With a top speed of 170 mph, “ultimate autobahn cruiser” was an accolade frequently rendered in favor of the Porsche 928 over its four major iterations during the model’s 17-year run (from 1978 launch through 1995). Partly with that grand-touring use in mind, the majority of 928 cars came equipped with automatic transmissions. The “S4,” introduced in 1987, was the identification for the fourth design iteration of the model, arguably the most consequential. An updated 5-liter water-cooled V8 engine with new pistons, a new cylinder head with more aggressive camshafts and larger valves, and a 10.0:1 compression ratio produced 316 horsepower. This power news was accompanied by redesigned bodywork in both the front (four fixed driving lights in addition to the pop-up headlights) and rear of the car (a new fixed spoiler and re-styled taillights) and ensured Porsche-o-philes could easily identify the new model. Handling continued as a surprising 928 strength and was described as “laser sharp” by Road & Track at the time. Although the 928 cars languished for many years in the collector market, that lapse has ended with values showing excellent appreciation over just the past few years.
Offered here is a well maintained 928 S4 in Porsche’s very desirable Guards Rer over black. A New York car most of its life, the 928, was ordered with a 5-speed manual transmission. Currently showing 67,111 miles on its odometer, the car has traveled fewer than 2,100 miles per-year since new. Its complete list of options from the factory-applied tag on the car is shown here:
Paint: L80K – Guards Red
Upholstery: VN – Black
C02 – US Emissions
018 – Steering wheel with elevated hub
158 – Cassette-radio Blaupunkt Monterey SQR 22
418 – Side protection moldings
481 – Manual gearbox, 5-speed
570 – Air Conditioner with Improved Efficiency (Rear A/C)
650 – Sun-moon-roof
Beginning with its black leather interior, this 928 S4 shows outstanding condition overall. Its dash has suffered no cracking or surface distortion, so common in 928s. In fact, all interior surfaces were extremely well-maintained by owners over the years. The black leather is in excellent condition with no rips or tears, door trim is complete and undamaged, instrumentation and center-console switchgear is unmarred. Black carpeting is in place throughout the cabin, and even the carpeting beneath the rear hatch-glass is un-faded. The optional raised-hub steering wheel (which shows some age-related surface deterioration) frames the height-adjustable instrument pod. Instrument lenses are clear, and graphics and indicator needles are complete and unfaded. The shifter for the desirable 5-speed manual transaxle is located on the console. The headliner is free of sagging and the factory sunroof operates as intended. A later-model Pioneer® audio head unit replaces the factory-supplied unit. As noted on the options list, rear-seat passengers are treated to a separate air-conditioning supply.
The exterior Guards Red paint is so valued by collectors in part because it is one of the longest-running unchanged colors in the Porsche world. The S4’s evolutionary design changes–including the revised lighting and safety lenses front and rear and the addition of the horizontal air-supply openings in the front lower valance (very definitely influenced by the legendary Porsche 959 supercar) get their fair due surrounded by this non-metallic red finish, as does the rear model-designation in white. (To best assess the quality of the paint and trim finishes, please be sure to view the close-up photographs of the car in the accompanying gallery.) The exterior surfaces on this car are in uniformly excellent condition with no sign of damage past or present. Even the factory-optioned side-protection applique strips are undamaged. The updated, gloss-black-finished, 18-inch, 5-spoke wheels (with colored-Porsche-crest center emblems) are in pristine condition. The disc-brake calipers still display the “Porsche” lettering on the calipers, visible through the wheel openings. Sumitomo® 235/40 Z-rated performance tires are mounted.
The 5-liter Porsche water-cooled V8 commands a pristine and unaltered engine bay. Many enthusiasts rate this twin-intake, 32-valve V8 engine as among the most attractive ever produced. And as to longevity, in a test-drive comparison conducted in 2000, the magazine 911 & Porsche World chose a similarly driven 928 and remarked: “… we opt(ed) for a smart 1991 S4, which is nicely run-in at 78,430 miles. This is no joke. Indeed, the 928 feels as solid as the day it left the factory. In fact, the engine might actually be at its peak. After all, it’s designed to do a quarter of a million miles between rebuilds (with regular servicing, of course).” Viewed from below, the Porsche’s chassis is clean, complete, and undamaged.
There is expected surface rust on some untreated metal chassis components, but no evident rust on the galvanized-steel body. The properly routed dual-exhaust system with crossover and twin chrome tips is a visual focal point.
The car’s factory-mounted identification and information tags remain in place.
While the more than 150 high-definition photographs and the short walk-around-and-startup video available on the GarageKeptMotors website showcase this ’89 928 S4 in detail from every angle, including from below, we expect and encourage in-person inspections at our Grand Rapids, Michigan showroom. Please call to arrange an appointment in advance as our showroom is not open to the public. And feel free to get in touch anytime by phone or email if you have questions.
The assertion by Hagerty’s Mike Musto some years ago that the 928 model is “… one of the greatest and most overlooked GT cars of all time” is only half-correct now. The next owner can expect this Guards Red 928 S4 will not be overlooked by friends at cars-and-coffee gatherings. Its new owner can also expect to enjoy plenty of that “greatest GT” aspect of this fine automobile when they take it on the road.
(Please note: If you happen to be viewing this 1989 Porsche 928 S4 on a website other than our Garage Kept Motors site, it’s possible that you’ve only seen some of our many photographs of the car due to third-party website limitations. To be sure you access all the more than 150 photographs, as well as a short start-up and walk-around video, and a link to its accident and damage-free Carfax history, please go to our main website: Garage Kept Motors.)