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Discussion Starter #1
Some will recall that I bought an '87 Porsche 928S4 (nicknamed the Orgasmotron) with the intention of seeing how practical it was to run a modern classic as a semi-daily driver. Time, I think then to give a report.

It took a fair wedge to bring the car to mechanically fully usable standard (it was already bodily concours). And in truth it'll probably never be worth what I've spent on it but then I'll probably still get back some / most of what I've spent when it comes to sell. A fairly major engine rebuild, suspension brake and exhaust rebuild, new wheels & tyres, various electrical niggles etc were all sorted before I started the exercise. I think the car had suffered like so many with a decade of poor maintenance and uncommitted owners - so I had 10 years of catch up.

The drive after all this was smooth, with a great V8 soundtrack (with a tweaked exhaust), effortlessly fast and with a better ride than my moderns on their low profile tyres. The car is an unusual sight on modern roads, I like that. I admire the styling, good from any angle but especially strong from front on and rear on. And it ticks the box for being an interesting and landmark engineering and design exercise.

On a trackday weekend, substituting for a broken Alfa Romeo, it was sublime on the way up, working as a comfortable mile eating GT. On track at Blyton (a short, bitty, handling circuit) it wasn't initially in it's best environment, being harried by the local hotshoes in their stripped down, lightened and tuned 306GTI's with slicks and without room to properly stretch its legs. But as the day went on and confidence and experience increased, it showed itself to be perfectly balanced and particularly good on a hard 95MPH S Bend taken virtually flat out. The day finished with rolls of rubber falling off the tyres but no untoward incidents of any type. It telegraphed loss of grip clearly and controllably.

On the road it handles the motorway trips with insouciance, comfortable, quiet, stylish and with plenty of kickdown power if needed. It wasn't until a long cross country trip on 'B' roads (coincidentally to see my Alfa restorer) that I fully felt just how good handling it was. It's completely flat round the corners, perfect 50/50 front rear balance with excellent steering feel, brakes and feedback and with enough power to get past dawdling Audi's. A pleasure in fact. It lacks perhaps the ultimate dynamic feedback you get with a 105 series car - but that's actually quite draining on a long trip. A trip yesterday to Wales saw 130 miles each way despatched in 2 hours - including some B roads both ends. It has been a fine companion on several weekends away.

Fuel consumption is 20MPG on general tooling around and commuting, rising to 24 on a long distance cruise and 22 on my mad blast to Wales yesterday. In reliability terms it had a starter relay issue (fix cost £116) and several more little electrical things - none serious.

The car has one major benefit - no corrosion at all. With a combination of plastic, Alloy and galvanised steel plus a body rebuild just before my tenure it has been the one area I've not got to worry about.

In summary, I think if bought right then it is possible to run an '80's classic supercar as a daily driver, though perhaps the Porsche is more practical than most contemporary rivals. Overall the costs are comparable to a newly bought modern so long as mileage is under 10000 PA. You do sacrifice safety, the only thing resembling an airbag in the car is the windbag behind the wheel.

Why's it called the Orgasmotron? Well, rather like Woody Allen's fictitious machine for replacing the messy reality of physical and emotional interaction in the reproductive process, the Porsche is a highly efficient way of delivering to your destination without full emotional or physical involvement. Though it's no worse than any modern I've driven in this respect.

Got a few road trips planned this year and then will review ownership late summer as finances will be tighter then and I hope to have the Alfa Coupe back too.
 

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Harry, you make some interesting and valid points in your year-long summary of life with a 928. I've always believed that good engineering principles stand the test of time. Everything else is just dressing. Popping a gearbox at the back (a'la 924/928/Alfetta/Volvo 340/Ferraris/modern Maseratis) is a good idea; it was good in the 50s, 60s, 70's and it remains a good idea in 2015. Knowing that the latest Prius has a infotainment system that's compatible with iOS and Android devices is - to me - a rather less interesting development in the history of the car :)

I have no doubt that a fundamentally well thought-out and reliable car can both last and still remain useful and relevant today. Motoring-wise, what has changed in 30 years? Well, traffic is heavier and moves slower (yet cars are faster), roads are even worse (yet even cooking cars can come with sports suspension, alloys and low profile tyres); car parking bays use measurements from the 50s (yet cars are getting bigger).

Obviously I'm biased, smokin' around in a 26 year old car. But I only made the decision to do that because it seemed more relevant than a modern against today's road/traffic backdrop and relative to the short journeys I do (500 miles a month).

So I totally see why modern classics work, even today.

But... I'd kill for a bit of your 928's contemporary-like oomph :)
 

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Magnificent, nonsensical tilt at a massive and anachronistic windmill. I tip my hat to you.

One of my favourite cars. Glad to see you've had such a great time. Well done.:yes:
 

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I still love the looks of the 928 in all forms from the early teledial cars to the last of the line pumped up ones. I also love to see old cars being used. The galvanised body probably makes that less of a worry but it's still brilliant.
 

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928, easily the best looking Porker of it's time. Much prettier than the Beet....err...911 :biglaugh:
 

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Great mini review Harry. I'm especially pleased that it has proven such a positive overall experience given the reputation of the 928 for electrical maladies and generally having an appetite for spending that would embarrass a Hollywood trophy wife,so it took guts to take one on. :thumbs:
 
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Looks wise I'd still take a 928 over a Panamera.

Great update, but a couple of questions:

1. Did you find a local indie who can fettle it (starter relay replacement for example) or did you DIY it? I assume you *could* still take it to a Porker main dealer, but that'd be pricey I expect and on the first check over they would presumably want to replace 80% of the cars components

2. Space wise can you get anyone in the back of a 928? I know they are advertised as a 2+2, but is that a 2+2 like an XK8 (I.e. you can if you want but it ain't comfy) or a 2+2 like a 911 (you just can't)

Glad to see that you mini-experiment has been a success. :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Good questions on maintenance. I had one big engine bill after head gasket failure 3 days after purchase which I used a porsche independent in Chertsey for. Then another big bill with the main 928 uk specialist in Stroud. He offers a pick up and drop off service for £75 which is a bargain and I have used twice.

With hindsight I would rather he had done the engine work. Little electrical stuff I used Hammond electrical in Guildford who is a one man band, ex alfista and sorted the silly electrical stuff cheaply and efficiently.

Done a few simple bits myself including 4 applications of leather cleaner and conditioner to the interior The car has a leather roof for goodness sake!

Visited a main dealer once for a piece of trim. Still quite good parts availability at a price from dealers.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Spacewise it has carried 4 adults but the rears are quite cramped. Similar to the Giulia coupe actually. OK for a trip to the pub but not much more. Better for kids under say 12. Or double lower amputees.

There is quite a cool rear facing sun visor that stops rear seat passengers getting hot by blocking off part of the rear hatch.

Front passenger seat legroom is compromised by the fuse box that sits in footwear (behind a sheet of hardboard ply!) So they would always prefer to have seat fully back for straight legs which compromises room behind.

So luxury for two with an occasional 1 or 2 rear seat passengers is best approach. Car has loads of luggage space for 2 and a very versatile rear hatch. Even fitted a very big screen display in once which I would have struggled in a normal car.
 

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Admire the 928, but I suspect I'd bottle it and go for a 944 (preferably Turbo) for a slightly easier on the wallet experience. Glad its working out for you - it looked (and sounded) well at Blyton!
 
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