Garage Find: 1970 Porsche 914

While it represents more of a garage find than a barn find, this 1970 Porsche 914 is a gold nugget that has led a sheltered life. It seems that it is a two-owner vehicle that has been parked in this garage for years, but it is a solid classic that may be able to be returned to active duty relatively easily. If a head-turning classic Porsche is high on your Wish List, you will find this 914 located in El Cajon, California, and listed for sale here on eBay. The price has sailed to $6,312 off the back of some spirited bidding. That figure is also beyond the reserve, meaning that a new home is just around the corner for this solid German classic.

It seems that this Canary Yellow Porsche has spent its life garage-kept in sunny California, and that should make its rust-free status no great surprise. A couple of paint chips show some surface corrosion, but these would appear to be the worst of its problems. The seller notes some deterioration in some of the rubber trim pieces, but it would take an in-person inspection to determine what could be salvaged. The panels are as straight as an arrow, and while the paint does have a few slight imperfections, it continues to shine impressively for an unrestored survivor. Most of the tinted glass appears to be in good order, although there is a crack in the lower corner of the windshield. Replacements aren’t hard to find, and ones with the correct tinting cost around $370. If a seal kit is also required, that should add a further $280 to the total. The trim and plated components look excellent, and it seems that this car’s cosmetic needs are mainly superficial.

Powering this 914 is a fuel-injected air-cooled 1,679cc flat-four that would’ve produced 84hp in its prime. Those German stallions found their way to the road via the rear wheels and a five-speed manual transaxle. With such a modest power output, the 914 stood little chance of terrorizing muscle cars over the ¼-mile. However, an 18-second ET was still respectable in the circumstances. This Porsche has been parked for many years following the passing of its second owner. His wife has retained the car since but hasn’t taken the opportunity to slip behind the wheel. Even when active, its owners only used the vehicle for short journeys and didn’t go out of their way to wear it out due to overuse. For potential buyers, the news appears to be mixed. The engine turns freely, but it doesn’t run. There is a fair coating of oil on the lower pan, which suggests that there may be a minor oil leak that could demand attention. The injectors have been pulled, as they will need a rebuild. With that issue addressed and the oil leak fixed, returning this classic to a roadworthy state may not be difficult.

One aspect of this Porsche that won’t consume mega-dollars is the interior. The carpet is pretty dirty, and the buyer might need to deep clean it to ascertain whether replacement is justified. Beyond that, the news looks positive. The black upholstered surfaces bear the hallmarks of a car that has been treated with care and respect. There are no rips or tears and no signs of significant wear. The dash looks pretty tidy, although some of the vinyl facing has begun to lift on the edges. It would probably pay to lift this carefully and reinstall it with fresh glue so that it is good for many years to come. The original owner ordered the car with an Emden AM/FM radio, but this looks like it has made way for an aftermarket unit. Apart from that and the wrap on the wheel, I can’t spot any other aftermarket additions.

While the 914 was developed as an affordable vehicle to solidify existing struggling markets and establish new ones, more than 60% of the 115,644 cars produced during the model’s lifespan found their way onto North American roads. That was even though the USA already represented the company’s strongest market penetration. That marks the 914 as a sales success, and while the styling can tend to polarize people, the fact is that they remain the most affordable option if enthusiasts want to gain access to the Porsche lifestyle. This one shows a lot of potential, but could you be the person who finally returns it to its rightful place on our roads?


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  1. alphasud Member

    Looking at the eBay pictures it looks like an honest garage queen. Hopefully the area under the battery box didn’t suffer. Prices for these have gotten out of hand in the last few years. For years one could be had on the cheap. Even the desirable 2.0 was affordable. You will spend considerable money just buying the parts to bring this one back so that should be factored in to your final bid. The engine and trans should be dropped for easy repairs to the fuel injection, pushrod tube seals, oil cooler seals, rear main seal, clutch, caliper rebuilds, master rebuild, new brake hoses, tires, rubber body seals and on and on.

    Like 5
  2. Mike

    It’s missing the P O R S C H E script across the top of the windshield. When I was look for another 914 to replace my burned out ’72, I kept running across cars that had Porsche plastered everywhere. The rear panel between the tail lights, the Porsche decal on the side, the hood badge, the top of the windshield, the Porsche floor mats and Porsche key fobs. It was like the owner was trying too hard to convince everybody that they had a Porsche.

    Like 5
    • Steve Clinton

      Guilty. We had the Porsche badge installed at the dealer when we purchased ours new in 1976. The front just looked bare without it.

      Like 4
  3. Steve Clinton

    My wife and I had a ’76 914 in this color. It was a blast to drive.

    Like 2
  4. Malcolm Boyes

    Looks like a very solid buy at this price if getting it running is an easy fix. I ‘d have to lose that rear reflector and script down the lower panels. As always the area below the battery, the “hell hole”, is critical because rust down there can get into the chassis…good to also check around the jacking ports as mud buildup in there causes rust. I had a 1970 914 and put over 120,000 very fun miles on it.These are great cars and this one could be a bargain.

