As hype over all things air-cooled consumes the car community like a zombie virus, it’s hard to get a decent deal on any old Porsche. Even the 914, a car that was once little more than a source of shame, is starting to get some love. And it looks like, with the right setup, these things can actually rip.
I like the idea of the 914 because it’s wacky. It doesn’t look like any other Porsche, it’s more like a cousin of the Pontiac Fiero or Fiat X1/9... two cars that pretty much nobody wants to be related to.
But pop-up headlights rule, the curb weight’s around 2,000 pounds and how can you argue with Dr. Porsche’s idea of “designing a car young people could afford,” as quoted in a 914 magazine ad.
Anyway, the one featured here in Matt Farah’s One Take series has a cool story to go along with its sweet setup.
Owned by a Porsche mechanic named Marco who describes its engine as a “four corner motor” (because parts came from “all four corners of the shop,” I like that one), the original engine has been dumped for a 2.5-liter flat six with a custom two spark plugs-per-cylinder “twin plug” setup, which basically allowed the builder to raise the compression and dial back timing.
But more interesting then that, at least to me, is the fact that Marco bought it when he was a kid, drove it to prom, sold it, and got it back later in life with “no wheels, no seat and no motor.” In true Jalopian fashion, he took that as an opportunity to remake the car exactly as he wanted it with unique suspension, brakes, transmission... it’s pretty much a totally unique take on the 914.
Marco also says he’s driven “across the country” and all over the place with it, which you’ve got to respect. Speaking of respect, I think I’m going to start showing a little more to the 914s I see buzzing around.