High Miler: $3,500 1982 Porsche 928

Jeff LaveryBy Jeff Lavery

Buying a cheap Porsche is a risky move in any form, but bear with me here: this 1982 928 has close to 200,000 miles on the clock. I say you can’t get there without a fastidious owner committed to maintaining this front-engined beast, even if it is languishing on a sad corner used car lot. Find the 928 here on eBay in Texas for $3,500 and sold by an auto salvage company.

Now, don’t let that last part scare you: sometimes, the salvage company is the only place in town relatives of a deceased family member know to call when they can’t start the old man’s car. This 928 doesn’t appear to have been modified or otherwise gone down the path of increasingly cheaper owners. The body looks relatively dent-free and I’m betting the tint was installed solely to protect the insides from that Texas sun.

Darn near 200,000 miles and the trip odometer has been reset – surely this 928 had good caretakers over the years. Curiously, the seller says it runs and drives fairly well but would still recommend towing it. So what does that mean – tired suspension? Rotten tires? Propensity to overheat? All of these are good questions to ask, as 928s can quickly become money pits without some sense of what you’re getting into.

Interior-wise, we simply see a lot of wear and the damage caused by prolonged exposure to the sun. The rear seats look pretty tired as well. But there are more positive signs elsewhere: headlight misters that haven’t been painted over, an engine bay that appears free from major oil staining or other signs of neglect, and the “S” style Porsche wheel are free from curbing. Yes, this is a risky buy – but with the option to submit a best offer, it looks intriguing.

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Comments

  1. Ex Benzo Tech.

    It blows my mind that this car made it to 193K miles.
    Parts car at best now.

    2+
    • Jeff Lavery Jeff Lavery Staff

      That’s what I can’t get over! That doesn’t happen by accident…

      2+
  2. Rabbit

    Go ahead. Call me a charlatan, these were always my favorite Porsche.

    8+
    • Scot Douglas

      Charlatan. Happy now? 🙂

      8+
      • Rabbit

        Quite. :

        1+
      • Sam

        Just don’t call me surely or late to dinner

        5+
  3. DrinkinGasoline

    I never judge others for their preferences as this would be a seriously boring world if we all thought the same way. With that said….This, and the 914 are my least favorites.

    2+
  4. Sam

    Whose the U-boat commander?

    6+
    • Sam

      Who’s…sorry, damn intuitive dictionary

      2+
  5. Sam Sharp

    And stop calling me Charlton (Heston).

    3+
  6. Steve

    Wasn’t this the car Joel Goodsen dropped in Lake Michigan?

    7+
  7. Trickie Dickie

    Notoriously expensive to work on. Parts prices also very high. The Porsche 928 has not had the same upward surge in price and interest as has the rest of the Porsche models. My german auto repair place has always said the avoid well used 928’s.

    4+
  8. redwagon

    the ebay ad says $3,500 or make an offer. the price written on the windshield says $3,000.

    even if i was interested i would make an offer south of $3,000

    3+
  9. Fran

    Maybe someone spun the mileage up instead of back. It would never make it. That mileage reflects 2 motors ago. I know first hand when you said money pit that probably is the most politest way to not say junk. I would never own one of them again!

    2+
    • Frank S

      With all due respect you are completely incorrect.
      I’m on my second 928 and I maintain a third. These motors are bulletproof when properly maintained. My personal car has 189,000 miles and runs like new. A lot of these were unloved and owned by people who could not or would not maintain them properly and that can doom one with 50,000 miles on age related repairs but they are not inherently unreliable. At this point every 928 needs lots of age related maintenance if things like vacuum lines and flexible fuel hoses haven’t been changed.
      Also I don’t get people who complain about expensive parts. All Porsche parts are expensive, even for entry level cars like the 944 and 914. The 928 was the most expensive Porsche when it was available so don’t expect the parts to come cheap. That said I spend under $1k/ year on my cars and they run fine.
      A dialed in 928, even a ’78 or ’79 is in a different league than pretty much any of its contemporaries so for someone willing to invest the time and effort to learn how to care for one the payback is huge.

      11+
      • Ex Benzo Tech.

        I dont know about your cars. But the one I had , needed something every week. It was always something different. Could not wait to get rid of mine.
        The only thing that kept working fine was the auto trans. But then it was made by Mercedes.

        3+
      • DrinkinGasoline

        Any power train is reliable when properly maintained. This is not breaking news.

        1+
  10. nessy

    I have a first year 78 928 Euro 5 speed with the wild “opt art” checked cloth interior in excellent original condition sitting in my garage. Have not started the car in over 20 years. I love the car but I could never figure out why the battery kept discharging every time I drove it so I gave up. Beautiful cars. My favorite Porsche.

    9+
    • Ex Benzo Tech.

      I had the same batt problem with mine. I could not figure out the problem either.
      I am thinking it was due to the alternator that was made in France by a French company.