    Like 1
  5. Barry

    I can’t get past the “beaten with an ugly stick” looks. Being slow as snot doesn’t help it’s case. There is a black respectably modified one in my neighborhood that is actually good to look at and hear. But that makes a total of one that I would ever say is worthy of ownership. On a good note, it’s better than that AMC wagon.

    Like 1
    • Gerard Frederick

      That comment is excessively negative. First of all the opinion about the looks is off the charts. I have never heard the looks being so denigrated, aside beauty is strictly objective. To compare this little gem to the AMC, even positively is insulting.

      Like 12
      • Barry

        It is what it is. Much like a c3 corvette- seemingly designed by some high school kid. Poor performance and marginal looks. VW Interior. Pass. At least Porsche had the brains to give the 914/6 a decent engine

  6. 914Shifter Member

    I love these, and think this one might be a good one to have, as the dash isn’t as bad as most of them, and the body looks pretty straight. And good color. I secured an original orange 70 914 a few years that is not in as good of shape as this, but I am getting close to starting on its restoration. When I bough my first 914 about 20 years ago, I rolled up my sleeves and “learned” how these work, did a motor rebuild and even got the original Fuel Injection all dialed in. I was tired of people saying these were too expensive to work on, so took it as a challenge… and succeeded. I have had a bout 8 of them since then. Of course, now they are a lot more valuable than they used to be!!

    Like 5
  7. Malcolm Boyes

    Dont knock 914s until you have driven one. These are terrific cars..mine went up and down the coast of Florida , across to California and down to Baja. It was very comfortable, got great gas mileage was plently fast enough…and FUN!! Price wise..these are becoming the new Speedsters..grab one now!

    Like 5
  8. Howie Mueler

    I have always liked these, seen a few with a V8 conversion. $6,800 now.

    Like 1
  9. MotorWinder

    Curious, it looks like the odometer shows 05514 …
    I wonder which that is? 105514 or 205514
    Either way, I’d buy it if it where in the neighborhood!

  10. Tennis Tim

    These are slugs. And can’t get out of their own way. Had a 1970. Very unimpressed

  11. bobhess bobhess Member

    Interesting comments, most of which are almost true. Had a ’72 with AC that was a go to work car for 3 years. Also went cross country in it a couple times. Years later we found a rust free ’74 and put all the modifications in it to address the complaints and enhance the good features. Wound up with a 130 hp 1.8 engine in a chassis modified with everything to make it handle, stop, and look good. The built in AC and modified seats made for a really comfortable car. The orange was the original color so we kept that but the Sunshine Yellow color on this car we’ve used on three AH Sprite race cars. This has the bones to be turned into a really great, fun car.

    Like 3
  12. William R Hall

    IN Germany these cars wore a VW nameplate not Porsche. The engine is VW, type 4.

    Like 1
  13. matt

    Way back in ’74’ I had a buddy who bought one new, and we drove around a lot in it.
    I had a lot of stick time in that 2.0 5 speed, and it was an enjoyable car to drive. He also let me drive it in pylon events that we would go to occasionally.
    This yellow 914 could end up being fun for somebody.

    Like 1
  14. DaveO

    Had one just like this while stationed in Frankfurt….but was euro spec. While not the fstest on the road, certainly the best handling and rode like a go cart….I could take the ramps between autobahns at full speed without the slightest tilt…….

    Like 1
  15. Malcolm Boyes

    They did not wear a VW badge in Europe. They wore a badge that read”VW/Porsche 914″. Porsche design ,body built by Kharmann who built many 356’s , type 4 VW engine with some Porsche tweaks, 5 speed Porsche gearbox, 4 wheel discs. The 4 cylinder cars were the assembled by VW and the 6 cylinders were done by Porsche. This car was very influential in car design..look at the first edition Toyota MR2, The Fiat X1/9, even the front engined Honda Del Sol that copied the 914 top system after they bought a 914 to study!. You rarely hear anyone who has driven or owned a 914 to knock them. Look at the so called “Ferrari” Dino..never initially called a Ferrari..just “Dino” with a Ferrari designed engine built by Fiat. That car never had a “Ferrari” badge on it but don’t tell a ” Dino” owner his $300,000 car is not a real “Ferrari”. Its as much a Ferrari as the front engined Fiat version..all just Dinos IMHO..and lovely cars! Anyone remember the Matra/Simca Bagheera??

    Like 3
    • Bareman

      That’s kinda like saying my wife is the most beautiful woman in the world. (Ha!).
      Yeah, they have good attributes- visual appeal just isn’t one of them.

      Like 1
      • EBaum

        Bareman – I hope your wife doesn’t read Barn Finds. BTW my wife IS the most beautiful woman in the world.

        Like 1
    • Carbuzzard Member


  16. Raymond Keck

    I’m a 914 owner (my second one) and it blows me away that a non-running early version like this would go for almost 15 large. They’re great cars, but that kinda money would give a car shopper a lot of options.

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