Project Car Hell: VW Bus With 911 Engine or 911 With VW Bus Engine?

Image for article titled Project Car Hell: VW Bus With 911 Engine or 911 With VW Bus Engine?

The Jalopnik readers have spoken, and it seems that yesterday's Project Car Hell poll resulted in a the Maserati Merak administering quite the beat-down to the TVR 280i. It's probably not fair to stack a British machine up against the one-two coolness/madness punch of a Franco-Italian car, though. And, speaking of things that aren't fair, we've got a couple of Frankensteins for today's poll that oughta raise some hackles among the German-car purists out there...


You know how some vehicles are on the dangerous side? You make a mistake while driving and you're in trouble? Well, how about a vehicle that will kill you, no doubt about it? Such as, say, this here '74 VW Transporter with a 911 engine? Yes, we dare you to give this monster a whole bunch of throttle heading into a turn... but first, be sure you have the whole next-of-kin thing all sorted out. We don't know what year 911 engine this thing has, but the seller says it runs "XLNT" and even has air conditioning! How well was the swap done? What's broken? Who knows? What we do know is that the seller hopes to get $5750. By the way, if you've already bought the Turbo Corvair Transporter, you need to add this vehicle to your fleet.

All right, nitpickers; technically, this 1968 Porsche 911 Targa has a 914 engine, not a VW Bus engine as stated in the headline. But come on, what's the essential difference between the VW Type 4 used in the 914 and the one that went in the VW Transporter? The seller seems to feel the swap is kosher, because he found the Type 4 in a different 911; you know, sort of picked up the 911 seasoning or something. Anyway, this project is going to require that you obtain a proper 911 engine, and that won't be cheap. When you're done with that, you can start on the riveted sheet-metal patches put over the rusty floorpan. Then you can fix all the other rust. And the paint. And... well, you want a classic 911, don't you? Only 4 grand- $1750 cheaper than the bus!

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If the spirit of the thing is that you have to live with your selection...

I'll take ugly and fast over slow and pretty any day, actual condition nonwithstanding I'd have to go with the bus.

Back when the original VW Rabbit came out (damn I'm old) I believe Road and Track did an article on some crazy Germans that took a Rabbit body and retro fitted it to a Porsche 928 chassis and running gear. They had to widen the body (including the glass $$$) but they got the proportions right and it looked good unless it was sitting next to another Rabbit.

They then took it out on the Autobahn and terrorized people with the thing. Got some funny looks passing cars at 140 in a Rabbit apparently.