Home » This One-Off Porsche 928 Flachbau Offers A Glimpse Into An Alternate Reality

This One-Off Porsche 928 Flachbau Offers A Glimpse Into An Alternate Reality

Porsche 928 Flachbau Ts
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The frog-faced headlights on the V8-powered Porsche 928 grand tourer have always been a point of contention. Some people find them endearing, some people find them dorky, and some people find them simply past their sell-by date by the time the late ’80s rolled around. However, Porsche did build one 928 with more traditional pop-up headlights, and not only is RM Sotheby’s auctioning it off, it almost makes me wonder why it wasn’t a broad, sweeping facelift.

See, Porsche has something it calls the Sonderwunsch or Special Request program, which allows truly well-heeled Porsche clients to do all sorts of insane stuff. From wild trim options to complete one-off coachwork, if you have the means, Porsche will probably build what you envision. One such lucky customer was able to request a Flachbau or slantnose 928 back in the late 1980s, and I’m glad they did.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

Although swapping flip-forward lights for pop-ups with painted covers doesn’t dramatically change the silhouette of this 928, the painted covers emphasize the sloping hood and make this V8 bruiser look sleeker, more rakish, and less like a product of the 1970s. It’s subtly more exotic, yet still unmistakably Porsche.

Porsche 928 Gt Flachbau Lights Up

While the more traditional pop-up headlights are definitely the highlight of this particular 928, the revised face is accented by wider rear fenders and skirts, courtesy of option codes XB2 and XC1, respectively. This is probably a serious nerd alert, but Porsche option codes beginning in X are typically special-order boutique items. Anyway, I reckon the flared arches and chunky skirts really work with the more traditional pop-ups, a bit of chunkiness for the shoulder pad era.

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Porsche 928 Gt Flachbau Rear

Intriguingly, this is also a 928 GT, the slightly pared-back, manual-only performance-focused variant of the 928 that came with a limited-slip differential and a slight boost in power from 316 horsepower to 326. Call it the driver’s choice. Oddly enough, the 928 GT also came standard without door ding protection strips, so the ones on this car would’ve been an option box ticked by the original owner. How weird is that? Then again, with a car this unusual, it’s unsurprising that the original owner has kept it for more than 30 years.

Porsche 928 Gt Flachbau Interior

At the moment, this 928 GT shows just 56,636 kilometers on the clock, although it reportedly had a failed odometer replaced in 2003 at a total mileage of “no more than 11,500 kilometers.” Call it around 68,136 kilometers of total distance traveled, which works out to 42,337 miles or 1,245 miles per year since new. Imagine if it was used for one grand tour each year. How brilliant would that be?

Porsche 928 Gt Flachbau Front

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In an alternate universe, this could’ve been part of a sweeping 928 update for the late 1980s or the ’90s. However, just two years after this one-off 928 emerged from the factory, Porsche updated its four-cylinder transaxle car with 928-style lay-back pop-up headlights, and the cheap cars swapping looks with the expensive cars would be an odd choice. Still, if you’re well-heeled and looking for an unusually sleek 928, this bespoke car’s up for auction in Paris next year.

(Photo credits: RM Sotheby’s)

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The World of Vee
The World of Vee
2 months ago

But the slantnose 911 with the 928 headlights are so much cooler than the original slantnoses

Conundrum indeed!

Griznant
Griznant
2 months ago

Don’t like slant nose 911s and don’t like this. It’s great that it exists, but definitely not my cup o’ tea.

Carlos Ferreira
Carlos Ferreira
2 months ago

It loses a lot of its indvidulaity with normie pop-ups. Not a fan.

Mike James
Mike James
2 months ago

To each his own, but I have always liked the way a 928 looks like a 928 and nothing else.
The change in headlights make it look more like so many other things of that time. (RX7, MX5, Corvette …)

I intensely dislike the rear wheel arch treatment. They appear to be stuck on with no regard for the rest of the design.

The GTS ones are much better.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c4/Porsche_928_GTS_hl_blue.jpg/1920px-Porsche_928_GTS_hl_blue.jpg

FiveOhNo
FiveOhNo
2 months ago

Wow that looks so much better. Reminds me a bit of the front of the BMW 8 Series.

