Peak Porsche?

I read a story on Petrolicious a few weeks ago that piqued my interest. It asked whether we’ve reached ‘Peak Porsche’ yet – a question to which there is no certain answer but one would have to hope that the silliness will end some time soon.

There is absolutely no doubt that the Porsche 911 is a rare and truly worthy recipient of the over-used ‘icon’ label. It has endured. No matter which model you talk about over the car’s 50+ year history, the 911 has always been elegant, reliable and in the top quartile of the performance scale for it’s generation. And that’s probably being a bit harsh.

So was it really under-valued for so long or have things gone a bit nuts over the last 3 years?

I’m really not sure, but here’s some of my personal experience.

Back in 2013 I sold my Alfa Romeo GTV6 and I was looking around for a fun car to replace it. I eventually bought my 968 Clubsport for $30,000 and that amount of money was a stretch for me. I briefly considered buying an air-cooled 911 at the time and believe it or not, I could have got one for that money. It would have most likely been an import, a less desirable 2.7 from the 1970’s or something in need of significant repair (see my vehicle value maxim) but it was possible.

The one that caught my eye the most was a UK-Import known as a Carrera Super Sport. It was for sale for $45,000 here in Australia at the time (2013).

Porsche911

So that was then. This is now.

The cheapest 911 in Australia right now that isn’t a) a 996, or b) a cabriolet, is a 1978 3.0 911SC going for $59,000 and it’s a UK car rather than Australian delivered. This would have been a $30,000 car back in 2013, without doubt.

The prices rise quickly from there, too.

The 2.7 model that preceded the SC used to sell for even less given that it’s perceived to be a weaker engine. It was the least desirable model back when I was looking around, regularly available in the mid-$20K range. The cheapest one I’ve found on carsales today is selling for $79,990 at a dealership in Victoria.

Porsche911272015

Then there’s the 1971 2.2 Targa that was originally Viper Green and LHD and is now Guards Red and RHD. This would have been a $20-25K car back in 2013. Not only is it a targa (go ahead, ask a purist) but RHD conversions were some of the lowest value cars back then. This one’s now offered for sale at $80,000.

Porsche911222015

Of course, there are a lot of people speculating on the Porsche they bought 5 years ago. They see the prices going nuts and they want a piece of that action. Prices have been going particularly loco on Porsches up to 1974, which is why this buyer has the temerity to ask a price that would have had people rolling in the aisles just a few short years ago.

If you don’t get it, you’re not the only one. Yes, Porsches were probably under-valued for a few years prior to the recovery from the global financial crisis. You have to bear in mind, however, that there are so many 911’s on the road. These cars were made in big numbers and they’re very reliable, meaning there are still a lot of them around compared to other high-end sports cars.

I can certainly understand them going up in price over the last few years, but I’m not sure I understand them going up by this much.

Is it a Petrolicious effect? Is it a Magnus Walker effect? Is it simply that people are placing a premium on having an air-cooled Porsche experience?

Whatever it is, the 911 is now well and truly out of my price range, which makes me a little bit sad. I’m going to keep myself as debt-free as possible so that I can take advantage the next time that prices bottom out.

——

The 968CS I bought?

968’s are currently selling for between $24,000 and $39,500 but none of those are ClubSports and my guess is that none of them are going to sell quickly. That was always an issue with the 968. It’s an incredible car but few people really know about them and fewer still want to spend their hard-earned on one.

I sold mine for the same $30K I’d paid for it and I was happy with that. It might be worth a bit more now, but it hasn’t kept anywhere near pace with the growth in the 911.

I probably should have stretched myself for that Super Sport.

——

And for what it’s worth, if I was looking for something right now…..

This BMW M Coupe just sold for US$15,500 at auction on Bring-a-Trailer. You won’t get one for that price in Australia (or Sweden) but it seems like a very good way to spend some fun-car money.

I’ve never been a big BMW fan but I do love me a clown shoe.

