Since I got my driver's license when I was 16 years old (18 years ago), I have been without a Porsche in my driveway for a total of 2 1/2 years. I got my first Porsche in 1997 when I was 17 years old. It was an 1974 914 1.8 in orange with black "PORSCHE" script on the lower portion of the doors and I loved every minute of driving and working on that car. I owned it for about 7 years until my brother borrowed it and took out the front end colliding with a Ford F-150 pick-up truck. During my ownership of the 914, I had two Porsche 944s, a VW Scirocco, Datsun 240Z, Audi 4000 Quattro, and a BMW E36 325i. None of these cars spoke to me like the 914 did though. I loved the simplicity, light weight, and the driving around with the top off for as much of the year as I could. I would pretend that the doors didn't work and I mastered the art of Jumping over the door and sliding my body onto the seat…like I was racing at LeMans, when the drivers would have to run to their cars at the start of the race. I wanted to keep this car forever, but the damage cause by the accident was to much for me to fix at the time, and at this time 914s were still cheap cars.
Today, I am saying goodbye to another Porsche that I have had for 7 years, that I swore I would never sell. This car is a 1980 Porsche 928 with a 5 speed manual transmission, and it is everything that my 914 wasn't. The 928 is a big GT car with a glorious sounding V8. This is a real man's car…a beast. At the same time the car is amazingly refined and elegant. Almost every surface on the interior is covered in leather, it has power everything, and the gauge cluster moves with the steering wheel when you adjust it, so that they are always in your line of sight when thundering down the PCH at 140mph. Compared to cars of today the 928 seems small. Whenever I park it next to a new Honda Civic, or Toyota Corolla, I am blown away by how small it really is. It weighs in at 3,360 pounds and has 220 horsepower in stock form. My car has a Borla exhaust and a test pipe, so it might be putting down an extra 10-20 HP. To put this into perspective, it is about the same power to weight ratio as a BMW E36 M3 Sedan.
I remember the day that I went to buy the 928, it was raining and I drove 2 hours to Marin to see this 928 that was advertised on craigslist for $3,700 . I had no idea what to expect, because the pictures were awful. The red paint was oxidized a little, but it looked great in the rain, the interior showed wear, but everything was there and it had all maintenance records since it was sold new in San Francisco. The owner fired it up and the V8 barked to life, then settled to a smooth idle. I will always remember opening the hood for the first time on the 928. It is made of aluminum and it can't weigh more than 20 pounds. It felt so delicate, yet well built at the same time…I could instantly understand why they were one of the most expensive cars when they were new. For the last 7 years, I have put about 25,000 miles on the car, while going through a Porsche 996, Volvo 850 Turbo, Audi A4, Volvo S40 and our current cars, a VW Jetta TDI and Mazda CX5. Since acquiring the 928, I have changed careers, got married, and had two daughters. I haven't had much time to drive the 928 in the last 4 years, and because of that it has been having some charging issues that I haven't been able to work out. It also doesn't help that I don't have a garage to house the car, so the car has been slowly deteriorating from sitting outside in the elements.
Cars like the 928 are in a tough spot…they aren't worth enough to put a lot of money into. If the 928 was worth $30,000, I wouldn't hesitate to spend $15,000 on a new paint job and getting it back into shape, but it is worth $3,500 at best in its current state and I just can't justify spending the money that it would take to make it nice.
Goodbye 928, you will be missed.