Nick Blouin

There are several hard and fast rules that should be followed prior to purchasing a Porsche 928. Drive several examples to become familiar with the different variations of the model. Don’t become ‘emotionally’ attached to the first car that you see. Ensure that the car has a good service history. Have a qualified 928 mechanic perform a thorough pre-purchase inspection. If the prospective buyer follows these rules, they should be on the road to an enjoyable 928 ownership experience. 

I followed precisely zero of these rules when purchasing my 1984 928S.
I first saw the car for sale in my Connecticut hometown during a summer break from college. It was parked out by the road at a gas station with a for-sale sign in the windshield and immediately grabbed my attention. I knew what it was, but not much more beyond that. What I did know was that it just looked right. I was immediately hooked. 

A few days later my Father and I stopped by to take a look at the car. My Dad is a 60’s American Muscle car guy and had never thought too much about Porsches. Helping him work on his 1967 Camaro and 1965 Mustang while growing up was what turned me into a car fanatic in the first place, but soon thereafter I also developed my own love for exotic cars. Even my Dad thought this car was seriously cool. If I recall correctly, the asking price in the window was around USD$8500, but it may as well have been USD$1,000,000 to me at that point.
Summer came to an end with the car still for sale when I headed back down to Florida for another semester of school. I would periodically ask my parents during phone conversations if “my car” was still there. 

Fast forward several years and the car was still sitting outside in that same gas station parking lot, but it had been moved to the back of the lot and the for-sale sign had been removed. It essentially sat outside abandoned in the New England elements. At this point in my life, I had moved back home with my parents while finishing my Master’s degree online. I was also working part-time at our local NAPA store. In other words, I was in absolutely no position to even consider buying a Porsche. 

"I remember him throwing open the door and yelling 'what the **** is this!?'”

That being said, driving past the car everyday pushed me to the point where I couldn’t stop thinking about making the car my own. I spent vast quantities of my free time researching 928s on the internet. 

One day I made the decision to take it for a test drive. I was instantly hooked. It felt incredibly low to the ground. The V8 rumble was intoxicating. The heavy feel of the steering and the smell of the leather just made driving seem like a special occasion. There were problems though. The car made a horrible rattling sound from the engine and had zero service history. I decided it was worth a gamble and made a low ball offer. When my offer was accepted, my first thought was that I hope my parents don’t throw me out of the house!
I was scheduled to pick up the car a couple days later and still hadn’t told my parents about my purchase. That night I told them I was going out with a friend to get ice cream, but instead I pulled into the garage about a half hour later with the distinct sound of a 928’s exhaust. The sound brought my Dad running to the garage and I remember him throwing open the door and yelling “what the **** is this!?” To be fair the next words out of his mouth were inquiring when we could start working on the car. 

It turned out that there was no reason to be nervous about their reaction. We immediately parked the car and began tearing into it to find the source of that aforementioned ‘engine rattle’. It turned out that the old timing belt was so slack that it was rattling as it slapped one of the idler pulleys. We rebuilt the factory tensioner, installed a new water pump, and put a new timing belt on. New fuel hoses, fuel filter, distributor rotor, spark plugs, plug wires, all new fluids, brake rotors, pads, and stainless brake hoses got the car back on the road. Soon thereafter we performed some paint and body work to address a few areas of peeling paint (bottoms of the doors and the top of a fender) and rust underneath the rear quarter windows. 
My Father was the first person that I tossed the keys to for a test drive. He helped me with every step of our mini restoration, which actually became a whole family event with my Mom and my Grandfather jumping in to help with the project. After growing accustomed to his muscle cars, my Dad was instantly hooked by the 928’s handling characteristics. “It actually turns!” he exclaimed while pushing the car through some twisty Connecticut roads. My Mom ended up enjoying the car as well, although I think the part that appealed to her the most was the 928’s distinct design.

The story doesn’t end there though. I ended up accepting a job in California and took the 928 with me. Within four months of my move, my parents had a 1988 928 S4 sitting in their garage. In the end, my ill-advised 928 purchase became one of the best decisions I’ve made.
 


Comments

Poppy
03/25/2016 18:13

Nicely written article NB

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