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Bought It Yesterday: 1973 Porsche 914

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There used to be a saying, “Win on Sunday, sell on Monday.” These days, it seems like some hobbyists are less concerned about a vehicle’s performance capabilities on the track and more infatuated by how quickly they can unload it without making any notable improvements before passing it on. The seller of this Porsche 914 almost breathlessly tells us he just bought the car and is putting it up for sale – does that sound like a flipper to you? 

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Now, as we’ve discussed on these very pages, there’s nothing wrong with flipping. But the consensus seems to be that if you’re going to flip a car, at least make some effort to diagnose its condition and give the next owner a clear idea of what they are stepping into. This 914 is fresh from an estate where it has been siting for many years, and the seller doesn’t know much about the car other than the engine spins freely and it will need the floors replaced. There’s definitely some questionable material on the door panels and carpet – could it be mold?

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The dust and dirt on the engine tell a story about a car that was poorly stored and has not moved in many moons. The good news is that even if it turns out to be a non-runner, replacement engines are pretty plentiful. There are some encouraging signs around this 914, including the intact Porsche lettering on the engine lid and relatively complete interior with untorn seating surfaces. The wheels stand out a bit to me as perhaps not being original, so if one of our resident P-car experts can chime in on the origins of the 914’s rollers, that would be great!


You can find this quick-flip 914 1.7 here on eBay where there’s no reserve price and bidding has been quite active. It does look like a largely original car that perhaps doesn’t have that much rust for being in Ohio. But I’d be more impressed with it if the seller actually performed a basic servicing with new fluids and brake pads included, or at least took it to a shop for a pre-purchase inspection. But not knowing what they’re bidding on doesn’t seem to be scaring away other bidders; what questions would you be asking?


  1. angliagt

    If I were going to flip a car like this,I’d want to
    drive & enjoy it for awhile,before selling it.

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  2. Rick

    I’ve made a lot of money (and lost some) flipping cars over the years, even did a 914 in 2004, drove it for a few months after replacing a bad shifter cable, and then turned it for $2600 making about $700, was pretty clean, sold it to a kid at the local high school and he proceeded to thrash the crap out of it, used to see him driving it, looked like he was having a good time, anyhow same car is probably worth $5K now, wish id kept it.

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  3. Rick

    I’ve made a lot of money (and lost some) flipping cars over the years, even did a 914 in 2004, drove it for a few months after replacing a bad shifter cable, and then turned it for $2600 making about $700, was pretty clean, sold it to a kid at the local high school and he proceeded to thrash the crap out of it, used to see him driving it, looked like he was having a good time, anyhow same car is probably worth $5K now, wish id kept it.

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  4. Crazydave

    Well – I suppose it might be an attractive idea if you like this better than a car!
    This has never been considered to be a “real” Porsche – it came with the engine from a VW Transporter so it was always sorta sneered at by Porsche-aholics. (yes there WAS a 916 with an actual 6 cyl, but…..)

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    • Rick

      Actually, 914-6. The 916 hardly left the prototype stage with only 11 being made.. and most of those had the four cylinders. The four banger in this car… Transporter based, but with Porsche internals, so not exactly the same engine. VW, Porsche and Audi sourced many of their parts from the same places, so you’ll often see each marque’s stamp on transmissions, engine, suspension pieces..

      This car.. if it needs floors, it’ll need rockers as well. Such is life on unibodies… tread carefully and with a full wallet.

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  5. RayT Member

    Did 914s ever come with steelies? Those look like hubcaps to me. CHEAP hubcaps….

    I’ll leave this one for the Porschephiles. Never could see the attraction.

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    • JackT

      Those hubcaps are genuine Porsche pieces and extremely rare with just five ever made. At auction, they’re worth at least $5,000 each even on a bad day! Buy car, keep caps to appreciate more, list car on Ebay, and you win. ;-)

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      • Felton Clayton

        Interesting. My 1972 914 with the appearance group package had those wheels on it.

