High Milers – Porsche 928GT

Here are a couple of questions for you…..

What’s the highest mileage car you’ve ever bought?

And would you take a high-mile classic car over a garage queen? At what price?

I check a lot of different vehicles online and I was struck by this one earlier today. It’s a Porsche 928 GT from 1990.

928GT1

928GT2

Is the 928 a classic?

….. I hear you ask.

Well, it depends on your opinion of the 928, but it’s definitely old enough to be considered as a young classic. Bear in mind that it’s nearly 40 years since the 928 was first shown at Geneva Motor Show in 1977 and it went on sale later the same year.

This 928GT is for sale for the princely sum of A$35,000 and you’re probably thinking that’s a very optimistic price. BUT….. a good 928S from the mid-80’s can sell for up to $20K here, a good 928S4 can sell for up to $30K so it’s not totally unreasonable to see a 928GT going for $35,000.

This particular 928GT, however, has over 400,000kms on it. So while the GT is a higher spec model and $35K isn’t beyond the realms of possibility, you’d normally expect to see half that number of kilometers on it.

But that brings me back to the question – would you take a high mileage classic car over a garage queen?

In the 928’s case, I would. The 928’s V8 is almost military grade in terms of build quality. You don’t have to search far on the 928 forums to find examples with significantly more than 500,000kms with no signs of ageing when their engines have been opened up. If the maintenance has been done on time, there should be no problems with a car like this.

On the other hand, a garage queen that gets driven once every three months (if you count “driven” to mean driving on to a trailer to get towed to a car show) is more likely to give you all sorts of issues due to seals and gaskets being dried up.

I guess it all comes down to whether you like to drive your interesting car, or have it pristine for people to appreciate. Neither option is right or wrong. They’re just options.

What’s the highest mileage car you’ve ever bought?

And would you take a high-mile classic car over a garage queen? At what price?

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14 Comments

  1. Always lusted after the 928. 1977, Star Wars hit the screens and these cars were like spaceships running about. BMW 633CSi was the alternative machine in the day, if you wanted cachet. But to a 12 year old, that V8 sound of a 928 under full acceleration was like nothing on earth. Lots of Ks, for sure, but the car is nearly 40! Which is only around 10,000km per year, which I would class as a ‘low K car”. Yes, I would give it serious consideration over a (real?) 150K example.

    1. Actually it’s from 1990, so doing the math makes 16.000 km / year, which isn’t much either. However, every Porsche demands for further investments and the question remains whether they’ll stay below the valued price on the market. My guess is that specifically the 928 has lot’s of potential in market-value and besides it’s a dream of a car …. I’d prefer a later 928 – like this one and the combination of colors from exterior / interior is timeless!

  2. in the end, every engine will need new seals and gaskets and what-have-you. There’s perhaps more chance a high-mile car has had these done than a middle ground sort of milage car, so maybe there’s something in it?

    1. Highest milage car i’ve bought is the 9-5 Wagon i just got for baby/dog lugging duties, with 220,000km on it. Not really that high but maintenance obviously wasn’t top priority for the PO – I’m up for head gasket, gearbox swap, wheel bearings, etc! It’ll be fresh when I’m done though and still only cost as much as any other 9-5 Wagon for sale without any of this work done!

      I really like used cars. I enjoy getting a good price, and bringing them back to life. There’s a pride in it that’s beyond maintaining something new.

  3. Highest mileage car I ever bought: 170,000 km.
    I did help a friend buy a 400,000 km 9-3. He’s still driving it six years later, so he did OK. The valve gear and camshafts still looked like new when he changed the valve cover gasket a couple years back.

    Would I take a high-mileage classic? It really depends on the previous owner. Some people maintain their cars like airplanes, most don’t.

  4. Regarding the 928:

    Yes, the 928 is a classic. No doubt about it.

    I would love a pristine early 924 myself. I don’t care that they are said to be slow and underpowered. I just love its lines.

    Regarding high-mileage cars:

    I just bought a 9-5 2.3t wagon with 271,000km on the clock.

    Beats the previous record, which was the car before that: a 9-5 2.0t saloon with 223,000km on the dial.

    Car before that was a 9-3 saloon which was quite young but still had racked up a hefty mileage, which I easily doubled to bring it to around 250,000km when I sold it.

  5. The 9000 I bought two years ago was slightly below 280000 km (and the spare parts car slightly above, but I don’t think that really counts). But I think it depends a lot of which car. For the 9000, here in Sweden I consider rust a bigger factor than mileage, as most mechanical parts are easy and cheap to find at the local scrap yard. There is also a quite limited number of components that degrades by mileage. I guess a Porsche 928 qualifies int the same category as Saab related to degradation related to mileage, although I’m under the impression that the Porsche engines are not as tolerant to .

    Garage queens, well, as I intend to use any car I buy, really low mileage cars don’t hold much additional value to me, it will soon not be low mileage anymore….

    Smaller and later model cars, where all parts where designed with cost as top priority, well, that’s another thing.