      4+
    • BMW4RunninTundra Member

      So Nessy,
      You don’t think you can throw something of that size out there and NOT get some type of reaction?! So here is the reaction: what are you going to do with that “Garage Queen”?! (litteraly 20yrs without starting – really)

      0
      • Fran

        I guanentee it will not make it around the block.

        0
  11. Sparkster

    Automatic Porsche’ just don’t do anything for me in regards to having a great time while driving. Perhaps the PDK transmission might change that

    1+
  12. Bruce Best

    I have a 1984 and I know of a number of owners that have had over 400K miles on their cars with almost no problems. Most owners did not service them properly and abused them. This is especially true of second, third and forth owners. I suspect this is a far better car then most of you might think.

    The electrical system is complex but rugged and parts with rare exceptions are available. Most of the electrical problems can be traced to bad switches and bad relays from my experience. They are far nicer cars than most realize. Generally faster as well. I am not completely certain for every year but for most years the 928 was the fastest car Porsche sold in those years. Still healthy performers today.

    There was just enough of them that they are not totally rare but they are getting to be very rare and the prices are going up. I have owned mine for 15 years and it has increased in value 300% over the time I have owned mine. All I have done is regular maintains. The leather dash should be replaced by now but consider that it is 30 years old that is not surprising.

    I like them, but I also understand what the car is and what it is not. What it takes for care and how not to abuse it. I can tell you from experience it will easily cruse across the State of Nevada at over 120 MPH including stops in the middle of summer without overheating. None of the Corvettes that tried to keep up ever could for any length of time. They all overheated.

    The price is a bargain if you are willing to care for it.

    6+
    • Dolphin Dolphin Staff

      Bruce’s comments are interesting. I have heard many people praise the 928, and many of those were long term owners who should know what they are talking about.

      Buyers seemed to like the combo of luxury, high performance, and probably also the Porsche name. But then there was the complexity and the expense. Original owners probably had the money to spend on maintenance without breaking the bank, but later owners probably didn’t in many cases. Welcome to deferred maintenance.

      These were a deviation from the Porsche business model at the time, and probably not the best deviation to take. But Porsche got back on track with the Boxster, and then, like BMW and so many other makes, the latest being Alfa Romeo, did well with SUVs, of all things. Porsche’s SUVs now outsell their sportscars. That seems to confirm that Porsche’ foray into the high end GT market wasn’t the best call. But hindsight is 20:20, isn’t it.

      5+
      • DG

        There’s a rumor that Porsche is considering re-entering that high end GT market with a successor to the 928. It will probably be just a two door version of the Panamera, however.

        2+
    • bog

      Bruce – thanks for your comment. I’ve always like the style of these, AND the very special V8 that powered them. I had to laugh when I remembered the “safety” rules back then after seeing the speedo maxed at 85 mph on this car. Wish I had a Porsche mechanic as a friend….

      1+
  13. Karguy James

    Always liked these even though mine died without so much as a blip of warning while doing 70mph on the highway.

    I hope they catch on someday

    2+
  14. Jonathan Q Higgins

    Frankly this is one of my bucket list cars. So I hope they don’t appreciate in value too much.

    2+
  15. Kenny

    Tony Montana was in a dealership buying one of these in Scarface

    2+
  16. Doug

    To me, the obvious “what are you going to do with THAT ?” answer would be
    put an LS 7 (aluminum ) engine in it ! Lots of reliable horsepower in a car that handles well…… Then go trolling for unsuspecting muscle cars…. would make a nice “sleeper”….

    2+
    • Mark

      Uh, how could it be a sleeper when even with the original engine and manual 5speed it could do 0-60 in 5 seconds and topped out at 150+?

      3+
      • 68 custom

        ok maybe not a sleeper with the LS but being reliable never hurt, plus these are great looking . this one needs a bit of work though.
        maybe back half it with the LS plus a couple of turbos!

        0
    • PAR

      You must be some sort of MASTER fabricator/engineer/wizard if you could fit an LS7 under the bonnet of this beauty, as for twin turbos………….. I owned a 928 S2 in the early 90’s and it was one of the best built, best handling cars I have ever had. Had one strange problem we could never sort when pulling hard left hand bends, like motorway on ramps it used to smoke like all the piston rings had fallen off. Didnt affect the performance and never smoked on any other occassions. Car got stolen after about a year of my ownership. Would like to get a 928 GTS sometime in the future.

      1+
  17. Tyler

    I remember the first time I saw a 928 was when Bruce Dern bought a white one in the movie Middle Age Crazy. It looked fast just sitting in the showroom floor. Ever since, I thought these were so much cooler cars than the 911, & would love to have one. But even at this price, it wouldn’t be a bargain to me because I wouldn’t know where to begin on maintaining one. I’m afraid it would sit more than get driven, & these were made for driving.

    1+

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