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Charitable Gift: 1973 Porsche 914

The Porsche 914 has been a sleeper on the collector car market for some time, often disparaged as a re-badged VW or otherwise not desirable because of its meager horsepower rating. That sentiment is changing a bit as other traditional models become more expensive and new-class cars like the 924 and 944 begin to fall just out of reach of project car money. The 914 gives buyers an opportunity to get into vintage Porsche ownership without losing their shirts, and buying a charitable donation vehicle like this 1973 model here on eBay may be the smartest move you can make as it’s offered with no reserve and looks like a great starting point for a car you can restore as you drive it.

Bidding is already $7,600, which is a bit shcoking for a car with a cloudy history and that doesn’t run, the conditions of which are simply labeled in the listing as “Engine needs repair.” No other details are offered, other than noting it comes with the preferred 1.7L engine. I suppose the combination of the 1.7 and rust-free condition could be enough to sway some buyers into lodging a bid with no real sense of what the 914 needs. The listing only goes on to say it needs a battery and that the targa roof panel should be replaced, so presumably, there’s some water coming into the cabin when it rains. The Fuchs wheels look great here, as they almost always do.

The interior is far nicer than you’d expect for a car that someone gave away, which again begs the qestion as to why this happens. I bring this up a lot (sorry) that some of the vehicles that get donated are in great shape and have a dedicated following, which would seemingly mean it’d be an easy car to sell right out of your driveway if you didn’t want it. Why, then, do good cars like this and that 1972 Corvette we wrote up earlier get left for dead? I’m guessing it’s a combination of general indifference to the car and that even the hint of a mechanical problem causes suburbanites and soccer moms to want the curious project car gone. Hopefully, this one will find a loving home as it’s in very nice condition for a project.

The one downside to buying a car like this for no reserve from a chaitable donation site is that the seller likely has no records of recent maintenance or any history other than what’s already in the basic CarFax report. The 914’s engine is one of the easier rebuild candidates out there if it ends up needing an overhaul, and replacement engines aren’t hard to find. This is a project in every sense of the word, but one that deserves rescuing  if only to get it back into the hands of a Porsche fanatic who would write the car into their will before they’d give it up to charity.


  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Preferred engine is the 2 liter which was introduced along with the 1.7 in ’73. After owning two I can say they are dependable and fun cars to drive. The second one we built from the ground up with about 130 hp and upgraded suspension was really fun.

    Like 9
  2. alphasud Member

    I think this might a 2.0 from what I can see from the pictures. Also looks like it was originally painted Revenna green from the paint showing in the luggage compartment. Also looks like it has a new engine ECU so that could have been the reason it was taken off the road. Even in California rust can be an issue with these so without undercarriage pictures you have to be somewhat a gambler to be at the current bid. Yea, Fuchs makes every Porsche delicious.

    Like 8
  3. Richard

    Looks like low budget repaint. Otherwise nice looking driver as long as there’s no catastrophic damage to the motor.

    Like 2
  4. Steve Clinton

    My wife drove a 1976 Porsche 914 2.0. Some people used to tell us ‘That’s not a Porsche, it’s a VW.’ Maybe so, but it was a blast to drive. We should never have traded it in on a ’78 BMW 320i.

    Like 6
  5. 914Shifter Member

    I see a few reasons this would stir some interest: 1). Its fairly straight looking, and the paint is decent enough to drive as-is if you wanted to. 2). The motor looks very stock with all FI and even stock air cleaner in place. 3). Someone has already gone to the trouble to adapt the 4 lug to 5 lug bolt pattern to install the so nice looking Fuch’s wheels. 4). Hard to tell, but the battery box does not look all rusted to pieces, which can easily happen. Maybe the Hell Hole faired well, too??.
    On the down side: 1). It’s definitely been repainted, probably 2 times or more. It shows signs of the original green, plus signs of maybe having been red at one time as well… Repainting will require a lot of detail work in the trunk areas to recover from all the other colors showing up. 2). I’m sure the dash has a dash-cover on it…which is good, but don’t mistake it for an original un-cracked dash… a rarity in 914’s, especially in sunny areas.
    Otherwise, does look like a fun project…. underneath pics would definitely help, but charity auctions don’t usually go that deep, nor know what to cover for top dollars, so “what you see is what you get!”

    Like 8
  6. James

    You’re still not happy with cars being donated to charity I see. Would the outcome differ greatly if the car had been auctioned and the funds donated?

    Like 2
    • SubGothius

      Pretty sure many if not most of these charity donations of desirable cars are the result of estate liquidations where the departed bequeathed all their worldly goods to charity directly, or their surviving family knew nothing about the car and just wanted it Gone.

      Like 1
  7. Rw

    Lots of people think teeners are a karman gia with different sheet metal,not at all teeners are mid-engine, can’t think of any Vw’s with this set up.

    Like 1
    • SubGothius

      Not to mention Ghias were Type 1 (Beetle) based, whereas 914s used a Type 4 engine and not sure if any other major components were VW sourced.

      Like 1
      • bobhess bobhess Member

        Other than the engine there weren’t any other VW parts. Front suspension was 911, rear built soley for the 914, transmission early 911 5 speed , 911 instruments etc.

        Like 1
  8. Howie Mueler

    Seller has 54 vehicles listed.

    Like 2
  9. Richard

    As an old guy, I can tell you the charity route can be appealing just to get a car moved on. I sold a Rolls last summer for a song. It had sat in my garage for many years and I just wanted the space. I had lost all financial and emotional interest long ago. I retired and decided I would never finish it so away it went. I’m happy to report the car is on the east coast now and in use as a wedding car. It even won a ribbon at the national Rolls Royce show last weekend. My next step would have been a charity. Either way, I’m glad for the space and to not have to look at it every day as I walk through the garage.

    Like 9
  10. Jack Quantrill

    There was a nice looking Boxster donated with a non shifting automatic. All buyer had to do was change trans fluid! Got it cheap.

    Like 1
  11. Nevada1/2rack Nevadahalfrack Member

    Sold, $9700 25 Jan 1345HRS

    Like 2
  12. Chris Webster

    Winner of the “Ugliest Side Marker Light” award.

    Like 2
    • angliagt angliagt Member

      But the 924’s (rear) are uglier.

      Like 0
  13. chrlsful

    big difference w/the 2 cyl add this 1 has (few 10ths of a L). Still, if I even get to the MR2 here… the car writers said it out ran the 914/6…

    What great designs they were (pontiac, X 1/9…

    Like 1
  14. Dave Peterson

    When these got the 6 cylinder, was it the same engine as the “S” 911? I never knew but I had the pleasure of driving a stock 2.0 to Kent for the races in 1979. I’m baffled as to why they get a bad rap. The driving position beats the 911 by a mile.

    Like 1
    • SubGothius

      Basically the same engine as the ’67-69 911T, but detuned in several ways.

      Like 1
  15. Wayne

    I saw a pretty one a couple of days ago being driven by an older gentleman. (and yes I can say that as I am/was approximately the same age) And realized that the last time I saw one running and driving was at an autocross where the 914 and been graced with a SBC. It was wicked fast and fun to watch!

    Like 3
    • bobhess bobhess Member

      Wayne… Autocross car we built for a customer/friend. 2.4 liter 4 cylinder, 145 hp, and gobs of fun. Click twice for large picture.

      Like 4
  16. Nevada1/2rack Nevadahalfrack Member

    Bobhess, that must’ve been a hoot to drive, especially when “slammin the door” on the snobby elite but uneducated drivers in the 911’s and ‘Vettes on an autocross!!! Nicely done.

    Like 2

    Sold for $9,700

    Like 0

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