1979 928 Gray market car? - Rennlist Discussion Forums



1979 928 Gray market car?

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Old 08-09-2009, 02:10 PM   #1
jwillman
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Default 1979 928 Gray market car?

So in my continuing search for a 928 I found this one. Owners comments below in green. Having been stationed in germany for many years I was under the impression euro spec cars required some modifications to be street legal in the U.S. . Do they leave the euro gauges in these when converted?

This is the second 1979 928 I have looked at in two days that has the same issue with the ignition switch and requires fiddling with a switch under the dash to start. Is this common with this MY?


car is a grey market import, gauges are in kilometers and warning lights are in german. has slightly different parking and side lamps, than an american market import. shows 174k kilometers on odometer, which has not worked since i bought car in October 2005. I have put about 8 thousand miles a year on car. I do not have any prior service history, but suspect a prior front end collision as power washer system (for headlights) is missing and outside passing lights are not connected. Also Car has a red paint job which i am told is not quite a porsche color. I have only replaced the spark plugs, oil, altrnator, transmission filter and master cylinder. No vacuum problems known. Leaks a little water occasionally, but unable to catch car leaking to locate problem. Seats are manual, and no sun roof. Paint is red (see above), and that appears to be original color. Trim around side windows are black and paint is flaking. Paint on front of bumper/grill (rubber) is flaking as i have pulled too close to parking garage walls. driver door has dent/scratches where a bum threw a brick, trying to break window and steal radar detector, (he got it anyway). seats are worn out and need replaced. dash has a crack in middle (i have filled it with Black putty) radio is piece of junk, A/C blows hot, but will blow cool if freon is filled, i think it needs purged and refilled. Now the real problem. The instrument cluster has a bad connector (s) and the gauges work haphazardly. The key switch on the ignition is worn out and you have to reach under dash and turn handmade switch to start. On bright side, no car thief will try look there. The good side, it runs fast and is dependable. it looks good and wont depreciate. . if you keep it maintained. check last night's posting for photos.

Thanks for all you help and counsel.
Jim
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Old 08-09-2009, 02:31 PM   #2
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sounds like a money pit to me. There are a good number of Euro spec 928's around, and this sounds like one of them. The ignition switch, I think, is an easy fix. The least of the problems with this car. What's your budget?
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Old 08-09-2009, 04:06 PM   #3
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That car sounds like a $1000 car, maybe a $1500 car tops. Water leaking w/o being able to find the source? Probably the water pump impeller shaft (you should always change the water pump / timing belt on a new-to-you 928 anyway). If you want an early car I think you could find a sorted OB for $3500-$4000 and be way, way ahead... To put it in perspective, I paid $7000 for my (then) 27,000 mile 1979 car, which over 18 months has cost me a grand total of about $500 in necessary parts, and I still think I overpaid.
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Old 08-09-2009, 04:26 PM   #4
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I dont see anything positive about a non S Euro, all the pain of registration and parts issues, with no performance gain vs the US 78/79. They were imported during the early 80's because they were CHEAP compared to US models, so likely got a head start on bad PM.

Having a push button isn't common to any model year, but its common to junk yard cars and repos.
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Old 08-09-2009, 05:44 PM   #5
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as JB would say "it's only $10k away from being a $5k car"
walk away
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Old 08-09-2009, 06:11 PM   #6
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I have a 79 Euro. Was brought into the country years ago and given a Connecticut VIN. It was federalized, but I have the german gauges. As far as I can tell, the only thing they did was disconnect the rear fog light and add Toyota marker lights fore and aft. I have no problems with my ignition switch...

The water leak could be something simple. I had an intermittant leak that I couldn't trace and it turned out to be a pinhole in a coolant line by the thermostat housing. It didn't leak when the car was warm but leaked when the car cooled down after a drive.

That being said, this car sounds like a project. You might want to wait until something better comes along. There are plenty of good ones out there.
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Old 08-09-2009, 07:25 PM   #7
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Jim,

This would NOT be a good start to 928 ownership! Seriously lets hang in there and find you a $5k OB (or early S car) that is WORTH having! Decent paint, decent interior, no known issues and working A/C... Might be more like a $6k car depending on just how good the interior and exterior are but you will be MUCH, MUCH happier with that!

Only Euro S cars are worth any hassle as they have 300HP vs. 219 of the US OB cars built in the some of the same years or the 250ish HP US 4.7L cars.

