In 1938 Hendrick Goosen, whilst fishing off the coast of Madagascar, hooked a coelacanth, a 'living fossil' of a fish that was supposed to have become extinct 400 million years ago. You can experience a similar feeling by test-driving a used Porsche 928 GTS, a true dinosaur amongst performance cars. Unlike a coelacanth, a used 928 is fitted with a 5.4-litre engine, generates 340bhp and will still look good in twenty years time. In common with its fishy forebear though, it has benefited from years of development whilst being largely ignored by Madagascan fishermen. Which means that tracking down a good used example is easier for the likes of us. Here's how.
In May 1992, the Grand Touring class was taking a bit of a hammering. The overblown BMW 850 was about as welcome as a bailiff's visit, the Jaguar XJR-S was struggling in its death throes, as was Mercedes' venerable SEC model. Porsche, having campaigned with the 928 since 1980 looked at the culture of the caring, sharing nineties, pondered the inexorable rise of fuel prices and promptly launched the 928 GTS, a car with more of everything.
More power, up from 5.0-litres to 5.4-litres, more grip, more attitude, more speed, but understanding that less could be more, it was also granted less relevance. The market realised the 928 was on its last legs and promptly went out and bought 911s instead. Porsche continued offering this 340bhp behemoth for three more years, fitting a driver's airbag in 1993, before finally admitting defeat and axing the 928 series in January 1995. At the time few mourned its passing, but history may yet be kind to the 928.
As successive generations of Porsche 911 get more civilised, more powerful and more refined, it's not difficult to sit behind the wheel of a 2001 model year 911 Turbo and imagine that the driving experience isn't that far removed from where Porsche were going with the 928. Park a 1992 911 and a similar vintage 928 GTS next to one another and the 911, with its upright windscreen and Beetle-esque fascia looks like a museum piece, whilst the 928 still looks fresh. With prices on the crest of a slump, buying a used 928 GTS might be a canny way of getting a big portion of Porsche for Mazda money.