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Unfinished Project: 1986 Porsche 928 5-Speed

This 1986 Porsche 928 is equipped with the preferred manual transmission, but will need some heavy lifting before it can be considered a road-worthy driver. The listing claims the previous owner was a member of the armed forces who did not return from a trip overseas, leaving his pride and joy unfinished. That story is never not tragic, and we wish the owner’s family the best in what must be a very challenging time. The 928 will hopefully find a new forever home, as it looks to have been quite clean (and still ins inside), which may indicate it was a truly decent driver before its long period of inactivity. The seller reports the engine was removed to fix a damaged piston, but no word on if it was ever fixed. Find the 928 here on eBay with bids to $3,050 with the reserve unmet.

All proceeds of the sale will benefit a Michigan-based non-profit organization, which hopefully has ties to the Veterans community. The 928 can be hit or miss when you find one in project form, with numerous basketcases littering the classifieds pages no matter where you look. Finding a good one that’s in project form can be a challenge, as you have to look at other areas of the car to assess whether it’s a project worth taking on. This isn’t one of the later 928 GTSs, which are seemingly always restored, nor is it an S4. Still, ,when you see the matching OEM wheels, low mileage of just over 100,000, and a surprisingly clean interior with good seats and door panels, it all points to the possibility of this being a better candidate than most to restore.

The interior is what gets me the most excited about the possibilities, as the leather really does present well aside from some age-related cracking. That, and of course, the manual gearbox. Many of these 928s were equipped with automatic transmissions, owing to their credentials as an excellent choice for a grand tourer with plenty of power and no need to constantly be searching for a lower gear. Still, manual transmission 928s are sought after, but it will depend on the reserve price to ascertain just how hungry someone is for a project. The tan carpeting in the cargo area and the door panels are in great shape, so it at least seems likely the 928 was loved before it ended up abandoned out of circumstance.

Seeing the engine bundled up on the pallet doesn’t really answer any questions, but considering how many times we see project cars with the engine removed and scattered around a messy garage, this is already looking encouraging. Even if it hasn’t been repaired yet, hopefully the thundering V8 is still in one piece under that tarp. The cost to rebuild the engine won’t be cheap, but among the Porsche models most likely to be found in a salvage yard for parting out, the 928 is one of the more likely candidates if you decide to hunt for a good engine. Knowing the purchase price will support a local charity is an added bonus; hopefully, the reserve isn’t set much higher.


  1. Terrry

    If the reserve is under 5k I’d think it might be worth doing an engine/drive train swap (restomod) instead of putting another 928 engine in it. If it’s over 5k forget the car. Otherwise you will have a serious money pit that won’t come close to being worth what you put into it. Basic 928s are that way.

    Like 3
    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      Plus, you can sell that engine that is already on a pallet and ready to go.
      A non-running 928 engine has to be worth something, right?

      Like 1
  2. Euromoto Member

    No Pasha, no deal.

  3. bobhess bobhess Member

    Terrry’s right. You can put in a US made engine in for what it will cost to fix the fuel injection or anything else electrical.

    Like 3
  4. bobhess bobhess Member

    Note… Gearboxes are bulletproof with just the right gear ratios for something like a healthy Ford or Chevy V8.

    Like 5
    • douglas hunt

      i know they are common, but LS swaps are damn near plug and play for these cars nowadays

      Like 1
    • Bhowe Member

      I would suggest a modern Ford Coyote V8.

      Like 2
  5. Gary Rhodes

    LS motor and go

  6. Karl

    I owned a beautiful S4 with a manual and it was a beautiful driving and handling car. I wanted to do some work to it to get a few more HP out of it and everything for that car was very expensive! Like a set of headers 2000.00 variable cam timing drive gears 3000.00 mods to the Bosch injectronic fuel system 3000.00! You get my point. The unfortunate reality is the 928 was never accepted by the Porsche community which led to it’s rather short life (by Porsche standards) and the new owner could easily put 20k into this just getting it on the road, when done what is the car worth? It’s a rather sad reality!

    Like 3
  7. chrlsful

    never underestimate what the nxt owner will want. Fora porsche it is the begining of what I could afford/would want (H2O/frnt motor). Having the drive train out has advantages for me as well (can’t have another wrk on it 4 me). Not schemin yet but “different strokes…”

  8. Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

    A quick look found numerous “turn-key” 928 5-speed cars in VERY nice, reliable condition, prices varied between $17k and $22k. I suggest potential buyers do their homework as to what the parts costs will be to rebuild the engine if you do it yourself, and the total labor if you pay to get this repaired. I would not be surprised to find the engine rebuild parts alone exceed $15k.

    Like 4
  9. MLM

    First my heart goes out to the family for the loved one not returning home. I have always preferred these over the 911 or any other model for that matter. These are some sweet looking machines.

    Like 1
  10. JoeNYWF64

    This, & even the 944, are the only Porsches i like(stylingwise) & i am STILL, after how many years?, waiting for a styling change to their rear engined cars that make them look at least as good as a Karmann Ghia. lol
    The “stylists” must be laffing all the way to the bank.
    No problems with their amazing performance & handling, however.

  11. bobhess bobhess Member

    Agree on the comments from you folks. One thing to remember is the transmission is in the rear so sticking whatever engine into that empty hole in the front will be easy…. if it can be bought for a decent price.

    Like 4
  12. Araknid78

    Ended: Aug 14, 2021 , 12:00PM
    Winning bid:US $3,555.00
    [ 56 bids ]

    Located in:Detroit, Michigan

  13. Dave Mazz

    Winning bid:US $3,555.00

    It looks like a decent price for this car. If the new owner has a $20-25.000 kitty for a resto-mod rebuild, he/she should end up with a rather nice play toy. I hope they follow through on it.


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