1978 Porsche 928 Press Tribute Art Car
Thousands of hand laid vinyl stickers featuring the 1977 and 1978 European and US launch magazine articles on Porsche’s supercar.
Conceived early 2012 — Completed August 17, 2012
• Complex Rides – November 24, 2012 “This, in our eyes, is one of the best art cars ever. Beautifully thought out as an homage to the heritage of a legendary automobile.”
• Propulsion9 – February 25, 2013 – “This is both an artistic and advocacy approach but also a real restoration work as mechanical and interior have not been forgotten. There has been the attention given to every detail.” — France
• Drivr – November 26, 2012 – “Truly a noble pursuit.” — Germany
• Car and Driver – November 24, 2012 – “Grusche is hoping Porsche AG will take enough interest in the car to eventually display it at the company’s museum in Zuffenhausen.”
• Hagerty – October 3, 2019 – “Proving that he’s onto something, Grusche’s Art Car was the rock star at the first-ever Cars and Caffeine gathering held recently at Hagerty’s Ann Arbor, Michigan, editorial office.”
• 9 Magazine – October 17, 2012 – “When you think of the phrase “Art Car”, you would be forgiven if your thoughts immediately jump to BMW and their long history of art cars. Some of the most famous artists in the world have lain brush to the canvas of some of the most famous cars from the Bayeriche Motoren Werke… An interesting take on the concept…”
• P4 Porsche Pushers Private Papers – September 2014 – “A most creative 928.”
• E-Brake News – Porsche Club of America – September 4, 2012
• The Bahn Stormer – October 2012
• Rennlist Forum – August 22, 2012 – Over 7,500 views and four pages of mostly positive replies from Porsche enthusiasts
• Larson Porsche of Tacoma, Washington – An art tribute to a classic Porsche 928. “Who needs paint?”
• Pelican Parts Forum – August 22, 2012
Inspiration and “Moto”vation:
As an artist (Groosh art website here), I wanted to bring an inventive design to my favorite marque without compromising the value of an original paint car, which this was not. Keeping it close to stock for a factory experience was also important. Through years of thinking and planning the inspiration would come from something that isn’t as obvious as painting the car a la the BMW art cars which I love. It would instead come from the influence of thousands of car magazines I’ve read since I was a teenager growing up outside Detroit.
By using the car’s 40+ year heritage and launch press articles to propel this concept, I gave the 928 the ability to “speak,” rather brag about itself, after gesturing come look at me. I felt it needed to tell the story of why Porsche’s success and their product line diversity demanded they devote an unheard of $200 million out of their $600 Deutschmark annual sales budget in 1974 to the development of the 928.
See this link for the build behind the scenes.
More… plus more photos below…
But why this particular 928? It was clean, straight with low miles and good ownership history that showed new clutch and a/c converted to 134a. Additionally the intake was polished which I had never seen before, the original first aid kit and tool kit were included plus it had the original steering wheel and stick shift knob.
However, this car was not original paint and the seats had been redone and have been again. In a collector market where fully restored is highly valued and preservation cars are even more revered, this one was neither. Full restoration didn’t make financial sense to me but this first year Euro spec ’78 928 deserved more.
The 928 was heralded as being one of the best supercars to ever hit the market while at the same time it was chastised for not being a 911. A lot of transitions during the 70’s pushed Porsche to design a new car from the ground up such as the oil crisis, recession, aging product, emission and noise standards plus safety regulations thanks to Ralph Nader and Unsafe at Any Speed. This car was so important to the company’s success and their product line diversity that they devoted an unheard of $200 million out of their $600 Deutschmark annual sales budget in 1974 to the development of the 928.
When the 928 came out in 1977, the press loved it. Articles in the United States alone from Car and Driver, Road & Track and Motor Trend praised the advanced V8 engine, forward design, GT handling and interior ergonomics. The European press was no different. In fact, the 1978 Porsche 928 won the European Car of the Year. No Porsche before or since has ever won this honor. None other than Paul Frère was on the judging committee for European Car of the Year in ’78 and is most noted for, ironically, his book The Porsche 911 Story which is a bible of one of the greatest sports cars ever made.
The convictions above drove me to buy and create the Porsche 928 Press Tribute Art Car. As an owner of a ’83 911SC, ’71 911, 944 Turbo and 914s plus restorer and engine re-builder of a ’66 912 how could I ignore the genius of the 928? I was tired of hearing lackluster appreciation for the car except from those who owned them. So it had a liquid cooled engine in the wrong end. So it wasn’t as raw as the tail wagger. It wasn’t designed to be. It was and is one of the greatest GT cars ever made as evidenced by the buff books that wrote about it. I therefore decided it was easier to let people read for themselves rather than me try to explain it.
The stickers on the car, magazine articles:
Motor – March 12, 1977
Autocar – April 9, 1977
Car and Driver – June 1977
Thoroughbred & Classic Cars – June 1977
Motor Trend – June 1977
Road & Track – April 1978
Motor – October 28, 1978
The art, design and build:
This is not a vinyl wrap as commonly thought but rather 300+ pages 8.5″x11″ vinyl stickers, cut into thousands of pieces. Each image was scanned from either the original 1970’s magazine bought on eBay or a book. The scans were retouched and converted into black and white files then printed on bumper sticker material.
