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  •   Bob BMW reacted to this post about 1 year ago
    / CAR: #1989-Porsche-928-S4 £22,000 / #For-Sale / #Porsche-928-S4 / #Porsche-928 / #Porsche-928S4-Automatic / #Porsche / #1989 / #Porsche-928-S4

    Smooth and sinister in jet black, this later evolution of Porsche’s front-engined GT has a lot going for it, says Nigel Boothman

    The 928 never fulfilled Porsche’s plan for replacing the air-cooled, rear-engined 911, but it carved its own niche as a flagship grand tourer that gave Mercedes, Jaguar and even Ferrari lots to think about. This one is a second generation, launched in 1986 with a five-litre, 32-valve #Porsche-V8 and smoother styling.

    It’s a deep and glossy black, benefitting from a recent professional machine polish that has removed any distinction we could find between original paint and the one or two panels apparently resprayed. The finisher strips above each door sit slightly proud – not uncommon on 928s – but otherwise there are only small scratches and a star-crack on the lower rear nearside quarter, with a tiny paint wrinkle near the offside rear light unit. The rear spoiler is unmarked, as are the 17in Cup 2 alloys from a 928 GTS, a modern but popular upgrade. They’re wrapped in 255/40 R17 Michelin Pilot Sports with almost all tread remaining. There’s a collapsible Vredestein spacesaver under the boot carpet; probably now better regarded as a period novelty than a genuine get-you-home option. The engine bay is rather a let-down after the immaculate exterior but repainting the flakey inlet manifold would improve things a great deal, as would a bit of general detailing and touching up of surface rust on brackets and catches. Oils and coolant levels are all where they should be.

    The black leather seats are piped in red and though in generally good order the driver’s right-hand side bolsters would benefit from a bit of recolouring and feeding. Carpets are smart and the myriad electric assistances all work, including a new Porsche Classic sat-nav/digital radio unit in the stereo slot, which blends well with the look of the dash and cost as much as a tatty 928 did until recently. When we drove the car there was a faulty brake light and the driver’s door card caught on the sill when the door was opened, but we are assured both issues will be remedied.

    The Porsche’s big V8 started promptly and ran perfectly from cold with no howling noises from slipping belts or power steering pumps. On the road it rides more firmly than earlier 928 models but feels unflappable and utterly planted, without any thumps or rattles from the suspension. It gathers pace relentlessly rather than savagely – despite its size, the engine saves a lot of its drama for peak revs and the weighty, insulated feel of the 928 blunts the sensation of speed. The brakes do their job perfectly with no grabbing or deviation even when worked hard.

    This is a very good example that’s clearly been well cared-for. There is a file of history including the original books that supports the 116k miles and the original toolkit is in the boot. There is still room for improvement here and there but even as it is, it should continue to satisfy as a capable weekend GT. And the auto box suits it.


    The 928 is launched in 1977 with an aluminium-block V8 engine of 4.5 litres with one overhead cam per bank and 237bhp. It uses a transaxle between a kind of passive rear-wheel steering arrangement for impressive stability.

    The 928S of 1980 has front and rear spoilers and a larger engine, now 4.7-litres and 297bhp. From 1984 the model is called the 928 S2 for the UK market, bringing a small power hike to 310bhp and a four-speed automatic to replace the previous three-speed.

    The 928 S4 debuts for the 1987 model year with four valves per cylinder, more capacity (five litres) but only 10bhp extra for 90kg of weight gain. Styling is smoothed out.

    1989 brings the manual-only 928 GT, a more sporting variant offering 330bhp, Cup Design alloys and the option of Boge gas dampers. 1992-1995 sees the run-out 928 GTS with 5.4 litres and 345bhp along with wider rear wings, but very few RHD cars make it to the UK.

    1989 Porsche 928 S4

    Price £22,000
    Contact Investor Classics, Edinburgh (0131 510 7131,

    Engine 4957cc #V8 qohc
    Power 320bhp @ 6000rpm
    Torque 317lb ft @ 3000rpm
    Top speed: 161mph;
    0-60mph: 6.2sec
    Fuel consumption 17mpg
    Length 4520mm
    Width 1836mm

    928 GTS but look great. The engine would benefit from tidying. Aside from some bolster wear, all is fine in here.

    Quote £484.68 comprehensive, 5000 miles per year, garaged call: 0333 323 1181
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  •   Mike Taylor reacted to this post about 2 years ago
    Stalling for time. Again

    CAR #1971-Reliant-Scimitar-SE5 / #1971 / #Reliant-Scimitar-SE5 / #Reliant-Scimitar / #Reliant /
    Owned by Nigel Boothman ([email protected])
    Time owned Four years
    Miles this month 0 Costs this month £130
    Previously Placed new engine in engine bay, moved house, forgot about car

    When I ventured into the garage recently I found a box containing some nice Carboniferous-era plant fossils. It’s been so long since I was in there – renovating a house soaks up infinite time – that they may well have been healthy, living ferns when I last worked on the Scimitar. My pal Richard Hamer administered the arse-kick I needed, ‘I’m not doing anything next Thursday, why don’t we get your Scimitar going?’ I could hardly refuse. The engine, still resplendent in new paint from its rebuild at Brayon Engineering near Loch Lomond, was minutes away from running for the first time, or so I thought.

