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Low Mileage Survivor: 1971 Porsche 914 1.7

When we consider a vintage car, sometimes the car speaks, sometimes the car’s history speaks, sometimes it’s both. This beautiful 1971 Porsche 914 1,7 here on craigslist does all the talking. Finished in Willow Green, this meticulously documented, 31,000-mile 914 is looking for a new owner willing to pay $56,600 (cash, please!). With very few changes from stock, this exceptional car has had five careful owners, most of them in South Dakota where it was originally delivered. It is now located in Franklin, Tennessee. We owe Tony Primo a big thanks for sending this most excellent tip our way!

The sale is accompanied by scads of documentation including the original owner’s manual, sales invoice and window sticker, accessory card, service and repair receipts, maintenance record book with stamps, and a Porsche Classic Technical Certificate attesting to its matching numbers. The seller had the car cleaned with dry ice and mechanically refreshed with a new starter, battery, heater hoses, suspension and transmission bushings, fuel tank, fuel lines, and much more. The tires are new. The flat-four engine peeking at us is the fuel-injected, mid-mounted, 1.7-liter air/oil-cooled that Porsche installed until 1974 when it was replaced by the 1.8. Generating 80 bhp, this motor is paired with a five-speed manual with the package good for zero to sixty in about 14 seconds.

The interior is immaculate in tobacco livery. The seller added Coco mats and states that all locks, gauges, lights, wipers, and handles work properly. The horn, radio, and heater also work. The rear trunk contains the jack and the front trunk shows off the spare; both cavities are pristine. The underside is gorgeous after the application of dry ice.

A few flaws do affect the car’s appearance. This photo shows the shadow of old graphics extending along the lower edge of the fenders and doors. The seller did send the car for paint correction already, so a new buyer can expect that short of a repaint, he’ll have to live with the “ghost of Porsche past”. Additionally, someone removed the vinyl from the sail panel – a common alteration but not original. The seller notes a few additional flaws in the body and paint. Helpfully, the battery tray was restored and the lid hinges have been replaced. The car’s splendid condition and documentation certainly warrant a premium price but as always, we have to ask – how much premium is due? Sales in the realm of the ask are not unknown with Hagerty pegging an “excellent” car at $43k and a “concours” car at $75k. But buyers who want to be drivers might look elsewhere for half the price – without degrading the value of their new acquisition with every mile traveled. What would you pay for this 914?

Comments

  1. Euromoto Member

    Alternatively, the Porsche decals could simply be replaced, they are standard fare and should cover the “ghosts” perfectly. This is a beauty but it’s overpriced at the ask, in my opinion.

    Like 30
    • bobhess bobhess Member

      Agree with that. With sale prices fluctuating so fast on these cars it’s getting hard to know what they are worth any more. On the early cars the black vinyl tended to fall off and many folks who brought their cars to us to repaint didn’t want them put back on. We left the black on our ’74 build because we wanted the tinted windows to visibly flow to the back of the passenger compartment.

      Like 9
  2. HoA Howard A Member

    This was another of those cars that had Americans wondering what Europeans were on, I mean, we had some goofy styles, but this didn’t match anything we could relate to. It’s only salvation was, it was a Porsche. Remember, in ’71, we were buying hemi Cudas for the same cost, these seemed pretty silly to us. The 6 cylinder ones, did quite well at Road America, never saw’r one in “real life”, but a few 4 cylinder ones did come around. It just wasn’t what we thought of in a Porsche. Ironically, of the 119,000 914s built, 116,000 came to America. It was their best selling model here probably because at $3600 new, it was the cheapest Porsche and got you into the country club. A ’58 Volvo, not so much. I love the color,,,

    Like 8
    • Bamapoppy

      For some reason I’m kinda hungry for a cold cut combo.

      Like 0
      • Neil R Norris

        Hope it runs well enough to drive the ugly off of it.

        Like 4
    • Scott

      I got a used one of these when i got my first real job out of college in 1976. I like the 914 – i still run against them regularly in vintage racing in my triumph gt6- but the 1.7 does not have enough power. Sold mine when i figured that out- and it was rusty under shiny paint!
      Hold out for a 2.0, or be prepared to modify.

      Like 5
  3. Mike B

    The hint of Porsche graphics seems apropos, especially with the 0-60 saunter time. Nice one.

    Like 6
  4. mrobin

    I had a 70 and a 73 and loved them both. Compared the MG’s I was used to driving they were awsome. However not that awsome, and at $56000 I don’t think so.

    Like 12
  5. alphasud Member

    This was similar to the 73 2.0 I missed purchasing for $3500 about 15 years ago. This was back when most people would laugh at you if you told them a 914 was a real Porsche. Just like the Dino crowd 20 years ago. The 911 has definitely pulled the rest of the Porsche model lineup up as fewer people can’t afford ownership. I personally bought Porsche cars with over 100K on the clock and most times in a state of disrepair. 928 cars can still be had for reasonable money if you don’t mind working on them yourself. Same for 944 cars. Last air-cooled car I had was a 97 993 Targa with 90K on the clock back in 2008. I would need 3X that purchase price to own that car today.

    Like 3
  6. Rolo

    Nice Volkswagen!

    Like 14
  7. Ray

    It’s about $15,000 over priced and the color is going to hurt it.

    Like 6
    • Once bitten

      Try 25k over priced. Several people hit on this but nobody is admitting its a vw. Sorry but their isn’t a vw on t h e planet worth 56k. But that’s my opinion.

      Like 11
  8. Rob

    Anyone and everyone selling something like this needs to include the “before” pictures so you can see what they were working with.

