This Abandoned Porsche 928 Must Be Saved

No, no, no, no, no! Again? Another one?! I’ve come across way too many interesting cars in a state of abandonment here in Japan, and I don’t think I can take it any longer.

There I was minding my business, out on some nice mountain roads south of Tokyo driving an unexpectedly great car from Lotus (drive feature coming soon) when I passed it. The familiar and loved shape caught the corner of my eye, forcing me to involuntarily hit the brakes. I reversed slowly until I was next to it and then let out a big “WTF!”

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Seriously? A Porsche 928?!

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You couldn’t believe my disappointment at such a sight. I truly feel pain seeing stuff like this, and while the old AW11 Toyota MR2 I shared with you guys a couple of months back did look rather sorry for itself, this is on a whole other level.

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Not only had the car been left to rot away in a small, overgrown front garden, but it’s a higher caliber kind of car which makes the pain even harder to bear.

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The overgrowth has done a rather good job of reclaiming a hunk of metal that was once a shiny, beautiful creation from Stuttgart.

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If you are of my generation you’ll probably recall a movie from the ’80s called Weird Science. It wasn’t a masterpiece of filmography by any means, but it had hot women and a hot car in it, namely a black 928 which in one scene pulled a smoky peel out. That’s all that was needed for a young and impressionable Dino to fall for the 928 and I’ve had a love for the model ever since.

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This 928 sits in front of an abandoned house with a million other abandoned things dumped randomly around its perimeter. There would have to be at least a dozen other cars, plus a motorhome and a bus, not to mention untold household items like fridges, beds and gas cooktops.

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The car is left-hand drive and US-spec if the side markers and square rubber bumper additions on each side of license plate recess are anything to go by.

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On top of that, it’s an S4 variant, a later generation car which featured the quad-valve 5.0-liter V8 variant good for around 320hp in factory form. That may not sound like much for a GT cruiser when compared to what’s on offer these days, but back in the late ’80s it was serious power.

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But do you know the craziest thing of all is?

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Despite its state, it’s not actually in such a dire condition. Once you look past the superficial imperfections – the oxidation of the exterior paint, the crumbling trim pieces and he occasional bit of rust – it appears to be totally salvageable. The interior wasn’t in such a bad state either; the leather seats are still in one piece and apart from most of the trunk trim having come away from its original position, and some mould on the steering wheel, it looked like it could totally be restored.

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I’m not too sure what the front end will look like once you pull away those weeds, but at least it didn’t seem like the car was involved in any sort of accident before it was parked up. Like all the other abandoned vehicles, there was a note under the wiper from a local wrecker advertising its services, but I think the owner of this car – whoever it may be – will be making that call anytime soon.

The craziest thing is that even the stock wheels appeared to be in pretty good condition with hardly any scuffs or scratches on them. That said, you’d have to wonder what the underside is like; the state of the floor, the suspension and the motor and driveline is all unknown.

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After the Hakosukas in Nikko, Rocky Auto’s kyusha cemetery, the RS200 imprisoned in a garage in Tokyo, the Alpine that now may have been rescued and the aforementioned MR2 from April, I’ve had enough. The next time I’m in the area I’m going to hunt down more info on this Porsche from the locals in the little mountain town and do my best to turn this damn thing into a new Speedhunters project car!

While there I made a short video for my little YouTube channel project, so hit play and have a look at me blabbering in front of the camera.

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The last shaken sticker on the front window expired in the 11th Heisei year, or 1999, so it’s been sitting anywhere from 18 to 20 years (the shaken lasts two years, so that sticker was applied in 1997).

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Hopefully this isn’t the last we see of this 928 S4. This is one car that deserves to live again.

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino
dino@speedhunters.com

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77 comments

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1

I wonder if any drifter out there interesting to drift a Porsche 928...

2
Chris Colouryum

There's a couple of UK drifters who use them.

Author3
Dino Dalle Carbonare

No! Go away! This is mine! lol

4

Save it!

Author5
Dino Dalle Carbonare

I'll will sure as hell try! Mind you, if the owner is dead and there is no next of kin (something that's very probable in this case) there is no real legal way to purchase the car. :(

6
Chris Colouryum

Make it disappear from the lot then and re-appear somewhere else then ;)

7

Nice post Dino! I really hope you can get this S4 on the road again if you decide to pick it up. Would make a great project indeed. However, talk to your wife first. It will be expensive and take a lot of time. Hmm, maybe not talk to her before you buy or rescue it to be sure. I'll follow this project when you begin, already subscribed to your channel.

8
Oliver Morris

It's easier to seek forgiveness than permission in special circumstances like this! Go get it Dino!

9

So true :D

Author10
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Haha a project like this is something you hide from the wife... :D

11

So sad to see these beauties are abandoned like this...

Author12
Dino Dalle Carbonare

It's so sad isn't it? I want them all!

13

Hope your wife is not interested in any kind of car related things to the top level and will not read your articles (specially this one) or else you will be doomed.

14

Alternative idea: leave the cosmetics exactly as is, fix up the running gear, add new wheels and slammage - boom, instant 928 rat rod!

