Exotic Shed Find? 1974 Porsche 914/4

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We’ve seen many exotic cars sitting in barns over the last few years here, and whether a person considers a 1974 Porsche 914 “exotic” or not, it’s nonetheless a Porsche, which a lot of people think of when they think of an exotic car. The seller has this dusty shed find posted here on craigslist in Clive, Iowa – one of the least exotic-sounding locations that I can think of, just west of Des Moines. The seller is asking $3,000 or best offer, here is the original listing, and thanks to Gunter K. for sending in this tip.

For the record, I really like Des Moines, I’ve been to and through there hundreds of times and it’s a nice area filled with nice people, and apparently, some cool cars hidden away in sheds. Until recently, the Porsche 914 was the Rodney Dangerfield of Porsches, as the Biturbo or Chrysler TC were for Maserati, and there are dozens of other examples for other “exotic” car companies. 914 values are on the rise, however, and they’re nothing to laugh at anymore, at least as far as prices go.

A lot of people will still say that the Porsche 914 is nothing but a Volkswagen Beetle with different body panels, as they’ll say that a first-gen Seville is a Nova or a Mustang II is a Pinto, etc. It’s as predictable as the weather in Tucson. I think any YouTube detailer could pay this car off in no time just by cleaning it up and posting the video. This one appears to be Baiha Red but there were 16 colors available.

The 914 was made from 1969 to 1976 and in a nod to those nay-sayers, it was actually supposed to be sold as a Volkswagen four-cylinder and a Porsche six-cylinder. Thankfully, the company thought that it would water down the Porsche brand by offering the same-looking car as both a Porsche and a Volkswagen in the U.S., so they nixed the idea and the rest is history. The seller has this one listed as an automatic for some reason, maybe they checked the wrong box on the craigslist form. The six-cylinder version was available with a Sportomatic automatic, but not the four-cylinder. It appears that the windshield is shattered, so add that to the growing list of things to fix.

There’s a tiny bit of work to do here. Sadly but not surprisingly, there are no engine photos. The 1.8-liter VW-sourced flat-four with 84 horsepower, fuel-injected, rear/mid-engine is hard enough to see normally, but on a car like this, I didn’t really expect to see it. Clearly, the rear trunk is popped, so why not take a photo under there? The seller says that this car has been sitting in a shed for years and the engine isn’t in running condition. With a Hagerty #4 fair condition value of $9,500 and $17,000 for a #3 good condition car, is this 914 worth a gamble?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. angliagt angliagtMember

    This could turn out to be a good deal,
    but I’d want an inspection first.

    Like 5
  2. Craig Baloga Craig Baloga

    This find really reminds me of when Mike Brewer and Edd China found a 914, literally in a barn in the U.K.

    It looked exactly like this 914, tons of dust, bird droppings, etc.

    The car really woke up with a power wash, cut and buff, repainted tinware, full tune up, and recovered hood and hood side vinyl inserts.

    I sense the exact same thing can happen here!

    Check out the episode on Motor Trend TV or You Tube…..I would take a punt on this one…as the writer says “it is a Porsche”.


    Best wishes to the new owner, a true diamond in the rough! 👍🤓

    Like 13
  3. bobhess bobhessMember

    Posting deleted.

    Like 2
  4. Poppy

    Scotty: I spent a little time in Des Moines for work a few years back. They have a really cool collector car showroom near downtown that has some very nice cars (but the prices of most of their offerings will give most people pause).

    Like 2
  5. bill tebbutt

    Disappointing. Based on the title, I was excited to see the Exotic Shed…..


    Like 3
  6. Ed H

    I used to think these were ridiculous but as my appreciation for the VW bug increased I find these intriguing.

    Like 3
  7. mrgreenjeans mrgreenjeans

    Could be a bunch of ‘hell-hole’ rust and concurring longitudinal frame decay has taken this once loved critter off the street.
    the rarity and desirability of the fairly ‘obscure’ FUCHS hubcaps, the often sought after console with gauges, and the pretty rare leather wrapped steering wheel (just try and find, then pay for one!) makes this car (if parted) a screaming buy. I hope that NOT be the case and it isn’t so far gone on the underside and trunks, it becomes a parts unit.
    I own a yellow mate to this ’74 in 2.0 liter variant. When I bought mine in ’94 it had lived a dry climate life so it virtually needed little to bring to a ‘street concours level’ sweetheart. Soon coming up on 30 years of ownership, I have watched values soar making my initial investment of $5000 worth every penny. An original Irish Green and a very low mile Sunflower recently sold for close to $50,000, so the sky is certainly the limit on this once affordable Porsche

    Like 5
    • mrgreenjeans mrgreenjeans

      the ‘popped’ trunk lid is because one of or both of the hinge and roller spring assemblies has broken and needs welding/replacing/re-setting of the lid. Common issue on these cars if left unlubricated then forced to open. A proper fix is somewhat easy but until done, opening this up may create more damage and tearing of sheet metal. Just don’t pull it backwards on a trailer and kite down the highway at 80, because it will come off

      Like 2
  8. Big C

    Luckily. The owner had the good sense to raise the windshield wipers off the glass. You wouldn’t want to mar it.

    Like 3
  9. MotorWinderMember

    … And the first Mustangs were re-skined Falcons …
    I had a lead on a 914 a while back. One would hardly know it was a Porsche it was so badly picked apart & rusted. Was nothing left of it, I should have taken pictures.

    Like 0
  10. Erik

    This depends on where in the world you’re living.
    To me a Porsche isn’t an exotic car, but a Cadillac is….
    It’s all about your location.

    Exotic, meaning:
    “Originating in or characteristic of a distant foreign country.”

    Like 1
  11. Frank BarrettMember

    The 1.8-liter is less desirable than the 2.0, but this looks to be worth saving. Everything depends on what’s underneath. Rust? Iowa shouldn’t be too bad. I could talk myself into a road trip!

    Like 4
  12. Roland Schoenke

    Perfect electric car build

    Like 0
  13. Robert West

    Normally there’s a reason why a seller fails to show an engine photo. It’s probably missing parts or he doesn’t know anything about it.

    Like 1
  14. Greg GustafsonMember

    They found this in a she shed…figures.

    Like 0
  15. Little_Cars Little_Cars

    Imagine my surprise in 2008 when visiting a dilapidated home in Nashville finding a black one of these. Cloned to be one the 6 cylinder variety. It was shoehorned into a long narrow container and covered with what you would expect from years of bugs and birds. The owner had two Spitfires as well. $650 for all three. All cars were swept away by the property’s improvement or local codes sometime within the next 3 years. One of the Spitfires was red with a hardtop that you could see from the street. Once I saw that the car had been lifted from it’s resting place I knew the deal was off.

    Like 1

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