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Porsche 914

Porsche 914 Published: 14th Aug 2018 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Porsche 914
Porsche 914
Porsche 914
Porsche 914
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Entry level Porsches (and this even includes the 966-based Boxster!) are rarely considered the real deal as most are usually tarnished by their VW connections – yet so was a 356 and, dare we say it, a 911? The world’s first mass-produced midengined car, the 914 was intended to provide VW with a highbrow flagship and Porsche with a cheap, entry-level car to undercut the 911. Over half a century since VW bankrolled the project, the unloved 914 is being seen in an entirely new light. Some say it lacks pace and prestige, and a 911 is easier to maintain, but the car’s rarity and current values are compensation.

Driving

Even the most hardened critics will admit that the 914 is much better to drive than it looks. Thanks to the mid-engine layout, which is much more predictable than the rearengined 911, the 914 handles so well that factory engineers recorded superior cornering powers over the 911! True, VW-powered cars are slouches but the last-of-the-line 2-litre isn’t bad and all featured fi vespeed gearboxes. The central roof section is a winner and, combined with generous luggage space, makes the 914 an easy going touring sports car. A retrospective look by Supercar Classics in 1990, concluded that the 914 undeservedly received a bad press. “The 914/6 could have gone on to become a great car… had the 914 subsequently received as much development as the 911”, it believed.

Values

Prices start from £15,000 for a 1.7 and between £15-20K for a 2.0, with the 1.8 somewhere in between; project from £6000. The Porsche powered 914-6 is another matter and best models can bust the 60 grand mark. Many still reside in the States where there’s no shortage of fans, tuning and custom gear.

Timeline

1966 First proposals for a mid-engined Volkswagen backed sports car

1969 Launched as the VW-Porsche 914 using 411 LE 1.7-litre engine, with five-speeds and a targa hood. As was traditional with its convertibles, VW farmed out the assembly to Karmann

1969-72 Low power addressed with low tune 911T 110bhp 2-litre engine. Shockingly high prices killed this model off by 1972. Improved ventilation for 1971

1973 Substitute was a VW 2.0 breathed on by Porsche to give similar performance, less cost; a sports package was available for certain markets

1974 The 1.7 is replaced by a beefi er 1795cc VW unit; European cars had twin carbs for 85bhp. The interior receives a welcome refresh

1975 Final year sees new bumpers and detail changes; some markets offered a Comfort Package and a GT pack; last cars in May 1976

Best models

914

All left-hand drive, initial 1.7 musters only 80bhp (US cars 69bhp!); during the 70s the 1.8 from VW’s latest Type 4 provides much more zip

914/6

What 914 always wanted; proper Porsche power; as quick as the 911S. Watch for poor DIY conversions; real 914/6s have five-bolt wheels and more kit

2.0

The best ‘four’ by far by way of Porsche tuned VW engine for 100bhp; Some 40 right-hand drive cars were made on all models, values similar

Top buying tips

Availability

According to the Porsche Club GB (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). com), there’s almost 200 cars in the UK, but not all are on the road although standards are improving

Rust

It’s the biggest worry so inspect very carefully. The main rot spot is around the battery and, in the worst cases, can spread to the chassis leg. If that’s the case then walk away. Sills are a rot haven, too as are the chassis suspension mounts. Repro panels are available

Engine

Air-cooled VW is typically dependable and parts are cheap – unlike Porsche unit. Majority ran Bosch fuel injection, which is generally reliable. However, when it plays up, owners have been known to revert to carbs but tend to do it badly say 914 experts; an overhaul of the Bosch set up costs around £1500 alone

Transmission

Five-speed manual had an awful gear change made worse when the linkages wear. Post ‘72 cars are better but just fully sorting the original linkages can work wonders on most cars. Some owners fi t the later 930 transaxle – check

Brakes

VW-powered cars use 411 components while 914/6 have contemporary, if dearer 911 stoppers



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