911 Power: 1970 Porsche 914-6

Jesse MortensenBy Jesse Mortensen

The 914 was a joint project between Volkswagen and Porsche so many 911 enthusiasts do not consider it to be a full member of the family. It’s hard to argue against this one’s pedigree though. This particular car is a 914-6 so it came fitted with the 911’s flat-six! This car was almost as expensive as its big brother when new so sales were slow. That means that they are rare today and among some of the most valuable Porsches out there. Current bidding here on eBay reflects that fact. Better hurry though because the auction is ending soon!

Here’s a shot of that air-cooled engine. It may look tight in there, but this car was actually developed right from the beginning to fit multiple engine configurations. The four-cylinder was going to be Volkswagen’s top sports car and the six-cylinder was going to be Porsche’s entry level model. Both engine variants ended up being sold as Porsches here in the States. There were even a couple V8 flat-eight prototypes built and a handful of 916s which featured the more potent versions of the 911 engine.

Check out those plaid seats! Things are pretty simple in here. There’s a steering wheel, shift knob, and three big gauges looking at you. The tach is in the middle and the key is on the left. Those are very Porsche-like features for a car that isn’t always accepted as such. Times are a changing though and the 914 is finally starting to get the respect it deserves. It may not be as nicely shaped or as fast as the iconic 911, but the mid-engine design makes for balanced handling.

This car just came out of long term storage and the orange paint is claimed to be mostly original. Unfortunately, there is some rust through underneath that will need to be repaired. The Fuch rims and trunk badge are subtle hints that this isn’t your average 914. The later 2.0 liter four-cylinder equipped car may still be the one to get if you are only worried about the driving experience, but this one is perfect if you want a restoration project that will provide a return on your investment. Either way, there’s no denying that this thing is a real Porsche!

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  1. Scot Douglas

    dang. $45K and the engine is even seized up. I remember when I thought $15K was astronomical for a six.

  2. RayT Member

    “V8 prototypes,” Jesse? I think not. Yes, the factory built a few — could be wrong but think these were called 916s — with the flat-8 engine used in their early-1960s Formula One and Type 908 race cars (now THAT would be a fun ride!) and Rod Simpson in California stuffed a SBC in at least one 914, but I don’t think Porsche built a V8 until the 928 was introduced….

    • Scot Douglas

      They built 1 or 2 flat eight powered 914s – IIRC, one was for Ferdinand Porsche.

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      You’re right about the flat-eights, but they were 914/8s. The 916 had the flat-six and bunch of other upgrades.

      • Steve Visek

        Yes there were just two 914-8 cars. They were prototypes with fixed roof. The 914-6 GT cars were also fixed roof if I recall correctly.

        The 914-6 like the one here were always my favorite Porsche. No evil handling like the early 911, plus targa roof. Styling wasn’t beautiful, but IMHO one of the most honest sports cars ever.

  3. Dolphin Dolphin Staff

    I saw a video of a 914 with a transplanted SBC…can’t remember exactly where…maybe BF. Anyway, there was a video of it being driven and it seemed to go down the road well, but the driver wasn’t pushing it, so the big question—for me anyway—about whether that big water cooled V8 was a good transplant wasn’t answered.

    I can think of a lot of cars that I might like to have a SBC transplanted into but a 914 isn’t one of them. I think the air cooled flat-6 that Porsche used was a much better solution. But I do understand that people will put a SBC in pretty much anything—because they can.

    • Sam

      Akin to putting a 1st gen Toronado drivetrain in a Corvair.

    • PoPPaPork

      How about tatra aircooled v8? It will kind of stay in the family since the beatle was a tatra design

      • Dave Wright

        If you had a Good Tatra V8…… you wouldn’t waste it on a 914…..I like 914’s a lot and the 6’s are incredible but have you seen the prices on Tatras in the last years? They have been discovered.

      • Dave Wright

        The Beetle was a Porsche design that drew on work Porsche started while working at Tatra. He also designed German tanks and military equipment. He was a favorite of both Hitler and a good friend of Henry Ford.

      • PoPPaPork

        Dave, tatra is a truck and heavy equipment manufacturer, Clearly there has to be an old generator or an abandoned light duty truck somwhere in Europe…

    • Bud

      Have one with a 350 no problem with the handling had it on Road America No problem

  4. David C

    RENEGADE is one company that makes V8 conversions for the 914.

  5. Vin in NJ

    When I was a kid, there was a guy named Ronnie that lived across the street from me with a black 914 tucked away in his garage. He didn’t take it out often, but when he did, that sound of that engine was unmistakable.
    That was my first exposure to Porsche

  6. Chuck

    As a long time Porschephile and having owned 911s and a 951 I’m astonished that someone would be willing to pay $45K+ for that.

    • Alan D

      You’ll be paying $65k soon… these /6s are sublime drivers, rare, aircooled and sexy. I’ve got a very R-Gruppe-ish ’71 Targa , a mint 993 , and a rodded 2000 twin cam 914… the 914 is the one all the tech-employed Gen X-ers and millennials pine for. And THEY are new market for all these P-cars. Find a good 914 or 914/6 if you can, and grab it.

  7. Swami

    Ferry Porsche drove one of the flat 8’s. It’s in the Stuttgart museum with about 64km on it. Yup – he drove it and I’m jealous.

    • Jeffro

      Two of us!

  8. Jeffro


  9. Pa Tina

    I am now convinced if I can hold on for a few more years, my 1984 Corvette is going to pay for my retirement. This is like a Crazy Eddie ad- “The Prices Are Insane!!!!!”

  10. will roberts

    Really, not as fast as a 911? Ever drive one that’s tuned?

    • Dave Wright

      The conversation even at the factory museum (Porsche…..not Wolfsburg VW where these were made) was that they were faster than the 911 of there day. One of the reasons they limited the production and stoped making them so quickly. In Germany, they were never called Porsches……but VW’s sold and serviced in VW dealerships.

  11. Casey Jones

    I thought my brother crazy for buy his 914-6 a few years ago. It’s been money in the bank. He had the foresight I didn’t. These are the ugly unloved step child in the P-car world that only a pure driver can appreciate. Yes a type IV can be had much cheaper but those prices are steadily rising for nice cars. Watch out for the rust borers. Battery area, pans, rockers and several other areas. The Bosch FI baffled too many mechanics and many cars sat and rusted to nothing less of a poor parts donor.
    Too many times these cars were bought by under educated folk only to shitter at the repair costs to make them operational again, so they sat and rusted some more…

    Great fun if you’ve got the skills and know how or a wallet and a specialist. Even a seasoned Porsche shop will studder and shutter when one pulls up. While a host of Porsche parts are used a few believe it’s primarily VW, mistake…

    Aside from a few bits a this and that it’s really a Porsche for the most part, quirky and a pita to source parts for and even more difficult to find anyone smart enough to tame the side shift, FI (type 4 cars) etc etc etc…

    I’m sure it will go higher than most think, who’d a thought right? Prime pristine examples have brought 6 figures if you can believe it… or not.

  12. fulm

    Pa Tina, Ha Ha, Crazy Eddies!
    Quite the blast from the past.
    Bought a TV from there once………just once!

  13. Craig

    I worked for Alpine Porsche Audi in Colorado Springs in the 70s and did new car prep on dozens of 914 4s and 6 for Airforce academy students. Those little suckers were more VW than Porsche but were fun and more forgiving than 911s in a corner. I swapped ends a few times in 911s.

    • Dave Wright

      Yep……..an old girl friends brother had a Porsche shop in so cal. He had a 914-6 race car……..god it was fast, and made it look so easy.


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