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Card Holding Member: 1973 Porsche 914

1973 Porsche 914 Front

UPDATE 1/23/12 – Bidding ended at $7,000, but it did not meet reserve.

Ever since the 914 was first released in 1970, people have debated whether it was a real Porsche or not. Some owner’s clubs have even rejected membership for these little guys. Understandably so, considering that it was created as a joint venture between Volkswagen and Porsche. VW needed a replacement for the aging Karmann Ghia and Porsche for the 912. Even if you think these are more VW than P-car, there is no denying that there is a lot of fun to be had here. This 1973 Porsche 914 is a nicely preserved California car and it is listed here on eBay with bidding at $4,050 and the reserve not met.

1973 Porsche 914 Engine

1973-1974 are the best years for the 914. 1973 saw a new 2.0 liter engine which brought some much needed power. This VW Type 4 engine was tuned to make 91 horsepower which was enough to take the 914 from 0-60 in about 10 seconds and gave it a top speed of 120 mph. The shift linkage was also vastly improved and gave the transmission much better feel. They also avoided the ugly five mph impact bumpers which came in 1975.

1973 Porsche 914 Hell Hole

Your biggest enemy here is going to be rust. Luckily this car is very solid with no major rust reported. These cars can look great on the outside though and still be hiding some nasty secrets. The area to always check is underneath, right below the battery box. Lovingly referred to as the “hell hole’, this spot right where the suspension connects to the body can rot out because of a battery acid drip from above. The seller claims that there are no problems here, but we can see a little corrosion so you will want to inspect this in person or have them take some photos from underneath.

1973 Porsche 914 Dash

The interior looks great here with three big gauges with the tach in the middle just like in big brother. Too bad they didn’t stick the ignition on the left side like the 911 though. The seats couldn’t get any simpler than these. Luckily in 1973 both of the seats had sliders instead of being fixed as in earlier cars. There are a couple of cracks on the top of the dash and a few things to sort out, but nothing major. Stick a black Momo Prototipo steering wheel in place of that wrapped original and you would have one good looking cockpit.

1973 Porsche 914 Side

Yellow is not our favorite color, but it could be bearable because that is the original paint. The seller does mention that one of the doors has been re-sprayed explaining the color difference. We would ignore the flaws and just try to keep it waxed and clean so the finish can last many more years. Anytime you can avoid a re-spray, you are saving money. We might swap out those rims later for some Fuchs or Minilites, but these would do for now.

1973 Porsche 914 Rear

We don’t mean to beat a dead horse, but we still want to know what our Porsche enthusiasts think. Is the 914 a real Porsche, qualified to stand next to the 911? Or should it go back to where it belongs, alongside the Beetle? Either way, no matter what camp it belongs in, we wouldn’t mind having one parked in our garage.


  1. wally

    My dad and I had two of these, a ’71 and a ’76. We had a lot of fun in both, although the ’76 was a step up with better interior and the 2.0 engine. I learned to drive on the ’76 and that shift pattern was whacky. Once I got it I learned to squeeze all the juice out of it I could. Great handling car as well. Neither car gave us too much trouble. I remember a dropped clutch on the ’71, but that was after a weekend of racing at Brainerd with the Porsche Club. By the end, the ’76 was spurting oil from a number of spots. This would be about 1986, when the car had at least 75k on it.

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  2. shaneculler

    Coming from a history of owning multiple vw beetles and notch backs, and having the pleasure of driving a friends 914 I can tell you unequivocally this is all Porsche, as soon as you hit the twisties and step on the throttle you’ll know this, and in my opinion is the most comfortable, best handling Porsche ever for the money.

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  3. Jeff V.

    From my understanding these were a big hit in Calif with the surfing/beach crowd in the 70’s because of their sand handling.

