What Kind of Porsche Was Driven in “Risky Business?”

Porsche Was Driven in "Risky Business?"

What kind of Porsche was driven in “Risky Business? Most Tom Cruise fans will know that it was cool, fast, and a Porsche, but not everyone took the time to find out the model. For the record, it was a Porsche 928, one of the most affordable models manufactured by the brand. Whether you’re one of Cruise’s fans or a Porsche enthusiast, here is the fascinating history of the legendary car, its origins, and where it ended up today.

How the Porsche 928 became the chosen car for the movie

Autoblog, is rich in knowledge about the Porsche 928, but they just happen to know all about the 1979 model that Cruise drove in “Risky Business.” The decision to include the 928 was actually brilliant. The film was a drama with some definite overtones of humor infused throughout. The film was made in 1983, geared towards the late teen and early 20s audience. The content was all over the place but mostly focused on teen college applications and a prostitution ring. The Porsche 928 was an exotic car, which was fitting for Cruise’s father, but it was also a model that could be believably attained by the character and those who were not made of money. It’s as though this Porsche model was made to fit in with the theme perfectly. The prop team had originally considered going with a Porsche 911, but after thinking about it, they realized that the 928 was the best fit for the overall theme and vibe of the film. This should renew your faith in the belief that every Porsche has its own distinct personality and appeal. Another reason that the crew settled on the inclusion of the 928 is that the setting of the film is in the midwest. In this particular area, there were more Porsche 928s sold than in any other part of the country. It was one of the most popular vehicles in Chicago during that era so it made sense to go with a vehicle that would make the backstory seem more realistic.

The most memorable Porsche scene

Perhaps one of the most memorable scenes of the Porsche in “Risky Business” was when the 21-year-old Cruise was behind the wheel in the chase scene with Guido the pimp. He outruns the big Cadillac after multiple close calls, quick turns, and an exciting chase. After he pulled to the curb, avoiding Guido, the character took a moment to pay homage to the brand by stating “Porsche, there is no substitute” according to Forbes. The film also gave Cruise’s budding career a heck of a boost when he had one of his most memorable roles as the lead character. He was dancing to Bob Seger’s “Old Time Rock and Roll,” in the living room, in his underwear. This scene catapulted Cruise to instant stardom.

The car also became an instant star

Whether it was the fact that the Porsche 928 looked good in the film, or that Tom Cruise was the driver, doesn’t matter. A collector saw it and decided that he simply had to have the very car that was driven in “Risky Business.” It was a decade after the release of the film, but Lewis Johnsen set out on a quest to track down the vehicle and to try to make it his own. He even shot a documentary on his adventure, titling it “The Quest for RB 928.” This just goes to show you what a powerful impact the Porsche car from the late 1970s had on one fan. Johnsen even went so far as to hire a private investigator to help him find the Porsche. If he isn’t a Porsche enthusiast then we don’t know who would be.

There wasn’t just one

Johnson learned that there had actually been four Porsche 928s use to film “Risky Business.”One goes into Lake Michigan but it had previously been gutted anyway. The 1979 version of the 928 was the one that was seen in mostly driving scenes and this is how it emerged in good condition. The other three had seemed to disappear off the face of the earth and there was no record of what had happened to them, but as luck would have it, 1979 was preserved in good condition with 102,755 miles on it. After much investigation, it was discovered that the “Risky Business” Porsche had sold at an auction for $40,000 with an extra $9,200 buyer’s premium tacked on to the winning bid amount. The name of the winning bidder was not released by the auction house because of a previous agreement to maintain customer privacy. Motor Authority gives us an idea of the overall value of a similar 1979 Porsche 928 with the same mileage. They estimate the value at under $10,000 but when you add the historic significance of this one particular model, they place the value at between $40,000 to $60,000.

Final thoughts

Porsche’s affordably priced 928 became a big star after it appeared in the film “Risky Business” with Tom Cruise. Sales were already high when the film was made, but the hit teen flick made the 928 something of a pop-icon, right along with its driver a young Tom Cruise. When we look at the inherent value of a fine collectible, it’s plain to see that there is a lot more involved than the item itself. A $10,000 car (or less), by association with one of Hollywood’s biggest celebrity personalities suddenly became four to six times more valuable. That’s the way it goes with memorabilia. Porsche really cashed in on the film industry’s promotion of their car. It’s too bad that the other three Porsche 928s used to make the film didn’t survive. It’s assumed that they’re lying around some junkyard as spare parts.


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