    Richard and I fitted an electric fuel pump and pressure regulator, plus a blanking plate for the old mechanical pump mounting. But the fuseboards had been out and the photos I took of their wiring were AWOL. Then, while fitting some expensive new silicone coolant hoses and over-engineered Mikalor clips, I discovered one of the connecting steel pipe sections had rotted at one end. I thought my luck was in when I spotted a piece of Alfa Romeo exhaust pipe of the right diameter, so I cut the length I needed and welded it on. After a fashion. Ever tried making a gas-tight butt weld with paper-thin, unevenly-corroded pipe and an ancient MIG machine with a dodgy wire feed? Having wasted two hours on this, I stopped and decided to spin the engine over with its plugs out to make myself feel better. Richard had worked out the fuseboard connections, but announced that the battery live cable seemed to be missing. Why? How? A jump lead did the trick. Or rather it didn’t; all we managed to do was release some smoke from the cable. So next time I’ll be removing the starter.

    Soon after, I was visiting my parents and had a chance to meet my father’s new pet, a patinated but very original 1938 Lancia Aprilia. The little Zenith 32 VIM carb was crusted with the crud of ages and the linkage was maladjusted, but with a hurried rebuild and most of the oil wiped off the spark plug connectors, it ran well enough for us to drive it up and down the road. Until it boiled, anyway. It’s a total joy – light, well-suspended and with such a good ‘crash’ gearbox you can almost treat it like a modern car. Now I want one too.

    Work finally resumes on the Scimitar after a lengthy break, but it’s anything but childs’ play. Nigel’s dad has a new toy: a 1938 Lancia Aprilia.
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  •   Mike Taylor reacted to this post about 2 years ago
    Victory... then defeat

    CAR #1971-Reliant-Scimitar-SE5 / #Reliant-Scimitar-SE5 / #Reliant-Scimitar / #Reliant / #1971

    Owned by Nigel Boothman ([email protected])
    Time owned Four years
    Miles this month 250
    Costs this month £325

    Previously Tried to get the car going. Failed.

    A sticky starter motor foiled me at the end of the last report, but with that removed, tested and replaced (having found nothing amiss) the car had no excuses left. Time to start that rebuilt engine.

    At this point I thought of all that money I’d handed to the engine builder back in 2015 and of the two years the engine had remained stationary, bar periodic rotations by hand to make sure everything still moved. So I felt the first start and subsequent break-in should be performed in the presence of someone who’d done such things before.

    Luckily I knew Leroy Grimwood, of Dunedin Performance Centre, Edinburgh. With the car transported across town, we gave it a fill of Miller’s running-in oil, span the oil pump drive with an electric drill, fitted the distributor and turned the key.

    The engine burst into life, and continued to roar strongly for the 15 or so minutes deemed adequate to break in all those internal surfaces. With finer timing adjustment and some help from Leroy to make sure the brakes and lights were MoT-worthy, the Scimitar passed its first test in three years.

    All was not well, however. A serious running fault developed as soon as the engine was up to temperature, or if it was parked after a short run and left for a few minutes. Convinced it was fuel vaporisation, I spent hours moving fuel pipes, even re-employing the mechanical pump I’d bypassed when an electric one was fitted. Still no joy.

    I gave up and took the car for analysis on a Krypton machine at the Car Tuning Clinic at Holyrood, where the intermittent death of the HT voltage was discovered. And sure enough, my fuelling problem was electrical – the little electronic ignition unit in my freshly-rebuilt distributor was expiring when it got warm. With points and condenser re-fitted, it ran fine.

    Well… it ran fine when we gave it 20o of ignition advance, though it was supposed to need only 12o to 14o. I was sure the TDC mark was accurate, but I needed some confidence for a 1000-mile ‘running in’ round trip to the Goodwood Revival. With the possibility of some unknown fault hanging over it just two days before the event, I had to take a view. And that view involved my 1991 VW Westfalia camper.

    VW camper van stands ready in the unlikely event of Scimitar failure. 3.0-litre #V6 runs, but needs 20º ignition advance.
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