Ode To The Five Speed Manual
In writing to a prospective 928 Owner about his desire for a 5 speed 928 I recommended that he might want to check out the 4-Speed Auto as well. I also asked other owners to contribute to the debate.
Glenn Evans came to the fore and this was his response. - Leonard Zech, Website Supervisor.
I gather from Len's e-mail that you would like a manual 928. I looked at 928s for over six months when I bought mine six years ago; the first question I asked was whether it was a manual! Mine is a 1980 model, and a lot more cars of that age have manual transmissions. Manuals are very rare in 928s of the S4 vintage and later.
Up until 1985, 928s were fitted with a Porsche transmission with a dual plate
clutch. In 1985, a unit with Borg-Warner synchronizers was fitted, which improved the shift and
the unit's durability. The dual plate clutch can be expensive to fix, but so is everything
on a 928. All the critics seem to prefer the 4 speed auto in the 928; Wheels magazine
recently rated the 928 manual as having one of the ten worst gearchanges of all time. What
a load of crap!!
Although the change can be notchy and the synchro on first gear of all those
I drove was dodgy at best and often non-existent (including mine), I would never have an
automatic. The inability to select first on the move is only rarely an irritation; it
takes an extremely steep hill to stop a 928 starting in second gear. And the gearchange at
higher revs is superb! If you hold out for a post '85 manual, you should not encounter
these problems, anyway.
Don't weaken!! If you like driving fast in other than a straight line, you should
hold out for a manual (even if you have to get a different model Porsche!). You will always be
frustrated by an auto when you are driving fast on winding roads or in
Remember, you are smarter than a transmission. As far as I'm concerned, you may as well
buy a Holden as an auto Porsche!
The Holden comment is a reflection of my distaste for automatics; it's not meant
to be a criticism of anyone else's choice. I just wouldn't buy one as my own car. If someone
prefers manuals, he/she may regret buying an auto when trying to drive it fast.
Glenn Evans, 928 1980 'S' Look, 5 Speed.