Porsche 914 Reviews
That is the question concerning the notorious Porsche 914. Born from confusion, it had some important design flaws which were later corrected, but was suffering from negative press throughout its troubled life and short. This is a wonder that about 120,000 were offered.
A simple overview of the history of the Porsche model, and one hour driving of one, however, will eliminate all doubts regarding why the 914 has climbed from ignominy to be a favorite among classic motorsports enthusiasts.
Born From Confusion
Porsche plus Volkswagen wasn't an union made in paradise.
In the late sixties, Porsche needed to deepen its accordance with a lowcost, entrylevel sports-car, but did not hold the capital and creation capabilities to construct it. Volkswagen needed to improve its image with something sportier compared to the Beetle, but did not hold the sports-car knowhow and believability to create it.
Heinz Nordhoff, Ferry Porsche, and then head of Volkswagen structured a deal in which Porsche would design and create a new sports-car for Volkswagen that would utilize the Volkswagen Type 4 engine. Although both men agreed verbally that Porsche may also advertise the car with the engine in their own, the car was supposed to be advertised as a Volkswagen.
Nordhoff's successor at Volkswagen, Kurt Lotz, found the deal between Nordhoff and Porsche was mainly achieved by handshake, and Lotz had no plan of rental Porsche market the vehicle under their own name because the deal had required.
After substantial disagreement, an agreement was eventually reached that may become among the screwiest available between two car manufacturers: In Europe, the vehicle could be marketed by the combined advertising organization as the VWPorsche 914; in the America, Porsche would give up the rights to promote the automobiles by themselves, and also the brand new sports cars could be marketed through Volkswagen's newly developed Porsche Audi division because the Porsche 914.
The tubs should be constructed by Karmann (subsequently contractors of the soon-to-bephased-out Karmann Ghia). Karmann would assemble fourcylinder 914-4s, and also would also deliver 914 bodies to Zuffenhausen for Porsche to change to the sixcylinder 914-6.
Through some complex cost accounting, Lotz were able to bill Porsche as much for the 914-6 bodies the vehicle wound up costing customers only a couple of hundred bucks less-than the 911. This transfer triggered early death of the 914-6. Porsche had the last laugh soon after, although, as Mr. Lotz was requested by his management board to get the door within the ocean of red ink he'd created for your business.
Suffering from Negative Press
From the high or back angle, the auto's few curves display to edge.
The automobile as introduced was a great product, but it had several real difficulties. Perhaps due to the combined parentage, the press lambasted it, greeting the debutante with some truly terrible reviews and poor marks.
The bath, despite being of targatop style, had the rigidity of the 911 coupe. The car handled amazingly well. Driver comfort, by sports-car terms, was amazing. The 2-trunk set up offered lots of room for baggage, and also the targa panel kept neatly in among the trunks.
Rear suspension was an allnew separate, trailing arm design featuring enormous 11.05-inch rear discs rather than the VW 411 drums, and also the fourwheel-disk brakes worked pretty much. Few other vehicles within this budget provided allindependent suspension, fuel-injection, a transmission - and the name. In the $3500 opening price, the 914 seemed to be quite a deal really.
Unfortunately, the 1.7liter Volkswagen flatfour was simply too anemic.
What made the automobile much more irritating, and contributed to the zero - to - 60 times, was the awful shift linkage to the allegedly glorious fivespeed that has been for this motor. Reviewers castigated this set up, saying it destroyed an otherwise great car.
In comparison, the 914-6, with its 2.0liter, sixcylinder Porsche engine, was believed to become an excellent vehicle, although the engine was the sole difference. The sole criticism together with the six was the cost, the car that was killed by an issue after only couple of years of creation.
Correcting the Limits
Straighton perspectives were not especially flattering, highlighting the squared-away body and pushme-pullyou appears, but design was a question of kind following function.
Despite some first shortcomings, the 914-4 were able to soldier on. The press started to warm up-to the 914, and revenue enhanced. The big news arrived for 1973, as a fresh 2.0liter engine was launched together with a fresh transmission. This eventually solved the issues, and reviewers were rapturous, claiming that this is the 914 that Porsche must have started with.