16

I think the drift/rat suggestions make sense to a point, I've seen better 928s than this that were absolute money pits. It's just not a cheap car to get back to factory condition.

17

Will return it to Stuttgart helps?

Author18
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Frightening thought!

19
William Gabriel

my heart cry

20

A 928 or 944 speedhunters project would be epic imho.

21

Dino ? A YouTube channel ? Instant sub.

Also, this being a Japanese car, I'd think that the bushes surrounding the apparently clean body are hiding a chassis from your worst nightmares. And on a Porsche, that would make a costly nightmare.

So as you may have guessed, my advice would be : Buy it of course !!

Author22
Dino Dalle Carbonare

LOL well it's not going to be in tip top condition under there that's for sure. But at least the rest looks like you can work with it...maybe...

23

Can't you just salvage it or do you need to talk with the police or something?

Author24
Dino Dalle Carbonare

In Japan these things are quit complex. At least it's been de-registered which means one wouldn't have to pay 20 year's worth of road tax lol

25
Mike Donnelly

That Alfa down the street though...

26
Gwynn Ballantyne

Do you mean the Evora down the street though? Because yes.

27
Mike Donnelly

oh i thought it was a 4C. Damn tiny cell phone screen

28
Jack Robinson

I guess I'm the only one eyeing up the Capella wagon then!

Author29
Dino Dalle Carbonare

LOL definitely!

30
Jack Robinson

I'm a bit of a fan ✌️ I own a capella/626 & get really excited when I see them in Japan. I know there rare over there but if you ever see one on your travels a spotlight would be a treat

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31
Estonianrx7626

haha, its really rare if you see someone in the internet who also loves a 626/capella :D

32
Jack Robinson

I've owned two in my years of driving. Love em aha

33
Eba Normaalne

My stepfather owned 3 gens of 626's , the latest gw model is the most reliable car i know, thatswhy i also drive it daily. Now i have a fc3s turbo rx7 also, because mazda!

34
Jack Robinson

I've only had two GCs. This is a really early 83 model with no power steering. It's a beast to park aha.

Author35
Dino Dalle Carbonare

You got it, maybe not the wagon version like the one close by to the 928 lol

36
Bastien Bochmann

Honestly, even if that thing is rotted underneath, if the chance presents itself, I'd buy that if I were you! Even if it's so far gone that the only sensible option would be to part it out, You'd at least get your money back and possibly make a decent profit.

37

The 928s were rather undesirable when they came out and they still are today. Leave the car where it is. Writing stories about it doesn't make it a classic.

Author38
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Some would say they are starting to become quite sought after now...

39

And some would say that Pagani is the modern day Da Vinci...

40

They are. Especially in Germany prices start to rise. This car won't be anywhere near the top asked prices but that's not the thing about such a project. A friend of mine has a 944 in now very beautiful condition. The car is not the most valuable Porsche ever but he loves it to the moon and back. That's what this is about. Especially after many hours and hours and hours of work.

41

That thing could be an electronics nightmare, run far away from it

-Porsche tech

Author42
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Motec everything

43

Do birds not crap on cars in Japan?

Author44
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Yes, only on my black BMW!!!! Fuckers!

45

If salved, would you keep it original or are there any modifications you are already thinking about?

Author46
Dino Dalle Carbonare

I'd spice it up for sure. I'd definitely make it sit properly on some JDM wheels just to piss off the purists lol

47

YES, THIS! DO IT!

48
Gwynn Ballantyne

Evora 400!!!

Author49
Dino Dalle Carbonare

What a crazy quick car! So much fun! Read all about it next month

50
Gwynn Ballantyne

I had the good fortune to test drive one about a year ago. There was a customer at the launch event that probably actually had money to buy one, but couldn't drive stick. So I jumped in!

51

Even when mildly neglected, they were prone to giving problems from electrical faults to (rear mounted) gearbox failure, so this is a nightmare for anybody except someone who wants to dedicate a LOT of time and plenty of expense just to get it all running OK again.

For it's low value as is - This isn't worth anybody's time in Japan, realistically. Not least, you'd have trouble finding the previous owner after roughly 18 years since he last parked it. There are better starting points to make a worthwhile project with. Buy a working 928 S4 and save yourself the pain both financially & mentally.

Author52
Dino Dalle Carbonare

But but but....I like it

53
MPistol HVBullets

um..... not Weird Science.......... the film was Risky Business.......... and I THINK the 928 in that film was a '79...... consider what car looked THAT futuristic in the late 70's???.......obviously one that still looked that good in '83.........but carry on

54

um..... not Weird Science.......... the film was Risky Business



Hate to rain on your parade, but Weird Science did in fact have a 928 in it.

55
MPistol HVBullets

Risky being earlier and featuring no other car of note but a 928 - kinda made me overlook Weird Science

56

It also had Kelly Lebrock..........mmmmm, nom nom.

57
Bruce Boutell

Both wierd science and risky business feature 928s

58

Looks inside: automatic slushbox. PASS!!! ;-)

59

Exactly. The engine is easily fixed with an LS swap, but the trans is a bigger problem. Some people get hypnotized by the Porsche badges, though...