I put all the Euro lights and gauges back on my '92 Euro car. It will be back from the body shop this coming week so maybe you can stop by on Wed or Thurs and check that one out and we will see if we can get you comfortable in a sun roof car...
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Old 08-09-2009, 08:49 PM   #8
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have you set a purchase budget yet? knowing what you're willing to put up front in purchase/catch up maintenance would help
how far are you willing to travel?
auto or 5spd?
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Old 08-09-2009, 11:20 PM   #9
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So my plan (and of course we know a plan rarely comes in ahead of schedule and below budget) was to keep initial oulay around 10K. So I need a sweet heart that will be good for a while at 10K or a fixer upper that comes out to the same. As far as transmisson preference I don't really have one. I don't plan on racing and just want the best transmission type based on yeart model and reliability.

As far as traveling is concerned I have some free flights piled up with SW so I would be willing to go get the right car. I have been concerned about validating condition of the ones that require some travel.

Thanks for all the sage insight. I have learned a lot the last few weeks and this one did not smeel good to me either.
Jim
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Old 08-09-2009, 11:22 PM   #10
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Smart man Jim! I think for $10k you should be able to get a VERY NICE, and VERY well sorted S or OB for sure! S4...maybe, if you got lucky. There are some sub $10k S4's out there, but I suspect they still might need $2k to $5k in work to be as nice as a $7500OB or $8500S... Just speculating here.
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Old 08-09-2009, 11:27 PM   #11
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I think you should be a able to get a "7" or "8" OB for less than 6k, and you'd have 4k left over for unexpected issues and improvements. If you dip down to a "5" I'd like for something less than 3k and plan on spending some dough on it soon.
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Old 08-09-2009, 11:32 PM   #12
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So pardon the new guy. Are we talking a standard 1 thru 10 scale, 10 being premium and one being in boxes or is there a scale definition somewhere I need to become familar with?

Thanks
Jim
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Old 08-09-2009, 11:46 PM   #13
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I think Bronto is saying a perfect car would be a 10... Think blue82, Kermit, Ingram89...pretty much you don't find 10's, there just are not any more of them out there other than that handful just listed.

I would put a fully restored car at 9.8 (because it still has miles on it even if every bit of it is new or reconditioned to new...) but that is just me...

Then you get to the REALLY NICE factory original but low mileage cars (say 10k miles to maybe 30k miles) and those would be in the 9.5 to 9.8 range (potentially anyway, there are probably some 30k original cars out there that are COMPLETELY clapped out, but I shudder to think of that)...

So you will be looking at cars below 9 for the most part I would say... I would put a 3 at running but only just...and the paint while still on the car needs to be redone and the interior while complete needs to be redone...

So, this is my personal scale where I tend not to bother with cars (unless I am looking for a parts car and only running parts cars for me thank you very much) below 5... That would be a car that with some intense cleaning and maybe a little interior resto and exterior paint (just the worst parts) would be very presentable and running...

Again, just me... I would suggest to you that you look for 6's and up for your first 928 and preferably 7.5 - 8.5 cars. My first 928 ('88 S4) was a one owner car that I cleaned up to about a 8.5 or 9 and it has been a JOY to own!

YMMV, but come on up to the house and I'll give you a better feel of what I look for and think about 928's.
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Old 08-10-2009, 12:15 AM   #14
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Yep, that's what I meant, on a scale of 10, 10 being high. Wait for one that's well sorted mechanically and driven enough to know. They aren't that much more money than a "project". If you want a "project" get one with cosmetic issues where at least there is a limit to what would need to be done.

My own experience with my '79 was buying a relatively low mileage one (70k) with no mechanical issues but only driven summers. I've driven it harder and thus a lot of things have popped up even after all the belts & hoses were replaced immediately after purchase. Seals, bearings, gaskets, etc., all became issues after my first 10k miles. Actually, what you'd expect to go bad on a 30 year old car that hadn't been driven that much.
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Old 08-10-2009, 09:29 AM   #15
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Jim,
there's an 82 5spd US local to me for sale in nice shape
pros: regular driver, decent service history, decent body/interior, LEATHER interior, bone dry underneath
cons: due for tires, front brakes (may need rear pads soon), odo broken for last couple years (shows 88k, probably closer to 100k real miles), has early 80's style bbs wheels
guards red w/ black leather interior
was originally former Phillie Mike Schmidts car (this was a gift when he won the MVP), I believe current owner is the 3rd owner in history, I believe everything works but would be happy to give her a call and double check it for you
I believe she's asking $5500 (don't quote me on it), good solid car for a 1st timer
let me know if you're interested and I can arrange a ppi at my former shop or you're welcome to fly in and we can do one at my place
I'd rate it a solid 7-7.5 on the Rixter scale
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