1974 Porsche 914 2.0 from North America


Best car for the money


The newest 914s are still thirty years old, and things will fail. On the other hand, parts are fairly common and some are interchangeable with VW parts. If you can't or don't work on cars, don't even consider a 914. Part of the joy is tinkering with it yourself. With the exception of the fuel injection, the engine is blissfully simple and straightforward. It's a joy to work on, once you get used to the cramped engine compartment.

Most of all, spend your first few months with your "new" 914 figuring out what good and bad things the last owner did to the engine. Some will need to be corrected.

The shift linkages in the earlier years (70-73, I think) make shifting kind of vague. They're much better 74 on (but check where the linkage meets the tranny, if it still feels loose).

The 2.0 is much better than the 1.7 or 1.8 (the latter is actually slower than the former, because of emissions equipment).

Check for rust underneath the battery tray and on the suspension pieces below that. There will be some, so figure out if there's too much. Also check that the car's not sagging altogether, indicating that the longitudinals are rusted through.

Overall, realize that the car's old and even with good maintenance there'll be rust. Check the net for a buyer's guide, as there are several good ones.

General Comments:

There are few comparisons to the 914. Like many old Porsches (and some new, I've seen), in mature hands it goes like mad. In rash hands (like mine in the first I drove, at age 18), it's borderline dangerous. The mid-engine layout makes it very agile, but once it gets beyond the limit of the tires, you must be wise and quick to keep up with physics of the rear end. It is notoriously underpowered, but on short tracks it makes up for this by handling so well that you can conserve speed much more effectively than in a larger, front/rear layed out car.

It is a true sports car, not a sedan tweaked for performance and not an unhappy marriage of performance, comfort and safety. It is cramped, loud, sometimes smelly, it vibrates, and I imagine in a serious collision it probably folds up like a paper cup. But oh man, there is only the barest degree of mechanical separation between you and the road. When you go really fast in a 914, you know it, but you'll like it, too.

Overall, this is the best car I've ever owned, and I deeply regret having to sell it. When I get the disposable income together again, the first thing I'll do is buy another 914.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th April, 2008

4th Oct 2009, 16:01

I totally agree!!! I am trying to replace my 1970 1.7. No other car drives the same. It is a street legal go-kart!!

1972 Porsche 914 1.7 flat four from Australia and New Zealand


Great fun, comfortable and reliable


Transmission linkage bushings wear quickly.

Fuel gauge has never worked.

Rebuilt the engine when I first got it - no problems since.

General Comments:

I bought this car in Edmonton in 1995, and moved to New Zealand in '96 (oops). But I had done a lot of work on it, and couldn't bear to sell it. It was kept licensed and insured and stored in my dad's garage near Toronto - he did a lot of little jobs on it, and it's tidied up well (I drove it across Canada in two days without any problems at all in 1997 - roof off the whole way - loved it). Finally shipped it to NZ in November '07.

In three months here I have done nearly 5000 miles on it. The oil is still clean, it is getting nearly 40 miles to the gallon, and handles like it was new. I drive it every day, unless it's raining (that's what the Prelude is for...)

The only negatives are the usual 914 shifting "sensitivity", it could do with some new front shocks, and it needs a paint job - hardly it's fault after 36 years, Alberta winters, and shipping around the world. It's simple, fun to drive.

I doubt I'll ever sell it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th February, 2008