics and emissions related issues are the bane of the low buck car enthusiast. As was stated in an earlier post, California is a tough place to keep one of these complicated old beasts on the road. There’s a guy that parks at my County lot that drives his 928 to work quite a bit. He’s been working on his and has manged to keep it on the road. I once commiserated with him when I caught him walking away from his car. We both have that affliction to own and run fancy, complicated, relatively worthless Euro wonder cars. His choice Porsche 928, mine Jaguar XJS V12. Sometimes all we can do is hang onto them and preserve them the best we can until our situations improve.
I’d agree that these might be on the upturn. Melbourne seems to be the centre of the 911 world, and those prices have gone stratospheric. This has, in turn, pushed the little 105 Alfa coupe up as well. In my well-heeled part of town, I’m also starting to see a number of nicely-maintained 928s (as well as more and more XJS V12s).
Great find Jim
I remember taking my piggy bank money in small change and cycling up to Kmart just to buy the Revell 928 plastic model in about 1978. I was twelve. . I think these have aged really well, I loved them then and I still love them now. Every once in a while you’ll see one on craigslist for under 10 grand. But keeping something like this running or repairing it is not for the faint of heart nor of light in the wallet.
I’m rather amazed how picked apart this example seems? A junkyard isn’t where I’d expect most people with a 928 to go looking for replacements…
People go to pick-a-part yards when they see the car posted online. They even tell you how long it’s been there. Usually a flat price for components. So a 3 cylinder Metro engine is same price as Jag V12. Lots of backyard Billy type guys out there. See the aluminum wishbones? Perfect for a project.
I like the 78-79. Lighter and somewhat easier to work on. In 2015 I passed on a Petrol blue 78 with cork interior and pasha inserts because I was into 911s. Good luck finding one in a salvage yard!
Most 928 owners aren’t wealthy collectors like 356 or 911 owners, which is how a 928 would end up in a self service junkyard in the first place. These are on average sub $10,000 Porsches, well in the territory of low-middle income buyers who can’t afford the newest or most sought after classic models but can still get into the brand they admire.
And yeah, word spreads once someone spots it. Other possibility is someone not even into 928s pulled the parts to sell at inflated value, self service junkyards have fixed prices so you’re paying as much for a 928 fender as you are a Corolla fender, which could result in a decent profit.
Self serve wrecking yards are a great place to find parts for your Euro Car project. Prices are low and there is no telling what you might find. You just have to cruise by every week or so. I saw a supercharged Jaguar XJR one time.