    31K miles? Doubtful, it’s a 50 year old car with loads of previous owners, and it needed a full refurbishment. Before pictures could help validate exactly what needed to be done and what the probable mileage is.

    Like 5
  9. DonC

    I’m wondering if there will ever come a time where a Porsche is shown here without the totally asinine statements that it’s a Volkswagen? Probably never.

    Like 11
    • John

      It’s like getting razzed for sleeping with that big girl in high school 50 yrs ago every time you see your old buddies, even after you married the prom queen whose father was a millionaire. Well, that’s a pretty bad analogy but I agree with you.

      Like 4
  10. Frank Barrett Member

    This seller is fishing. Were this a 2.0-liter, he might get lucky, but for a very basic 1.7, no way. This “stripper” 914 came with steel wheels and hubcaps, not these alloys (from a later 914). The painted bumpers are rare these days. That’s not to say that the car is worth nothing. In fact, its basic nature and condition make it a rarity. Heck, I’d put steel wheels back on it!

    My 1965 912 was originally sold with no radio, rubber mats, and steel wheels; just a very basic car. Today it’s fun to park next to a modern luxurious, flashy 911 and compare the two extremes.

    Like 1
  11. GitterDunn

    “someone removed the vinyl from the sail panel – a common alteration but not original.”

    Actually, the 914 I owned came new from the factory with no black vinyl on the sail panel, nobody “removed” it. To me anyway, they look much better without the vinyl.

    Like 0
    • jokacz

      The chrome bumpers and the vinyl trim were an optional upgrade.

      Like 0
  12. matthew grant

    nice but over priced. I owned one back in the early 80s. fun, but mine was not reliable. I think the price is about double what it should be. I wish the seller luck..

    Like 2
  13. Beauwayne5000

    Nice restoration they painted the front chrome facia on the bumper which is good.
    The 914 had more fatal front crashes than any car due to the “Mirror effect” of the Chrome front bumper – it reflected the road & on-coming drivers had difficulty judging distance & often would remark they didn’t even see the car.
    Pretty lil thing but in today’s world of High SUVs & Trucks you’d get squashed like a bug in it.
    Most likely my pops knew the Rushmore SD dealer since we owned the Sioux City store.
    Btw its over priced despite the incomplete restoration – “painted chrome bumper”.
    If it were a 914-6 the rare model with the 911 6 cyl engine It’d still be over priced
    25-30k MAX
    914-6 commands barely 30k in perfect condition

    Like 4
    • Wayne Hall

      @Beauwayne5000. You obviously don’t know anything about 914 or 914-6 values. I’d certainly agree that this car is overpriced, but your comment that “914-6 commands barely 30k in perfect condition” is flat wrong. A really nice 914 is currently worth $30-40k. A nice 914-6, documented and original, worth in excess of $100k any day. How do I know….I’ve owned about a dozen of these cars over the years…currently own 3 and just sold my 914-6.

      Like 4
    • bill tebbutt

      Send every perfect condition 914-6 that you can find for $30k to me. I’ll pay you a 20% finders fee on each one. I’ll wait….

      bt

      Like 2
  14. Fox owner

    You learn something new every day. I never heard of “washing” a car in dry ice. Is that supposed to keep rust from starting when using water? I always liked these cars but I agree with the others, too much money.

    Like 3
  15. Wayne Hall

    And by the way, the color of this car, especially if original, adds a huge amount of value.

    Like 1
  16. Elbert Hubbard

    Since 1971 has had five owners and only 31,000 miles seems odd. I agree with others that it is seems a bit overpriced at $56,600 however maybe someone would be willing to go $56,000. If it isn’t a VW and many Porsche folks claim it is not a Porsche then what is it?

    Like 1
    • Once bitten

      If it walks like a duck. It’s a Volkswagen. The same as a 924. Nice car one could say a handsome car. But deep down inside most parts sourced from well you know where. And by the way people might quit calling porches vw when they are actually a porche. There are alot of true porches.

      Like 3
      • Greg Lemon

        So is a 356 a Volkswagen too? Based on VW parts.

        Like 0
      • Elbert Hubbard

        You are correct on the 924 – same engine as the VW Dasher series – the 924 was Porsche’s attempt to capture some of the market that their 911 series cars were priced out of. Like the Dasher, the 924 was an abysmal failure.

        Like 0
  17. Gregg

    You know what I find funny (as this tired old debate rages on…) that Porsche attempted (in 2008-9) gain a controlling interest in Volkswagen, but was instead totally owned by Volkswagen! (and I mean OWNED in every sense of the word!). So, since 2010, every Porsche is a VOLKSWAGEN!!

    That just has to some bitter pill for all these Porschesnobs to swallow!

    Like 2
    • Once bitten

      No truer words were spoken.

      Like 0
    • jokacz

      Volkswagen also owns Audi, Bentley, Lamborghini, Seat, Skoda, and Ducati Motorcycles. And controlling interest in numerous other manufacturers including Bugatti. Cheer up Porsche snobs, you’re not the only ones owned. lol

      Like 0
  18. jokacz

    I may be wrong, but I do believe that is Zambezi Green. If that car came with chrome bumpers, then the sail panels would have been vinyl covered and the trim would have been chrome like. So they painted the trim to match the bumpers, which makes me wonder how much of the rest of the paint is original. I owned a new 73 1.7 and I can attest to how slow they were. But a lot of Porsche 356’s, with VW engines were just as slow or slower. In Europe 914’s were sold as Volkswagen/Porsches.

    Like 1
  19. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    This color always reminds me of Chiclets gum.

    Like 0
  20. JoeNYWF64

    I wonder which handles better – this or the Fiat X1/9?
    Can i assume the 914 is a lot faster?
    Would be something if both cars were equal in performance.

    Like 0

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