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Porsche 914

Porsche 914 Published: 7th Aug 2017 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Porsche 914
Porsche 914
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Individual looks - Excellent handling - Exclusivity - Left-hand drive only

Entry level Porsches (and this even includes the 966-based Boxster) are never considered the real deal as they 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 mid-engined car, the 914, was intended to give Volkswagen a sportier, prestigious flagship model and Porsche with a cheap, entry-level car to undercut the 911. Some say it lacks pace and prestige, and a 911 is easier to maintain as a classic, but the rarity and current values compensate.

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 rear-engined 911, 914s handle so well that factory engineers recorded superior cornering powers over the 911 because it boasted a superior basic design… True, VW-powered ones are slouches but the last-of-the-line 2-litre isn’t and all featured five-speed gearboxes. The central roof section was a winner and, combined with generous luggage space, makes the 914 an ideal tourer.

A retrospective look by Supercar Classics in 1990, concluded that the 914 undeservedly received a bad press, and called it a Teutonic X1/9. “The 914/6 could have gone on to become a great car… had the 914 subsequently received as much development as the 911.”

Best models

It’s largely a case of what you can get, but the base 1.7 is slower than an MG Midget! The 100bhp 2-litre is much more like it while the 1.8 fitted to the last models is lively, but best is the 914/6, with its 125bhp 2.0-litre Porsche power, larger 15” alloy wheels with 165HR15 tyres. A proper right-hand drive range was out of the question, but a quality conversion was developed in the UK by Crayford of Kent. Expensive when new, it’s thought that less than 40 were completed although their prices shouldn’t be significantly dearer than a left-hooker now, although desirability may be higher. US cars posted measly 76bhp and came with thick-set bumpers but can be converted.

Values

According to the Porsche Club GB (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)) , there’s 175-200 cars in the UK, but not all are on the road although standards are improving. Prices for projects start at £5000, usable 914s start from £9000 but more like £15,000 for a good 1.7 version and in the region of £15-£20K for a later 2.0, with 1.8s somewhere in between. The Porsche-powered 914-6 is another matter entirely and a rogue one costs as much fine 914; best models can bust the 50 grand mark with no trouble. Many still reside in the US and there’s no shortage of tuning and custom gear, plus 911 running gear fits.

Best models

It’s largely a case of what you can get, but the base 1.7 is slower than an MG Midget! The 100bhp 2-litre is much more like it while the 1.8 fitted to the last models is lively, but best is the 914/6, with its 125bhp 2.0-litre Porsche power, larger 15” alloy wheels with 165HR15 tyres. A proper right-hand drive range was out of the question, but a quality conversion was developed in the UK by Crayford of Kent. Expensive when new, it’s thought that less than 40 were completed although their prices shouldn’t be significantly dearer than a left-hooker now, although desirability may be higher. US cars posted measly 76bhp and came with thick-set bumpers but can be converted.

Values

According to the Porsche Club GB (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)) , there’s 175-200 cars in the UK, but not all are on the road although standards are improving. Prices for projects start at £5000, usable 914s start from £9000 but more like £15,000 for a good 1.7 version and in the region of £15-£20K for a later 2.0, with 1.8s somewhere in between. The Porsche-powered 914-6 is another matter entirely and a rogue one costs as much fine 914; best models can bust the 50 grand mark with no trouble. Many still reside in the US and there’s no shortage of tuning and custom gear, plus 911 running gear fits.

Buying advice

Spares are in the main not a problem and reproduction panels from Canadian Restoration Designs, are very good indeed. The biggest worry is rust so inspect carefully. The main rot spot is around the battery area 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 suspension mounts. The air-cooled VW engine is at least typically dependable. Many ran on Bosch fuel injection, which is reliable enough. However, when it plays up, owners have been known to swap to carbs but do it badly; an overhaul of the injection set up costs around £1500.

The five-speed manual box had an awful gear change when new and when the linkages are worn. Post 1972 cars benefit from a better unit and some fit the later Porsche 930 transaxle. Bear in mind that the 914 used a 911 transaxle so repairs will be costly. The interior trim is robust, although US cars may suffer from sun-damaged cockpits. Dash tops are available but cost some £300.



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