911 Power: 1970 Porsche 914/6

914-rear

With so much platform sharing going on between brands these days, it’s anything but unusual to learn that a manufacturer is selling a car model under one name while another automaker sells virtually the same car with some special features sprinkled in. But when Volkswagen and Porsche did it in the 1970s, it may have been a bit less commonplace – especially when considering you could buy this tiny two seat 914 with the 2.0 liter flat-six engine from the 911 mounted mid-ship. This long-dormant example was spotted here on eBay by Barn Finds reader Jim S., and bidding is already quite active.

flat-six

The 914 will always hold a place in my family’s heart, as my brother could often be found neck-deep in greasy nastiness when working on his project car, a plum-colored 914. Although not a 6, he did meet his future wife when curiosity drove her to find out why this man was disassembling a tiny purple Porsche in their apartment parking lot. The rest, as they say, is history. The car played a starring role in the wedding ceremony, albeit under the stewardship of a new owner – who wasted no time swapping in a flat-six motor in to replace the tepid 2.0 liter flat-four!

jacking-point

While the car may not have been original, I’m sure it was a lot of fun with the added power. This 914-6 has the power and the pedigree as an original car, with many of its factory details preserved despite its long-term dormancy. 21 years can be very unkind to cars with metal panels and floorboards not benefiting from the latest in rust prevention technology. Although this ’71 914-6 has rust along the jacking points and the front floor pan, it overall appears very straight and true, complete with the original Fuchs alloy wheels it came with when new. Despite this, it’s hard to ignore the Massachusetts inspection sticker, which could mean this example has seen some road salt in its days.

1970-porsche-914-6

While this is certainly a project, 914-6’s aren’t getting any easier to find. A fully-restored example recently sold on eBay for north of $70,000, so clearly some attention is being paid to these baby Porsches as prices of early 911s climb even further into the stratosphere. From the chromed bumpers to the pop-up-headlights and achingly-beautiful Fuchs wheels, the 914-6 is a great alternative to its more expensive sibling. Not to mention the soundtrack that goes with having a flat-six motor behind your head! Let us know in the comments which way you’d lean – a classic 911 or a rare 914-6?

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Comments

  1. Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

    I’m really surprised that this one hasn’t received any comments yet. Perhaps people don’t understand the significance of this car? 914s are commonplace, but 914/6s are truly something special. These were built in the Porsche factory and featured many of the parts that made the 911 great. With a better weight distribution, it could have been even better that its big brother had Porsche not withheld the more potent engines options. It’s sort of like the Boxster today. Everyone at Porsche knows the little mid-engined roadster could be their top performer with a little more power, but they reserve that spot for their flagship model. Funny how marketing can affect our perceptions of things…

  2. RickyM

    Allow me to be your first, Jeff ! I would go for this car rather than a normal Porsche due to it being rarer – even rarer on this side of the Atlantic ! Shame I am not over there to be able to bid on it. Transport to England would be out of my price range….. Love the emails by the way. Thanks.

  3. rapple

    Jesse, I think the lack of interest might be due partially to the enthusiast community becoming tired of the constant stream of these potential resurrections being dragged from their tombs to cash in on the current P-car bubble. Sure, this one is reasonably intact and with the proper investment of lots of toil and dollars this could be one heckuva nice little ride. However, with the current bid of $25k (with 5 days to go) to get it anywhere near the condition of the $70k example cited in Jeff’s write-up will almost certainly require more than the current bid amount added to whatever the final price is. And, that price will be so high that no other plan of action will make sense. Even then, the value will be suppressed by the non-matching engine and the 914’s inherent, how shall I say it….. aesthetic challenges.

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      You’re probably right Rapple. Look at the values for classic 911s! They have all skyrocketed recently, but I’m not so sure it’s a bubble… They have always been desirable and I have a feeling they are just going to keep climbing. It’s a gamble, but if they do, that means that lesser models like this 914 will follow suit. Then, just like the 911, we will all be wishing we had bought one while they were still relatively affordable.

  4. Joe Howell

    Cool little cars, like a go-kart, but much better bang for your buck with a 944 2.5 liter Turbo or the 3.0 liter S2. The 914’s looks leave me cold mostly, some times they look OK but then again they don’t. Thought about one for a track car but bought a second 944 instead.

  5. MikeH

    Interestingly, in Europe, the car with the Porsche engine was badged a Porsche while the car with the VW engine was badged a Volkswagen.