The 914's first engine were a 1.7liter Volkswagen engine in the 411. First of all, it was redesigned from the Porsche engineers, who took the Volkswagen-designed 1.7 and said, "Okay, now let us create a Porsche engine out-of it."
The crank was altered, and new metal connecting rods were created. As the exhaust and inlet ports were enlarged, the top was altered by raising inlet and exhaust valves by 3 millimeters.
Thus by 1973, the 914 was eventually worth owning. Then in 1974, pushed by inflation and floating exchange rates, the cost increased, amazingly, to over $ 5000. Other information for 1974 was the addition of a recent base engine, the 1.8liter fitted with Bosch L-Jetronic fuel-injection. Rear rubber bumper guards were also got by the car.
The largest change in 1975 was even larger bumpers which were heavy-49 pounds each-and, in many people's eyes, awful. At that time, the 1.8liter motor were dropped and only the 2.0liter, that has been down to only 88 hp because of each of the America-mandated emissions equipment. Creation was unceremoniously stopped to make way for the watercooled 924, which likewise started its life amid much controversy. But that is another story.
In every, 115,596 fourcylinder 914s was assembled. That is not a lot for many firms, but for a business the size of Porsche, it turned into a successful production run, or even the most lucrative enterprise the business had actually entered into.
The cottage is roomy and comfy
A Porsche 914 drives unlike any other auto. Upon getting in the roomy cockpit-there's room enough for a six footer-passengers are greeted with a really strong German feel. You simply do not understand this sense with the American or Japanese auto. The 914 is large interior with tons of shoulder space and loads of leg-room. The position is reduced, however comfortable, and also the shift lever falls readily at hand.
But this shift lever is the thing that gets you into trouble. Such as the Porsche-911, the 914's fivespeed transaxle includes a dogleg first gear. What functions pretty well in a 911 functions less well if the transaxle is reversed, because it's within the 914. You will obtain a 914 to change just so well, plus it still requires a mild, yet deft, touch to immediately go through the gears. You are able to proceed to the remainder of the experience, if you're able to accept the undeniable fact that a 914 won't change as a Miata.
The pedals reach in the ground, such as VW Beetle and the Porsche-911, but are set properly and feel right. The big VDO gauges are quite Porsche-esque and simple to see, perhaps obscured by a too-little after-market steering-wheel.
Once underway, the 914 feels like merely a midengined or rearengined car can. There isn't any sense of warmth within the cockpit unlike outdated frontengined sports cars.
The 914, notably in somewhat altered 2.0liter type, drives easily at 80 as well as 90 miles one hour. The fuelinjected, lowrevving four along with a fifth gear make for actually effortless highspeed cruising which is unmatched by almost any 30year-old auto, regardless of what the first cost.
In stock configuration, a 914 will transition between oversteer and understeer midcorner, but including a Weltmeister 22mm front bar removes that difficulty.
In typical Porsche tradition, the 914 actually is more enjoyable to drive compared to the amount of its Volkswagen parts would imply. When it comes to drivability, if somewhat better plus equipped with air-conditioning shift linkage, a wellsetup 914 could pass for today's Miata or MR2 Spyder.
With 2 trunks, baggage room is likely the greatest of any 2-seat roadster on your way.
As with almost all traditional sports cars, the main factor purchaser may do is look for a auto. The 2nd most important thing will locate a vehicle, and third most important will locate a car.
Then assess all seams for rust. Then have the automobile on a lift and look carefully for signals of destruction underneath and within the front. Do not purchase an automobile that is been smacked within the front; it is nearly not possible to obtain one of these to go later on direct again.
After you have checked these factors, be attentive for the "previous owner" syndrome. As with a number of other inexpensive sports cars, the second or third operator might well have been a youthful enthusiast with outstanding confidence in their own driving skill and quite a small budget for care.
The first 914s also had several design flaws, that were corrected on later versions. The most celebrated (and ) was a unlucky tendency to burst into flames, because of the undeniable fact that Porsche found the battery over the gas lines. The battery could be dropped by any failure of the battery case (say say rust which is is all too common this area NN its case and on the gas lines, which may then rupture. Sometimes only the acid dripping from the battery did the trick.
