Editor’s Note: We love scouring the internet for reasons to spend money we don’t have on cars we daydream about owning, and these are our picks this week. All prices listed are bid amounts at the time of publishing.
When the Porsche 914 rolled off the factory floor in 1969, it garnered a somewhat controversial and polarized reception. The 912, the 914’s predecessor was, for all intents and purposes a four-cylinder 911. They looked nearly identical to the more powerful 911, keeping the iconic design, but acting as a more affordable entry-level Porsche. The 914, on the other hand, dropped the signature Porsche shape and moved the Volkswagen-sourced engine up from the rear to ahead of the back axle. It was derided as sacrilege despite the fact the 914 handled better than the rear-engined 911.
Even by today’s standards, the 914 is a gem to carve a few corners with, but at only 100 horsepower (less in other models), it can feel severely underpowered. This 914 should address all the problems a Porschephile might have with the little Targa. With a flat-six and running gear from a 911, flared arches and a remastered interior, think of this as a baby Singer Porsche.
What We Like: Putting the engine in the middle of a well-sorted car will make it handle better. That’s not opinion; it’s simply the effect of physics since weight distribution and balance become incredibly centered. What the 914 always needed was a touch more power, and with a 3.2-liter flat-six from an ’88 Carrera, this one has it. To rein it in and keep things relatively under control, it all sits on Koni/Boge dampers and modern Boxster S brakes. While the performance upgrade is nice, the color-matching houndstooth bucket seats are a thing of pure beauty.
From the Seller: “Custom upholstery features orange houndstooth center inserts, which are carried over to the door panels, and the adjustable seats are a from a post-1971 car. Rubber honeycomb mats line the carpeted floors. ~11k miles are indicated, with true mileage unknown.”
Watch Out For: This particular Porsche 914 is a complete overhaul, so it has very little in common with a bone stock example. Regardless, early 914s had a rust problem, particularly on the floor pans and rocker panels. Judging by the photos, the previous owner addressed those areas in the rebuild.
Original Review: “Even the most hardened critics will admit that the 914 is much better to drive than it looks. Thank the mid-engine layout, which is much more predictable than the rear-engined 911. Couple this with modest power and the 914 handles with the utmost precision. Engineers recorded superior cornering powers over the 911 and even now, the 914 is still a real pleasure behind the wheel.” — Classic Motoring
Engine: 3.2 Liter Flat Six-Cylinder Engine and 1980’s 911 Carrera Drivetrain
Transmission: Five-Speed Manual
Location: Galax, Virginia
If you’re currently shopping for a used car, this is a good place to find the cars you don’t want.
Read the Story