el jefe

I'm pretty pissed-off at the moment.

usually, my fuse is lit when I come across a horrible story regarding the treatment of animals, or the thousands of perfectly good dogs and cats euthanized because they're simply no longer desired; they've become a bother to someone and had to pay with their life because of it. but not tonight...

it's the 928's turn...
as I sit here looking at my collection of 928 magazine articles and ads from when this car was just a babe, I simply can't understand the crimes committed against this legendary machine as it too became a bother to own by some. you see, I can understand no longer being able to afford owning it and having to part ways by selling it; but I don't get why the next person sliding behind the Lapine designed three spoke wheel furthers its decay in some instances rendering the car a complete disaster; a piece of shit, for lack of a more impactful phrase. 

do they not know how important the early 928 is? how pivotal it was in to Porsche's evolution? apparently not, because if the dozens of 928s found lying in sorry states in fields and yards across this country aren't any indication of our culture's wastefulness and utter disregard for their history, I don't know what is.
maybe the problem with the 928 is the 928 itself. it's a car that came out 25 years too soon giving further evidence that Dr. Fuhrmann was truly very much ahead of the curve. the oil embargo and replacing the 911 were two massive feats it had to conquer, but there was a third, and probably the most important one...being a true four seater; this is where things went wrong.

Porsche hired a market analyst in 1974 named Dr. Berndt Spiegel to help point them in the proper direction for this next car they set about designing, his advice? Porsche should stick to producing sports cars. the 928 should've never been birthed as a replacement for the 911, it should've been designed to provide what the 911 failed to deliver...a Gran Turismo. 

rather than being an option to the 911, it became a competitor which further confused enthusiasts. gentlemen of the road who didn't necessarily want the 911's temper, noise, or racing persona looked to the 928 to fulfill different kinds of desires...quiet, composed, well mannered, yet still sporting enough for those who couldn't find it in the 450SL/SLC.

the rear seating arrangement, however, was too similar to that of the 911 and that was a mistake. the 928's sophistication, manners, and comforts weren't enough to distance itself from the 911, it needed to be a proper four-seater. those who looked to Porsche for a completely different car addressing the pragmatic needs of accommodating four adults comfortably, something the 911 couldn't do, were disappointed.
reknowned English automotive journalist L. J. K. Setright, an admirer of the early 928, went so far as to say that a new breed of wealthier and more tasteless clientele were yearning for the glamour of  association with sporting competition. Porsche was very willing to accomodate them by 911-izing the gentlemanly 928 with noiser, more powerful, more harsher succeeding versions which in his view rendered the 928 steadily less useful and less convincing until finally the clientele so lacked conviction leading to the 928's demise.

Karl Ludvigsen mentions that Peter Falk thought differently stating that the 928 was an outstanding car but that they, meaning all those at Porsche involved with its production, didn't have the same heart for them as they did for the 911. he went on to say that working on the 928 was a duty, not a pleasure, for the engineers at Weissach. I find this a bit hard to swallow...
there's no cut and dry answer to what exactly happened to the 928, but I think enthusiasts are finally starting to realize, a little too late, what a fantastic car this is. it embodies truckloads of charm that were indicative of the fun times at Porsche where interiors were modeled after eccentric sport coat fabrics and exterior colors defined an era of decadence and care free mentalities and that's all the rage these days.

whether the 928 is saved for the sake of being quaint, or saved by those who with a genuine affinity for it and its history makes no difference. the very car that graced the pages of the world's automotive magazines as we see here demonstrated a sort of pride, celebration, and respect the 928 had early on...isn't it about time the world felt like this again?

highball!
Picture
Setright urges you to do your duty and rescue a 928
 


Comments

Joe Sharp
11/09/2014 09:10

I think that ALL Porsches should be vigorously maintained. Unfortunately, this is not human nature, all kinds of cars are unloved, and make it into graveyards too soon.

I keep my 944s in the best shape I can, and boy do I enjoy driving them!

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