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Porsche's intended replacement for the 911 may not have achieved that particular goal, but it wasn't for a lack of performance or technological advancement. Critics immediately recognised the advances inherent in the 928 over the 911, and the car was universally praised as one of the greatest 'GT' cars of all time. It handled, it was quick, it looked fantastic and it was comfortable. With the 928, Porsche created a serious long-distance grand-touring car that could also tackle twisting B-roads with ease, thanks to super-direct steering, 50/50 weight distribution and a clever Weissach rear axle that kept the car firmly planted. Many road testers found that their nerve ran out long before the 928's grip. Porsche continuously developed their range-topper throughout its production life, culminating with the launch of the S4 in 1987, which differed slightly from the earlier Series cars with its smoothed-off front and rear bumpers, larger rear spoiler, more interior equipment and a 5-litre version of the V8 engine developing 316bhp.
1988 saw further development in the story of Porsche's 928 with the launch of the SE featuring a more powerful uprated 5.0-litre V8 with 320bhp, but more importantly, the introduction of a 5-speed manual gearbox for those who wanted a more sporty driving experience. The SE specification also included twin exhausts, uprated engine and ECU, sports suspension and limited-slip-differential - the ultimate 928 had arrived!
This smart 928 SE was delivered new to Williams F1 driver Tom Belso and first registered on 1st August 1988 with the private registration number ‘15 TOM’. It was optioned with ‘Sport Equipment’, Guards Red paintwork and ‘black leather with pinstripe inserts’ sports seating. Clearly the 928 S4 SE proved itself as a well-rounded car that was easy to live with offering luxury, comfort and performance as it was 24 years later that a decision was made to part with the car. Only 42 Sport Equipment 928s were eventually to arrive in the UK, making this example today a rather rare sight and highly sought after by Porsche collectors and enthusiasts.
Our vendor, a private car collector and Porsche enthusiast, purchased the car in June 2016 and began a thorough schedule of works to return it to its best. Naturally, Porsche 928 specialists, Tech9 Motorsport, were entrusted to oversee the refurbishment which included a bare-metal repaint in its original colours and mechanical refresh to ensure the famously bullet-proof engine was in perfect working order. Today, the car presents beautifully and performs very well offering an interesting modern classic Porsche with a fascinating provenance that has been fully sorted by a highly regarded Porsche specialist.
Accompanying this 928 SE is a detailed history folder containing recent invoices to the sum of £25,000 for refurbishment works, a full account of the car’s service history from new, old MOTs and period magazines featuring reviews on the 928 SE. Also present are the original book pack, service book and complete tool kit.
Writing in 911 & Porsche World in 2017, journalist Johnny Tipler compared the S4 SE to the 928 GT, concluding that the SE was “in a different league as far as handling is concerned: it’s precise, there’s no sense that it’s oversteering or understeering, and the power delivery is spot-on”.