The Porsche 914 was originally intended to supersede both Volkswagen's Karmann Ghia, and Porsche's own 912. Neither accession occurred, but you can still decide if today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe 914 is worth replacing your hard-earned cash.
As we have discussed here previously, and as you have no doubt noticed, prices for air-cooled Porsches are climbing faster than tensions in the Middle East. When it comes to 911s that train has already left the station, and if you're still jonesing for an SC or late-'80s Carrera you'd better act now because while they've already gone from $8K-$15K to $15K-$25K, there's no sign that their appreciation is going to slow any time soon.
The 911s and 912s are not only enjoying a rapid rise in value but they're bringing along with them their somewhat questionably fashioned brother, the mid-engine 4-pot 914. The VW-powered 914 hasn't yet hit the stratosphere price-wise, but give it time.
There were two mid-engine four-cylinder targa-topped sports cars that debuted in the late '60s/early '70s - the Fiat X1/9 and the Porsche 914. Both cars were intended to replace an existing model in their respective manufacturers' lineups. In the Fiat's case it was the rear-engined 850 Spider, while as was noted above, the 914 would take over the reins from both the 912 and VW's Karmann Ghia.
Considering what has since transpired for Fiat and Porsche, both globally and more importantly here in the U.S., it's interesting to note how each car fared. The 914 managed a solid 6 model years and a little over 125,000 sold world-wide, while the X1/9 held on for fully 15 years, some 150,000 produced, and, in the U.S. at least, two parents.
Today, the 914, despite possessing what some might consider dumpier styling than the X1/9's Bertone lines, is generally the higher valued. With an amazingly stout platform, tidy suspension, and pop-up headlamps, they're also a ball to drive.
It should be noted that the four cylinder 914 was never a particularly quick car, but they do embody the maxim that it's pretty damn fun to drive a slow car fast. Today's 1975 example may be a little less slow than original as it has had a recently re-done engine that has seen its capacity bumped up to 2.1-litres.
The added room comes by way of larger cylinders and pistons which accompany rebuilt heads, a new exhaust, and a pair of down-draft Webers to feed those hungrier, hungrier, hippos. Other bits of newness include a cleaned and coated fuel tank, new brakes, and a renewed shift linkage.
That's all well and good as the 55,600-mile car is claimed to have sat dormant for 25 years prior to the present owner's purchase. Now he says that it runs well and looks good. The ad notes some rust spots which is endemic to these cars, but that the hell hole - the section of frame that's right below the battery mount - is said to be sound. That's a big deal.
So too is the quality of the interior which looks perfectly serviceable. Usually the dashes in these cars have more cracks than a plumbers' convention. Externally, the paint looks sort of like an Earl of Scheib job, and the wheels, while claimed sandblasted and painted, are steelies which are the least interesting wheels a 914 could ever carry. At least the big rubber bumpers have been given the heave-ho, replaced with the shorter end caps from an earlier car.
When we started out, several paragraphs earlier, we noted that prices on these cars are chasing their big brothers up the hill. This one, at $5,500, still remains within the what-the-hell range.
Considering that it looks to be a solid car, and likely will appreciate if one could hold onto it a few years, what do you think about that point of entry? Is $5,500 a price that might make this 914 worth snapping up? Or, does the description make you think that the seller has snapped?
H/T to EivlEvo for the hookup!
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