Junkyard Find: 1982 Porsche 928

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

Though the Porsche 928 was built all the way up through the 1995 model year, most of the ones you’ll see— on the street, in the junkyard, or at a LeMons race— are going to be from the Malaise-y 1978-1982 model years. I see them in junkyards every so often, although mostly they’ve been picked over too much to be worth photographing. In this series, we’ve seen this weirdly wrapped movie-car 928 and that’s been it until today’s ’82, which I saw in California last week.

I’d always wanted a 928 intake for my garage wall, but never had the energy to remove all those finicky German fasteners. Then a generous LeMons team gave me one last month. I thought about grabbing the rubber hoses and hose clamps from this one, but got sidetracked by one of the greatest finds I’ve ever run across in a junkyard.

This one has been picked over pretty well, with the interior and electrical goodies being most desirable.

These cars depreciated hard, and you can get a runner for under a grand if you don’t mind a little ugliness. Then you’ll be scouring the country for parts donors.

The interesting thing about these cars is that they’ve proven themselves to be among the fastest legit $500 cars that you can run in the 24 Hours of LeMons (the Ford Probe, believe it or not, appears to be the quickest of all the cheap crapcans, in terms of raw road-course lap times). 928s with automatic transmissions and stock suspensions have set down the quickest lap times at three of the past five races (and every single one has been knocked out by catastrophic mechanical failures, but that’s another story).

Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

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  • Superdessucke Superdessucke on Sep 25, 2014

    What an unholy mess! Who lets a Porsche, the star of Risky Business no less, get like this?? Ugh! Disgusting!

  • Crtfour Crtfour on Sep 25, 2014

    I can vouch for the fact that these were very well engineered and built cars. About 15 years ago when I would occasionally flip cars, I had an '85 928 and '85 Corvette at the same time. Both had right around 90k miles. The vette was an absolute rattle trap and the Porsche not a single squeak or rattle. I still remember the solid "thunk" when closing door of the Porsche as opposed to the sound of the Vette door closing. The little things that separate a high quality car from the rest, and the Porsche had them in spades. The Porsche just made the Vette feel like a piece of junk....and I'm a vette guy. Whenever I see a 928 I regret selling the one I had. I personally prefer the later restyled ones, especially the rear end. To me the newer ones look less akward.

  • Lorenzo The unspoken killer is that batteries can't be repaired after a fender-bender and the cars are totaled by insurance companies. Very quickly, insurance premiums will be bigger than the the monthly payment, killing all sales. People will be snapping up all the clunkers Tim Healey can find.
  • Lorenzo Massachusetts - with the start/finish line at the tip of Cape Cod.
  • RHD Welcome to TTAH/K, also known as TTAUC (The truth about used cars). There is a hell of a lot of interesting auto news that does not make it to this website.
  • Jkross22 EV makers are hosed. How much bigger is the EV market right now than it already is? Tesla is holding all the cards... existing customer base, no dealers to contend with, largest EV fleet and the only one with a reliable (although more crowded) charging network when you're on the road. They're also the most agile with pricing. I have no idea what BMW, Audi, H/K and Merc are thinking and their sales reflect that. Tesla isn't for me, but I see the appeal. They are the EV for people who really just want a Tesla, which is most EV customers. Rivian and Polestar and Lucid are all in trouble. They'll likely have to be acquired to survive. They probably know it too.
  • Lorenzo The Renaissance Center was spearheaded by Henry Ford II to revitalize the Detroit waterfront. The round towers were a huge mistake, with inefficient floorplans. The space is largely unusable, and rental agents were having trouble renting it out.GM didn't know that, or do research, when they bought it. They just wanted to steal thunder from Ford by making it their new headquarters. Since they now own it, GM will need to tear down the "silver silos" as un-rentable, and take a financial bath.Somewhere, the ghost of Alfred P. Sloan is weeping.