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Feeling the 1980s Vibes with the Nardone Automotive Porsche 928

An absolute Porsche icon, with the engine up front, gets the restomod-treatment.

| By Robin Nooy | 4 min read |

Introduced in 1978, the Porsche 928 was the brand’s attempt at a Grand Tourer, with the engine up front and drive to the back. Although the styling was quite a departure from the Porsche 911, it proved quite popular back in the day and has turned into one of the most sought-after non-911s from the Zuffenhausen-based manufacturer. However, I guess few would have expected to see a restomod Porsche 928 but that’s exactly what Nardone Automotive has recently presented.

French startup Nardone Automotive has released a cracking first car with the Porsche 928 restomod we’re featuring today. The company is headed by Thiery Nardone, a 38-year-old car nut obsessed with Porsche cars. He has surrounded himself with numerous experts, from designers to chassis and suspension engineers, and of course, engine developers. Together with BorromeodeSilva and Podium Advanced Technologies he has restyled and enhanced the iconic 928 shapes and improved its performance in a big way.

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The Porsche 928

We’ve already shared a bit of the history of the 928, but there’s more to it. In the overall history of Porsche, the 928 was always a bit of an oddity. It was the first-ever car built by Porsche with a V8 engine, and to this day remains the only coupe with this type of engine in the front. It was positioned as a flagship model by Porsche and was quite a bit larger than the 911.

The Porsche 928 was actually a result of the oil crisis of the early 1970s, as Porsche was looking for a more fuel-efficient car than the 911. Sales figures for the legendary Neunelfer were dwindling so the company had to make a move to boost the numbers one way or another. The Porsche 928, combining a sports-car-like coupe design with the luxury of a sedan, was pitted against leading cars by Mercedes-Benz (the SL-series) and BMW (the 6-series).

Porsche worked on a 5.0 litre V8 and even considered a 4.6 litre V10 as the powerplant in the nose of the 928, but ended up going for a 4.5-litre V8 unit. Power was around 220bhp at first, but over the course of the 18-year lifespan, it grew to 350bhp in the 928 GTS. Styling-wise, the standout feature was the pop-up headlights, which when activated gave it a frog-eye look. A total of 61,000 cars (roughly) were built between 1978 and 1995. Until now, Porsche has never made a follow-up model (front-engine coupe) despite multiple concept cars over the years.

The Nardone Automotive 928

As with many other restomod cars, the Nardone Automotive 928 is a modernised version of the original, with a tighter, sleeker design and enhanced performance. We’ve seen it time and time again but when done right, it can be oh so tasty! Seeing a Porsche 928 running around the neighbourhood growing up was so exciting; a real 1980s icon, despite being launched in 1978, but you get the picture. From all angles, this is up there with the Redux BMW E30 M3 and that over-the-top Spectre Mini. A super cool, redefined classic.

Nardone Automotive has imagined a version of the 928 that taps into the same senses as the original, but with a modernised appeal. Through an enormous list of changes, it has captured the soul of the 928 and respectfully refreshed it. The body looks much tighter than ever and is almost entirely fabricated using composite materials. From front to back, it has been slimmed down, reshaped or widened to emphasise the lines of the Porsche 928.

It sits on redesigned forged 18-inch wheels made to closely resemble the original “manhole cover” shaped wheels. The pop-up headlights, by far the most striking feature of the Porsche 928, have been completely reworked and look lighter, and fresher. The structure behind the housing is opened up now, which radically changes the appeal. Round the back, the fender-to-fender light unit has also been modernised.

Considering that the original 928 ran anywhere between 220bhp and 350bhp, the Nardone Automotive 928 keeps things relatively civilised. Through a number of performance upgrades, the V8 engine now pumps out 400bhp, which is surely loads of fun to play around with, but nowhere near the impractical amounts of power we see from time to time. The rest of the drivetrain, and suspension set-up for that matter, also received an overhaul, benefitting the car’s handling and driving experience.

The interior, as Nardone Automotive has envisioned it, is what I like best about the Porsche 928. You can clearly tell it has been retouched but it is still a through and through 1980s Porsche interior. Plush carpets, tones of brown, segmented seats, signature three-spoke steering wheel etc. It just oozes style, to me at least. The dashboard is fitted with a digital gauge cluster and a modern instrument panel in the centre console made to look period-correct. But don’t be fooled, as the car comes with modern amenities like Porsche Classic Car Management (PCCM), a high-performance audio system and Apple CarPlay.

Nardone Automotive will build only eight launch editions of the 928, but there’s no limited production. So basically, after the eight cars are gone, a 9th or 10th is very much a possibility. The base price of this delicious slice of 1980s retro-coolness is EUR 480,000. And that’s without taxes and a Porsche 928 donor car. Ouch.

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4 responses

  1. The 928 was fine car but the restomod madness has got to stop at some point these priced are ridiculous. Hopefully the end of free money will also kill many of these projects.

  2. Personally, I love these restomod projects. This 928 is beautiful but wish it used so ridiculously priced. Just waiting a firm to do a restomod on a Porsche 996.1 and add 992 tech and design elements – now that is something I’d save for!

  3. Love these well thought out restomods! The pricing is on par with amount of capital and time invested by the company. Gunther Werks was posting for YEARS to their FB page updates on the design and manufacturing of custom compostite parts before the actual car saw the light of day. Low volume = big $

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