V8 Power: 1972 Porsche 914 Targa

Well, here is a unique car. A 1972 Porsche 914 with a GM 350 crate motor mounted over the rear wheels! This sports car is for sale in Long Island, New York for $14,000. I would think someone would pay the asking price in a heartbeat for the thrill of seeing what this little 2,100 lb car would do with a Renegade V8 Conversion Kit. I guess it would weigh a little more than 2,100 lbs with its new transplant. You can see the car here on Craigslist.

Tucked away behind the seat is this 350 cubic inch Chevrolet engine with headers, chrome valve cover and open element air cleaner. The seller states that the conversion was done properly and the car is solid. The motor is topped by a 650 cfm Edelbrock 4 barrel carburetor and exhaust exits through headers and Magnaflow mufflers. I bet the engine sounds good with the Targa top off.

The tan interior looks pretty nice and the suspension has been upgraded to 911 brakes and 5 lug rims. The gauges have been changed to VDO and work with the conversion. The green exterior of the car shows its age and has a number of dents, chips, and dings but no obvious rot. The “cookie cutter” rims look nice, too. This conversion may be heresy to some but it looks to be done properly and I don’t see any harm. I wish it listed what type of gearbox it is running.

For the work and cost of the upgrades, this seems like a good deal. The V8 conversion kit for a 914 costs $3,095 for the basic kit and there are several upgrades that can be made. Maybe I am a rookie and some of you out there definitely know more so please share your thoughts.

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Comments

  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    looks like fun to me. Car already had VDO gauges. What you have to do is add the full 911 gauge package using the oil temp gauge for the water temp. Have driven a couple of these and they make stable platforms for the engine switch. The original transmission will take the power unless you are going to drag race it. The original 914-6 and the early 911s, including race cars, all used this unit without any problems. The last car we converted has a 300 hp 911 in it with the original transmission behind it and it’s still humming.

    Like 20
    • Carlton Madden

      How is cooling handled and how effective is it?

      Like 1
      • SMS

        The Renegade kit does a good job keeping the motor cool. Even in stop and go traffic it works well. Has an electric fan.

        Like 3
      • Steph

        Very effective, all from Renegade Hybrids – tried and trued.
        (Steph, new owner)

  2. bobhess bobhess Member

    Sorry about the picture. Forgot to center it. Just click on it….

    Like 11
  3. Ken Jennings

    Were these supposed to be a VW? Just like the 924 was supposed to be an Audi, then parent company got greedy and made them a P Car and charged multiples of a fair price. Just my opinion of course.

    Like 2
    • 4504 Member

      I have had 2 914’s. The 914 was made by Karman-Gia (mis-spelled) and marketed as a VW in Europe. However, 914’s, in a clever but misleading ad campaign, marketed them as “Porsches” in the USA to appeal to those who were either cheap snobs or those who wanted to have the status of owning a “Porsche”. The regular 914’s were complete dogs. It would take me 2 minutes to reach 100 mph with the 1.7 engine. However, the car handled, as they say, like it was on rails, especially when combined with decent tires like the Pirelli CN36 70 series of the day. Funnest cars I ever owned and the best handling too… just no power. The 1.8’s were no improvement and had a tendancy to catch fire when their platic fuel t-fittings rotted out. The 2.0′ s were ok, but barely. But you could take the top off, put it in the trunk and have a very, very good time for very little money, as the motor was from the VW squareback station wagon of the day. Cheap to fix and repair, as long as you did not take it to the Porsche dealer, would go over 350 miles on a tank of gas. A perfect car for a young person. The 914-6 cars were actually made by Porsche and were very cool and kinda fast, but the best were these V-8 conversions, done properly. I also had 2 928’s and a grey-model 65 911 and they could not hold a candle to the 914’s as far as fun factor was concerned. Take your 914 up to the twisty mountains curvy roads, where a lot of horsepower really was not a top priority, and you felt like some kind of pro racer as you went thru 5 gears. Can’t beat them for the price and this one seems very reasonable, it will not last long at 14k with a conversion to boot. Unfortunately, many 914 owners got hit with the “my 914 is worth it’s weight in gold” virus. This one seems decent for the price as long as major gremlins do not appear, and having a V-8 in it would be just too much fun!

