The European-spec low-mileage automatic 1981 Porsche 928S now listed on eBay was discovered a couple of months ago in a backyard garage in suburban Chicago. It had been sitting on jack stands for the past 24 years. The 928S was covered in a thick layer of dust and had acquired a pungent odor, along with a smattering of mold.
The Porsche was winched out of the garage, put on a flatbed, and hauled to Evolve Motors—a collector car store based in Chicago. It quickly returned to life after Evolve’s crew flushed the fluids and replaced the fuel pump relay and battery. Once it was running, the team took on the formidable task of deep cleaning the interior and exterior.
Body imperfections were corrected with paintless dent removal, and the Zinnmetallic silver paint was refreshed on the side trim and rear bumper. The remainder of the paint, which is an older respray of the original color, was left untouched. While it could use some love before becoming a reliable driver, the Porsche is remarkably well preserved.
Emerging from the 911’s Shadow
The Porsche 928 was intended to be the successor to the rear-engine 911. While it enjoyed a long production run from 1977 through 1995, the 928 never achieved Porsche’s goals. Purists scoffed at a front-engine flagship Porsche, so the 928 was mostly left in the 911’s shadow.
Despite its sharp looks, respectable performance, and a considerable advertising effort from Porsche, 928 resale values suffered. The 928 now listed on eBay was parked in that Chicago garage at the bottom of its steep depreciation curve. While bad economics affected those who bought the 928 off the showroom floor in the early 1980s, the passage of three decades is now an opportunity for open-minded Porsche enthusiasts.
The 928S was not offered in the United States until the 1983 model year. We don’t know when the garage-find 928S was imported into the United States, but it qualifies for classic plates and is exempt from emissions testing in many states. The dashboard text is German, but documentation shows that the speedometer was converted from kilometers to miles in late 1985. It’s difficult to find 928s with a manual transmission, which adds some value—but the car in question is a GT, so the automatic is a natural fit.
More importantly, the 928 is an affordable classic with a powerful V8 engine and timeless design. This particular European-spec 928S has just over 60,000 miles on the car’s 297 horsepower 4.7-liter V8. Later variants like the 1987 928S4 and 1992 GTS have more power, with 316 and 345 ponies respectively, but their muscular styling arguably detracts from the bullet-like aesthetic of earlier Porsches.
The 928S listed on eBay is a nicely presented barn find. Still, it should be thoroughly serviced to be truly road-worthy. Evolve Motors, the seller, states: “We’ve only driven the car about 20 miles since taking possession a couple of months ago, but during those drives, the car has felt very solid and confidence-inspiring. It starts at the first turn, idles cool and steady, and pulls hard.”
More details about the discovery and restoration of the 928S are available at Chicago Car Club, a division of Evolve Motors.