Incredible 13k Mile 1973 Porsche 914 Garage Find

As they say, “rising tides lifts all boats” and that’s definitely been the case with Porsches. As air-cooled 911 prices continue to climb, so do the values of the rest of the air-cooled Porsche family. It isn’t particularly surprising to see 356 prices climb, but 914-4s have been the real breakout surprise (at least for certain examples). This 1973 Porsche 914 is said to be a 1-owner garage find with just 13k documented miles, which makes it one of a small handful of 914s still in pristine original condition and the seller is asking top dollar for it. You can find this Olympic Blue beauty here on eBay in Miami, Florida.

In recent years, we’ve seen ultra-low mileage examples consistently fetch amounts closing in on the six-figure mark and ones with mileage similar to this car in the low $70k range. This one has an asking price of $96,500, which is of course a massive amount of money to ask for a 914-4, but the bar has been set. The seller is open to hearing offers, so perhaps they are just fishing at this point? I guess we will just have to wait and see if someone takes the bait.

We currently have a Ravenna Green 914-4 sitting in our shop, it’s a great car to drive, but it wasn’t easy to find one without rust issues. After buying six other cars, we finally learned what to look for and what to avoid with these cars. Idaho cars tend to not rust out, but even in our dry climate, these cars can develop rust issues in all the usual places. Looking this example over, I don’t see any of the typical signs of rust, although I’d want a closer look at the rear longitudinals. Most people are most concerned about the area below the battery, which is called the “hell-hole, but you really want to inspect the longitudinals regardless of the condition of the hell-hole. They are prone to rusting from the inside out, are difficult to view in photos, and can tell you a lot about the car’s past and if you are going to find rust elsewhere. With a nearly $100k asking price, you shouldn’t find rust anywhere on this one, but you’ll want to inspect it closely before emptying the retirement account.

It looks like this really is one of the finest examples out there. We inspected another “low-mileage survivor” at an auction and were surprised to find signs of rust repair and restoration work, so you always want to do your due diligence when buying a supposed low-mileage car. That being said, they really are a great sports car when in nice shape. The interior is roomy, the design is unique and the handling is fantastic!

The 1.7-liter engine isn’t the best but provides enough oomph to be fun on a twisty road. I doubt this one will see much use, as you are paying for the mileage, but hopefully, the next owner will at least put a few miles on it! From what can be seen of the engine, it looks original, but in need of new rubber bits.

The price might seem crazy, but you are unlikely to find another example with this kind of mileage for significantly less. If you do, you’d be wise to snatch it up quick, as these cars just keep going up in value! I do hope that the car is a consignment and if not, that the seller paid the original owner well for her beloved Olympic Blue 914. So, would you spend $90k+ for one of the nicest 914-4s survivors in existence?

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Comments

  1. Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

    Low mileage or not, there isn’t a 914 on the planet worth 100K! 😆🤣

    Like 32
  2. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    My buddy bought a new one in 73. Never drove it but was happy to ride along and drink beer in it with the top off. It was a ton of fun! Gotta agree with Bluetec on the price. For 100 large I can buy a lot of memories. His was a bright lime color, this is a lady’s color for sure. My buddy is still above ground and am sure he would laugh at the price.

    Like 4
  3. alphasud Member

    100K for a 1.7 914? I had to rub my eyes thinking the decimal was in the wrong place. It’s a nice looking car but a pretty basic offering. Your mention of the “hell hole” makes me cringe when I see a standard flooded lead acid battery in the tray. At the very least spring for an Optima or other sealed battery. That was one of the major reasons for rust in that area in the first place. They even placed grounds and if memory serves either the fuel pump or L-Jet ECU under the tray as well.

    Like 9
    • Joshua Mortensen Staff

      The ECU is mounted to the front of the battery tray, so it’s right in the splash zone for battery acid, but I’ve not seen one get damaged by that. I believe the fuel pump is mounted under the fuel tank.
      It’s everything directly under the battery that tends to suffer. Most people don’t check the jack points, but both sides rust out, as does the longitudinals as they curves to go over the rear end. Porsche clearly didn’t plan on these being around forever, otherwise they would have galvanized stuff and put the battery somewhere that doesn’t get wet!

      Like 3
      • mrgreenjeans

        This one still has the commonly missing black plastic rain-tray attached to the engine cover.
        THAT alone says alot. Many were cast aside early in life to diminish the chance of these aluminum and magnesium drivetrains dying from overheating on dry, hot, windy days.

        Those rain trays, along with the original black plastic battery covers are crucial in keeping water from washing down and over the battery holding tray area, and carrying acid deep into crevices vulnerable to chassis weakness caused by rusting. Hell-hole issues result. Mix in any road salt or chemical de-icer if they have been driven in winter, and you have corrosion devouring your car faster than you can say “Gesundheit”.

