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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone have or had a Porsche 914?

I've always liked these cars and wonder what the driving experience and maintenance is like. There are a lot to be had in the $5 - $7k range and since I can't afford a 911 (yet) this may get me one step closer...

thoughts?
 

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My slight knowledge of this vehicle is that it was made in 2 models - a 4 cylinder Voltswagen propelled one and the other that IIRC cost half again as much that had a "real" Porsche 6 in it. There was one at this years Watkins Glen concours.
 

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LM is right - and there is a big difference between the 4 and 6 cylinders, as you will also find out when you see the difference in the asking prices... I don't know about the maintenance cost, but the 6 cyl. is a very fun car to drive... I don't like the way it looks, but the power and handling are certainly there. Since prices are always going up, it's always better to buy sooner rather than later, and prices always drop during the winter months.

Best regards,
 

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I bought a '70 914 new. Drove it for a little less than 3 years before it was totaled in a flood.
I put maybe 45K miles on it, had 5 accidents in it ( all rearenders into me..that car could STOP!), raced it in Time-Trials and AutoX, picked up a few trophies, actually made love in it, had a few issues with the 410 engine but worked those out, loved the removable hard-top, hated that everyone called it a glorified VW, loved the way it could fly through corners with its neutral balance, wished it had more than 8o hp, loved the "frog green" color and would buy another one today if I had the room.
I too am waiting for that Silver 1968 911S to show up on Christmas morning....
 

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I would think a "decent" 6 is going to be $10 - 15 grand (at least:confused:).
 

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I bought a '72 1.7L with around 45,00 miles in 1976. Used it as my daily driver for about 3 years. The car was very reliable and a ball to drive. It would understeer a lot in the snow. Clutch cables would regularly stretch and break. The cable goes around a pulley at the back of the transaxle and dirt and water would cause the pulley to sieze resulting in cable failure. The floor mounted brakclutch pedal assy. started to sieze, no doubt from the snow and salt from winter driving. The only other issue I remember was that the short hose that connects the fuel injector to the fuel rail would rupture spraying fuel all over the hot engine. I always carried a spare after the first one went. After I sold it to a co-worker one of the torsion bars broke. We replaced it in the parking lot. Other than that only normal maintenance kept it going.
 

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From what I remember, the 4's cost in the 4K something range and the '6s in the 6K range - appropriate when you think about it, it comes to one thousand per cylinder:). That was a wopping difference back then. I wonder how many 6's were sold compared to the 4 - I bet not many.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
cool, but with the 4cyl only having 80hp, gonna be slower than my spider. guess I'll look into a 6.

thanks
 

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cool, but with the 4cyl only having 80hp, gonna be slower than my spider. guess I'll look into a 6.

thanks
Not necessarily.
The difference in weight, gear ratios, cam timing, weight balance and the like ment that most times the 914 had quite an advantage over most other cars, including Alfas of all models. It was not the fastest off the line but it was quick, and I could hold off on the brakes until further into the corner and then toss it with a little trailing throttle and power around, coming out ahead of the group.

240Zs' were the real bears as they would have all that torque and HP from that Big Straight 6 and would just fly down the straightaways only to go bananas at the turns, brake lights glairing, smoke from the tires and pads, dust flying as they drifted a little too far off course, obsenities yelled as I passed them in the turn, only to see them grow rapidly in the RV mirror as I got back on the straight...Real farts and giggles time! :p:D
 

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You could always put an Alfa 16v boxer in...
Back in the late 1970's or early 1980's I remember seeing a 914 at Willow Springs. It had an amazing Chevy 350 V8 stuffed neatly inside. The only clue was the sound emanating from within. When they opened the rear hood/hatch my jaw dropped to the floor. Holy Moley that thing was fast! Orange in color as I recall.

We called those things porch's because of the flat front stoop or porch like look and feel. :p
 

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From what I remember, the 4's cost in the 4K something range and the '6s in the 6K range - appropriate when you think about it, it comes to one thousand per cylinder:). That was a wopping difference back then. I wonder how many 6's were sold compared to the 4 - I bet not many.
I believe I read somewhere that only around a 1,000 or so of the 6's were built and that they are some of the rarest Porsche's ever made. Now, does that rarity translate into value? Yes but probably not as much as you think. The 6 cylinder cars tend to be raced, and can have a hard life. Also, even being a 6 cylinder engine, they are only something like 2.0 liters or 2.2 liters. Not big 6’s like we are use to today. I read somewhere that the current equivalent would be a Boxer with a non-turbo Golf engine. Also, be prepared to pay the Porsche brand mark up on parts, even if they are also available from your VW dealer.

I also considered buying one about 10 years ago but went with a Fiat 124 spider instead as it was much closer to my available budget at the time.

With good luck and patience, you should be able to buy one in the color and condition you want.

Jeff
Dallas, Texas
 

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I think i have a magazine here somewhere which has a 914 with a 928GTS v8 engine in it. it was a german car and very neatly built. devastatingly quick also...

Would be nice to put in an old 911 turbo engine, the one with the laaaaaaag.
 

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Sorry to interupt the conversation on 6 cylinder 914's. :eek:

Every time I see or hear about 914's I think of a friend of mine who spent over a year turning a fair example of one into the coolest 914 I ever saw. Two weeks after he was all done with it he wrapped it around a tree. :eek:

Later I heard that with the engine in the middle of the car (50/50 weight distribution) that they tended to spin 360's easily? Isn't the best balance 60rear /40front.
 

