What a great testimonial! I came to this page looking for information because I am thinking of buying a 914. Now I am practically convinved I have to get one!
I just have to say that I'm glad for your review. I'm 25, and I just bought a Porsche 914 that needs a fair amount of TLC. I'm very excited to get it on the road (okay, so I'll admit that I've taken a few laps of the block even though I have neither registered or insured it yet!)
I also just wanted to touch of a couple things: it's handling is not only superior to a 911/912 because it's mid-engined... It's also that it has a much lower moment of inertia about its' vertical axis! When you stick a relatively heavy motor on the furthest end of a car, it makes it harder to turn--this is where a good part of the understeer comes from. Try to hold a bowling ball close to your body whilst standing straight up, and then turn around quickly. Now Hold that ball out away from your body and now try turn around just as quickly. It requires much more effort! Putting the engine in the center is like hugging that bowling ball!
I've also driven 911s, and it's inherently more dangerous to correct that understeer with a bit of throttle than it is in a front or mid-engined car. Now that the 911 has all that fancy traction control and ABS stuff, any monkey can take one around a quickly, even in the wet... But try it on a 70's 911 and you'll get killed if you don't know what you're doing! That's why I think a 914 is more of a Porsche than even period 911s. It just plain handles better. Besides, what kind of sports car has a backseat in the first place? If one argues a 912 isn't a Porsche because it has a VW heart, they can hardly argue that a 911 is a sports car! :)
Speaking of which, I've seen tuned VWs (turbo'd, fuel injected) put out 200HP+ They're very quick!
Also, the 914/6 was so good that it did threaten the costlier 911. Porsche realized this before it ever went out the door, and that's why it has a 2.0L boxer six, instead of the 2.2L that the 911s received during the period of their production. Their customers would have been green in the face, and Porsche would have lost out because of it. Same thing with the 924, 944. It's embarrassing to have a tuned "low cost" car out preform your flagship car!
Anyone that owns/maintains a 914 should frequent www.914club.com. This is the best, bar none, 914 site on the web.
The comment about 914 handling is TRUE. I have a 73 914, and I was talking to a guy with a 80 911 turbo (with now a modified pipe and inter-cooler) and he says that on the straight line hes faster, but he has to brake for a turn, and the 914 just keeps on slamming down that gas, and so he says they never leave his rear view mirror. the 914 is a true handling beast.
Yup. No comparison with anything available today except the Lotus Elise-- at $60 grand. Back in the day the Elan was competition, but try to find one of those. How good was/is the 914? At the Porsche Parade-- the annual week-long national convention of P-owners, the autocross event, year after year, is won by this now 40-year old design. Open the motor hatch and look in-- waaay down in. Note how low the top of the motor is! The Center of gravity is much lower than any other production car Porsche has ever made. The Boxter's CG has got to be about 2 in higher, and it's nearly 1000 pounds heavier-- there's the difference. Wanna autocross-- get a 914. Wanna race-- get a 914 and do a rebuild (a 2270 version by Raby will do over 200 hp., normally aspirated). Wanna have fun-- get any 914-- even a 1.7 (the rebuild to 1.9 is under a thousand bucks, and will give you a smile coming out of those faster than you would believe turns.
Hello, I'm a Corvette guy, but if I ever buy another 'CLASSIC CAR" to play with, it would be a nice rust free 914.
And yes the 914 is a real Porsche!!! Wish I had one!!
Hi again - I wrote the original review above, and wanted to add a few great resources for those working on 914's restoration, purchase, etc.
Unfortunately I've spent the past few years restoring my other cars listed above, plus a 1988 Honda Civic Hatchback DX for my kids daily driver, which we inherited from my wife's deceased brother last Fall `08. The latter was a good technique practice car for the 914's coming restoration, as well as a smallish father-son project car - if there is such a thing!
I also found this Motor Trend article & its illustrations interesting, on the possible rebirth of the 914 (albeit at a higher price I'm sure): http://www.motortrend.com/future/future_vehicles/112_0809_future_vw_porsche_914/index.html
Anyway, for getting a "built" engine or rebuild yours for your 914 (any of the 1.7, 1.8 or 2.0 L varieties), there are two well reputed sources whom I've come across that specialize in the 914 Type 4 (similar to the VW 411 4 cyl.) engines. Their websites are listed below:
FAT Performance in Orange, CA has been building street and racing 914, VW & Datsun/Nissan engines for 30+ years, with many Baja 500 & 1000, SCCA, etc. winners to their credit.
Auto Atlanta in Marietta, GA also specializes in 914's overall, have both extensive parts availability and many 914's for sale or consignment, and many How-to books
Other good 914 parts sources are:
Performance Products / Automomotion for Porsche (later), Mercedes, Toyota & others' parts.
Pelican Parts - Porsche & BMW.
Of course I still highly recommend my VW/Porsche factory trained mechanic Hans, for 914's and the other makes he services. He's had my business for 33+ years (since 1976), and continues to service our 4 20+ year old cars, which is no easy feat! No direct website (a luxury of success).
Good luck to all of you budding & continuing 914 lovers!
I have a 1992 BMW 525i, very clean and wonderfully maintained. You could drive cross-country and back right now if need be. A gentleman wants to trade his 1973 914 Porsche 2.0L, California car, for it. He rebuilt the top end a couple thousand miles ago, then apparently the alternator died so he currently has it up on ramps in the garage. He's had the heads reconditioned by a Porsche machinist, they had no cracks. Pistons were re-ringed, cylinders honed, all new SS valves. Has the original fuel injection system.
I don't know if it's a good trade? Or if the alternator is not the only problem?
I've always wanted a 914, but don't want to get in over my head, by trading my amazing all original BMW. Any suggestions? Thank you so much!