Reader Submissions: Long Live '70s Paint Jobs And V8-Powered Porsches

Long Live ’70s Paint Jobs And V8-Powered Porsches

By Petrolicious Productions
August 2, 2018

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.

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Neil d'Autremont
Neil d'Autremont(@neil_dautremont)
2 years ago

I’ve got #7 Continental Orange 928, with a bad respray that I’m selling on Rennlist. Check it out there

Paul Glyde
Paul Glyde(@fb_1152010574828825)
3 years ago

Great grand-tourer. Here’s mine, the colour weirdly called called ‘Desert Sand’. More metallic maroon – still classic 80’s.

Jim Levitt
Jim Levitt(@jrl1194)
3 years ago

I had the first 78 with LEATHER in CA, (about 4 months after they started filtering in). I refused to take one with the black and white houndstooth cloth which they ALL were for a couple of months!
The same color beige with chocolate brown leather.
Engine blew up at 2000 miles so I guess it was not meant to be, My dealer gave me a new, beige (Medium Ivory), 78 930 and I was HOME again!

Rune Grothaug
Rune Grothaug(@rune_grothaug)
3 years ago

That Continental Orange is completely wild. I absolutely love it. I own a ’79 manual in Cashmere Beige myself – another funky 70’s color

Jim Levitt
Jim Levitt(@jrl1194)
2 years ago
Reply to  Rune Grothaug

THAT was the color of my 78.

J Pole
J Pole
3 years ago

I’ve had my 1980 manual for a exactly a year and find myself liking it more and more. I don’t have any particular allegiances to a marque or model (F40 is the exception) but the 928 just keeps getting better the more I learn about it & spend time driving it. The manual really is a different beast & feels lighter & more agile than any of the autos I’ve driven. It has been a very underrated car for the last 25 years or so but I doubt that will last much longer. It’s just too good a car

3 years ago

Beautiful car – what a spec! As much as I love a late model GTS, this is every bit as cool.

Whilst I’m on, thanks for making some of the very best beers I’ve had in recent years – every one is a knock out. Continental orange seems a remarkably close shade to the Sunday Pale Ale can…

3 years ago
Reply to  Thistlebeeace

Sunday Inspiration 🍻😊 Cheers for the support!

Chad C.
Chad C.(@chad-c)
3 years ago

Agreed on brand loyalty. I grew up with my dad being a hardcore Porsche enthusiast and spent many weekends at 356 Regristry Hiloday events. I still love the brand, but my love of Italian equals that of the Porsche and all things German.

For years, my dad hated my interest in Fiats. I couldn’t understand it, they were just so cool and so attainable to me. I remember him shaking his head when I pulled up in my 850 Coupe, and he declined a ride in it. It hurt my feelings. I remember responding to one of his snarky comments about my cars by saying “you know the difference between my cars and yours? Each of mine are paid for and I paid cash for each of them”. My mom got up & left the room.

The financial crisis of 2008 lit dad’s bonfire of the vanities, and he’s cooler about owning only what you can truly afford. He’s said he’ll drive my Lancia Scorpion/Montecarlo when I finish it, and that’s a big step for him. He’s missed out on 7 of my Italian cars that I know he’d appreciate. I mean, who turns down a drive in a Transaxle Alfa?

Maybe it’s a matter of appreciating design over the more vast experience of “motoring”? I could enjoy a ride in a 2CV as much as a ride in a GT3 without once wondering which is the better car. Driving an old school VW bus is really damn fun, as is a Renault 8. For me it’s the experience that I get from the car. That experience comes well before the reputation of the brand.

I’ve said here before that I’ll likely never be able to afford a rear-engined Porsche. Would an ability to do so affect my love of my Italian cars? I’ll never know for sure, but I doubt it.

Bill Meyer
Bill Meyer(@jack-straw)
3 years ago

Nice article and a gorgeous 928. I was surprised to see a nice one a few days ago here in Prescott……they are a bit thin on the ground in central Arizona.

I’ve included a photo of the first 928 I ever saw. It was in Santa Monica in ’78 I think.

3 years ago
Reply to  Bill Meyer

amazing !

Alexandre Goncalves
Alexandre Goncalves(@cacem)
3 years ago

Now, what a coincidence (but, thinking twice, Petrolicous and good taste happens more often that not lol)

I just took mine 83 manual 928 for a short drive (to the supermarket, to be more precise), sat down for a quick snack, open Petrolicious and bam! , 928 article 🙂

Could be more happier!

I think it’s the first time I’ve seen that color – that’s totally 70’s (but in a good way).

As to the Timing belt – if you buy all the parts, there’s a lot of info on the web on how to do it properly (as you would do for other cars).

And btw, if you have a manual how’s the stick shifter? Is there a lot of play?
That’s also one of the other small hassles that comes with having a 5 speed 928 – (again, there’s a lot of info on how to solve that situation)

Good luck with your shark!

There’s mine 928 Moss Green

Jim Doerr
Jim Doerr(@jadz928)
3 years ago

That was a great intro, but where was the rest of the story? Was just getting exciting then…. crickets.

For what it’s worth, there were more than 6 continental orange 928s. There are approx 6 that are bouncing around publicly or known privately. And there are known others with original paint, just not in the beautiful condition like your’s wow! CO was a 76-78 Porsche color, so you are correct wrt the 928, as 78-only color.