BMWclownshoe

——

Classics By The Track – Suzuka Circuit

Sooooooo……

One of the great parts about my new job is that I get to attend amazing events sometimes. The first job I did with Koenigsegg was actually a few weeks before I formally started working for them. It was mid-May when I hopped on a plane bound for Japan, to attend the Sounds of Engines event at Japan’s most celebrated racetrack – Suzuka Circuit.

There were a lot of cars on the circuit that weekend, typically they were cars that had some sort of connection to the circuit, such as a race win. There were some winning Formula 1 cars present, for example, and others that didn’t win but had been drive at the circuit in anger.

Then there was the display, with some of the most mouth watering sports cars on the planet, both old and new. Japan might have had minimal economic growth over the last few decades, but there’s still enough to go round and they really know how to look after their cars.

Click to enlarge and (hopefully) enjoy.

——

My New Job

I’ve mentioned the fact the I’ve got a new job a few times on this site. Well, it’s time to spill the beans……

When I was a kid, around 10 years old, I sat an entrance exam for a fancy private school. Well, I say ‘fancy’, it was fancy for a family of our humble means but it was really just a mid-tier private school.

Anyway, I went along to this entrance exam and as adults are prone to doing with young children, they asked me what I want to be when I grow up. As children are prone to do in such situations, I gave an unexpected honest answer – I wanted to be a truck driver!!

Mum came to pick me up after the exam and I told her what had happened. She responded…..

I’M NOT PAYING ALL THAT MONEY TO SEND YOU TO THAT SCHOOL SO YOU CAN BECOME A TRUCK DRIVER!!!

That went well.

So, I did the ‘right’ thing. The expected thing. Eventually. And after a remarkably dull accounting/auditing career I ached for a job that I actually cared about. A job that I could get excited about.

There are two possible jobs that come to mind:

a) Become a puppy – puppies get to eat, sleep and play all day. Everyone loves a puppy. Who wouldn’t want to be a puppy?

b) Write about cars.

Given that science hasn’t advanced to the point where I can become a puppy, I have to go for option b.

I’ve always loved writing and cars are probably the only thing that I can write about with anything resembling an educated manner. I did it as a hobby and that went well enough for me to get a job at Saab, even if that particular opportunity didn’t go well enough to last.

Thankfully, however, I’ve received a second chance. And it’s a very exciting chance, too.

Last weekend I enjoyed the 2015 Saab Festival in Trollhattan. As you read this, I’m now a few hours south of Trollhattan, sitting in an office in Angelholm. Here’s the view outside my window:

IMG_1301-2

If you know your automotive geography, then you know that Angelholm is the home of Koenigsegg, which is where I’m working from this week forward.

I have to say, working for Saab was pretty much my dream job. Working for Christian von Koenigsegg and his company goes way past dreams. We’re now in the realm of fantasy jobs and I feel extremely fortunate to have this opportunity.

What will I be doing?

I’ll be the native English speaker in the crew and I’ll work alongside the people in marketing, PR and social media. We’ll be doing all sorts of projects, events, press/sales materials, website copy and more, including some ‘Inside’ stories to share a little more about the processes and the people that make up this amazing company.

I’ve already been to Japan to cover an event the company did at Suzuka Circuit and in a few weeks, I’ll be off to cover other events in far-flung parts of Europe and beyond!

It’s a super-exciting opportunity and I feel like the most fortunate car guy on the planet right now.

Come and check things out at Koenigsegg.com and on the Koenigsegg Facebook page.

——

Finally, to answer a few questions that I know you’re already thinking of…. 🙂

1) No, I don’t get a company car.

2) Yes, if you’re visiting the area, there’s a chance I can get you a peek inside. Maybe. But check first.

3) No, I can’t get you a ride in one.

4) Yes, the new lenses came in handy. Click to enlarge.

Vale Erik Carlsson

Ironic that this should happen just a few hours after NEVS’s positive news……. but it’s turned into a sad day for Trollhattan and Saab fans in general.

