Where do we all stand on the Porsche 928? It’s not a car I think about much, but in the off chance I do, what strikes me first, invariably, is how damn weird the thing is. The headlights with the off position pointed in no particular direction, yet somehow look stranger in use than when not. The elongated windows behind the B pillar. The awkwardly-placed taillights on the pre-facelift model. Sure, there’s a vague elegance to it, but there’s also a big-old V8 under the hood — and there’s nothing more un-Porsche than that.
It’s a weird car. That might explain why it was chosen for a Y2K-style reimagining of sorts by artists Daniel Arsham and Kyza. Meet the Nebula 928.
This one-off, which started life as a 1978 model, is on display at South by Southwest starting today according to Designboom. The metallic purple does lend a decidedly 2000s space-age feel to the whole affair, and reminds me a lot of Violet Blue Metallic, which was offered — appropriately enough — during the 996 days. The wheels may as well have been pulled straight out of a ‘90s German tuning scene magazine.
It’s the rear wing and bumpers, though, that I expect will garner the most passionate opinions. If there was an official shape of the Y2K era, it’d be bridged oblong circles. They replace most of the lighting on this car, are echoed with two small intakes flanking the main central one, and are repeated yet again in the cabin for the speaker covers and steering wheel.
I’ll come right out and say it — I think the lights look great. They complement the fluidity of the 928's surfacing, the roundedness that caps the wedge silhouette. But then I would feel that way, because I also believe Porsche design peaked with the fried egg, and Apple are cowards for not making every iPhone in candy-colored translucent plastic. The lit “Nebula” text taking the space where “Porsche” would typically be embossed is a bit much, but this is an art car after all.
It’s also the sort of art car that would normally set off the cynic in me, the person confused and admittedly infuriated by high fashion, how manufactured scarcity could give ordinary streetwear value and why anyone would ever shrink-wrap a pair of sneakers. But the Nebula 928 recontextualizes an ‘80s icon in a different era, and that’s a cool premise. It also just plain looks good.
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