READER AD: 1973 Porshce 914

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With the boom in air-cooled Porsche values over the past few years, we’ve seen values for the humble but fun 914 on the rise as well. Thankfully, they still haven’t gone crazy and you can find a decent project for reasonable money. Just take Reader JM C’s 1973 Porsche 914 barn find, it needs a lot of work but looks complete and solid. He’s asking $4,695, which is a fraction of what you’d pay for a similar condition 911 or 356. And with values on a steady climb, we would recommend buying one sooner rather than later. If you are interested in JM’s Porsche, you can find it here on craigslist in Pasadena, California.

Getting this Porsche back on the road is going to require a ton of work, but these are actually pretty easy cars to work on. The air-cooled 1.7l boxer 4 is more or less a Volkswagen Type 4 engine, so parts are readily available and fairly affordable. Even the Porsche specific parts are surprisingly affordable. JM states that the engine in this one currently doesn’t run, but it turns over. As long as there is compression, you should be able to get this one running without dropping it. Many of these cars lost their fuel injection systems, due to owners or mechanics who were scared to work on them, but it’s actually a fairly simple and effective system. If all the components are present, four new fuel injectors and a cylinder head temperature sensor is probably all that’s needed to get it running. Of course, if the engine’s compression is low, you’ll probably want to drop the engine and install a new set of cylinders and jugs. It’s a bit of work, but you can get a cylinder set for under $500 and you would end up having a good little engine.

The interior of this car looks rough, but thankfully they are incredibly basic. The tan upholstery is readily available but is a bit more expensive than black, so if you are on a tight budget you may want to consider converting over. Replacement dash pads are also quite expensive, but you can get a hard plastic dash cover for a fraction the price and they actually look quite nice. Given their simplicity, this is one of those cars that you can race out to save some money and actually have it look good.

These really are fun cars to drive, they might not have the power of a 911, but they are incredibly agile and handle like they are on rails. You’ll want to inspect under the rocker panels before making JM an offer, as these tend to rust out at the jack points and while it’s not impossible to fix it does require a fair amount of metal work. If it’s solid, this could be a fun car to build into a track day and hill climb car. Its rough appearance would make it one heck of a sleeper and once your in the driver’s seat, you aren’t going to care about how it looks anyway!

Do you have a project sitting in your garage or barn that needs to go? Please consider listing it here on Barn Finds!

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  1. Big Len

    “Has Working Engine and Transmission, but not running”.
    If it were running, it would be working. So I’d say that it’s actually NOT working

    Like 9
    • Ralph

      Temporarily laid off…….

      Like 5
  2. OhU8one2

    Had a 73 right out of high school and I absolutely loved the car. Good power, gearing was perfect. Some Porsche only parts were a bit expensive. Especially tires. Went thru a set of Pirelli P6’s every 18 months. If your really serious about getting a 914, a 1973 with the 2 litre engine is the way to go. And try to stay away from 1.8 litre cars. Those engine’s were junk in my opinion. GLWTS.

    Like 2
    • Big Len

      1.8 basically same as 1.7, but more modern FI. Nothing junk about it.

      Like 2
  3. Brian Ach

    This is a $1200 car. I have owned three 914s. Good luck.

    Like 4
  4. Raymond Keck

    I had a 1.8 with a big bore kit and, when I was travelling with the club, they left me in the dust if there was any climb. Did fine on flats but the 2.0 has a lot more torque. I now have a ’76 2.0 and it is certainly peppier.

    As for the price, I hope that’s what a project goes for, because mine is a runner with 58K on the clock and I’m hoping to get good money for it down the road.

    Like 2
  5. Aaron S

    I don’t know about in California but in the real world one can buy a running, decent looking 914 1.8 for that money

    Like 2
  6. JM in Pasadena

    Well as the seller of this fine automobile, 914 has sold. I can happily confirm that I had two offers at full price come in on the same day. So there goes your theory…

    Like 0
    • Raymond Keck

      Well, that’s good news for me. My ’76 is relatively clean and I’m hoping to sell it this summer. Looking for a decent first generation Cougar for my kid, if anybody gets a lead.

      Like 0

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