It’s with great sadness that I report today on the passing of a Saab legend, perhaps the biggest Saab legend of all – Mr Erik Carlsson. Erik passed away in his adopted England today after a short illness. He was surrounded by family.

“Mr Saab” was born in Trollhattan, Sweden, in March 1929 and the story of his life is inextricably bound to the city and the car company that was based there.

Erik drove his first rally victory in a Saab in 1955 when the company was less than 10 years old. That was a two-cylinder Saab 92 and he went on to experience rally success with the Saab 93, Saab 95 and the Saab 96 with both two-stroke and V4 engines.

Saab fans will be well aware of his successes. While Erik won various events between 1955 and 1959, it was his winning of the RAC Rally of 1960, the first year of the Saab 96, that cemented both he and Saab on the motorsport map. Erik’s legend goes hand-in-hand with the Saab 96, which he took to first place in the famous Monte Carlo Rally in 1962 and 1963. He also won the RAC Rally two more times in 1961 and 1962. The 1000 Lakes Rally, the Acropolis Rally, the Swedish Rally, the San Remo Rally, the Czech Rally – all of them have Erik Carlsson’s name in their history books under “Winner” and many more have him as being placed on the podium.

Erik even drove the heavier Saab 95 estate vehicle at Monte Carlo, finishing in 4th position in 1961. I’m not sure that a two-door, 7-seat station wagon has ever been so close to glory, either before or since!

saab_95_montecarlo

After his retirement from rallying, Erik became Saab’s most prominent ambassador. The amount of frequent flyer miles he would have accumulated travelling for Saab to events around the world would have broken most airline computers, I’m sure.

It must be said, however, that Erik’s days as an ambassador for the company took shape even when he was still rallying. When accepting victory trophies in his Saab 96, Erik always insisted that the car was cleaned before it was presented. He and his co-driver would always show up in dress suits rather than racing suits to accept the trophy. Presentation was paramount.

Erik famously promoted the Saab 900 at events around the world, driving it at speed over a large blade that would puncture the front tyre. At the time of the puncture, Erik would raise his hands out from the sunroof to show how well balanced the Saab was even under pressure.

Erik’s longevity as a Saab ambassador – a role he played well into his Eighties – can be attributed to his personal charm. Erik loved the role and he played it well. He had a cheeky smile, plenty of stories to tell and a willingness to engage anyone in conversation. And so prominent was Erik as an identity at Saab that they released three Carlsson edition vehicles in his honour – a Saab 900, a Saab 9000 and a Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan.

There would barely be a Saab fan that’s travelled to a prominent Saab event that didn’t get a handshake, a photograph or an autograph from the great man. He had time for everyone, even in his later years.

I had the good fortune to spend an afternoon with Mr Saab back in 2012. The day was organised by mutual good friends Mike and Hilary, who have spent a lot of time with the great man in the last 20 years. I encourage you to read that story as it says a lot about him outside of the spotlight.

That day taught me a lot about Erik Carlsson. It showed me the way he cared for the company, talking about it in an educated fashion like a man who still had his finger on the pulse, even in his advanced years and at such a distance. It showed me the way he loved his RAC replica Saab 96 (see video, below), which he drove with such exuberance on the day. More than that, though, it showed me his warmth as a man. He was deeply charming, extremely generous with his time and compliments, and he loved his family deeply.

Erik Carlsson married Pat Moss, the sister of Sir Sterling Moss, in 1963 and like his heritage from Trollhattan, this partnership shaped the rest of his life. Pat Moss was an accomplished driver in her own right and they wrote a book about the art of driving together. The couple settled in England, where Pat indulged her other passion – horses – which she passed on to their daughter Susie. Erik still lived just down the road from his daughter right up until his passing.

Erik Carlsson lived a full life, passing away at the age of 86. It was a life worth celebrating, a life to be remembered with fondness.

He was, and always will be remembered as Mr Saab.

Vale Erik Carlsson.

