Out of Time: 1971 Porsche 914/4 Project – Sold!
A high tide lifts all boats and such has been the case for the air-cooled Porsche market as rising 911 values have people shopping for the more affordable 914 such as this claimed one-owner, 26,000 original mile project car posted on Craigslist in Collegeville, Pennsylvania for the asking price of $5,000. Checking the NADA Guides Classic Car Online Valuation Tool reveals the current caretaker has his Porsche project priced well below the “Low”, “Average”, and “High” retail value range of $12,500, $17,900, and $29,600, respectively. The current owner sells he has run out of time, so his loss is likely your gain.
By the late 1960s, both Porsche and Volkswagen saw the need for new entry-level sports cars for their respective divisions: VW was hoping to replace its aging Karmann Ghia while Porsche wanted to replace the 912 with a distinctively different model. The two joined forces to co-develop the Targa-topped, two-seat, mid-engined 914 roadsters. While in Europe 914s were labeled VW-Porsches, in North America the car was only sold through Porsche dealerships. Originally intending to sell the vehicle with a flat four-cylinder engine as a Volkswagen and with a flat six-cylinder engine as a Porsche, Porsche decided during development that having Volkswagen and Porsche models sharing the same body would be risky for business in the American market, and convinced Volkswagen to allow them to sell both versions as Porsches in North America.
Six weeks after designers presented the first 914 prototypes on March 1, 1968, development became complicated following the death of Volkswagen’s chairman, Heinrich Nordhoff in April that same year. His successor, Kurt Lotz, was not connected with the Porsche dynasty and the verbal agreement between Volkswagen and Porsche fell apart. In Lotz’s opinion, Volkswagen had all rights to the model and no incentive to share it with Porsche if they would not share in tooling expenses. With this decision, the price and marketing concept for the 914 had failed before series production had begun. As a result, the price of the chassis went up considerably, and the 914/6 ended up costing only a bit less than the 911T, Porsche’s next lowest priced car.
Launched in the fall of 1969, Motor Trend named the 914 its Import Car of the Year for 1970. Unfortunately, slow sales and rising costs prompted Porsche to discontinue the 914/6 variant in 1972 after producing 3,351 of them. However, the 914/4 such as the example featured here became Porsche’s top-selling model during its six-year production run with well over 100,000 units sold worldwide.
Long considered the step-child entry-level car in the Porsche community, the nostalgia growth of all things air-cooled in the past six years helped fuel the popularity of 914/4s and prices are starting to reflect that. While the pictures do not give us much to go on, this is one of those project cars where the ad has us wanting to go check the car out for ourselves. In particular, the seller is quick to point out this car always been garaged and with only 26,000 original miles we suspect he’s trying to restore a solid body car. While he has the engine out of the car currently, the flat-four VW engine is small and light enough to you re-install it in your garage using little more than a floor jack. It’s still not too late to get this car back to your garage now and have it road-ready in time for spring for not a lot of money. Even better, this would make a great parent-and-child project as these cars are a great way to learn the fundamental mechanics of an automobile. Lastly, since it’s a real Porsche with a VIN-number, this car gets you access to the Porsche Club of America. Good luck with the purchase!
Here’s the seller’s description:
“1971 Porsche 914.
I have the engine and original transmission .
Currently I have the engine out of the car . Clean car with only 26,000 original miles .
I have all the paperwork dating back to 1971.
1 owner and garage kept .
I was in the process of restoring it but I just ran out of time .“
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