        Rain, car washing, or even ocean spray / coastal fallout will run over that engine grille and down over the battery, carrying with it all those blue/green fuzzies which grow on terminals. Factor in the problem of sticking voltage regulators which afflicted a great many of these 914s, and you now see the reasons why so many perished a rapid demise. Regulators quit regulating and the battery got constant overcharge resulting in a boil-over condition.

        Now we’re talking ! All the green meanies attacked these little critters and ate them whole …… while you slept in your house your teener was getting munched to death by an attack of the tin worms in your garage.

        If you listened carefully you could hear the wails of surrender, as the unmerciful attacks of mother nature devoured your beauty

        Like 12
  4. Skorzeny

    I don’t mind the 914, but I’d rather save my money and get an X1/9. I’m sure someone will enjoy this car, but not me, not for that money.

    Like 6
    • Steve Clinton

      Or that awful baby blue paint.

  5. CCFisher

    Destined to end up with a wealthy Porsche collector who has $100K in spare change lying around the mansion. It will slot between his 914 driver and his modified 914/6 autocross car pn the 914 wing.

    Like 7
    • Richard Greene

      Absolutely correct. There are collectors with unlimited money. I really don’t blame them! Life is indeed short!

  6. RoughDiamond RoughDiamond Member

    Beautiful 914 for sure, but do those seats have any real cushioning effect whatsoever?

    Like 1
    • mrgreenjeans

      yes they do….. they are actually quite comfortable. I am 6’1″ and have no trouble driving my early ’74 – 2.0 liter with them wrapped about my backside.
      The number of these remaining in either an uncommon paint code or with good options, AND not showing any signs of rust or accident damage, is indeed a rare thing.
      In the Porsche world, a well heeled owner who does not have the best of something rare, will go to great lengths to obtain the ‘unobtainable’.
      I’m just thankful I got a desirable color, great optioned and dry, well preserved western 2.0 liter back in the early ’90s when they were already getting picked over. Prices were not nearly as collector driven and parts cars were easily obtained for a pittance. The highly desirable FUCHS alloys were found without too great of difficulty and under $1,000 for pristine, full sets.
      Try to get what you need today at reasonable prices to complete your restoration, and be ready to unload a bankroll.

      Like 1
    • Ralph

      Hey Roughguy. Yes those seats are almost beyond comfortable.
      The stock bench seat in my 91 Toyota truck was killing my back, and not enough leg room. Took a set of 914 seats, installed them, and it was like a whole new truck. Drove it for over 20 years, several 1500 mile road trips, (non stop) with no body fatigue at all.

      Would recommend a PORSCHE seat swap to anyone who is looking for relief from not so good factory seats.

      Like 2
      • Pleease

        Sadly, I haven’t been in one since about 1984, and haven’t driven one since 1975 when I worked at an airport valet parking lot (absolute heaven for a 17 year old).

        However, at the car-parking job I do remember the feel of the 914’s – the handling/steering geometry with the mid-mount engine and the wheels set out there on the corners….and all these years later I remember the seats being perfectly firm and comfortable – added to the driving experience.

  7. Mike

    My dad just got our ’75 out of mothballs after a 10 year sleep. Can’t wait to drive it around. All this time, I thought asking $20k for it was hitting the jackpot. Got to think big now! :)

    I wonder how much they gave that poor lady for it? “Well ma’am, it is a nice Porsche and all, but it is the base model with the smaller motor. You paid a little over $5k for it. Let’s say we generously double that to $10k and we’ll gladly cover the transportation to our showroom. You’re kids would agree it’s for the best…”

    Like 9
  8. Steveo

    Well why not $196k? You know, they ain’t making them anymore.

    Like 5
  9. JoeNYWF64

    guys, regarding battery acid, many of today’s latest batteries with no caps – even the cheapest walmart ones – don’t seem to leak or even vent any acid – no corrosion on terminals anymore! The prev ones with caps showed corrosion even when new after just a month or so!
    I have 3 of these new cheap walmart batteries on cars from ’68, ’74 & ’91 – no terminal corrosion at all! & the batteries are all over a year old.

    Like 2
    • alphasud Member

      And I can still show you several new batteries that leak from the posts. No rhyme or reason every major manufacturer has this issue. I maintain a large battery bank (100kwh) and some of the cells leak while others are dry around the terminals.

      Like 2
  10. Tracy

    I have a restored 914 that I would take 35k for in a minute. It’s a great car and they drive great.