To prevent this issue, many owners changed their automobiles' delicate gas lines with braided stainless lines. In 1975, the factory began to relocate lines and the gas pump, a move duplicated by several proprietors of earlier vehicles. Transferring the fuel pump into a cooler place from the motor also cuts back in the capacity for vapor lock.
The price of the 2.0liter engine rebuild are at least $2000, so potential purchasers should budget this sum if serious opposition is really in the strategies, or if compression and driving assessments demonstrate weaknesses in this place. There are quite few aftermarket wheels designed for 914s, therefore a group of Fuchs alloys or aftermarket wheels really can sweeten a bargain.
Following that, the rest is simple. A concours 914 is practically an oxymoron, because the auto's value is not enough to warrant the considerable costs needed. Instead, the best good for this particular car is as an affordable road, track or autocross performer.
Since it is comparatively easy to mix and fit transmissions, engines and bumpers to really get the variation you desire, you don't even have to be anxious about what year to purchase. It's even fairly straightforward to swap a great sixcylinder Porsche engine into a clear 914-4 body. But if you are seeking electricity, there are many methods to update the operation of the fourcylinder engine which are simpler and cheaper.
Market values do not vary much by year, possibly. With a cost range of less than $1000 across time, the state of the individual automobile is really much more significant than its year of production, even though it is still devoted to the specifications of this year.
A 1973 2.0liter with the goodies is the hot setup, however there are not many left. They're higher priced, but $8000 to $12000 is still not too much to cover a cherry first or good-restored auto of the 914's quality. A 911 in comparable situation would cost twice that.
The 914 is a strong small vehicle. Repair and restoration are square, even though the layout does not make a leading plus to engine accessibility. You ought to have little trouble getting it sorted into a road or track car, in case your vehicle is straight and rustfree.
As the 914 performed a brief and not especially wonderful role in Porsche's racing background, the design did make its mark within the American racing picture. Some 30 years following the auto's launch, it may be located at classic, autocross and club racing events.
In 1970, Joe Hoppen, Volkswagen's U.S. motorsports manager was handed the job of creating a racing status for the 914. His technique was supposed to operate the higherpriced 914-6 as dealer/factory-sponsored vehicles, while supporting privateers to campaign the less-pricey 914-4.
The SCCA agreed.
Each team would get automobiles, 000 and $ 50 to run for the period. In the East, he chosen Peter Gregg of Brumos, whilst the Midwest attempt could be headed by Bob Hindson, Art Bunker and Kendall Noah.
Because they should do each of the improvement, nevertheless, VW - Pacific needed triple the first cash amount. The dialogues caused such a delay that Ginther went their own way as opposed to waiting for a choice.
Outcomes for that period were combined. In the East, things were not going too.
Ginther also took his new man, Elliott ForbesRobinson, along for the trip to Road Atlanta.
But, the Porsche teams could as well have skipped the Runoffs.
However, this is too much for Datsun and Leyland, and that they had the 914 - 6 GT dominated an allnew version with too few assembled to fill the SCCA Production category demands. Actually, just 11 were assembled at that point.
The SCCA's conclusion was clear, but it had some accidental and farreaching results. Hoppen took the 914-6 GT for the fledgling IMSA business, that has been prepared to take it into opposition. Thus began a link between Porsche and IMSA, one which would blossom into among the greatest associations in motor-racing.
(The winning car, that has been recently restored by Brumos, can currently be viewed at East Coast classic events.)
Hoppen did not forget the SCCA, however, and in as Midwestern Division winner 1971 Hindson duplicated.View PhotosView Videos
CAR REVIEWS »
Top 10 Best Chevrolet Models of All Time
9 Unique Ways to Customize Your Car
How to Find the Best Tow Truck Companies
6 Effective Maintenance Tips for Car Headlights
Lifting a Truck Pros and Cons
How to Diagnose Severe Car Problems (Even When You Don’t Know Anything About Cars)
7 Driving Techniques and Other Tips for Fuel Efficiency
Car Repair at Home: 4 Easy DIY Fixes That Anyone Can Do
7 Tips for How to Install Windshield Wipers
View All Recent Posts
- More Photos