  6. mY 1973 911 RS 2.7 MFI has at least 230,000 miles [370,000 km] on it. I have driven 112,000 miles of that. It might even be 330,000 miles, am sure it is not 130,000. You see I have 5.1 digits on the odometer, so It read 17,000 miles when I bought it so that was 117,000 for sure. So this is the highest mileage collectible I have bought.

    VALUE??? Well the engine has a little over 100,000 miles and was the highest end rebuild when done. Trans is totally rebuilt 50K ago. Suspension and running gear is in great shape. Body work and interior restored…..so the mileage does not matter, and I think the car is valuable….at least to me…..and Swade has ridden in it, so that raises the value too!!!

    THE 928…….I spent a few months driving the 928 and my 340ZX turbo back to back when they were new……and the Nissan was a much better drive. I am NOT a Nissan enthusiast…..and I am NOT 928 fan and I will leave it at that. ……well they are OK, but big and heavy and very complicated to maintain. I feel it was a big Porsche mistake.

    My classic 95 Aero sedan has 200,000 miles. My beautiful girlfriends car has 166,000 both classics….we will drive them forever!!

  7. feedback from the Netherlands
    back in january 2013 I treated myself with a 329K km Saab 9-5 Griffin my2001 with runs on LPG
    next week I’ll have added 100K km to her tally (annual mileage is around 47K km)
    running costs (incl. fuel) amount to € 18,84 per 100 km (excluding purchase / depreciation / insurance)
    maintenance & repairs are done by a Saabspecialist.
    Best daily runner car I’ve ever driven

  8. It’s a classic. It was Car of the year back in 1978, those were the years, last year winner was a peugeot 3′ something

    Highest mile car I ever owned was my Saab 900 GT, 300.000 kms, when I bought it, ran like new

  9. Hi, this was my car. The buyer sent me this link – I’d not seen it before.

    Yes, the 928 is a classic, and the GT is arguably the pick of the bunch. Most 928s are automatic – and manual GTS’s are incredibly rare. To put it in context, there were only 18 imported in 1990 and 2 in 1991. The ’89 GT is different again, missing out on the PSD, and there were only 4 imported.

    This car was my every day car and was in far better overall condition than many other lower mileage cars that I’ve seen over the years. I drove it for 16 years, and at 340,000 pulled the motor for a pre-emptive rebuild. Aside from gaskets it didn’t really need anything – not even valve guides. New bearings and bolts, plus the intermediate cam chains and guides were done since the car was apart and the parts purchased.

    There was no appreciable wear – not even to the bores or thrust bearing.

    Since I drove the car every day it was easy to keep on top of the maintenance and keep everything in order. I won’t put up with something broken on a car that is my primary transport, whereas a garage queen simply isn’t exercised.

    I only sold the car because it wasn’t being driven often enough and I had limited places to park it – no room at home with the other cars and bikes meant it was parked at a neighbours house. If I had a bigger garage and more time then I’d still have the car today. In fact, if Tesla hadn’t have made such a compelling, fun and practical car then this 928 would still be mine and would have around 460,000km on it now. Yes, I averaged 16,000km per year in it.

    It never needed oil between services, was still as solid as a rock, the aluminium panels and galvanised body resist corrosion and it was a 5.6 sec 0 to 100 car with a nice manual transmission.

    It’s been on 1500km single day trips between Sydney and South Australia, to Brisbane and around NSW.

    At the end of the day, now that the car isn’t mine any more I think that even $35k was too cheap. I know that I will never be able to replace it for anything like that money – there simply aren’t many around to buy. dikl may prefer the Nissan 340?? ZX Turbo, but he probably hasn’t spent any real time with a 928GT, and certainly is wrong when talking about them being hard to maintain and his opinion of them being a mistake is typical of the 911 zealots who for whatever reason have animosity towards the 928. Having driven both I can say that I wouldn’t have put up with a 911 for all of those years.

    The biggest mistake Porsche made with the 928 was to stop making it. I loved that car, and the new owner will probably own it for many years as well.

    1. Hi Mark. Thanks for the insight. I wish I’d had such a great experience with my 928S. Sadly, it was not the example that yours was.

      Strangely, I still have a soft spot for the model, but I think it would have to be a 32V version of the car.

      1. The last of the 16v cars are also very fast and reliable vehicles, but do require someone that knows what they are doing – i.e. a 928 specialist repairer. There are many examples of 928s (and other once expensive cars) that fall into the hands of people who do not maintain them properly. I’ve seen countless examples of them with relatively low mileage but are in terrible condition. The biggest thing to look for when buying any vehicle is condition, not mileage – they can be related but often are not. 928s when maintained correctly are not expensive to own and drive, and are as reliable as any 20+ year old car will be. Keep on top of small inexpensive repairs before they turn into major, expensive ones. Make sure that whoever is servicing it actually has knowledge of the car in question – i.e. I never took my 928 to Porsche for anything since you could be pretty sure that no-one in the dealership had ever been trained on one. Every car has a few things that need to be monitored, and an example in the 928 is a $10 bolt on the clamp for the torque tube. The tension on this should be checked every service, and the bolt replaced if it has started to stretch. Over the 250,000km that I drove it, the overall cost of ownership was way less than buying a similar priced Commodore.

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