At $7,500, Could This 1978 Porsche 928 Have You Singing Wake Up Little Butzi?

Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe 928 is good from far, but far from good, the result of it having been sitting for years. Might its price still warrant a standing ovation?

I want car with paint that’s the color of dirt, and a looooong roof. Yes, some of you question our affinity for brown wagons. Why do we love them so much? I can’t tell you that. I can’t tell you in the same way I can’t share with you the secret handshake that gets you 20%-off at the concession stand at the movies, or whether the Gorilla Channel is a real thing or not.


What I can tell you—wait, lemme’ check… yes, it’s okay—is that last Friday’s 1986 Nissan Maxima was a brown wagon. It was two kinds of brown in fact, and that made it double the wonderful. Not only did it meet with about 50% of our criteria for orgasmic automotive nirvana —lacking only a stick and sassy diesel—its $3,700 price tag proved a hero too, coming in with a solid 60-percent Nice Price win.

Can you imagine a world without the Porsche 911? That evergreen model may be a fixture in the German car company’s lineup today, but in an alternate universe it could easily have met its end in the ‘70s. That was when Porsche, looking to a future filled with safety and emissions standards that didn’t favor rear-engined air-cooled cars, seriously thought about taking the 911 behind the shed (what a good boy... BAM!) and replacing the range-topping model with the 928.

Yep, at one point Porsche planned on dumping their entire lineup of air-cooled engines for emissions sake, and while they were at it they thought they’d also get rid of those cars with a propensity to take you bass-akwards into a tree at even the slightest dip into the throttle.


In the end, we got the best of both worlds: the 911 continuing and even advancing in much its original conception, and the 928, which is one of the most bad-ass auto designs of the modern era.


This 1978 Porsche 928 represents the first year of the model, and comes with both the model’s original clean egg styling, and an interior that’s from a speculative ‘70s future. This white over acid trip car sports its original five-hole phone dials, but its paint, while still the factory color, is a more recent respray.

How can we tell that? Well, it’s pretty obvious. That is, unless the factory shooters were so lazy they didn’t bother to mask things like window trim and rubber molding, but that’s not the image I get when I think of the folks who originally put these cars together.


The paint may not be original but it’s still showing signs of wear and the occasional touchup. There doesn’t seem to be any significant road rot here, nor damage, but the car has the sad countenance of an aged barfly


Age and disuse are to blame here. The ad notes that this only a three-owner car, but those owners don’t seem to have let it out of solitary all that much. The psychedelic burnt umber and Pasha interior is reasonably intact, however it shows cracks in the dash and wear and tear in the piping on the weirdo-upholstered seats.


On the plus side, this car rocks a manual—the standard five-speed transaxle— and there doesn’t seem to be anything missing here. Popping the hood on an early 928 should be a joy as the four and a half-litre SOHC V8 is a piece of art.

This one, with its rusted clamps, dull and pitted intakes, and the light dusting of overspray everywhere, looks about as inspiring as that Ecce Homo restoration of a few years back.


In fact, I wouldn’t even try and stir the 240-horses in there without first changing the timing belt. These are interference engines and a broken belt can mean fifteen to twenty grand in repairs. That could totally ruin your day, and potentially sour you for 928s for good.


The ad notes that the car needs some TLC, but also suggests that this 76K edition is a good candidate for the work, claiming “The early cars are highly collectable which prices reaching $50k for restored examples.”


Is this a good candidate for a restoration? Could its $7,500 price make it a decent buy to do so? Well, that’s what we’re here to find out. Porsche prices on the whole have been skyrocketing over the past five or so years, and even if they’ve somewhat plateaued recently, they aren’t likely to go down. If high tides raise all ships then one might fully expect that 928 prices are following their 911 and 914 brethren up that ladder.

What do you think, is this TLC-needing 928 worth that $7,500 asking as it sits? Or, at that a price, would you just let this sleeping dog lie?


You decide!


New Haven, CT Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to Encyclia for the hookup!

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About the author

Rob Emslie

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.