      Like 3
      • 4504 Member

        With the 5 nut wheels it could be passed off as a 914-6, especially if one bought the 914-6 metal emblem for the rear. Mine had a front air dam and a low profile spoiler built into a repaint. Lots of folk ran those “trick” Rivera aluminum wheels, junk, a dealer once told me they were “alloys”. Also put an Anza exhaust and CN36 tires on mine, which helped a lot on handling and a little more power, it being a gutless 1.7 California car. The center instrument panel or console was a cool option as well. No a/c on most of these regular 914’s, but somehow we lived without it. Chicks dug them sort of. Two is company and 3 is a crowd, altho you could cheat a little and put a person (a girl was best) in the middle. The battery box had a tendency to rot along with a few other places, nothing serious. Kept the pipe under the center padded lift-up panel between the seats. Ah, the memories. I got a 2000 pontiac WS6 firebird formula since it was new, fast, 320 hp, but the 914 was still more fun! These V-8 conversions, done right, were the bomb and I would have sold my soul to have had one. The 914-6 scared me with it being a real Porsche and greedy Porsche dealer repair shops around. Loads of space in the front, not a lot in the back with the top in there… flat and low stuff was best there.

        Like 2
      • Steph

        Yes looking forward to receiving it. Stuck at my cousin’s place in VT – trying to locate a towing company to transport it accross to Canadian lines (COVID).

  4. michael streuly

    Nice car but not 14k nice.

    Like 1
  5. SMS

    A friend has one of these and a Pantera. The Pantera was a car he dreamed about since high school. The 914-8 was a run around daily driver.

    The only thing the Pantera does better is it looks better. The 914 is faster, more comfortable, more reliable, sounds better, you can hear your passenger talk at highway speeds, and not every winged Civic wants to race you.

    $14k sounds about right if it is in good shape. 914’s have become pricy.

    Like 6
    • SMS

      Remembered something. The gearing in my friends 914-8 is such that he doesn’t use first gear.

      Like 3
  6. bobhess bobhess Member

    Carlton… Radiator in the nose with piping down each side under the rocker panels. Rockers are thin sheet metal held on with a couple bolts and sheet metal screws.Rotary blower behind the radiator and you’ve got good cooling. There are a couple companies that make complete kits for this conversion.

    Like 3
  7. Victor Anderson

    I actually considered 914 with V8 in it — ended up with a Lotus Elise instead. My biggest concern of course is the transmission/transaxle in it. Often they use a stock 914 transmission and lock out 1st gear…and even then it’s my understanding that they just don’t hold up. Other options can add cost real quick especially if you end up using Porsche parts to do it. Seemed to me to build one right & have it running cool with working a/c that it would cost as much as a used Lotus Elise. This one is $14,000 — which seems reasonable to me for what it is.

    Like 5
    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      Elise – great choice!

      Like 2
  8. Howard A Member

    For a guy that drives a square body GMC, and a general dislike for these, I got to admit, this is one heck of a car. Aside from the radios, it would give those CSP Chargers a run for your money. And anyone balking at the price, let me remind you of the toy Messerschmidt here for the same( or more?) money, hahahaha, sorry. Very cool car, here.

    Like 6
  9. LMason

    Heresy.

    Like 1
  10. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Is that an MR2 Spider in the background?
    Maybe not in the realm of an Elise or 914, but certainly loads of affordable mid-engine fun!

    Like 1
  11. Louis Chen

    This BF reminded me of a V-8 conversion that we made for very good customer back in 2000. His had a Ford 289 V-8. It was a fun project for our shop and our customer gave us 3 months to finish which was a good thing. I would say that we did a great job and the customer still has it till this day and we still maintained it for him since day 1. He and I had lots of eyeballs popping out of gawkers’ eyes! We kept it stock looking but everyone couldn’t believed their eyes when we took off! We had the 914-V-8 conversion kit so we had no problem. The major conversion was we had to fabricate a new front hood so we could fit the radiator and A/C condeser. My customer promised me that he would give me this special project car when he’s no longer can drive-he’s now 80 and counting LOL.

    Like 6
  12. Claudio

    Yes it is an mr2 in the back
    Its a much better car than the porsche
    A camry aluminium v6 to replace the four banger in the mr2 makes a rocket out of it and its a real convertible

    But the little porsche with a v8 must be a blast too just not for me …

    Like 1
  13. Richard

    Love this conversion! I have 3 converted Rolls Royces and 4 converted Jaguars! Believe it or not, I have been offered much more than stock for my cars! I think $14,000 is fair!

    Like 1
  14. Fritz

    I am very skeptical about any heavily modified car holding, or increasing it’s value, unless it was something like a Chebby Vega where the original engine was such a worthless pile of junk that nobody would want one anyhow.

  15. BEEEEESSSS!!!!!

    Eh… Being an Early car with the ugly late bumpers and definitely the stock transmission, also an old school nasty v8; not a good purchase. Buy it, put chrome bumpers on it, swap in an LS with a Subaru 6 speed, and then love it; or don’t buy it at all.
    Also would be an excellent candidate for an EV conversion, if not for the price.

    Conclusion: Expensive to build car that is not worth more than the sum of its parts.

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