NEVS Take On Two NEW Chinese Owners/Partners

Here’s the press release, and there’s a little more to read below it.

Nevs grows with two Chinese strategic part owners

Together with two new Chinese part owners Nevs will establish its second global factory with focus on electric vehicles and a second global research and development center in the city of Tianjin, neighboring Beijing City and Hebei Province, three highly-integrated economic regions with a population over 100 million.

With the new part owners, Tianjin city’s Tianjin Binhai Hi-tech industrial Development Area (THT), and the Beijing State Research Information Technology Co., Ltd. (SRIT), Nevs has got two new strategic partners.

Tianjin is one of the biggest coastal cities in China and has significantly promoted new energy vehicles both in the form of consumer subsidies and official procurements.

The Tianjin city’s fast growing national level demonstration zone THT embraces a long history of automotive industry. Here is where the joint venture production plant will be built. This will give Nevs a strong foothold on the increasing EV market in the area and China, as well as provide Nevs access to the existing automotive supplier base in the region.

SRIT is a pioneering IT service provider owned by China’s Research Development Center of the State Council, and the telecommunications giant China Unicom.

As software services and connectivity as well as new energy vehicles are the major and increasing trend within the automotive industry, the cooperation with SRIT and its owners will give Nevs a unique possibility to place itself at the forefront of connectivity for the future. SRIT as a partner will also open up more opportunities for Nevs.

The first car that will be produced in the plant in Tianjin is an electric vehicle based on Nevs’ technology, followed by a diversified EV and portfolio of battery electric vehicles and EVs based on Nevs’ new developed vehicle architecture.

“Nevs’ focus is to produce high quality electric vehicles with China as its initial main market. The long-term cooperation with the development area THT in Tianjin and the IT pioneer SRIT will help us achieve our vision and our goal of a global strategic presence and is an important addition to the resources we have in Trollhättan”, says Nevs president Mattias Bergman.

——

Additional info gleaned from TTELA, Saabtala, Pingu in comments (who should really have his own author account on this site, he’s so far ahead of me on this) and other impeccable sources such as mates on Facebook…..

The full buy-in for these partners is apparently around $200 million and they’re minority shareholders at this point. More deals are supposedly in the pipe. The first tranche of $40m has hit the bank, which is why NEVS made the announcement. That’s a wise move, but it doesn’t necessarily fill you with confidence.

As pointed out by the mate on Facebook, the $200m doesn’t limit the money NEVS might have to play with. It’s just the buy-in price that reinvigorates Kai Johan Jiang’s wardrobe after he nearly lost his shirt. The total investment these new partners make could be anything at all. They could be a bunch of whatever-it-takes types. They could be scrooges. All we know is that it looks like NEVS are heading back to focusing on EVs once again and for the sake of their business plan, that’s probably a good thing.

There’s no mention of the Saab name and there’s no mention of Mahindra, which makes me think the Saab name is now finally, completely off-limits. That’ll reduce the level of interest for some people on its own.

Of course, the whole scenario is less interesting to many, anyway. I count myself in that lot. I keep saying “this’ll be the last time I write about Saab cars” and then I keep on writing about NEVS. I think it’s just a habit now. Truth be told, my main interest is in older Saabs – the V4s, the 900 and 9000. Maybe add the first 9-3 in there as well because of the Viggen.

From what I can tell, the cars that NEVS produce will have little, if anything, in common with those vehicles that first caught the imagination of thousands around the world. There will be design and engineering activities in Trollhattan, I’m sure, but the gradual movement to a base in Tianjin feels inevitable.

As someone who’s invested a little bit of life in Trollhattan, I’m glad that this is happening for the city. If it keeps Mama Mia’s and O’Learys open so I can get some pasta or ribs when I visit, I’m all for it.

As a Saab fan…. meh. It’s still wait and see but it doesn’t feel particularly interesting at this point.

NEVS Press Conference at 11am Swedish Time

This, via Pingu, in comments…..

