Many of my fellow 928 brethren agree that values are on the upswing. In general, automatic transmission models have gone up a few thousand dollars, with early models (1979-1983) hardly moving at all, and S4 (1987-1991) rising as much as $5,000 to $7,000. However, the major growth has been in 5-speeds. Values have jumped as much as $10,000 just in the last year or so with early models appreciating less than later models. I’m sure this is in large part due to that fact that less that 20% of all 928s came with manual transmissions.
As with all cars, condition is the biggest factor when determining value. As a data point, a 1986 928 with an automatic transmission with 80k miles would have sold for about $10,000 a year or so ago. That same car is now selling for about $15,000 today, minimum. The same car in a 5-speed would have sold for $13,000 a year ago, is now selling for close to $20,000.
There are a few models that seem to break the rules. The early 1978 models can be exceptionally valuable. One with less than 3,000 miles recently sold for over $100,000. The other one that is hard to pin down is the 928 GTS, which was made from 1993 through 1995. These cars have the 5.4-liter engine and if you find one in a 5-speed, I think less than 100 were ever produced. GTS values range from $30,000 to over $100,000 with early 1993 models receiving less appreciation than the last year models.
So is it a good time to get into a 928?
What does it say on the bottom of my portfolio, “Past performance in not indication of future performance.” That’s the case with 928s. One good downturn in the economy and the values could drop. Similarly, if the economy chugs along, the values could also continue to rise.
One thing is for sure, the 928 as we know it, will never be produced again. These cars are getting rarer every year. Maintenance is still a pain in the butt, and they all suffer from 90’s wiring that was designed in the 70’s.
If you can find a well-sorted car, it can serve you very well. If you find a basket case, it too can serve you well, but you’ll have to spend countless hours (and dollars) diagnosing and fixing each system. Even then, in either situation, these cars have their quirks.
For example, I just finished getting my 1991 GT (5-speed) back on the road. From 1990 on, the 928 received a digital dash. It updates the car, but still relies on logic circuits designed in 1975. Every time I start the car, I get an airbag warning lamp. Then I get a timing belt warning light (it’s actually fine), and then I get a brake service warning light (it’s also fine). I wish I could just tell the car to ignore these systems, but I can’t. The logic circuits on these systems are very complex, so one little issue can make the dash light up like a Christmas tree.
In some ways, I almost think the earlier 5.0-liter 928s (1985-1988) are slightly better and may continue to appreciate more than other 928s. They’re fast. 300 horsepower doesn’t sound like much today, but back in the mid-eighties, that was massive. Getting one of those cars in stock form would be the ideal purchase today in my opinion. If you can get it in a 5-speed, then you really have something.
A friend of mine recently fixed up a beautiful 1986 928. Everything was stock on the car. He did the timing belt, water pump, and cleaned up the intake along with a few other small service items. That car was flawless! He sold it to a local gentlemen who will now have a wonderful stock 928 that will be a solid runner, and will continue to appreciate in value as long as he takes care of it – which I’m sure he will.
One of the best parts about having a 928 as an investment is that you can drive it and have fun with it. When was the list time you drove a 401k or a mutual fund?
SAVE THE DATE – August 6, 2016 – SHARKS IN HELL
Every year, the local 928 group hosts an event called Sharks in Hell. One of our local guys has a cottage in Hell, Michigan and welcomes anyone to come and have a picnic with the 928 group. This year the main event will be on August 6th. Look for an official announcement in the next P4.
About the author: Andrew Olson
I'm a long-time 928 enthusiast. I like long walks on the beach and a soft shoulder to cry on... where's Brian?