I apologise for my long break, guys, but no matter, I’m back with another fantastic article about an overlooked and overall underrated car from Porsche, the 914 model. This, back in 1974, should have been a huge hit for the German manufacturer. A small, hard-topped, mid-engined convertible sports car? The masses should have been eating it up like butter, yet, when it was finally released, the public saw a slow, cramped, unwieldy little banger. Hence, the 914 was quickly forgotten within the midst of the 911, as around that time the instant classic that was the Carrera RS came out. As a result, the 914 was dropped like a hot potato and was quickly consigned to the rubbish bin. Many people have criticised the 914 since then, perhaps out of anger that the 914 had replaced the much-loved Karmann Ghia, saying that it was slow, unreliable and not a pedigree Porsche, but I predict that these cars will soon be rocketing in value on the second-hand market, and why you should pick one up while the prices are still relatively low.
The standard flat-four engine won’t deliver the biggest of kicks, being armed with only 79bhp, but as the 914 is based on Volkswagen underpinnings, there are plenty of chances to change it out for a more aggressive unit, and the relatively basic construction means the tinkering options are in no way limited. The more punchy flat-six packs a more gruff 109bhp, which added to the car’s light weight, means that it’s a great little throwaround.
German engineering means that these cars are highly unlikely to encounter a large number of faults, but rust has been known to seep into the bodywork, especially in the door sills and boot lids. However, these cases are few, as mostly cars of this age are kept under cover and in good environments.
As with most 1970s cars, prices appear to be skyrocketing with little sign of slowing, but as this car was quickly overlooked a while after it came out, the amount of cash you’ll have to part with is not as much as you might think, with some fine examples being flogged for only £25,000, an unbelievable price for a car I staunchly see as gaining a brilliant following in years to come. The slightly more powerful Targa edition will only cost a little bit more (around £27,000) but with the more powerful engine, the money will be worth it. That’s why you should seriously consider picking one of these up. Think about this: a new VW Golf, or this fanciful little number? Which one would you choose?
It’s a common action to bash this car for its unreliability, which is completely unwarranted, as this car runs fine and without any issues. I was at a track day two weeks ago and had the pleasure of driving a turbocharged and lowered 914 Targa, which ran without fault for about seven or eight hours, whilst all the other British and Italian classics were wheezing in to the pits at 10 minute intervals, whereas the 914 was screaming around smoothly with no problems whatsoever.
5- Driving experience
After having driven a 914, I can proudly say that the driving experience is not very nice if you were to use in everyday life. The suspension seems to be better fit for an American muscle car than a European roadster, as it is the stiffest thing in existence and offers no variety in how it moves. The pre-power steering wheel means that you’d have to lift weights in order to actually turn the wheel past about 70 degrees. The acceleration is unstable, and the rear wheel drive makes it quite unwieldy if you want to set off quickly in a straight line. On the track however, it turns into a bona fide racer, as the twitchy acceleration and the jerky steering seem to come together perfectly.
I could say many things about this car, but it is an acquired taste. This is a car to own if you have the time to spend on it. If you are looking for a quick fix of speed and pedigree, you’re in the wrong place, my friend. If you however, like to spend time putting a life and soul into your car, I would strongly recommend buying one of these. And if my predictions are correct, these cars are in for a huge price increase. So if you have a spare £30,000 lying around, you know what to do. I’m signing off now
Thanks for reading, guys
Sign in to your Car Throttle accountContinue with Facebook