The Porsche 928 as an Investment

porsche-raising-pricesFrom time to time someone will wander into one of the online Porsche 928 chat forums and ask about resale value or “investment potential” of the 928. It’s almost always by someone who has never owned a 928 (or any other type of Porsche for that matter).

The issue is a complicated one as there are so many variables (condition of the car, how many were originally built, age, options, etc., etc.). The short answer is: 99% of the time cars are a poor investment. As a general rule, most Porsches tend to hold their value much better than other cars, but even they are a game of diminishing returns in almost every case. The 928 is a niche car. The appeal of which is its uniqueness, its history, its build quality and almost never its cache.

What is an Investment Car?

‘Investment’ cars are cars that were limited in number or are old enough that a very small number of quality examples exist (e.g. Porsche 550 Spyder). More than 60,000 928s were produced worldwide (that’s not a small number). While the 928 was a “Super Car” in its day, its day only ended 13 years ago (not nearly long enough to be considered ‘vintage’). Investment cars are often models that were only made for a few years, like the muscle cars that routinely sell at auction for over $100k. The 928 went through several design changes from its introduction in 1977 through the end in 1995, but the basic body style remained very true to the original, which tends to make it seem like they’re all the same to the average person.

Other investment automobiles are worth more because they were well cared for from the time they were new, while most other examples were driven hard or modified. The 928 was the top of the Porsche line during its tenure and therefore most were well cared for and garage kept. Additionally, the 928 is extremely well built and sturdy, so only the most poorly maintained examples have rusted out or have been junked. In cases of cars being junked, the parts have been salvaged to keep others on the road, so there is no shortage (as yet) of parts for them with a few exceptions. While parts are not inexpensive by any means, but they are readily available.

Current and Future Values of the Porsche 928

porsche-928-gts-brochure.jpgThere is also the matter of return on investment. An average Porsche 928 can be purchased for $10,000 or under (average usually means you’ll be putting money into it due to deferred maintenance). These lower priced sales offset the occasional low mileage GTS that sell for many multiples of that number.

The availability of early model cars in various states of disrepair tends to pull down the value of all others in the same way that one run-down property in a neighborhood can affect the value of others in the area. This, coupled with the high cost of parts and unavailability of experienced mechanics to work on them, has made it an upside-down investment in every case. In all but the most exceptional of cases, there is no way to get out every penny you put into the average Porsche 928 if you add up the parts and labor. They’re just not that kind of car. At least not yet.

I’m going to hold onto mine for a while and see what the market brings though, just in case…

Today’s post is written by Mike Frye. Mike is a Porsche 928 owner and a friend from Rennlist. As one of the first people to answer my post requesting guest bloggers for 993C4S.com, Mike has served up another great article on the Porsche 928 (see his other post). If you want to get in-touch with Mike you can do so by commenting on this article or using the contact form and I will forward to him.

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9 Comments

  1. tarek says

    i think the porsche 928 back in its days made the 911 look like crap in all ways,
    911 owners didnt like the fact that the 928 had an engine sitting in the front, evn though the handling was evened out alot better, thats why they called the 911 a widow maker!!!
    i think it would be a great idea to bring back the 928 sometime soon to show the 911 owners what a real car can perform!!!

  2. says

    Tarek,

    I can’t agree with you on your statement about “making the 911 look like crap.” While I agree that the “shark” was/is a beautiful design (the GTS and S4 being my favorites), the 911 is an “icon” of sports car design.

    I’ve heard rumors of a new 928 in the near future (after the release of the Panamera). In fact, it’s my opinion that a lot of the design styling/cues for the Panamera come from the 928

  3. Shane says

    As with all Porsches not just the 928, it will give you more returns in smiles per mile then anything else. There are a few out there who will buy a 928 at a lower then average price, then turn it over for a profit. But, big but, they are doing it for that profit, not for the pleasure of owning and driving a fine piece of automotive engineering.
    I have put many dollars into my collection of ’86 928S super cars and don’t expect to sell them as an investment. My return out of these is sanity, the pure pleasure of putting one on like a glove and feeling it accelerate me down the road with the grand musical symphony of a Porsche V8 at full song…
    Another unexpected bonus of owning these is the great group of people you meet that are like minded and understand your passion. Understand all the little things that will bore the dickens out of your spouse or non-owner friends, these people will get it, and have the same perma-grin that you have.
    Can a 928 be an investment? In my mind no, not for $, but for the hobbyist that is willing to turn wrenches and spend the time to do his own work and reap the rewards, Yes!!

  4. F4GIB says

    Yes. If you have a low mileage, near perfect 1995 (last year) GTS. There never were more than 104 and now there are less than 70 on the road. One of the 19 or so manual gearbox cars would be even better.

  5. Lyle says

    Given that 928s easily outdrive and outperform most classic muscle cars it is only a matter of time before the price of well kept, well reconditioned, and well restored cars begins to escalate. The 928 was designed and built to be the flagship Porsche automobile rivaling Ferrari and other exotics. The 928, when new, commanded the highest sticker price of any production car. Good examples are still available for $10,000 and under. The turn out of 928s at the PCA events I attend is increasing. Sometihng is happening though what may not be clear at the moment. Get in a nice one and drive. Then you will no why “There is no substitute”

  6. david barry says

    I recently bought a very low mileage, pristine 1985 928S with a 5-speed. I’ve heard wildly disparate reports as to the percentages, or specific numbers, of manual vs. automatic transmission 928s in given years. Is there a source to go for a breakdown on this? I’d be interested in knowing both the grand total (in percentag) and the specific total, for my year – as a quattro-valve.

    I bought it partly because I think it has investment potential. But that was after trying out a 1985 3.2 Carrera and finding that, at 6’2″, I simply don’t fit in that car. This puzzles me, because I had three E-series 911s (72s and 73s) and was comfortable enough to drive cross country. I had plenty of head room (none had a sunroof, and I could get the seat so far back I could drive straight arm.

    The 3.2 Carrera had me jammed up close to the wheel, knees nearly touching the dashboard. Intolerable. Porsche must have changed he seatback slide to a major degree, though I can’t imagine why.

    In the 928, I have more than ample legroom, shoulder room, arm room, etc. Unfortunately, the car has a sunroof, and I have to tilt the seat back for comfortable headroom. Still, it is a world apart from the 3.2 in driver comfort. I also love the handling of the 928. I liked the handling of the 2.4’s back then, and loved their agility. But of course their price puts them way out o the park.

    I also own an E34 BMW M5, which deliver exciting performance and extraordinary handling. I think its power curve may provide more excitement than the ’85 928S, but it doesn’t have a look of visual charisma. The 928 has tons. Mine’s black, with flawless original paint and a pristine interior. It has been impeccably maintained. I could wish for the extra power of an S4, but couldn’t find one that approached mine for low mileage, condition, at an affordable price.

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