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Lien Sale Score: 1979 Porsche 928


I’ve often thought it would be exciting to buy the rights to a storage unit’s contents without knowing what was inside. Sure, it’s a risk – but if it doesn’t cost you too much, it’s a safer bet than heading to the casino. The seller of this 1979 Porsche 928 here on craigslist scored this V8-powered P-Car in a lien sale, and although dusty, dirty and not running, he snared a fairly desirable example – possibly by accident. 


That is an impressive amount of dust! The 928’s are grand tourers, so while the automatic is acceptable, it’s nice to see this long-stored example has a manual transmission. The later Porsche alloy wheels are a bonus and may indicate enthusiast ownership at one point in time. The seller claims there are some service records with the car, which is better than I’d expect for a forlorn example like this.


Here’s where things get interesting: this 928 is equipped with the extremely desirable and rare “Pasha” checkerboard-style interior seating surfaces. Porsche fanatics find this interior fabric combination hard to resist, and finding a 928 that has its original Pascha cloth still intact will certainly help the seller get his low $1,900 asking price. Overall, things look tired inside but not beyond saving. It looks to even have its original radio.


Here’s the backseat, where the Pascha cloth continues to the rear buckets. The top of the seats may be split from sun damage, but the all-important seating surfaces remain in good condition (albeit in need of a good cleaning). If you’re a California buyer, you’ll have to contend with close to $800 in back fees; if you’re not in CA, no problem. The seller’s very reasonable asking price for a non-running but nicely-equipped 928 should help this one sell quickly.


  1. dj

    The title will be a problem in some states. The listing says something about it being Salvage in California. So that throws up a flag to me. Plus there’s broken glass on the rear console.

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  2. Dave Wright

    It clearly states the title will not be salvage. I have done many lein sale titles……it can be a way to clean a salvage title. The California Lein sale paperwork works fine here in Idaho. So……..be afraid…….very afraid……leaves more cars for the rest of us.

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    • dj

      Oh you can do it here too. It walks the fine line of being legal/illegal here.

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    • GTOJeff

      You can do it here too. Fill out the paperwork, post ads in the newspaper, auction and 3 months later you have a title. It’s a major pita in my state. 288k miles and $1900 is not worth the time for that.

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    • Horse Radish

      Dave, I AM in California and agree with what you are saying. Could you e-mail me.
      There is a couple questions that I have for you.Thank you

      Alex @ 300parts@gmail.com

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    • Miguel

      With Carfax the way it is, it is very hard to clean a salvage title.

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  3. RayT Member

    If it was a 928S4, I might be interested in contending with the major bucks this car is going to need. A battery charge and a can of gas won’t make it, IMO.

    The S4 was a wonderful car, if you can overlook the complexity and parts/service prices. I thought they were among the best true GT cars ever built (at least back when I had the chance to drive new ones) and I doubt my opinion would change much now. But all that speed and luxury came with a price. A high one.

    Sadly, the non-“S” 928 never impressed me. It was a better-finished German Corvette.

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  4. nessy

    Wash the car dummy. Again, another guy thinking the filth makes a find more interesting. As for the 928, I love it! I have a first year 78 928 Euro car so I have to be kind to this car. The early 928s are so clean and round, better looking than the newer 928s. The opt art checkered cloth interior is super hard to find today, as it was not a popular option. Someone save this car.

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    • Horse Radish

      The cloth was standard in Europe, I think.

      As for the ‘dust’ on the car:
      It really is really fine sand that get’s blown through crevices in the storage places. It gets into everywhere, Engine, gas system etc…..

      And , you’re giving this guy too much credit for deliberately displaying it dirty.
      He is just flipping the car and doesn’t even want to spend the time washing it.

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  5. Dave Wright

    This car shows little use from the upholstery. The orignal checker board didn’t hold up well and this one looks great. This is a parts car price and you might have a winner. Better than playing the slots in Vegas……..it is in a hot desert region, the rubber parts could be a problem. But for 1900.00 it is pretty tough to beat. These are great cars that are near the bottom of there price curve but are on the upswing. Quality is always recognized……..L eventually.

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  6. PaulG

    I think what impresses me the most is that it traveled 288,439 miles!

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  7. angliagt

    A cheap Porsche? Only if you’re going to part it out.
    Used 928’s are known to have lots of expensive repairs.I’ve
    heard/read a lot of horror stories of them.

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    • Jeff Staff

      Some of that is unfair…yes, they can be pricey. But that is more often a result of the fact that they’re not 911s and therefore are more likely to find their way into the hands of cheapskate owners. Maintained ones are typically no worst than any other garden variety supercar that can now be bought for Toyota money.

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  8. Blueprint

    First time I see a 928 with a bolt-on gauge…

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    • Dave Wright

      I thought it looked like a rally clock…..but can’t see it that well.

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  9. Joe Howell

    Parts car or a money pit. Put the 1900 bucks and titling fees toward a running example with no paper work woes. The wheels are later 16 inch factory forged Club Sports. Once a hot item but tire choice in 16/245/45 to fit the 9 inch rear rims has dwindled to just a couple of street tires and a few race tires. Some Porsche people do go nuts over the “Pasha” interior but not me. Glad I have plain old black leather :)

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  10. Dolphin Member

    They were designed and built by Porsche, so I can believe they are great GT cars on the road. But it’s also fair to say that the 928 didn’t do too much for Porsche’s bottom line, and the company head who championed it was let go by the firm.

    I can think of German performance cars that I would much rather have for all kinds of reasons. I would not be a buyer even at $1900, especially with 288K miles on the clock, which would be a problem even parting it out.

    Too many cars, too little time…….

