story by pablo deferrari photos by owner
I was falling madly in love with the early 928s before they wore spoilers. It was, to me, the quintessentially purest rendition of model that was faithful to the original design first seen in Geneva on its debut in 1977. That's what I wanted.
1981 was sort of non-exciting period for the 928...at least on this side of the globe. It didn't possess the charm of the '78s and '79s and it wasn't the S quite yet...but it did have one ace up its sleeve. The much more flexible Bosch L-Jetronic fuel injection system and that was evolutionary…and the Competition Group package option.
The Bosch L-Jetronic fuel injection system brought the 928 into '80s. This system introduced in MY 1980 replaced the CIS K-Jet and promised to be a bit sweeter than it's predecessor...less fussy. The engine number for this model I was looking at should be the M28.16 with a 9.0:1 compression ratio (the M28.15 assigned to those mated with manual gearboxes) paired with the A22.01 automatic. A three-way catalyst, air pump, O2 sensor, and central cold-start injection helped the new car meet stricter Federal emissions regulations. Aside from that, the other differences were in the suspension and interior and options.
The thing that made drivers go a big rubbery one? The 85 MPH speedometer. The logic behind this government mandated move was the equivalent to castration. It was thought to deter speeding thus saving fuel...right on guv!
As mentioned earlier, this car, the one I looked at, had a very lofty asking price...I'll explain why. The current owner went to an auto auction where he saw old girl and was smitten. He won the auction and brought her home. And there she sat, for close to 5 years; never driven, never registered or insured, and never titled. Can you believe this? Of course you can. You see, I never really got a straight answer from the owner other than that he fell on hard times and never got around to enjoying this strange new toy that was becoming on eyesore to his neighbors. He’s lucky they didn't sneak around to his front door at night and urinate into his mail slot in spite of this.
On start up the engine shook so violently that watching it sway from side to side began to make me sea-sick, the motor mounts decided to pack their bags and leave a long time ago. I then tried to see where the massive exhaust leak was coming from only to find that there wasn't any exhaust system at all. The silencers from the cat back followed the motor mount's wise decision to head for the hills...nothing there. The problem with this discovery was that no one except Borla (which isn’t my cup of tea because it looks too boy-racer for my tastes) made a suitable replacement. The original rear and center silencers, if still available, would set me back around $2000, the motor mounts would coaxed back home for an additional $230 each. I, of course, would supply the labor along with every single German curse word I knew while doing it.
What I briefly considered doing with this car was adding the necessary components, make it a safe driver, give a good wash and a shave and off she'd go to a new owner. But I just can't here because this poor fellow set the asking price based on what he paid for it at auction...I know because I saw the invoice, it wasn't a fake and he seemed too honest of a guy to pull the wool over my eyes. I thanked him for his time, shook hands, and off I went.
Oh, and that trick I learned on this day? Open the hood or hatch and hold it high while you cleverly squeeze a pair of vice grips on the shaft of the strut where it meets the outer barrel and poof, the hood/hatch stays up! Imagine that, the broomstick is made obsolete.