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  6. Bob Hess

    A large percentage of the early 914s came with steel wheels and no emblem VW hub caps.

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  7. Eric M.

    They’re wheel covers. The 4 cylinder 914 has 4 lug wheels. You can see the spare cover in the front trunk. I have a ’70 that’s about to come home after 15 years in storage.

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  8. Doug M. (West Coast) Member

    I Like 914’s, and have two ready for restoration. However, when I see one with cheesy hub caps like on this one, it makes me really wonder what other cheesy short cuts might have been taken over the past years. Guess the flipper will never know, as he “only bought it yesterday” so I guess he gets a “pass” on the hubcap criticism! As for all the VW vs. Porsche rhetoric: “who cares!” A really nice and clean 914 is a very respectable car in my opinion. Regardless of which factory it came out of. I wouldn’t mind driving a VW, for that matter.

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  9. Alan Brase

    They actually had better coefficient of drag (Cx) than a 911. And they were autocross kings, the very best with MADE HUGE 4 cylinder pushrod VW based engines, not 911 engines. Like 2.7 liters. Why, I dunno. But they were the kings.
    Glorious fun cars. Fix all the known hazards for burning, tho.
    Top comes off and it has 2 trunks.
    Make one near stock, you will love it.

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    • jim s

      yes, they and the miata’s were in CS for SCCA autocrossing back in the 1990’s. i liked watching them being roadraced also.

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  10. Rando

    I’m not a flipper, but if I were and I could buy really low and flip for a reasonable profit, why not? With no reserve, the seller probably got a great deal on it at estate sale. Knowing that it has some value to the Porsche people, put it up and take what you can. If you have no emotional attachment, it’s a reasonable way to go. I think most folks come here for the emotional attachement to all cars so it doesn’t make sense for us with the “passion”.

    I could flip this one. I would have no attachement to it other than I would see if I could get it to run or at least show signs of life, i.e. get it to fire. I’m too big for a car this small, so no reason to love it and enjoy it.

    But to each his own – hope it goes to a new home to be loved and driven.

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  11. RickG

    I never owned a 914 but I’ve driven a couple. Around 1974 a local Porsche dealer let me take a brand new 914, 2.0 liter .for a joy ride. I pulled in his lot with a 1969 Triumph GT6+ so he trusted me with the Porsche ? :) ? Anyway that brand new 2.0 liter really moved. Steering was light and crisp, brakes were strong. Great car. I didn’t have enough money to buy it and I left in my GT6 which I didn’t mind because GT6’s are drift kings and I loved that car more!

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  12. rustylink

    agree with Rando – flipping is not a crime. My brother just bought a dune buggy that needed some love to get it back on the road and noticed that the rims seemed to be genuine Fuchs – a little bit of research on his part and he found out they at 15″ x 6″ which came with the early 911’s and are worth more close to what the buggy cost. For as many good flips – the flipper can tell you about the bad ones too..

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  13. Alan (Michigan)

    Find ’em, Flip ’em, Forget ’em. Flipper’s mantra.

    Then there is always the one you wish you had held onto, and the ones you wish had stayed unfound. Flipper’s regrets.

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  14. Menmojo

    914’s are really fun cars. Just like driving a street legal go kart.
    Although, this one looks like a mess. The number 1 rule when buying any 914 is rust.
    If the floors are bad that’s just the start of many more rust bucket issues hidden within.
    If you’re a buyer take a pass here and buy as rust free of a 914 you can find, if there are any left.

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  15. rangeroger

    In the early ’70s, when I was racing my F prod Lotus 7, Richie Ginther showed up for a race weekend at Riverside with a team of 3 914-4s in E Production. They were amazingly fast in practice and were passing the C Production 911s.
    Beautifully set up and very fast.

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  16. Keith Matheny

    If this came from Chagrin Falls, that’s the snow belt east of Cleveland.
    Could be called, Salt City!
    It would be closer if it still was.
    I try to buy my stuff from somewhere else!
    Would like one of these, from Arizona!

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