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
2 months ago

I dunno. It’s like Erin Gray getting a nose job after Dirty Dancing. It’s arguably better, but now it’s just more of the same…

Hondaimpbmw 12
Hondaimpbmw 12
2 months ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

You mean Jennifer Grey (and yes, she ruined a unique face and later regretted it).

Squirrelmaster
Squirrelmaster
2 months ago

I’m not a big 928 fan, but I think this version looks fantastic. It fixes many of the reasons I’m not a 928 fan, notably the frog-eye headlights and narrow rear rear axle, and makes it look more like a 911 mixed with a 944 – both good things in my book.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
2 months ago

It looks kinda like the love child of a 928 and a NA Miata

OrigamiSensei
OrigamiSensei
2 months ago

Ooh, I like this a lot! To echo Stef, this is very good parsh. I noted in the 911T article that I’m unlikely to ever own one but this particular example induces all the feels. Right transmission, exotic, in great shape. Yeah, a richer me would have the bidding paddle up at Sotheby’s.

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
2 months ago

official verdict: good parsh

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
2 months ago

Who needs lights? I just focus on the infrared spectrum and I can see just fine in the dark. What, your eyes don’t do that?

Last edited 2 months ago by Canopysaurus
MaximillianMeen
MaximillianMeen
2 months ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

Oh great. Just freaking great. Now we have a damn predator loose in the comments section. Somebody call Danny Glover!

Iwannadrive637
Iwannadrive637
2 months ago

These lights make more sense but the originals have more charm.

Cerberus
Cerberus
2 months ago

I don’t like the skirts and boxier flares would fit the car’s lines better. Need more pics to determine whether or not I like the headlights. I have a feeling it resembles more a bigger 944.

SlowCarFast
SlowCarFast
2 months ago

Only one image with the headlights down? I’ll need to reserve judgement until I can see a more natural view of this alternative look. (I don’t approach cars from dead front while lying on a skateboard, so this isn’t working for me.)

SlowCarFast
SlowCarFast
2 months ago
Reply to  SlowCarFast

(Back from checking auction images)
Okay, I can see the attraction, but I wouldn’t pay a premium over the classic OEM style. I’d love to see some side-by-side images with this and the original.

Sklooner
Sklooner
2 months ago

I worked at a shop in the late 80s- early 90s and we had one of these that got converted back to stock due to an accident and the cost of the parts for this- I assumed it was some aftermarket hack

Spyrius Robot
Spyrius Robot
2 months ago

I like the frog eyes better.

Iain Tunmore
Iain Tunmore
2 months ago
Reply to  Spyrius Robot

Me too.
I love the 928, particularly later ones in GT spec.
I also massively prefer the 968 over its 944 predecessor, where the main difference is the frog eyes.

Happy Walters
Happy Walters
2 months ago
Reply to  Iain Tunmore

And, horses for courses. I really dislike the look of the 968 over the 944. Even though the former is a better car, I’ll take my 944 S2 instead every single time.

So, of course, I think this version of the 928 looks spectacular.

Last edited 2 months ago by Happy Walters
SonOfLP500
SonOfLP500
2 months ago
Reply to  Iain Tunmore

I don’t think there is any other car that photographs so badly, yet looks so good in reality. Photographs make the 928 look dumpy, whereas the real thing is relatively compact, lithe-looking and has lovely surfaces.
Frog eyes, please.

SlowCarFast
SlowCarFast
2 months ago
Reply to  Iain Tunmore

I prefer the 928 OEM headlamps, but the 968 never looked quite right proportionally to me, in pictures. Strangely-enough, I don’t recall seeing any 968 coupes in person. It might look perfect to me for all I know.

Happy Walters
Happy Walters
2 months ago
Reply to  SlowCarFast

There’s one down the street, and it doesn’t work for me either. The front end has the design language of the 993 that would follow it, while the rear end is a little rounder and 928-ish. If you’re going to be a flared-out 924 then BE a flared-out 924.

SlowCarFast
SlowCarFast
2 months ago
Reply to  Happy Walters

That’s a good point. The 968 has the slight fender humps. I do know I prefer the 944 tail lights.

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