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Porsche 914?

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Any Porsche 914 owners or previous owners here? If so how do the 914's handle in comparison to a 7? I have always loved the look of the 914-6 and have been drooling heavily for one lately. I cant afford an orignal six but there are alot of look alikes out there. I have never driven one. I am pretty familiar with the rust issues but in Texas there are some rust free cars around.


I was just looking for a little feedback by previous owners how the two types of cars compare.


I would most likely would do an engine conversion to a LS Chevy V8 or the S2000 engine. Kennedy makes an adapter for the F20c. I think it would be great engine for the car with good power increase and it would have little to no weight gain. The lower torque Honda would be easier on the transmission.


Any thoughts?

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I had two 914-6's and an 914 1.8 I also had a friend that had a 914 2.0 that I drove also.


All were very good handling for the time. As these were 1970 time cars that I had in the 70's it would be hard to compare. LB to HP was not a match and 50 years of tire improvement sure didn't favor the 1970's car.


I added a turbo to one of the 6's, but due to the very long exhaust runs it was total failure as a project. I tried to keep the heater boxes in place.

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I had one. Similar handling to a 7 in the sense that they both handle great. Being mid engined the 914 has the benefits of all mid engined cars and the disadvantages too. The Porsche 914-6 is a truly great car, better handling than a 911 in Autocross but not quite as good on the track. The 1.7 and 2.0 are lacking on power but still fun Very spartan on the inside and you sit very low. I like that part. If I was going to do an engine swap a Subaru 6 from an STi would be my choice. I'd buy one of those.

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I've had several 914s ver the years. My first brand new car was a '70 1.7L that I owned for the better part of 20 years. Also had a couple of 2.0 litres, a 914-6 GT and a hot rodded 914-6 with a 2.7L back in about '73. Also did a Buick 215 V8 conversion and a Mazda 13B conversion at different times. The rotary is interesting, but quite noisy when it's sitting right behind your hip.


The cars are simple, light and very nice driving, better than a similar vintage 911, in my opinion. Even if they were originally intended to be a replacement for the Karmann Ghia. That idea was killed at the last minute when new management at VW decided that the flagship sports car shouldn't be air cooled when the mainstream models were all going to front drive and water cooling. Since Porsche had done the engineering for VW, and the factory was in place, they went forward with the car anyway. Branded as a Porsche in the U.S., it was a VW-Porsche everywhere else.


Excellent OEM brakes on all versions. The complete front suspension from a 911 is a bolt-in retrofit. There is a lot of performance potential in the car that wasn't tapped by the factory. After all, why would you want to promote the low buck car at the expense of the 911? Similar to the Boxter and Cayman situation today.


Parts are relatively expensive as there are fewer suppliers than for 911s.


The '73 - '74 2.0L are the best 4-cyl cars. They have the most power and torque. The shifter is much improved starting in '73 by virtue of the linkage coming out of the gearbox facing the front of the car. The early 4-cyl cars shift linkage had to make a U-turn at the back end to enter the gearbox. All of the factory 6-cyl cars had the front-entry shifter.


Besides the engine and gearbox differences, the factory 6-cyl cars had some structural reinforcement in the aft suspension pick-ups. If you're doing any serious power upgrades you want to consider incorporating these.


While the front suspension upgrade is direct from the 911, the rear is 914 specific. So brakes and stub axles used to require sourcing OEM parts or fabrication / machining by the owner. There may be someone out there these days who can provide these pieces if you wish to upgrade to the 911 5-bolt wheel format.


When the cars were new, they came in two trims: Base and Appearance. The base car had front and rear bumpers painted body color. The Appearance group featured chrome bumpers. Somewhere around '72 or '73 a front chin spoiler was added aloong with a couple of additional gauges (volt meter and maybe a clock IIRC) in a center console. Also around that time the rear pan was revised to make it smaller. The early rear pan was prone to acting like a snow shovel in any moderaately deep snow conditions and bending itself to destruction.


