Carolinas Region Car of the Month: Grand Touring
December 1, 2011
By Ed Trottier
We are continuing our ongoing series called Car of The Month. Members interested in having their car featured are asked to submit photos and a short write-up to the TR Editor for consideration.

1989 928 GT
The 928 GT began production in February 1989 as a separate model, distinct from the S4 (fourth series of the 928), but intermittently produced on the same production line in Stuttgart. However, it carries no unique VIN number identification. Thus, in intervening years, Porsche has come to officially describe the 928 GT as “the S4 model with GT option code M 639.” The noteworthy options within M 639 are the short-shifter 5-speed (Borg Warner synchros), different pistons and cams for 10hp over the S4’s 316 (326 Int’l hp/330 Metric hp), tuned resonance intake runners (same as later GTS model), forged light alloy ClubSport rims at 8 and 9in. (with +60mm offset and 17mm rear spacers), fender folds that are “cringed” (rolled) to accommodate this wider stance, Boge sport shocks, ZF limited slip (at 40%) differential, engine oil cooler, and twin exhaust outlets on a lightened final resonator (which some GT owners have removed). Also noteworthy is what is NOT on the ’89 GT: No airbags, no RDK tire pressure system. Production of the ’89 GT was stopped in June, after just four months. It is thus the rarest of the 928 product line shipped to the US (about 100 units), until 928 production ran out on the GTS in 1995. There was no 1992 928 model for North America (US and Canada). That is, no “N” in 10th position of VIN number. If you find an “N” in a 928 VIN number, it is a “Rest of World” 1992 model 928. GTS VIN numbers contained P/R/S, representing MY ‘93/94/95, respectively. Of course, “I, O, Q” are not used in VIN numbers.

I purchased this particular ’89 GT (KS861119) in February 2009. It won its class (Porsche Late) at Classics on the James (Richmond, VA) and Euro Auto Festival (POR 5) later that year. As Road&Track wrote after evaluating the introductory ’78 928, “It may be the best GT ever.” That evaluation was further enhanced when it was chosen as European (née International) Car of the Year for 1978; the only GT ever so selected. It is fast, quiet and comfortable, easily carrying a weekend’s worth of luggage for two (as a GT must) and my bicycle. Its styling remains timeless--one writer calling it the German XKE. The stance is stout, yet smooth and sculpted. Think of a 2-door Panamera, or the reported 2012-13 Coupe. Along with style, there is undeniable but understated Teutonic technology. Porsche developed the Weissach axel (passive rear-wheel steering) to eliminate “throttle-lift” oversteer, which was introduced with the 928. Finally, Nissan is quite proud of the instrument binnacle (moveable) on its 2010 Infinity M37xS. This important feature maintains perfect view of critical instruments no matter how the steering wheel is adjusted…only 32 years after appearing on the 1978 Porsche 928.