My vision was then to randomly cover the car as I worked. Random so to not detract from Tony Lapine’s brilliant design. Each sticker, which is one of 32 individual pages printed in 10 sets, were carefully and thoughtfully placed. Having the ability to change out damaged stickers over time that may result from peeling, weathering or scrapes/chips was the reason I chose not to clear coat the car when finished. Additionally, I added three stickers from the movies that adorned the 928 and I liked: Weird Science, Scarface and Risky Business. The European Car of the Year sticker with proper logo from 1978, purchase through eBay in Europe, is in full color above each side marker light.
The two other major design components were the chrome headlight buckets and red vinyl seats. The headlights were such a standout feature of the car that I thought they should pop. However since they were plastic, I needed to find a chrome shop that specialized in the plastic plating process. Paul’s Chrome in Pennsylvania has been in business since 1977. I’ve heard of their high quality reputation for years and have seen their ads in Hemmings Motor News equally as long. Their plating process involves a base coat of “paint” that has a metal/copper component. The base coat conducts the electrolysis needed to adhere the plating process. These headlight buckets are real metal chrome. The red seats are a nod to my canvas paint series Black White Red while also being my favorite interior color.
For more on the build, a making of page and video are in the works.
• Approximately 300 – 8.5 x 11 vinyl stickers hand laid over 80 hours
• 32 individual pages
• Printed on Orajet vinyl sticker material, gloss stock, adhesive back by StickersBanners.com in Duluth, Georgia, a great shop thanks Josh!
• The car is garaged and a fair weather driver only
August 17, 2012 at the Rally Sport Region Porsche Club or America event at Fox Grille, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan during the Woodward Dream Cruise and subsequently Saturday, August 18, 2012 at the Dream Cruise.
Permanent display at the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, Germany.
• Rennlist Forum – Lots of feedback, originally posted by me under “1978 Porsche 928 Art Car – A Press Tribute“
• Pelican Parts Forum – Posted by another member under “1978 Porsche 928 Art Car – A Press Tribute“
• Pelican Parts Forum – Originally posted photos by me under the “1978 A/C Compressor Wiring” topic I started
Other Porsche art cars:
Gustov Troger – Porsche 356
Janis Joplin – 1965 Porsche 356C Cabriolet
Margaret Warren – 1965 Porsche 356C Coupe
Jasper Fforde – Porsche 356 Replica Speedster
Miguel Paredes – 2011 Porsche 997 Speedster
• Car was purchased on December 23, 2011 outside of Lansing, Michigan
• European spec car with 81,815 miles, 5 speed manual, silver metallic over black
• VIN #9288102574, Engine #8182057, Transmission #183109 matching numbers
• First year of production, 1978
• Not original paint or interior, hence the art car
• Original tool kit and original first aid kit intact
• Original steering wheel and stick shift knob
• Original “928” foot pads on brake and clutch hardly worn
• Spare tire not inflated
• Originally a Nebraska car
• 951 wheels on rear from previous owner
• Ownership history and records back to 1989
• PCA owned, Certificate of Authenticity dated March 20, 2001
• I personally spoke with every owner to collect history about the car
• Engine performs and sounds great
• Gearbox has character, I drive it like a crash box and double clutch. 2nd gear syncros are bad, first and reverse are challenging, could stand a rebuild
• Rebuilt rear axles from CVJ Axles
• Gas tank dropped, checked for leaks, all fuel and vent lines around tank replaced
• New fuel line from tank to fuel filter
• New fuel filter
• Porsche red OEM gas cap with new o-ring added
• Three piece aluminum grille stripped, sanded, primed and painted gloss black
• Inside hood sanded, primed, painted metallic silver
• New hood liner made from 1/4 inch nitrile vinyl closed cell foam rubber
• Removed window tint from all five windows
• New Good Year Eagle GTs 225/50R-16 92V BSW, these match the exact size Pirelli tires that came stock in ’78
• A/C converted to 134a, compressor reconnected, new A/C relay, new charge, still needs some new o-rings
• Taillights, side markers and front light surrounds: removed old over spray, polished out
• Chromed headlight buckets by Paul’s Chrome
• All fuses removed, contacts cleaned
• Head gaskets done
• Full engine tune, dialed in by Stephen Cramer at Autocore
• Replaced driver and passenger valve cover gaskets and cam tower seals
• Replacement passenger valve cover for cosmetic reasons with correct date stamped April 1978 cover
• Timing belt and all accessory belts replaced
• Vacuum lines replaced
• New spark plugs
• “S” intake added and polished
• Full color Porsche emblem on intake replaces two tone emblem. This was an early combination in one of the first press pictures released of the new engine which ultimately gave me the sense this car was destine to become a press tribute.
• Ansa Sport exhaust
• K&N filter cleaned and oiled
• New Bosch alternator
• Oil and coolant replaced
• A few replacement nuts added to exhaust manifold and exhaust pipe junction
• Fixed faulty passenger headlight wire
• 1978 Blaupunkt stereo not product but period correct from 1978 924, original Blaupunkt speakers still in doors
• Gauge cluster rebuilt with:
– New speedometer needle
– New odometer gear from Odometergears
– Repainted black gauge surround
– Contacts cleaned
– Rusty face plate screws polished and oiled
– Plastic “glass” painstakingly hand polished crystal clear
• Dash and gauge surround are cracked
• Ignition switch repaired
• Replacement euro spec turn signal/switch stalk installed to fix broken cruise control switches, cruise does not work however
• Door and floor carpet cleaned and fitted properly
• Red vinyl front seats kits purchased from AutoInteriorKits in California installed by Classic 9 Leather Shop in Dearborn Heights, Michigan
• Clock “plastic glass” polished out
• New shift boot