  6. hhaleblian

    I’ve been a P guy for 20 years. Prior to that I was an F guy owning early V12’s. I made the jump for a pile of reasons. #1 most Porsche guys are really about the ride not the attitude. #2 Build quality. #3 and most important to me, the community. Follow the 356 Registry or Early 911 Registry and make your own call. It is about the marque, but it’s also about those who support it and why.
    When I was Club Racing a 73 lightweight RS, all of us were chasing Doc Murphy in his 914/6. He was the hot shoe. I want one….. and wish I still had the Lightweight.

  7. BobinBexley Bob in Bexley Member

    914, cleanest body design with a Porsche crest since the 356A. Too bad it was (as many were) trapped in the emissions controls of the day.

  8. Dolphin Member

    The 914 handles well for a ’70s car with skinny tires, and it was a prominent sportscar back in the early ’70s, but I have the feeling that the P-car mystique more or less passed the 914 by.

    Certainly there were and still are fans, but I have the feeling that more people think of it as a very sporting VW than as a ‘real’ Porsche. It was, after all, VW’s replacement for the Karmann-Ghia. Pretty much the same thing goes for the 924, so the 914 isn’t unique. The fact that the 914 was marketed in Europe as a VW, but in No America as a Porsche (at Porsche’s behest) says a lot. I don’t see the upsurge in interest for the 914 that I see for some early-70s cars, like Alfa coupes, or many musclecars that have become serious unobtanium recently, or the real thing—the 911.

    Altho the 914/6 was a step up for the 914, still it has the lowest powered, least highly outfitted and tuned engine from the 911, and 110 HP can only go so far. Even its direct competitor, the 240Z, had 151 HP from 2.4 liters, and it also had a far more prominent racing history. So I also see the 914/6 as also missing out on a lot of the P-car mystique.

    But this particular one looks to be in better shape than many 914/916s that have come out of storage, so it’s certain to be saved. But with the bidding going as it is and the resto costs being what they are, it will end up being an expensive 914/6.

  9. Ken Nelson

    This car might not have the styling of the 911, but if I remember what Dave Finch told me around 1980 something, he got his first ride with a Porsche team by waxing their 924s with his 914/6, and the rest is history. Dave’s a bit of a character, but I have to believe his story is true, as watching his progress over the years, he seems to have been one of the winningest drivers/builders out there. I never did learn what he did to the 6 to make it that competitive, but it all started with that car….and that’s after I dumped him onto a lawn in Salt Lake City while giving him his first ever motorcycle ride on my clapped out Zundapp 200 cc 2stroke. Was trying to corner on a gravel-covered neighborhood intersection, and I’d never had a rider on before – fortunately we weren’t doing more than 20 mph, and both of us were more embarrassed than hurt.

  10. Rancho Bella

    I to am a P car guy (pre 89 1/2). Have always like teeners but the 914/6 stock wasn’t much faster than a 2.0 (’73-’74) four pot.
    The upside to a 914 is a 3.2 slides right up and in. The trans can take the h.p.
    Frankly it is all for not……………as fewer folks have the interest in doing things like this.
    Especially when many new cars have gobs of H.P and gobs of grab.
    Example………..(I’m not a Corvette guy)………..a new one is $55K with 460 h.p with incredible g force ability, at 28 mpg………..I find that to be incredible. (gawd….did I just give GM credit……I must be losing it).

  11. jimmyrk3

    I love these cars and Kudos to the seller for showing what is hopefully most of the warts. Along with the comments about it being a Massachusetts car and the salt involved in that, it should give potential buyers enough information to make educated guesses as to condition. I wish my pockets were deep enough to be bidding on this potential beauty.

  12. Jeff Lavery Staff

    I go back and forth on whether or not I despise bubbles. In one way, it’s nice to see car guys on the winning side of a financial equation as it relates to this hobby (which happens so rarely!) On the other, it makes it extremely cost-prohibitive for those of us not on the gravy train. But, that’s also pretty much life in a nutshell!

  13. Chip Hemenway

    I just Googled this model and found some for $50,000 and less for cars in perfect original condition, no restoration needed. The bidding is at $28,000 and the ad says it has a 911t engine that doesn’t run and has sat for 21 years. No way is this one worth it.

  14. Cameron Bater UK

    Is this where the Germans come in and say “Das ist nicht, Rust, Das ist eine Kondenswasserbohrung” (“Thats not rust, Thats a condensation drain hole”)?

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