Although a street car, I have been using this car on race tracks during Porsche Driver's Education events. In that light, I must mention that this car has been driven much, much harder than your daily driver type car. I prefaced the above so the comments below can be put in perspective.
Lost 1st gear after 1 year of ownership. Car ran fine with 2nd through 5th gears until I had the transmission replaced. Cost was about $1000 for transmission and labor.
Rear brake calipers needed to be rebuilt after 1 year of ownership. Carburetor set screw blew out of its' setting during a track event after 2 years of ownership.
Carburetor manual cold weather idle lever cable broke after 2 years of ownership.
I have always dreamed of owning an original 914/6. The car has lived up to my expectations. While not a straight line acceleration standout, its overall performance is gratifying.
The driver and passenger sitting arrangement is very low to the ground, and when in normal traffic, the 914 is dwarfed by today's vehicles. Although there is really no cabin space as this is truly a 2-seater, there are two trunks that can hold a fair amount of cargo for a car of this size.
The creature comforts are minimalistic at best. No air conditioning, although the heater is surprisingly sufficient. Factory radio and speakers are only OK, not great or even good for that matter. The seats are comfortable enough for moderate distance drives 200-300 miles without tiring the occupants too much. The cabin does offer ample leg space once inside. I am 6"2", 240 lbs. and really have no issues driving the car.
Gas mileage with the six cylinder engine is fair. I haven't calculated how many miles to the gallon I am getting, since my driving style is not a true reflection on the cars capability, but I would say I'm getting about 17-19 mpg, but I wouldn't call this an economy car.
Now for the fun part, the performance. As stated earlier, the straight line acceleration in not stellar, by today's standards it is slow for a sports car, but once you're up to speed, the car comes on.
First with that sound, that Porsche carbureted six cylinder directly behind you. As the engine revs increase, the engine sings a song will bring a smile to any car enthusiast face. It turns from a docile, well behaved air cooled fun toy to a screaming banshee.. with each depressing of the gas pedal you hear the carburetors sucking, whooshing the air into the craving cylinders for an explosion that ends with a tuned exhaust note that is unmistakeably Porsche.
The steering is precise. Aim the car and it will go in that direction. Finding the limit will scare passengers without a doubt, although the limit is deep, once found, the car will spin like a top because of its' mid-engine layout. The cornering is phenomenal once the car is set up right. Find a twisty road and this car is in its' zone.
With the ability to easily remove the roof, this car gives the owner the best of two worlds. With the roof off on a nice day, driving this car with the song of the six behind and its' low wide stance is... well... euphoric.