NEVS just announced a press conference at 11 AM CEST (90 minutes from now), where they will present their plan to be “successful manufacturer of electric cars” and two new Chinese partners.

No Mahindra then (something I suspected long ago)… Will be interesting to see if this is the final deal.

No Mahindra could mean the use of the Saab name has been denied. If that’s the case, it’ll reduce interest for a lot of observers.

We wait and see……

Video: Saab 96 on For The Love Of Cars

I’ve just finished watching this episode of For The Love Of Cars and I just had to share it here. It’s a great story, but even more than that, it’s a great little Saab 96.

There’s a bit of a story to this. The program you’re about to see was aired on Channel 4 in Britain last Sunday. The auction you see in the video was actually conducted back in January, but the day before the show went on TV (i.e. last Saturday), the car was auctioned once again.

The reasons behind all this back-and-forth become clear at the end of the show and it’s a touching story. I haven’t been able to find the price from last weekend’s auction but hopefully it’ll become public soon.

About the car – it’s a basic Saab 96 from the early 70’s but it wins the boys over completely with its engineering and its charm. It made my want to go hunt one down, actually.

The program goes for 50 minutes. Enjoy.

2015 Picnic At Ross

Every year on the third Sunday in May, there’s a car show called the Picnic At Ross. Ross is a lovely little town, 120km north of Hobart. It’s full of character with its shops and cafes, all of them old buildings made of timber or sandstone.

The car show is held at the sports grounds on the outskirts of town. Ross is a more central town in geographic terms, and that means it attracts cars from both the north and the south of the state, which is great for hermits like me who don’t travel north very often.

DSC_1547

The meet was probably 50% Ford and Holden but as usual, you won’t see many of those here. OK, maybe a few Fords. For some reason, I ended up shooting mostly Citroens today. Maybe it’s because they’re so damn interesting.

To the photos!

If I showed you a big Maserati V6……

DSC_1591

….followed by a series of green spheres……

DSC_1595

….you’d probably know what model car I was talking about…. IF you’re a car person.

Yes, it’s a Citroen with a Maserati engine, the mighty Citroen SM.

DSC_1602

I didn’t even know we had a Citroen SM in Tasmania and to my surprise, this one lives in the south of the state. Apparently it’s the only one in Tassie.

This SM is one of 300 made for the British market, all of which were LHD. Its current fine state reflects a wonderful restoration done some years ago. It had presence to die for, both inside and out.

I loved the gear change setup. It’s almost as sexy as the traditional steel-gate setup from the days when Ferraris had manual shifters.

DSC_1599

The previous owner had an engine fire shortly after a rebuild was completed. He installed an under-bonnet fire system, operated by this eye-opener of a button.

DSC_1601

——

I’m not sure what was going on with this early 1960’s Ford Falcon but it was interesting, to say the least.

DSC_1531

DSC_1534

——

It was nice to see this Porsche 924 Turbo at the show. It’s the first one I’ve seen in Tasmania. The 931 and 932 are slowly, slowly creeping up in value.

DSC_1512

DSC_1514

——

This BMW 2800CS lives in the south. I’ve photographed it a few times at Classics but even so, I couldn’t walk away from it today. Its lines are so beautiful. Sadly, like a LOT of cars today, its windows were closed and I couldn’t get a good shot of the interior.

DSC_1516

DSC_1519

DSC_1524

——

The Citroen guys love to show off their hydraulics. This DS had the jack inserted underneath and the rear guard removed, simulating a rear wheel change. It was just for effect, though.

DSC_1502

——

One of my mates from Club Motori Italia had his new-to-him Citroen CX Pallas at the picnic today. It’s a great story, too. The car owes him about $400 – in total – and as you can see it doesn’t look too shabby at all. It had been sitting idle for years when he picked it up for a pittance but with a fresh battery and some fresh fuel, it started right up. The hydraulics are fine, too.

I sat inside the car to take a few of these photos and the seats are soooooo cushy. I’d love to take it for a drive one day.

