why even bother writing a goddamn book on the Grande Dame and not dedicate at least a chapter to the Weissach Edition? apparently she was only worth a few half-assed sentences peppered with an option code, the color, and that it came with some luggage.
what a disgrace.
“Ja, ja…gute ideea Heinrich! Vee vil coll zis von Weissach!”
no. not quite. Porsche was celebrating a milestone. in 1962, the rebellious clan from Stuttgart began building a research center 18 miles west of their town in a small village called Weissach. there was no press release, or invitation to witness the ground being broken...it was of no business to outsiders. in less than a decade it would become a secret sandbox for engineers and designers for creating toys, roughing them up, and examine the residue of abuse. there were no nannies, the place was free of restrictions and limits.
the layout had a circular skid pad, stretches of blacktop with dips, curves, bumps, ruts, holes, and pools, with a few smooth straights for flat out runs. these black ribbons of asphalt were flanked by a few buildings housing laboratories, design studios, development, and testing spaces. if it had anything to do with Porsche, it was mentally crunched here. not only the cars, but mundane materials, exotic metals and composites, components, hardware, processes, and systems, were played with and tested. they called it Porsche Entwicklungszentrum Weissach -- the Weissach Research and Development Center.
by the end of 1980, a total of 13,574 928s were built and rolled out the door. at the beginning of 1981, Peter Schutz had taken office with major plans for Porsche’s expansion. he opened the coffers slamming stacks of cash on the table to be divvied between employees, production, and Weissach’s Development Center. he wrestled the 911 away from Fuhrmann’s ghost of prudence; there wasn’t gonna be an execution. the poor marksmanship behind the 928’s promotion was another problem.
"no problem, we’ll expatriate your bulls with heavy testicles and shove black painted broomsticks in the doors..."
one of the problems in the New World was the economy. the cold blade was felt at the base of the scrotum. a second oil crisis, the worst recession and unemployment rates since the Great Depression, massive inflation hitting 13.5%, a shriveling Dollar against the rising Deutsche Mark, and increased German Labor costs coated the blade with sweat. buying a Porsche, any Porsche, shouldn’t’ve made sense. despite the economic doom, they were selling.
with no official 928S, Porsche had to offer something special for America. the first was the Competitions Group for model year 1981 that had look without the nuggets. the cynics dismiss that one as an insult. why not come out and call us posers content enough to just look the part? no problem, we’ll expatriate your bulls with heavy testicles and shove black painted broomsticks in the doors and sign the federalization papers on the EPA’s back.
for model year 1982, we were offered something more sophisticated. Porsche had the opportunity for two jabs in the head — and went for it. not only could they celebrate the 20th anniversary of the literal and figurative groundbreaking Weissach RDC by tarting up a 928, they’d give us another distraction until the S officially arrived on our shores.
the 911SC and 924 Weissach editions were offered two years too early. in 1982, they’d nail it square on puckered lips. the 928 Weissach Edition marked two decades of the RDC wearing a suit tailored for America. it was exclusive; only 205 units. it was expensive; a USD$5,940 option. and it was bred to cross our continent wearing Stuttgart’s finest haberdashery. the commoner would never suspect such an appointment could buy a 2-door Toyota Corolla off the showroom floor; best to have slipped that detail in the breast pocket.
that’s no gimmick, son; that’s masturbating the ego with a satin-gloved hand.
“No, 205 actually. That breaks down to 1 car for every million US citizens. It cost me nearly six grand more to get that option…and it even comes with a set of luggage.”
“Damn…I shoulda dumped my shares of International Harvester before it tanked.”
“You dumbass…didn’t I tell you Coleco was gonna pay big? My shares sextupled.”
“Come on dickwad, put this spoon up your nose and forget all about it.”
the recession-proof were buying into this Porsche exclusivity. while the Competition Group option without sport seats slipped USD$1,900 into the bottom line of the USD$39,500 base price, the Weissach Package announced to the world that you weren’t fucking around.
in today’s money with inflation factored in, it was USD$14,609 over the USD$97,148 sticker price. Porsche labeled it option code M462 Special Model 82 Weissach and this is what they put in—
- electric sliding roof (M650 - USD$1,210 (USD$2,975 in 2015 money))
- Blaupunkt Bamberg QTS digital AM/FM stereo cassette radio (M115) USD$795 (USD$1,955 in 2015 money))
- amplifier system (M494)
- front and rear spoilers (M473)
- 7J x 16 forged alloy wheels (USD$795 (USD$1,955 in 2015 money))
- 225/50 VR16 radial tires
- special light bronze metallic paint (966 Hellbronze Metallic)
- special medium brown leather interior (M981 - USD$1,325 (USD$3,259 in 2015 money))
- Porsche leather luggage set (made by Seeger)
what the Weissach Edition did was flash a little flank to the Merc, Jag, possibly Aston, and old-ass Bentley drivers. once they came through that door, they got to see some 928 pinky. the Merc, Jag, and Bentley were made for suits, playboys, and drunk writers that combed the boulevards looking for whores. Porsches for them might have seemed a bit hard edged; this is something the 928 countered to an extent. yes, it could handle, yes, it was fast, but it could do all those hard-ass Porsche tricks like a high class socialite.
