The seller of this V8-powered 914 suggests that it's way too powerful for younger drivers. Nice Price or Crack Pipe thinks it's pretty safe to say a 300+ HP romper-stomper like this would bring out the kid in anybody.
Bad memories came flooding back yesterday, causing a volaré-fied 66% of you to squeal in terror "Crack Pipe" before slumping back into a fetal position while mumbling "volaré, oh no." Today, as treatment for PVSD (Post Volaré Stress Disorder), I am prescribing for you one dose of Porsche 914, which must be taken with a Chevy V8 and plenty of liquids- preferably 91 octane.
Porsche has a history of engineering cars commissioned by others, and then branding them as their own when the original companies bow out. Such were the cases when Audi left them holding the bag that contained the 924, and when VW decided that the Karman Ghia could hold out a few more years. That latter instance left the four-banger version of today's candidate carrying both companies' badges in Europe, and solely the Zuffenhausen brand in the U.S..
Tiny, ungainly looking, and only modestly quick, the 914 regardless proved to be the first mid-engine entry-level car ever offered by Porsche, and as such didn't suffer the handling quirks that plagued its predecessor, the ass-engined 912, or its big brother, the 911. In 1973, the year of this car, the 914 managed a piddling 80-bhp out of its 1.7-litre VW flat four. That would push the targa-topped two-seater to sixty in around 12 seconds - given enough space and no headwind - and onward to a top speed of 109 mph. That's not performance that goes in the record books under legendary, but the car was quick in the corners and demonstrated potential.
That potential has been fully realized in this modified '71 914, as the reign of its flat-four has been rudely cut short by a successful Chevy small block V8-led coup. The V8 conversion is easier than you'd think, although the addition of that much torque can mean the subtraction of four tires that meet the road all at the same level. That may have been somewhat addressed here as the car is fitted with the 916 bodywork, and hopefully the builder has bolted that targa top on tight for the additional rigidity it affords. Not only is it 916-alicious, but the seller claims – in English that is refreshingly free from the constraints of traditional grammar, punctuation or spelling - that the car has Chevrolet clutch what is 10 better than the high performance Porsche clutch. In fact, the whole ad is worth a read for the description alone, and his admonition that the car is adult's only merely adds to the salacious nature of this hairy beast.
Sure, the wheels look like they came off a teenager's jacked-up Mustang II. It's agreed that the paint job has the Earl of Scheib's signature on it. Yes, the under-dash gauge cluster is mounted on top of the console. And yeah, that radiator mounting and wheel-arch cutouts look like something from There I Fixed It, but dammit- it's a 300+ horsepower, mid-engine rocket that's just waiting to have its fuse lit.
For $20,000 and a book of matches, you could light that fuse. Imagine the face-contorting hijinks a car like that could engender. Think about the noise that 350-cubic inches of American iron would make-saddled up right over your shoulder. But most of all, think of the children. Give 'em a thought because this seller is right about the car being adults-only. He's obviously not a native English speaker, but he recognizes that, in the wrong hands, this could be a weapon of ass reduction as it would scare the crap out of you to drive it. Now some of you (and you know who you are) will say that, for twenty grand you could get a really nice Miata or a V8 Mustang. Yeah, you could, and there's nothing wrong with that, so go see what you can dig up.
Are they gone?
Okay, now where were we? Oh yeah – yeeeeeeeeeee-haaaaaaawwwwww!!! It's a freakin' V8-powered 914 and it's $20,000. Holy ghost and mrs. muir, that thing would be insane to drive!
So, would you throw caution to the wind, and the kids in the basement, and pay $20,000 for this Russo (hey, they paint both Alfa and Ferraris that!) Rocket? Or does your inner child tell you that your money is better left in that savings account your maw-maw set up for you?