——

I have another shot of this Ferrari Testarossa – a shot where I’m not getting photobombed – but I couldn’t resist this one.

Well played, Sir.

DSC_1525

And a few detail shots, for fun…..

DSC_1509

DSC_1510

DSC_1528

——

Some detail shots of (what I think is) a delightful Citroen Traction Avant. There are a few photographic sins present in these shots. Please forgive.

DSC_1572

DSC_1573

DSC_1578

DSC_1579

——

A couple of the Lotuses present at the show today……

DSC_1548

DSC_1558

——

OK, I photographed one Holden today. But only one 🙂

I’m actually somewhat partial to these early Commodores. This VC model from 1980-81 has got some livery from HDT, which was Holden’s hot version back in the day.

DSC_1530

——

The Leyland P76 is a car with a chequered history. It won the Australian Car Of The Year award when it was released as a rival to family cars from Ford, Holden and Valiant in 1973. Reliability problems and the 70’s oil crisis meant it had a short life but it still has a very loyal band of devotees today. One of my uncles has 3 or 4 of them stowed away in a shed.

DSC_1606

Check the funky upholstery….

DSC_1610

One of the P76’s claims to fame was a boot so big it could accommodate a 44-gallon drum (with room to spare) – something ably demonstrated by one owner at the show today…..

DSC_1611

——

Another Citroen study….. this time a very cute 2CV Dolly.

——

I love these early Porsches. This one’s a 911T with the 2.2 litre flat-six.

DSC_1554

DSC_1556

——

Cars on show at the Picnic at Ross are supposed to be at least 20 years old. I don’t think anyone could conceive of turning away a sexy new F-Type Jaguar, though.

DSC_1581

The F-Type was parked amongst the main group of cars. The Jaguar owners club didn’t want to be seen with the riff-raff, however. They parked about 100 meters away from the main group.

Given this silly level of snobbery, I limited myself to only one photo from their group – shot of my favourite classic Jag from their collection – a Series 1 XJ.

DSC_1545

——

Mini!

DSC_1603

——

Porsche Spyder replica…..

DSC_1583

DSC_1584

DSC_1586

——

And a couple more Fords…..

There were a LOT of Mustangs here today. They’re exciting to look at, but I have a feeling they’d be a bit of a pig to drive.

DSC_1615

DSC_1616

There were quite a few small Fords there today, too. The early Cortinas are always a favourite and I have a feeling this would be more fun to drive than the big Mustang.

DSC_1504

DSC_1508

Friday Night Snippets – NEVS, Spyker, Prices, Fiat Parkour

It’s been exactly one month since NEVS exited bankruptcy protection in Sweden. I expected that we would have heard something about a new majority shareholder by now. But no. Not a peep.

I have no news. I just want to mark the one-month anniversary. How long can they keep …. doing nothing?

——

Speaking of bankruptcy….

There’s news out of Holland saying that Spyker has reached an agreement with creditors that might see the company exit it’s stint in bankruptcy protection.

Spyker, which applied for voluntary financial restructuring last year, is proposing to pay each creditor the first €12,000 ($13,681) of what it owes plus just 10% of the remainder.

Creditors have agreed to the proposal, which must have hurt but it’s better than getting nothing at all.

That’ll be one hurdle overcome. The next hurdle will be securing enough funding to actually start building cars again. I’d still love to see that B6 Venator get built. It was a beautiful looking car.

Good luck, Vic.

——

Speaking of Spyker….

A story popped up on my news feed through the week about a Koenigsegg Agera up for sale in China.

I was drawn to the photo because of the Agera, of course, but then I looked at the car to the left, in the reflection. And I smiled.

koenigsegg-agera-r-king-5-660x316

——

For the Love of Cars is a TV show about cars on Channel 4 in the UK. They restore cars and then sell them on at auction.

This Sunday, if you’ve got access to Channel 4, you can see them restore the Saab 96, below.

Saab 96 For The Love Of Cars.