Saturday morning. one of these buyers walks into the dealer, sees a Weissach, and takes a peek inside. a warm two-toned leather cockpit seduces him. a deep inhale is interrupted by a salesman pointing out that not only are the seats covered in these rich hides, the gear shift knob and boot, the package box between the rear seats, instrument pod and dash, center console, steering wheel, the pillars and adjoining liners, door panel sections, armrests, headliner, even the front and rear visors weren’t spared for chrissakes. when the potential buyer is invited to look in the boot, the Porsche three piece matching luggage in matching leather made by Seeger not only amazes, but it nudges them over the precipice they were toeing. sold.
based on the left-brain sleep inducing figures you’ve just read, there was a difference of 9hp...big deal, right? well, no, not to the right side of your brain. you see, that deficit was a fault of the US versions emissions set-up that featured 3-way catalytic converters, O2 sensors, and secondary air injection. the one-two punch came with a lower compression ratio, ignition timing set at 23° before TDC at 3000RPM without vacuum (Euro/ROW was set at 28° TDC, same RPM, no vacuum).
"others wheeze their final breaths incapable of enduring another third world repair..."
this might explain why the US version needed this fine silver wire; our fuel quality and lower compression needed help. the heat value was the same at 8; the "W" and the "D" denotes the thread (14mm diameter) and thread reach (3/4" extended tip) respectively.
on the A22.01, the design is a fully automatic 3-speed planet gear unit with superior Mercedes-Benz guts with a torque converter ratio of 2.12. the final drive is a pinion without hypoid displacement design with a ratio of 2.750. the stall speed in RPM is set at 2,470+/-200/min.
the gear ratios:
1st gear — 2.306
2nd gear — 1.460
3rd gear — 1.000
Reverse – 1.836
the gear ratios:
1st gear — 3.6010
2nd gear — 2.4646
3rd gear — 1.8194
4th gear – 1.3433
5th gear – 1.0000
Reverse – 3.1621
for those looking to further strain the mind, here are the range of both engine and gearbox numbers specifically for model year 1982 US 928.
A22.01 3-speed automatic – serial numbers will range from 16C 0001>5000
G28.05 5-speed manual - serial numbers will range from 11C 0001>9999
these numbers aren’t a fit of whimsy, they have a purpose…particularly the first three digits/character. on the A22.01, the first digit “1” signifies engine code, in this 8-cylinder. the second digit “6” tells us it’s an automatic, and the third character “C” stands for the model year, 1982.
the manual follows suit with the first digit “1” assigned to 8-cylinder engines, the second digit “1” for 5-speed manual, and the “C” for model year 1982. the last four pack of digits on both versions is the serial number.
Weissachs equipped with M220 limited slip differential will have the number 12 in front of the serial number…remember that when checking one out. there you have it.
M28.15 (5-speed manual) – serial numbers will range from 81C 0001>5000
M28.16 (3-speed automatic) - serial numbers will range from 81C 5001>8000
these numbers broken down tell us this: first digit “8” is the engine number 8 for 8 cylinders, the second digit “1” is the engine type, in this case 4,5 liter US version, the third character “C” stands for 1982 model year, and the last four in the rank is the assigned serial number for the unit.
the number/character business ends with the VIN which will range from WPOJAO92_CS820001-9999. let’s break this one down for the amateurs and budding collectors:
WPO – world manufacturer code
JAO – filler symbol or vehicle-specific code for US/CDN cars
92 – first two (1st and 2nd) digits of Porsche model type
_ - test code or filler symbol
C – model year (1982)
S – place of production (S)tuttgart
8 – last (3rd) digit of Porsche model type
2 – code for body and engine
0001-9999 – serial number
suspending the front are a pair of double wishbones with coil springs and inboard double action shocks accompanied by a 28mm tube sway bar. the legendary Weissach Design composed of lower trailing arms and upper control arms with coil springs and inboard double-action hydraulic shocks with a 22.5mm tube sway bar bolts up to the rear.
wheels are forged Gullideckel design kissed with champagne lacquer finish measuring 7J x 16 front and rear wrapped with 205/55VR 16 tires. finishing off the underpinnings is a hydraulic power assisted rack lending a 11,5 meter (37,73ft) turning circle taking the 380mm steering wheel 3.13 turns from lock to lock.
back to the subject of exclusivity. officially, only 205 Weissachs were birthed from doors of Zuffenhausen. each one has brushed gold Porsche crest on the dash claiming the wearer’s rank in the file — it also came with a birth certificate authenticating the old girl. now, here’s how Porsche pulls a Ferrari move in the most Italian sense — apparently, they made a few more than the 205 they declared.
then I find a copy of a Weissach birth certificate for VIN 21757 registering it as Nº 217. further down it reads, “This is the only Porsche 928 registered as no. 197 in the 1982 Limited Edition of only 205 models.” the mistake must’ve been committed officials on our patch of dirt because it’s unlikely the error was made in Stuttgart. these are differences only a trip to the archives and a drawer of 928 files will solve.
the Weissach Edition 928 has been disrespected. lazy authors, selfish historians, and abusive owners have dirty oil on their hands. some sit in yards naked to the elements, others wheeze their final breaths incapable of enduring another third world repair, and a few have been put out of their misery. those who soldier on resemble great ocean liners of a century forgot; their collections of embroidered linens and bone china trickled out through each new hand. there’s profit to be made from such souvenirs. has the Weissach become a victim of the capitalism it once celebrated?
if there’s one 928 that holds an equal share of historical importance with first year models, it’s the Weissach. it wasn’t only celebrating the nerve center of the world’s most innovative constructor, it gave a nod to the place where the 928 first drew breath.
October 21st, 1971. Dr. Fuhrmann was presented with a wooden mock-up of where Professor Helmuth Bott thought Porsche’s rudder should be positioned; a front-mounted engine connected to a rear transaxle by a rigid tube.
what better way to celebrate the Doc’s birthday and the place where it all began?
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