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  11. jaymes

    is that the car from the KISS video?

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  12. Joe

    Rather pay $1900 for the Toyota Tercel. 250K less miles. More reliable too. The Pasha seats won’t do you much good with a bum engine or frequent breakdown problems that will drain your bank account faster than an ex-wife or a college kid.

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  13. Alan Brase

    “and the company head who championed it was let go by the firm”. (So was Butzi, Ferdinand Alexander. I guess his legacy is lessened by that?)
    This kills me. The Bugatti Royale lost money for that company also. Would you want one now? Not for a daily driver!
    I agree that 288k is a lot of miles. A few things will be worn out. Expensive things.
    Just like great art, you will feel it in your gut. Or maybe that’s just the bean burrito you had for lunch.

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  14. Dolphin Member

    Al, I got no axe to grind when it comes to 911 vs. 928, but I have noticed that the average market value of the 1979 911 seems to be some multiple of 1979 928 values. The market has spoken, and that’s good enough for me since the market is always right.

    As for legacy, the success of the 911 series through the decades vs. the much shorter run of the 928 shows that the market has spoken again. So the guys who designed and championed the various 911 models through the years deserve some pretty good legacy, IMHO.

    As for where I would feel the cost of expensive things that need to be replaced because they wore out….I mostly feel that in my wallet, and not so much anywhere else. Your experience might differ.

    And I never eat beans, in burritos or anything else.

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  15. Van

    These were special when new.
    Maybe install an LS and just drive it?
    If it’s cheap?
    Send Jr to high school with a Porsche?
    Lock the hood so his classmates can’t see the 5.3 chevy?
    I know it’s shallow of me, but if my dad had sent me to school in a Porsche instead of a 64 mustang coup with a smoking 6cyl and impact damage all down the left side.
    Yes I used my own money for the mustang but I’d have rather been the cool kid. In my class a new Trans Am was worth more than responsibility.

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  16. Miguel

    As I understand the lien sale laws in California. If a car is found in a unit, a second lien sale must be done on that VIN to ear the rights to sell that car.

    If this buyer tries to sell the car with the storage unit lien only, he probably will not be able to get a title to this car.

    No about the car. I would be scared to buy any 928 even if it has been well taken care of because of the cost to repair the electrical problems and the drive train.

    The 928 was always a dream car, but I would never buy one for all the problems they have.

    This car would be a nightmare.

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    • GTOJeff

      That’s the way it works here to. Or you buy the car as a parts only vehicle at the lien sale.

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      • Horse Radish

        We all know where ‘here’ is ?

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    • Dave Wright

      California lien sales are simple……there are many companies that do them for between 100-300.00 the only problem would be if the vin turns up as stolen.

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  17. Jubjub

    This thing was probably well maintained and much service probably done over the years. Someday these will blow up like early Benz SLs. Buy it now, clean it up and store it safely if you’ve got the space and time. Tinker with it when you get an itch. We will all wish we had bought one when they were cheap. My 911SC had 200 or so thousand miles and was still reliable, solid and a joy to hammer around.

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  18. ccrvtt

    “Who’s da U-boat captain?” This is the very same car that Tom Cruise’s character in Risky Business drove into Lake Michigan. It was driven under water to Milwaukee. You’d expect it to be a little cleaner…

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  19. Alan Brase

    Mentioning the 928 alongside the early MB sl’s is kinda what I meant comparing them to Bugatti Royales. In the 1950’s one could hardly give away a Deusy J. There are reprinted ads of them on used car lots in LA for less than $1000. Certain open Model T Fords sold for more in 1953. Almost all high end, over the top cars lay at the bottom of their value curve LONGER or LATER than the most popular cars. RR Phantom III’s are another example (the 12 cylinder).
    I am more talking about a car’s WORTH than its market value TODAY. If you’re a flipper, then move on. To a car lover, a 16 valve, 5 speed 155MPH Pasha interior Porsche 928 could find some love. The high miles make it a worse deal.
    Unless you have some land in the desert and money in the bank and no day job, parting this car out is a fools errand. The TIME you spend taking it apart and marketing and selling the parts, and shipping and dealing with the sorta valuable remains is just not practical. If your daddy owns a junkyard, or a farm, then go for it, parting it out. 30years later, I regret flipping most of those I did. Especially the wrecked 58 Speedster, 56 xk140 roadster, 56 Corvette. But of all, my favorite was a Volvo PV544. I flogged the hxxx out of that thing and it never failed me. Value or market price? I could love a 928 that would ONLY go 155. (Nobody but you and I will know it doesn’t have 32 valves.)
    If you need to show the blue book value to your spouse, to justify it, choose the car. It is way cheaper to do it now.

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  20. pursang

    The first Porsche 928 I ever saw was a black 5 speed Pasha interior parked in front of the Pasadena Hilton in 1979. Everyone who saw it drooled and remarked about the seats – some with love, most not. That car had no sunroof either.

    It would be amazing to confirm if this is the same car I saw 37 years ago.

    Given the title issues, this would probably be best made into a track car, especially as it is a rare, lighter sunroof delete car.

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  21. Jack

    You can always contact these guys

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  22. MikeK

    This V8 is an interference engine…. you might find a really nasty (and expensive) surprise in there.

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  23. Alan Brase

    I think you are mistaken. 16 valve 1979 Porsche V8 is not an interference engine. The subsequent S4 engine, 32 valves WAS interference.. My brother was a Porsche tech during the time the S4’s came out More than once, a customer car got 32 new valves under warranty. At least the exhausts were sodium filled. quite expensive.

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    • MikeK

      I think you’re right Alan. My old S4 was interference…. needless to say I never let it get close to it’s recommended maint. times.

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