The '74 cars got bumper Bettys, front and rear to meet Federal energy absorbing bumper regulations (ugly). '75 & '76 cars got bigger bumpers (uglier, in my opinion). The '75-'76 bumpers were black on all cars. The 1.7L was enlarged to 1.8L, starting in '75, in an attempt to compensate for reduced power output due to the increasingly stringent emissions rules. Both 1.8L and 2.0L cars got catalytic convertors at this time too IIRC.


If you find a car with A/C, it was dealer installed and the condensor takes up the spare tire space in the front trunk. Also note that the spare tire was designed to be an integral part of the front end structure in the event of a collision.


If you drive for extended periods in high ambinent temperature the starter relay tends to stick open. So if you stop for gas, the starter is dead for a while, until the relay cools down. Not to worry though, the same relay is used for the headlamp motors. Just open the front trunk, remove a headlamp motor relay, and exchange it with the starter unit in the engine compartment. If you're doing this at night, do it with the lights on so that you have both headlamps in their full upright and locked position.


Inspect the engine compartment for rust. The battery is located on the right side of the engine compartment and it can boil over under high temperature conditions. This results in rust out of the right hand suspension pick-up and/or engine mount structure.


The rear trunk hinges pivot on an 8mm shoulder bolt. It it is not kept lubricated it will break over time. This can result in a bent leading edge of the rear trunk lid. The broad expanse of the rear trunk lid is susceptable to damage from sitting something on top of it or closure on a hard/pointy object inside the trunk. The little rubber top storage clips in the rear trunk wear out and break over time. The top latches in the roll bar can fail if not lubricated every couple of years. The top can leak if the leading edge rubber is not cared for properly. This used to be an expensive molded part. The graceful little outside door handles were getting hard to find a few years back. Don't know if that is still true. The flappy paddle part of the handle can break off if someone "animals" on them when the door is locked.


The clutch cable should be considered a consumable item as it makes a U-turn on a little pulley that is about 3" in diameter at the back end. The cable frays and breaks over time.


The OEM fuel lines on the fuel injectors on 4-cyl cars are subject to heat fatigue. Replace the OEM fabric re-inforced hoses that are seemingly integral with the injector nozzles with high quality aftermarket high pressure fuel line. Failure to stay on top of this can be catastrophic. Back in the day, the California Highway Patrol had a public service TV commercial to urge motorists to always carry a fire extinguisher in your car. The background behind the motorcycle officer/spokesman shows a 914 blazing along the side of Interstate 8 near San Diego. Weber carb conversions were somewhat popular back in the day on 4-cyl cars. In my experience there was no performance gain without internal engine mod's (cam, valves, increased displacement and/or compression, etc.) at the same time. And the EFI had better drivability, at least for the pre-'75 cars.


As for power upgrades, don't kid yourself about the cost of a heart transplant. Based on my own experience, I'd stay with an air-cooled Porsche power unit. They really do offer the best bang for the buck.

Edited by escondidoron
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Im looking at a few cars that have already had the conversions done. One is a SBC and it looks really good and there are a few Subi conversions I have my eye on.

I have looked at the cost of doing a conversion multiple times over the last ten years, but it always cost more than you can get out of the car when done. It seems you can get a pretty nicely done converted car with a few of the major upgrades ie 5 lug conversion and the BMW 320i brake conversion done for around 10-12k range. It looks like if you are careful with your purchase I should be able to drive it for a few years and sell and get most of my money out of it.


Otherwise if you start with a clean car and convert it you will run closer to 18-20k range which you will never recoupe. Maybe a clean stock car might be the ticket but the urge for more power is hard for my resist. Its just my nature. I always leaned to the odd stuff over the years. So why change now?

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There's on in NJ w/ the LSx swap. Fully fiberglass body and looks wonderfull w/ the extra wide flared fenders. I was toying with getting one about 4 years ago, but rust and frame issues make a good starting point a high $ item here in the NE. Befoer you know it, the extra factory convience of the Cayman makes much more sense out here.


