Three Owner: 1972 Porsche 914

The 914 was a joint venture between Porsche and Volkswagen, after both were looking for a new mid-engined sports car to replace the rear-engined entry-level Porsche 912 and rear-engined range-topping Volkswagen Karmann Ghia. Hitting two birds with one stone, the bodies were supplied by Karmann, the six cylinder engines were supplied by Porsche, and the four cylinder (this model) was supplied by Volkswagen and produced 79 horsepower at 4900 RPM and 100 pound-feet of torque at 2700 RPM when new. You can find this one here on eBay, where the current bid at time of writing is $10,500.

I’m a sucker for pop-up headlights, and among the list of working features is the pop-ups. The seller has an extensive list of working and non-working features, and the highlights of the posting are: the seller is both the second and fourth owner of the car (they bought it back after some time), it features working gauges, lights, and horn, but the synchronizer on second gear is worn, and it doesn’t like to idle when warm. All-in-all a good project and driver’s car, but by no means perfect. Repainted by the third owner during her 28 year career with the car, and will likely need to be repainted again, soon, as the paint is fading and chipped away in spots. All 914s were targa top models, so this is sure to be a good fun-in-the-sun vehicle, and the seller says as much.

As far as nearly half-century old interiors go, this one is in impeccable shape. The seats look clean and unripped, and the carpet looks clear of mold and stains, though the seller does note cracks in the dashboard. Worth noting also, it hasn’t seen rain in years and would likely need new window seals and rain guides in the engine bay to run it in wet weather.

The engine looks fairly clean, as well, although they do mention that there is some difficult-to-photograph surface rust in some spots. Aside from the idling and synchronizer issues, it’s said to run well, and is fun to drive. 914s can be had relatively inexpensively, but with a little love and elbow grease can easily be jaw-dropping show cars worth well over $40,000. Just about the only sports car that’s actually a good investment is a classic Porsche, and this one is sure to bring you a healthy amount of smiles per mile along the restoration journey.

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. James West

    I really like the shade of green on this 914.

    Like 6
  2. Luki

    Market has collapsed on 4 cyl 914s.

    Like 3
  3. Big Len

    @Luki Market has not collapsed. What proof do you have to make a statement like that?

    Like 9
    • Luki

      Big Len, Do you subscribe to SCM?

      Like 1
      • misterlou Member

        I’ll bite. What’s SCM?

        Like 3
      • Ralph

        Big Len.
        Please tell us what SCM is…
        For some of us here spelling out the actual words can be very helpful especially in cases like this. Thanks.

        Like 5
      • Ralph

        Luki, what is SCM?
        Tell us please. Thanks.

        Like 3
      • moosie moosie

        “SPORTS CAR MAGAZINE” ?

        Like 2
      • Stu P

        What is SCM?

    • RH

      Good to know since I recently sold a couple of these and they brought top dollar. Maybe it was just my lucky days.

      Like 5
  4. Mike

    Had one as a daily driver for 7 years back in the 80’s. 35 years later, there’s no way I could get in and out of one gracefully.

    Like 8
  5. alphasud Member

    I missed a 73 2.0 in this color about 14 years ago for $3500. Ended up spending the same amount for a 71 Beetle. Both cars were from the San Diego area. Nice color but I would never buy one unless in person and after inspecting the car on a lift. Too many rust issues go undetected on these.

    Like 3
  6. bobhess bobhess Member

    Had a ’72 in the late ’70s while in the Air Force that was my daily driver and weekend autocross car. The two trunks enabled me to get all my flight gear back and forth and the crew chief to haul the weekly groceries. Did a cross country in the winter with both trunks filled with Christmas presents and our smallish dog sitting on the center pad. 75mph, 28mpg average, good in snow, and hard on the buns. Solved the battery tray/lower frame rail rust by putting the battery in the rear trunk on that one and into the front trunk on the only other one we ever owned. Not the greatest looking cars ever built but good transportation and lots of fun.

    Like 6
  7. Malcolm Boyes

    Not sure where folks are getting their info but, not only are 914’s terrific fun cars but they are appreciating quite rapidly. Biggest issue is rust in the “hellhole” under the battery tray and around the jacking points. These should be checked thoroughly..all other stuff is readily fixable. I loved the 914 i did over 100,000 miles in and would love another..but for the room for it!

    Like 7
  8. moosie moosie

    Only question I have is what were these sold as in Germany ? This one seems to have shifting problems.

  9. Malcolm Boyes

    In the US they were all sold as “Porsches” in Porsche dealerships. In the rest of the World, mainly Europe, all of them 4’s and 6’s were sold as VW/Porsches with that badge on the rear. I always thought this was a confusing move on Porsches part and they should have stuck to calling all of them Porsches with maybe a little more input on the assembly of the 4’s that was handled by VW..with Porsche doing final work on the 6’s. As for shifting..the early 914’s shift is notoriously sloppy but got better in 1973 with the” side shifter”. Some early 914’s have been modified like that. Despite being sloppy you get used to it..mine was very sloppy but I did over 100,000 miles with it!

    Like 6
    • moosie moosie

      Malcolm, Thank you for that explanation.

      Like 2
  10. Steve Clinton

    We had a yellow ’76 2.0 and loved it. I just wish we still had it, but we traded it for a ’78 BMW 230i…BIG MISTAKE!

    Like 2
  11. Tennis Tim

    Add a 1970 4 cylinder. Lots of play in the shifter .. underpowered too. A good looker but sold it in six months

  12. Ralph

    My family has owned these for almost 50 years.
    These truly require the best, most thorough pre purchase inspection possible.
    As mentioned the battery hell hole is a famous rust area, as are the rockers, windshield and cowl area, and especially the floors.
    These have a reputation for rusting from the inside out. Meaning the floors get wet, the owners do not pull the seats and carpet to allow it to dry out. The majority of our 914s have had this issue. Very few sellers are willing to allow a prospective buyer to peel back the carpet much for closer inspection.
    As mentioned above, there are some obvious know areas of rust issues on these. It’s the rust you can’t see easily that will make you crazy.
    Thankfully these are pretty easy cars to work on, but if one is not a paint and body guy, they can become a real PITA.
    Wish I could find/afford a real clean one, but we can’t always have everything we want whenever we want it…YMMV

    Like 2
  13. Mike

    They made about 120,000 of them, 4 & 6’s. After the last one left the line in ’76, being the bottom rung “Porsche”, they were treated horribly. It’s only until the last 5 years have they got a bump in price. I’ve heard that they are almost as much to restore as a 911. Meanwhile, the 924 is still the bottom basement champ.

    Like 3
  14. bobhess bobhess Member

    ’72s had shifter problems. ’73s and up had a side shifters vs the rear mounted mechanism. Easy conversion and a ton of difference. We modified the linkage with race stuff and it worked fine. Our ’74 custom build had the side shifter but we went ahead and race modified it anyway. Worked great.

    Like 1
  15. Luki

    SCM is Sports Car Market. Keith Martin and his crew track the collector car market better than any other source.
    In the January 2021 issue they wrote up a needy 1970 914. The article stated “If anything 914 values are plummeting, and like a Boulder for needy ones”.
    Hope that helps.

    Like 1
    • Ralph

      Thank you! Appreciate your response and info.

  16. Michael L Gregory

    I verified what I suspected, which is this car belongs to a family member. The story was too familiar. His dad and brother got together and bought the car back for him for his 50th birthday. One of his business cards from the first time he owned the car was still under a seat.

    I only drove one of these once when they were new, and I loved the experience. I had a ’68 Beetle convertible at the time and really wanted to trade up, but needed to finish college first.

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