They estimate a sale price between £12,000 and £18,000. That seems a little steep to me but I hope they get it. The car was first sold back in January and the buyer has decided to sell it on, with the proceeds to be donated to charity. A fine gesture.

The car will be auctioned on Saturday 16th May and the program showing its restoration will be shown at 8pm in Sunday 17th May.

More details here.

——

Back when the GFC started taking hold, the Aussie dollar rose sharply against the greenback and actually stayed around parity for a considerable time. Carmakers took several years to drop their prices here in Australia, however.

Now that the Aussie dollar has fallen a bit, they’re wasting no time in raising their prices again.

The Australian dollar’s continued downward spiral relative to the greenback has forced Fiat Chrysler Australia to raise the price of six models in its stable, delivering increases of up to 4.9 per cent.

The price rises, officially introduced in March, affect the Abarth 595, Alfa Romeo MiTo, Dodge Journey, Fiat Freemont, and Jeep Wrangler and Grand Cherokee line-ups, with increases ranging from $500 to $2000.

Banks.

Software companies.

And now carmakers.

Bastards, the lot of them!

——

I don’t know what this is selling – Fiat 500’s or the physical jerks* otherwise known as Parkour.

Whatever it is, I like it.

——

Thanks to all for your advice/thoughts about photography gear. As a quick follow-up…..

I recently bought both a 70-200mm VR II and a 105mm Macro to go with my existing 50mm f1.8 and my 16-35mm f2.8. I got them from sellers on Ebay, both lenses are in great condition and I paid about half of retail.

My new kit will get a decent first workout at the end of next week. It should be a truckload of fun!

——

* “physical jerks” was my Dad’s phrase for Aerobics back in the 80’s. My Mum used to do three classes a night.

Me: “Where’s Mum?”

Dad: “Off doing her physical jerks”

I still love that term.

Brief Notes: Porsche 928S

After just three short months – well, two and a half, actually – my Porsche 928S has been sold and picked up by its new owner.

The Sprint and the Brumby both go tomorrow. As I said earlier in the week, change is afoot. More to come later.

To the 928, though…..

I never wrote much about the 928 here. That’s probably because I didn’t drive the car enough to connect with it and form a full opinion. That’s partly because of the cost of driving it regularly. It’s partly because of my Alfa Sprint, which I absolutely adore. And it’s partly because I knew I’d be selling it soon, from 2 weeks after I bought it (a new job came up in early March, one that will require a few significant changes).

I expected the 928 to feel faster than it did. It was certainly brisk, but I was probably seduced by my previous 968CS into thinking that the 928 could be brutal. I fully expected it to be an amazingly capable and genteel GT car – which it is – but I also expected some animal. I just didn’t get that animal feeling as much as I would have liked.

There are a few areas where the 928 is truly exceptional.

The first of these is the handling. The 928 is a burly beast with a big V8 lump at the front and yet it handles like a car with half the weight and half the cylinders. A GT car is supposed to make its money on comfortable long-range trips from city to city. The 928 does that with aplomb. But it’s the 928’s ability to carve its way along a B-road that really surprised me. Just fantastic.

The second is the styling. The 928 bleeds presence. When you look it, try to remember that it was designed in the early-mid 1970’s. There were a lot of very nice looking cars drawn at that time, but the 928 is unique in that the other cars still look like outstanding classic cars from the 1970’s. The 928 still looks quite contemporary today.

I’d wanted a 928 for a long time and I’m glad I scratched that particular itch. I wish it hadn’t cost me quite so much money – selling a car that’s not in demand when it’s not 100% and you’re pressed for time is a costly mix – but I’m still pleased enough to have had the experience. It’s an experience that I won’t try to replicate soon, and one that I’ll do my best to learn from.

And on that note, here are a few pictures. Sadly, not enough.

IMG_1161

IMG_1162

IMG_1166

IMG_1169

IMG_1171

IMG_1172

IMG_1175

IMG_1176

IMG_1179