No, no, no, no, no! Again? Another one?! I’ve come across way too many interesting cars in a state of abandonment here in Japan, and I don’t think I can take it any longer.
There I was minding my business, out on some nice mountain roads south of Tokyo driving an unexpectedly great car from Lotus (drive feature coming soon) when I passed it. The familiar and loved shape caught the corner of my eye, forcing me to involuntarily hit the brakes. I reversed slowly until I was next to it and then let out a big “WTF!”
Seriously? A Porsche 928?!
You couldn’t believe my disappointment at such a sight. I truly feel pain seeing stuff like this, and while the old AW11 Toyota MR2 I shared with you guys a couple of months back did look rather sorry for itself, this is on a whole other level.
Not only had the car been left to rot away in a small, overgrown front garden, but it’s a higher caliber kind of car which makes the pain even harder to bear.
The overgrowth has done a rather good job of reclaiming a hunk of metal that was once a shiny, beautiful creation from Stuttgart.
If you are of my generation you’ll probably recall a movie from the ’80s called Weird Science. It wasn’t a masterpiece of filmography by any means, but it had hot women and a hot car in it, namely a black 928 which in one scene pulled a smoky peel out. That’s all that was needed for a young and impressionable Dino to fall for the 928 and I’ve had a love for the model ever since.
This 928 sits in front of an abandoned house with a million other abandoned things dumped randomly around its perimeter. There would have to be at least a dozen other cars, plus a motorhome and a bus, not to mention untold household items like fridges, beds and gas cooktops.
The car is left-hand drive and US-spec if the side markers and square rubber bumper additions on each side of license plate recess are anything to go by.
On top of that, it’s an S4 variant, a later generation car which featured the quad-valve 5.0-liter V8 variant good for around 320hp in factory form. That may not sound like much for a GT cruiser when compared to what’s on offer these days, but back in the late ’80s it was serious power.
But do you know the craziest thing of all is?
Despite its state, it’s not actually in such a dire condition. Once you look past the superficial imperfections – the oxidation of the exterior paint, the crumbling trim pieces and he occasional bit of rust – it appears to be totally salvageable. The interior wasn’t in such a bad state either; the leather seats are still in one piece and apart from most of the trunk trim having come away from its original position, and some mould on the steering wheel, it looked like it could totally be restored.
I’m not too sure what the front end will look like once you pull away those weeds, but at least it didn’t seem like the car was involved in any sort of accident before it was parked up. Like all the other abandoned vehicles, there was a note under the wiper from a local wrecker advertising its services, but I think the owner of this car – whoever it may be – will be making that call anytime soon.
The craziest thing is that even the stock wheels appeared to be in pretty good condition with hardly any scuffs or scratches on them. That said, you’d have to wonder what the underside is like; the state of the floor, the suspension and the motor and driveline is all unknown.
After the Hakosukas in Nikko, Rocky Auto’s kyusha cemetery, the RS200 imprisoned in a garage in Tokyo, the Alpine that now may have been rescued and the aforementioned MR2 from April, I’ve had enough. The next time I’m in the area I’m going to hunt down more info on this Porsche from the locals in the little mountain town and do my best to turn this damn thing into a new Speedhunters project car!
While there I made a short video for my little YouTube channel project, so hit play and have a look at me blabbering in front of the camera.
The last shaken sticker on the front window expired in the 11th Heisei year, or 1999, so it’s been sitting anywhere from 18 to 20 years (the shaken lasts two years, so that sticker was applied in 1997).
Hopefully this isn’t the last we see of this 928 S4. This is one car that deserves to live again.
Dino Dalle Carbonare