Fixing the 914's Shortcomings
If You’re Looking for the Ultimate Sleeper Porsche, This Is It
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