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Weekly Hidden Treasure: Chevy V8-Powered 1981 Porsche 928

Car Culture / 37 Comments

A four-barrel carb on a 928? Now we've seen it all.

The Porsche 928 was originally intended to serve as a replacement for the aging 911. History had different plans. The 928 is long gone, discontinued in 1995, while the 911 lives on better than ever. In many ways, the 928 was the exact opposite of the 911 when it launched in 1977. For starters, it was front-engined and dropped the flat-six in favor of a V8. As such, its exterior design was far more modern than that of the butt-engined 911. The same goes for the interior, which was more luxurious and comfortable.

Porsche essentially wanted a new premium sports car that was not only a GT car but also a proper flagship. Even its rear seat was (slightly) more accommodating. Despite Porsche's attempts to replace the 911 with the 928, 911 enthusiasts' protests prevented this from happening. However, the 928 still became a sales success thanks, in part, to new Porsche brand buyers.

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Not everyone who wanted a Porsche desired a 911. It was also far easier to handle than the 911 and thus enabled Porsche to broaden its appeal. The plan worked. The 928 also happened to be Porsche's first production V8 model (the Panamera came years later), initially debuting with a 4.5-liter V8 rated at 219 horsepower for the North American market and 237 hp elsewhere. Thanks to a transaxle, the 928 earned the distinction of having an ideal 50/50 weight distribution.

Porsche later dropped in a 5.4-liter V8 with 345 hp, though this didn't happen until the 1993 model year when the 928 GTS arrived. The horsepower difference – 126 to be exact – was significant and, needless to say, the 928 GTS was highly desirable. There was only one problem: price.

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Even in 1995, the 928 GTS, when fully loaded, surpassed $100,000. Why pay so much when one could get similar amounts of power elsewhere, say from a Chevy V8? Well, that's apparently what's been done with this 928. Currently up for grabs on Bring A Trailer is this 1981 model year Porsche 928 whose original V8 has been swapped for a 383 Chevrolet small-block V8 equipped with a four-barrel carburetor. The work was reportedly done back in the 2000s by Renegade Hybrids in Las Vegas. It's now mated with a stock five-speed manual.

During this time, the 928 has been repainted in a different shade of red and the original interior was swapped in favor of cream leather. The tuner also added 18-inch wheels and an aftermarket stereo. Unfortunately, the motorized sunroof does not currently work. The front bumper also has a few paint chips.

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The interior, meanwhile, appears to be in good shape and the air conditioning was recently serviced. Another interesting feature is the speedometer that currently reads 824,000 miles. However, said speedometer is reportedly inoperable, so the actual mileage is unknown. There's no question a car like this comes with a certain degree of risk, but, then again, a Chevy V8-powered Porsche 928 isn't something you see every day. Some risks are worth taking.

As of this writing, the car had a top bid of $1,928, but there are still seven days left until the auction ends.

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