Long Live ’70s Paint Jobs And V8-Powered Porsches
Story and photography by And Union
Living in Germany one tends to form an opinion on the automakers based in his country, often in the form of an allegiance to one marque. “I’m an Audi guy,” “BMW will never be Mercedes-Benz,” “M3 forever”—that sort of thing. I try not to pick sides though, as to me it just limits one’s potential experiences in the world of Car. Not only in the sense that if you drive one brand and one brand only you’ll miss out on the good stuff built by the others, there’s also the social aspect of hanging out with a crowd of people that may or may not constitute an echo chamber. It’s something to be always be wary about.
Rooting for your team or having your preferences is all well and good and a healthy part of your psyche, but only to a point I think. When you go too far into one thing you either become recognized for your dedication and subsequently praised for it (a “guru”), or else you become just another one of those people who rants and raves incoherently to an uncaring and barely listening audience that doesn’t much give a damn about what you have to say regarding M Power versus AMG. These loyalties even exist within marques oddly enough, and for evidence of this we need only to think about Porsche and the introduction of the 928.
Developed to supplant the popular but aging (ha!) 911, the front-engined water-cooled V8-powered GT cruiser called the 928 has gone through the gamut of public opinion since it was released to the roadways in 1978, and even today you’ll find groups at Porsche events who staunchly support these cars or else write them off as footnotes in the story of the 911 the Great.
However, when it launched in 1978, the motoring press and public heaped on the praise for the leather-clad continent-crosser; here was Porsche taking a wholly new approach to the creation of a sports car, but with the result being so different from the 911 and yet still so good, it would soon become an obvious point of division between those who believed Porsche continue branching out and those who stuck steadfast to their 911s.
The 928’s timing belt nightmare and the associated quips on maintenance are at the common attacks from the opposition, but really, these are unfounded. I’m not a die-hard 928 owner or anything like that, but the fact is just about any car with comparable performance to this thing back then required similar timing belt jobs or worse, and at a higher frequency too. Oh well, the stereotypes for the car’s reliability just means there are less of us chasing down the good ones today I suppose. They are getting a bit trickier to find lately—as is the case with anything vintage experiencing a bit of “rediscovery”—and when I started looking for a first-year, manual-transmission 928 with a period-correct color it wasn’t like they were being flung my way. I finally found mine in a barn where it had been sitting neglected for a number of years. Exhuming it from its casing of dust revealed a brilliant Continental Orange paint job (I believe this is a ’78-only color, and that this car is one of just six that still exist, and the only with original paint), and I was happy to learn that the rest of the car was also as it was. No partial or full restorations, no color changes, no interior swap-outs for Pascha, just a preserved—if a bit dirty—Porsche 928.
I can thank my father for getting me interested in cars from a young age (how unique am I?), and more importantly for instilling in me the right mindset; it’s not about loyalties or allegiances, it’s about the feeling we get from a car regardless of the badge it’s wearing or where it’s engine sits.