    Like 3
    • Pleease

      My wife would murder me (and keep the car!) if I spent 35k on one, but would love to see a pic or two of your restored 914, if not too much trouble. Is there a way to do that on BarnFinds?

  11. SebastianX1/9

    “So, would you spend $90k+ for one of the nicest 914-4s survivors in existence?”

    No. I’ll buy a Ferrari 308 GT4, AND a BMW E24, AND an 80s hothatch instead.

    Ridiculous. The 914 chassis is inferior to the Bertone X1/9. Any weekend racer knows this.

    Like 4
    • Danger Dan

      If your handle didn’t have x1/9 in it I might believe you weren’t jaded

      Like 1
  12. Jonathan A Green

    My dad got a 914 2.0 in 1975. Garage kept its entire life. Never driven in the winter. About 40,000 miles as of 2020. Needed paint, but otherwise probably one of the nicest ones out there.

    A few years ago (2015 ish), I had some overheating issues. Turns out the oil pressure sending unit was leaking onto the cooler, and all of the dust that gets blown around in the ducts adhered itself to the oil-soaked cooler, forming a felt-like mat across the surface of the cooler.

    The only way to get to it was to remove the engine. And when I did so, I saw that not only did we have a hell hole, but the rust had spread across the rear of the passenger side floor pan.

    The hell hole is like a laser of rust. It goes down through everything. And this repair is not for a backyard mechanic.

    We sold the car for a number of reasons, but as my now 81-year-old father said, “The car served its purpose. It proved that I was as good as the other kids whose parents got them Porsches in the 1950’s”

  13. bobhess bobhess Member

    Like Blutetec said…..

    Like 3
  14. Mikefromthehammer

    I really liked the look of these 914s back in the day, and that fondness has not faded (as so much has in my dotage). The thing that lets these cars down is, of course, the Jokeswagen engine. I wonder what air cooled Porsche engines might be shoehorned in to replace the wimp?

    I really enjoy Barn Finds, not just for the cars, but also for the education I get for free from all the information that other enthusiasts post.

    Like 5
  15. wuzjeepnowsaab

    There is no 1.7l 914 worth anywhere close to this number. 2.0l would be a tough ask at this crazy price

    Like 1
  16. Vintageant

    $54k – max!

  17. Howie Mueler

    $96,500?? Good One!! I like blue, but not this lite blue.

    Like 2
  18. Scott Marquis

    Let’s see:
    • VIN: 11111111111111111
    -and-
    • “Seller does not accept returns”.

  19. mrgreenjeans

    If one allows for inflation from the time I bought mine in the early ’90s, it is worth roughly twice what I have invested in it. (according to the calculator supplied by microsoft when one googles that query.)

    BUT, as noted on the Monroney copy supplied in the pics, that early 90’s amount was also what the retail sticker suggested by Porsche. Adjusted for inflation from 1973 dollars to 2021 dollars we see a value comparable to: $33,000.00 !

    I personally know of several recent private sales approaching $56,000 for a 1.8 liter in Concours show winning condition, another extremely low mile (under 5,000 original, 1 owner) 2.0 liter that is rumored to have sold in the low 80s about 1 year ago, and a 22,000 mile but accident repaired 2.0 liter that earned 37,000 for it’s first owner. All were in greatly desired colors and all had original and unworn interiors. None had ever any rust issues and were inside stored their entire lives.
    Money well spent it seems in retrospect, as the cars remaining in factory presented, unrusted condition will always keep going up. There were acknowledged problems with the steel sourced by Karmann Coachworks to construct these for Porsche/VW, that created in harmony with the complicated assembly of the body structure, a prime area for rot to grasp ahold. If one has opportunity to view a naked chassis on a rotisserie, one will immediately see the convoluted and puzzle like welded panels ready to retain moisture at every seam.
    They never truly had a very good chance to remain impervious to the tin worm attack right from the get go…..

    Like 2
  20. JCA

    I guess it’s cool but definitely no where near $100k cool. Just watched the YouTube video the seller provided. This thing sounds more like a VW than a Porsche and looks to be about as slow when he accelerated. I’m sure it handles well but what good is a sports car without speed and a great engine sound?

    Like 4
  21. bobhess bobhess Member

    JCA…. Now you know why we took the 1.8 engine for our ’74 and bumped it to 140 hp. Makes a lot of difference and does increase the fun factor. Also, the 914s do require a little suspension tweeking to match the X19 but the X19 has an up to date design while the 914s, while having a good coilover rear suspension wound up with the early 911 twin torsion bar setup that requires a little extra work for autocrossing or racing.

    Like 1
  22. Scott Marquis

    ?? My comment not posting ???

  23. Steve Clinton

    $96,500.00! Is it April 1st?

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