I've seen the built Porsche motors, the subaru EJ series, and the LSx motors. My choice would be the LSx for a project.

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Martin, don't you have one too? or am I losing my mind?


Yes your correct as I have an original 1970 914-6 that I ordered in Oct 1969 and took delivery on June 8, 1970 and still have it. It was the 63 one off the assembly line by the vin number and one of the 3,642 914-6's that where built by Porsche. The 914-4's where all built by Voltswagon and sold as the Karmen Gia in Europe and the 914 Porsche in the USA.

As another has said the 1973 2.0 ltr 914-4 would be the one I would look for if I where to purchase another one and if you can find an original 1973 creamsicle 914 2.0 ltr (white with orange rockers) or its polar match an oreo cookie (black with white rocker panels) as these where very limited models and only came in the 2 ltr in 1973 and very early 1974 (till March 74).

I have had over the years a large number of 914's and at one point in time had 9 of them at the same time. One of each different model configuration but that is a whole other conversation.

Here is a photo of three of the best 914's I have owned, the white one was a 1972 1.8 ltr, the green was a 1973 2.0 ltr and the orange one is the car I have today which is a 914-6.

MHKs 914 in Front Yard 1994.jpg

914s at home.jpg

Here is a photo of my 914-6 GT Clone that was built from a 914-6.

MHK 914 GT.jpg

A good place to purchase a 914 is at this link to autoalanta:


A couple of good books for anyone looking for a 914.



Things to look at when inspecting any 914 is the area directly under the battery tray as this is where most corrosion and structral falure will take place also along the back edge of the bottom of the firewall as this is also a corrosion location, behind the rocker panels as they get plugged with debree and you know what happens then. On all of the 914-4's the engine front mount points for cracks where the panels are spot welded to the body also the rear trans mounts for damage and cracks.

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This one I'm looking at.




I'm not a huge fan of the yellow. If it were red, green or silver I would be one it.


That should be fun..:cooldude:..make sure you look at the engine and trans mount points as this is where you will have issues due to the torque the V8 makes. Also check the fenders flares as they tend to crack at the bond joint if they are the fiberglass flares due to flexing of the body. If this car is a true Renegade Hybrids conversion it will have extra structure supports also to help preventing the twist and flex the conversion causes. Should be a fun car.

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Glad to see you still have your 914 that you purchased new. I would still have my original car if it hadn't been T-boned and totaled by a drunk driver. Like you, I can still remember the original date of purchase. I took delivery of mine on 10 December 1969.


The 914-4's where all built by Voltswagon and sold as the Karmen Gia in Europe and the 914 Porsche in the USA.


Sorry, but the 914 was not sold as a Karmann Ghia in Europe. They were originally intended to be a Karmann Ghia replacement as I stated in my earlier post. The cars, both 914 and 914-6, were marketed as VW Porsche outside the U.S.


European specification 914s had a different rear insignia and no lettering on the engine cover grille (U.S. spec cars had Porsche lettering on the engine cover). The Euro spec rear emblems reflected the different VW-Porsche joint marketing approach by incorporating both the familiar VW logo and the Porsche block lettering into the 914 or 914/6 rear emblem.





In the absence of engine grille lettering on European, the VW Porsche rear emblem was the only external badging present on Euro spec 914s.


The Euro spec cars also had different tail light lens and front turn signal lens. In the rear the tail light les was tri-colored. I.e. clear for the back up lights, red for stop and tail lights and amber for turn signals.



The Euro/German specification Hella turn signal lens has a separate orange signal lamp section and a clear running light section.



914s sold in Italy had a third style of front turn signal lens to meet Italian regulations. The Italian front turn signal lens was clear.

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  • 2 years later...

I loved my 914 after I put in turbo steering links, front and rear roll bars, BMW 320i front calipers, transmission mounts, good exhaust and good shocks. Then you add power. You still have to deal with a lot of body flex. I sold mine and got a 968, better performance less seat-of-the-pants fun. So I got a 7.

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