While the Porsche Boxster Spyder featured recently as Pick of the Day presented a great mid-engine alternative to pricey 911s, some might prefer an air-cooled mid-engine Porsche, one that’s more vintage, and perhaps at a lower price point.
Today’s Pick, a 1974 Porsche 914, would fill that bill. These highly underrated sports cars remain relatively inexpensive, even nice ones like this example offered by a Ft. Worth, Texas, dealer advertising the car on ClassicCars.com.
Years ago, if you showed up at a Porsche Club of America event in a 914, some zealots would tell you that your car was not a real Porsche and really did not belong there. They would go on about the Volkswagen-sourced mechanicals, and let you know that although Porsche designed the 914, it originally was planned as a VW Karmann Ghia replacement.
These statements are true, but you are not likely anymore to hear anyone dismissing your 914 as not being a Porsche. These are wonderful sports cars, offering outstanding handling, great build quality and lots of fun driving, and the collector car world has caught up to their qualities.
An added benefit of the 914 is that it is absolutely the least-expensive air-cooled Porsche to run and maintain.
This Porsche 914 has covered 89,000 miles, according to the seller, which is low for a 44-year-old car. The 1.8-liter engine has been well-looked after, the seller adds, and the car – which is in fine running condition with everything working – has the service history to prove it.
The seller states that the 5-speed manual transmission shifts easily and securely, which likely means that it has been serviced as it should have been.
This 914 1.8 is one of the few remaining examples with its original fuel- injection system installed. Many owners put dual carburetors on these engines when the fuel injection needed work, which I feel is a mistake as a 914 with properly working fuel injection is less hassle and more drivable than a carb-converted example.
Importantly, the engine compartment, known by Porsche 914 aficionados as the “hell hole” due to the propensity of serious rust issues down there, looks from the pictures to be clean and in good shape.
The paintwork on this car also looks great in the pictures. The car is finished in Phoenix Red, which is really an orange color, and the Porsche factory Certificate of Authenticity that is included in the sale shows this to be the original color. The body gaps look to be in excellent condition, and there are no visible dings or scratches.
The underside of the car, which is also well-photographed, looks to be in terrific shape with no signs of rust anywhere. In addition, it appears from the pictures that this car has had all its suspension bushings replaced, and all the hardware looks practically new.
The interior of the car looks to be just as nice as the exterior, with all correct materials. This specific car has the optional center console, which includes three auxiliary gauges. These factory center consoles do quite a bit to dress up the interiors of these cars and are an uncommon option. A final nice detail is the original AM/FM radio.
The only flaw I saw with this 914’s interior was a single dash crack, something very common with these cars.
Since the 914 is no longer the red-haired stepchild of the Porsche world, it is getting harder and harder to find them this nice for sale. Porsche “experts” will tell you that the 1.8-liter cars are underpowered and that you should only buy a later 2.0 liter 914, but this is nonsense.
Because in all honesty, no stock Porsche 914 is fast by modern standards. But these cars are not about going fast but enjoying the ride and handling of a classic sports car. Besides, a 914 feels plenty fast enough from behind the wheel.
The asking price for this car is $18,995, which seems like an excellent deal in today’s market for a car as nice as this one seems.
To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.