Upfront prices for 928s are all over the map these days, as can be their commensurate condition. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe 5-speed S falls about right in the middle of the pricing pack, but does that make it an unconditionally good deal?
There was little that was conditional about the love of yesterday's 2006 Cadillac CTS-V by the 86% of you who anointed it with a Nice Price win. The bruiser of a V8 in the V put Caddy back on the performance map, while precipitous depreciation meant that this particular example wouldn't need a treasure map to afford. The massively powerful LS6 and Tremec gearbox transformed the CTS, however sometimes it takes more than those attributes to make a car just right.
Truth be told, Goldilocks was high-maintenance. Too hot, too cold, too lumpy, too soft, that home invader had more stipulations than a Donald Trump pre-nup. That being said, she might have liked today's 1986 Porsche 928S as its $8,500 asking price and apparent condition puts it right in between the under a couple of grand crapwagons and the ten times as much hermetically sealed time capsules. And as this is one of the rare 5-speed S models, it would be a car that Goldi's would want to put some miles on. You know, just in case those bears come back.
Porsche originally conceived of the 928 as the 911's successor, however in Monty Python-esque fashion the rear engined car kept averring that I'm not dead yet and has continued to do so ever since. That meant that the 928 could move up-market, offering a GT alternative to the wicked handling ass-engined cars. As a GT, the 928 needed more than a 6-shooter in its holster, and the company looked no further than the last numeral of the car's name for the appropriate piston count.
The V8 engine - the first for a Porsche road car, also adopted a non-traditional for the company placement in the front. Not being comfortable with too much change, Porsche did decide to keep the transmission in the back, and whether automatic or this edition's rarer 5-speed, it's connected to the big V8 by a hefty torque tube. At the front of that tube in this ‘86 is the 32-valve edition of the water-cooled V8 which had been introduced the previous year. At the same time the valve count had been doubled, so had displacement grown from 4.7-litres to a full 5.0 in the first major update to the car.
That means that from the factory this engine pumped out 288-bhp in American trim. As noted this is a three-pedal car, and as an ‘86 it likely features the larger, 4-piston brakes, revised suspension geometry and fatter exhaust that was applied to most of the ‘86 cars before the redesigned S4 arrived later in the year. That should be confirmed with the seller when determining the proper offering price, but fro our purposes, lets just assume it's an S4-equipped S.
Regardless, the seller makes the claim that the brakes and one pair of tires have been recently refreshed and that a good deal of money has also gone into assuring that it goes in straight lines. Other parts so new they need a Hello My Name Is badge are the A/C compressor and receiver, a couple of parts that are probably pretty pricey. The interior could stand some of that newness, as typical of most 30 year old Porsche interiors that have seen more asses than a proctologist, this one is worn and in places fraying. It's not as bad as some that are out there, and there are others that have a less pleasing hue than this burgundy, but that'll take some cash to make right before it gets much worse.
That's the thing about 928s, they can take all kinds of cash. It's never just the initial purchase that carves that Grand Canyon in your wallet, it's all the invisible things that inevitably break after you've bought it. And pray to Dog that the car doesn't require a full engine rebuild because these multi-cam V8s are nearly as complex as the Space Shuttle and only slightly cheaper to make run again. And that's why, while this one may still be a roll of the dice, its apparent air of an attentive owner may mean the odds are in the prospective buyer's favor. Plus the seller's XKE in the garage indicates that he's probably not a dilettante who would ignore things like oil changes or other engine-destroying maintenance routines. The 76,500 miles this Porsche has traveled are also Goldilocks like in being neither too many nor too few, and hopefully it has plenty more in reserve, just in case the bears show up.
That might be pretty unlikely as while da' Bears live in Chicago, this Porsche lives in Southern California. If Goldilocks wanted to make the trek to check it out, you would think she wouldn't have a problem with finding some place to spend the night along the way. Now that you've had the chance to check it out, what do you think about its $8,500 asking price, is that too much? Do you think at its age would this 928 be too soft, or that all of the car's unknowns would make owning it too hard? Or, all things considered, is it just right?
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