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Sorry to interupt the conversation on 6 cylinder 914's. :eek:

Every time I see or hear about 914's I think of a friend of mine who spent over a year turning a fair example of one into the coolest 914 I ever saw. Two weeks after he was all done with it he wrapped it around a tree. :eek:

Later I heard that with the engine in the middle of the car (50/50 weight distribution) that they tended to spin 360's easily? Isn't the best balance 60rear /40front.
I have heard that rear weight bias is not good in any case. :(

Land Speed record machines want a long wheelbase and forward weight bias for aerodynamics as well as ultra-stability. An arrow would not fly through the air with the tail heavier than the tip. :)

Now, road racing requires the weight be closer to 50/50. This is for better neutral handling, meaning quick steering response. The cars weight can shift in any direction without having to overcome as much inertia. Forward weight bias in a road racer would make it stable at high speed, but slower in corners because of all the weight transfer. It's a tradeoff. :cool:

Fighter jets are unstable on all three axis for the same reason, quick direction change, but have computers constantly correcting for this inherent instability. For example, no human could fly the Stealth Fighter with the computers turned off. :eek:

I have not heard any argument in favor of rear weight bias other than the fighter jet example.

The Porsche with its rear engine design has this issue, but they have worked very hard to make the system work. But if a Porsche finally gets the tail out too far, it will spin quicker than a car with a more neutral bias. The new Cayman/Boxster has a more neutral weight bias. This is by design. So much so that even the brake calipers are inboard trying to get all the weight in the center of the car.

I'd still like a 911 though! But I think I'd prefer a tricked out Cayman. ;)
 

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914-6's are hard to find and expect to pay 15-20k for one. The 4 bangers are a dime a dozen and it is easy to find everything from a cheap fixer upper to a nice clean original.
$15-20K will only buy you a #3 914/6 these days; easily $30K for a #2 (local concours). Even the 4's are no longer a dime a dozen: 1.7s / 1.8s are still about $9-10K for a #3 ($13-16K for #2), while the 2.0 4's are over $20K for a #2.

The truly rare ones are the 914/6GTs, which were built in limited numbers as racers--starting now at $150K.

Msiert & Robert, generally speaking, the best balance is 50/50. But you're both tending to confuse weight balance with polar moment of inertia.

A car can be 50/50, but have a huge amount of weight at each end (high polar moment, in which case it'll tend to handle like a pig). Or it can be 50/50 with the weight concentrated at the middle (low polar moment, like a mid-engine 914). Cars with a low polar moment of inertia will tend to turn in quicker and handle better, or to turn 360s if you're clueless about how to drive them. Cars with rear bias will swap ends over the limit, but not pirouette quite like a car with a low polar moment.

(BTW, fighter jet stability has mostly to do with the relative difference between the center of mass and the center of pressure--not nearly the same as simple weight balance.)

But beyond that, cars with the same weight balance can handle very differently, as absolute weight, and roll center, and suspension design all matter just as much as weight balance (your Alfa spider has about the same weight balance as your neighbor's 4-door Buick). And a 911 Carrera4S has a pronounced rear weight balance (not good in any case?). So keep in mind that all rules of thumb are just that--good for measuring things with your thumb.
 

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"I believe I read somewhere that only around a 1,000 or so of the 6's were built and that they are some of the rarest Porsche's ever made. "

I posted this a few days ago and actually checked my source last night. One of the British classic car magazines did a great story on the 914 a year or so ago. The writer had just purchased one from California and had it shipped over to England. I misquoted the number of 914/6 cars made. I do not have the exact number with me but it was something closer to 3,600 to 3,700 cars. They are still one of the rarest Porsche's around. The article quoted a 0 to 60 time of 13 seconds. The author loved the handling and while the car tops out somewhere between 100 and 110 mph, it feels like you are going much faster as you sit very low to the ground. He also liked the cornering ability very much. However, once the car started to lose speed in a corner, it was difficult to gain it back due to the underpowered engine. He commented that Volkswagen considered the car to be a replacement for their Karman Ghia.

I may be able to scan the article and email it to you if you are interested. There may also be several books out on this model as well.

Take care,

Jeff
Dallas, Texas
 

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Anyone have or had a Porsche 914?

I've always liked these cars and wonder what the driving experience and maintenance is like. There are a lot to be had in the $5 - $7k range and since I can't afford a 911 (yet) this may get me one step closer...

thoughts?
My son's HS buddy just bought one ('73?) in pretty decent shape for about $4000. Needed some adjustments, an ignition switch, and a clutch cable. He has some electrical / grounding glitches to track down.

When you get up close, they're much more graceful than from a distance - they're not just a slab, they taper from front to rear. Pretty nice car.

I recall from my youth that the 6 had problems with the air cooling of the front cylinders as they were stuffed in so tight to the bulkhead. They would often cook one. Maybe there was a fix for that as I rarely hear it now.

I saw one with the big flares race at CDR near Castle Rock, CO as a teenager. The Donner Bros had their long-tail Ferrari Boxer there, which was why we went. The 914-6 guy was late to the starting grid due to a mistake in the pit, had to go around an extra time to catch up, and just drove the pants off the thing. He eventually cooked it and a cloud of smoke started trailing him until he gave up.
 
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