Quest for RB 928

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The Risky Business crew sourced its “primary driver” from Lee Klinger Porsche in Chicago — the same dealership that appears in the movie. At the time, more 928s were sold through Lee Klinger — known as the Porsche Exchange today — than anywhere else in the country. Says Johnsen: “Before they began production, they asked the service manager, Bruce Semersky, still an employee at the dealership today, if he had seen any Platinum Metallic 928s recently. He looked through his records and found two.” The first contact they called had no interest in renting the car. The second contact — Ted Kohl, a stock broker from Chicago — did.

When the film crew called Ted, his son Scott answered. They initially offered $100 per day to rent the car for a movie, according to Scott. Knowing his father would never do that, he said no thanks. Says Johnsen: “He put the phone down for a moment, got back on the line, and offered the car for $500 per day.” Scott then went down to the trading floor of the stock exchange and told his father about the deal he had just made. His dad said, “For $500 a day, they can keep it!”

Kohl’s 928 would be used for a total of twelve days of filming. Since it had 15-inch instead of offset 16-inch wheels, it was only used in scenes shot above the car’s beltline. It was used in all of the driving scenes as well as the chase scene, which took its toll on the car. Kohl quickly realized that his car was being abused. It was being pushed to the limit every time it was being filmed — especially for the chase scene. In other words, the 928 he would get back wouldn’t be the same car he rented out. In the midst of production, Kohl decided to get out of the car. As it turned out, Kohl’s lawyer — James Schlifke, the same guy who had helped him draft the rental agreement in the first place — took over the lease on the car.

After the title changed hands, Schlifke continued to rent the car to the Risky Business production, eventually buying the car outright from the lease. He initially took over the payments, thinking he might actually make some money. But, in the end, he lost about $1,500 on the deal. Said Schlifke: “The head gaskets were blown, the radar detector and jack were missing, the brakes were shot, and the engine was in need of a tune-up.”

The production crew took care of the brakes and the tune-up, mainly because Schlifke said they couldn’t continue to use the car unless they did. Even so, Schlifke would end up paying for the rest of the required repairs himself. As Johnsen puts it, “He didn’t seem too happy, looking back on things.” Not long after, Schlifke put the famous 928 up for sale. Quietly.

“Schlifke said he didn’t tell the eventual buyer about the car being used in the movie as he thought it would only devalue the car. After all, most people thought the car was dumped into Lake Michigan, Tom Cruise was still an unknown actor, and there was no hype surrounding the movie at that time. So Schlifke thought it would have only been a negative thing.” Thus, the “primary driver” RB 928 was sold in Glenview by Schlifke in 1984. The buyer, according to Schlifke, was foreign.

Also from Issue 157

  • 2007 Rug RGT: A Faster 997 GT3
  • Preview: Ruf’s 700-hp, 235-mph CTR3
  • The Unpublished IROC Story
  • Driver Jack McAfee Remembered
  • A Day Inside of Weissach
  • Three 356 Concours Kings
  • Ferry Porsche’s Carrera RS 2.7
  • Market Update: 1974-89 911s
  • Interview: Bobby Rahal
  • 911 SC Targa Turns into a Speedster
  • Mess-Less Oil Filter for 924S/944/968
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