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  4. J. Pickett

    I owned a 72 from 76 to 82, Sold it due to growing family and rust. In the Chicago area they rusted mightily. Other than that I loved it. My boss, a neighbor and my brother all owned them. And loved them. If handling is any indication I would match it against any 912 or 356. The 1700 engine in mine lacked power but once you got to know it it was able in traffic. Tremendous gas mileage. 2 trunks. room actually for 3 in a squeeze. The Bosch fuel injection gave me some headaches but they were cleared up. I’d love to have another. Have a Spitfire now but would change it for a rust free 914 any time. The Porsche family modified the a few 914-6’s for with eight cylinder racing engines so I guess they felt they were legit Porsches. 914-+ didn’t sell because for only a grand more you could get a 911 in 1970.

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  5. Snake

    Had a 74 2 litre and it was definitely Porsche-throw it in a corner and have some fun!!! Actually liked the cornering in this car better than the later 911 I had. Only problem mine had was a fuel leak spraying on the battery which ignited the car into a molten mass of metal from the engine back. The little fire extinguisher I had was no match for the fire and it thankfully the fire dept was on the spot quick. Sold it for the front suspension and wheels to another 914 owner way back in the mid 80’s.

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  6. David

    The very first three I saw at the local Porsche dealer actually had Volkswagen logos and hub caps. Never saw any others like that since……they were pricey compared to the 240Z and other sport cars at the time. You could even buy a Corvette for near the same money…..but I loved riding in and driving those little scooters…..

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  7. Dolphin Member

    These are fairly modest cars in terms of size and features, but are great fun and relatively cheap to buy/own/fix *IF* you get one that’s not rusty. From the pics, this is one of the best drivers you are likely to find, and it’s the desirable 2.0, and it’s from Southern Calif–what more could you hope for in a budget P-car?Not as desirable as the 914-6, but at 1/3 the cost it’s a real bargain in a sports car with the P-name on it. The average cost of these 2.0 engined cars now is about $7K to $10K. I’ll be surprised if this one doesn’t go at the high end of that range, unless the January blues holds it back.

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  8. Bear

    The 2.0L 914 is probably the best bang for the buck Porsche ever built! No, it isn’t a 914-6 or a 918 (uber rare!), but it has plenty of power and handling for a fun day of spirited driving!!AND it is relatively CHEAP TO KEEP!!& YES, in my opinion it IS a Porsche just by virtue of the EXCELLENT Handling!! :-)

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  9. Sean

    The 914 is a terrific car. I have had one for years and around town or at the track, it is in it’s element. Handles just like a slot car and my wife LOVES it.Real Porsche all the way

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  10. Donald

    I say it belongs along side of big brother.This has been my favorite Porshe since I saw and sat in one I tried to trade for,but other half said no way.

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  11. J. Pickett

    The one problem I had was using it as a daily driver when the heater boxes went. Even with them it wasn’t good in Chicago winters.

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  12. mikey

    If this helps…….all 914’s had 911 front suspensions. And yes teeners are good car. I just can’t stand the sound of the engines. The 2.0 is a Porsche design but…………..there is a fellow that builds bigger horsepower for these………he uses the 1.7 block.

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  13. J. Pickett

    The 2.0 engine was from the type 4 VW also known as the 411. It was later used by Porsche in the 911 body to re-introduce the 912. The original 912 used the old 356 engine.

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  14. Brian Everett

    It may not go zoom as much as a 911, but it certainly handles like a Porsche. Plus, many years ago, I had been known to race (and beat the tar out of) Corvettes in mine…

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    Love my 914, makes me feel like a kid again at a Go Cart Track every time I drive it. Think of it this way, it’s more fun to drive a slow car fast then to drive a fast car slow. Back twisty roads equals the field for a 914 against most Sporty cars. Mid engine 50/50 balance a wide stance and weighing 2000 pounds with a 5 speed Trans Axle, same as a 911 only mounted upside down and rotated 180 degrees. Porsche design and engineered, build in the Carmen VW Plant same as today’s Boxster and Cayman. The Engine has different Heads then the VW Flat 4 engine. The 914-6 finished 7th over all at LaMans in the 70’s.

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