60

I'm a big Porsche-O-Phile and my thoughts? Let this one go. You've spotted some genuinely great project fodder out and about in the world. Any of those GT-Rs or the RS200 would be great cars to get your teeth into and not lose your backside on. A 928S4 is...a money pit. A complete and utter money pit. Given that this one has been sitting in the grass for ~20 years or so. I'm looking it over and from here, it looks like you're going to spend far and away more money than this thing will ever be worth, to what end?

Don't get me wrong, Dino NEEDS a project car. Of this, I have no doubt. But having pulled some hulks out of the trash and done the work before and lost my ass because of it. Except in exceedingly rare cases, it is never worth it to put back together an abandoned hunk of garbage. It's always better to get something that rolls and preferably runs and drives. Fabrication work is extensive and expensive, not to be taken on by the faint of heart or the faint of budget.

Also - builds should NEVER start without a plan and goal in mind. With all due respect to your colleagues, some of their builds are stalled out, because of lack of direction (see Project Strip Club). Lest I forget to look in the mirror, I have one stalled project from lack of direction and two that have been sold off over the years, because of lack of direction. The only project I'm making headway on, is the way I sat down at the drawing board on two years ago and drew up my plan of attack on.

My final thoughts? Go find a decently nice 944 and go visit Nakai-San and ask him for inspiration and guidance on an RWB-inspired 944. If you're going to drag this 928 out of the weeds and do it up; it needs to get the Nakai-San touch to some degree. It would be a departure for him, but it could be amazing. It's the ONLY justification for dragging this one out of the weeds.

61

Good point, but I would still advice Dino or anybody else to buy the car if it is possible. Who said that it needs to be in perfect condition? It has a body. It has an engine. It has wheels. Make the body fit, not great. Make the engine run. And put nice tires. The interior doesnt matter. The paint doesnt matter. Original parts doesnt matter. Just drive the thing.

62

Not all of the projects have stalled though :P Just in case that finger is being pointed.

Author63
Dino Dalle Carbonare

I have 2 project cars right now and I don't really need a third! But the RWB route might be fun!

64

They are jumping in value a lot in the last few years. If it's pretty sound it would be a great investment for sure. I have been dreaming of building an RWB style 928 for years. I would love to see a good rendering of one like that. Hope you can get it for the right price my man.

65

how does stuff like this happen? something must gone wrong mechanically and must of been too expensive to repair at the time

Author66
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Who knows!

67

i can't wait for dagio satio to buy this a make sick drift car lol

68

I've worked on enough very nice and very rough 928's and S4's in particular to know that you really, really don't want to go there.

Money pit doesn't even begin to describe the pain you'll endure. I turned one away just last week for repairs as I felt the customer really didn't understand how badly things would snowball once we started getting into it.

69
James Brockmore

Unfortunately this is a common occurrence all across Japan. When I was there on vacation I talked with several owners of cars in very similar condition (including a very cool skyline C10 wagon) and was always turned away.

Either the owner still had dreams of fixing the car up or they considered it junk and therefore unfit to sell to anyone.

It's really sad. I fully understand wanting to finish a project, but when a car has been sitting long enough to be fully obscured by shrubs in the summer months and has trees growing through the body work... It might be time to let it go.

Good luck on your hunt Dino, I truly hope that you can rescue this from it's slow demise.

70

You don't have to fix it up... you could just clean and cover it. Then take the cover off on sunny days and dream about what it could be. :)

71

In my neck of the woods, a yard like that would be something we spotted out in the 'redneck' part of town, and probably around a barn with other random cars sitting around it. It always trips me out how people will hold on to vehicles, just parked on their property, without doing something with them. Even selling one that doesn't run is better than letting it sit for 10+ years without anything being done with it.

72
Jay Soh Tsu Chung

Dino, how easy is it in Japan for one to get their hands on abandoned cars like this?

73
Robert Polland

I love these articles. I've always felt remorse to see a old tired sports car just getting retaken by nature. My dad had an old FJ cruiser that had motor parts stolen back in the 80s in our back hat for years. By the time I I was even old enough to know what it was, it had turned into a rusty hunk of metal.

74
Jesse Bentley

Forget the Porsche lets see more of that Capella wagon!

75

Yes! I'm a huge fan of the 928 as well. I have 5 of them but all the OB's(78-86). It would be awesome to see a Speedhunters 928. You must make this happen if possible. Was it a manual or an auto? While the manuals are quite rare, the autos are a blast as well, especially when fitted with an aftermarket paddle shifter set up. Good luck man and keep us informed!

76
David Sciberras

I would just call up a tow truck driver i knew and get them to pick it up

77

Shouldn't be all that rotten as it's made from galvanised steel. Parts are very expensive though, so be wary before taking this on as a project! 928s are extremely complex and can be very expensive to restore! My Dad's had his 928 S4 for the last 20 years, and while it's in the condition of a 9 year old car (he bought it when it was 9 years old and has treasured it since) it has still cost him an awful lot of money to keep on the road, and it's a minter! But if you can make this into a project Dino, I'm sure the whole 928 community would love to see if you can rescue this car!

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