Yellowed Orange: 1973 Porsche 914 1.7 – Sold?

Oct 2020 | Classifinds, Sports Car Saturday

October  3rd Update – At first we thought the other Saturn Yellow ’72 Porsche 914 we first featured elsewhere today was the same car with a $20,000 price change.  We quickly realized the error of our ways and apologized to the seller of that Concours-quality example. In the case of this car, we confirmed the original Craigslist ad expired during the past week, so with no replacement listing found, we’re assuming this one “Sold.”

September 16th Update – Just six days after first posting their Porsche 914, the private seller already reduced their asking price $1,000 to $13,000.  By all accounts, this 914 appears to be a nice driver quality example with no rust issues lurking underneath.

In our humble opinion, we prefer Porsche’s Signal Orange to the Saturn Yellow the company used to paint its 914 air-cooled mid-engined sports car.  Ours is a dissenting opinion as a prior caretaker of this 1973 Porsche 914 just listed recently on Craigslist in Dover, Delaware completed a thorough color change from Signal Orange to the yellow hue seen here. Posted with an asking price of $14,00 or best offer, comparing this ask against the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms this private seller had their 914 priced $1,000 below the current #3 “Good” appraisal of $15,000.  As a second data point, looking up this car on the Collector Car Market Review website confirms the asking price fell between the #3 “Good” level of $10,800 and the #2 “Very Good” estimate of $16,600.

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 sports car.  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.

We love this video we just found on YouTube designed to make you a knowledgeable buyer of what to look for if you’re in the market for a vintage Porsche 914:

If you’re interested in buying an affordable, restored, driver-quality air-cooled Porsche, this 914 makes a great entry-level prospect that gains you admittance to any Porsche-themed or PCA event.  Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“Up for sale is a very solid and straight 1973 Porsche 914 in very nice condition with minimal rust. The area under the battery is solid as is the body with no dings/dents/stone chips. The brown interior has been restored. The car has new tires and is fitted with dual Weber carburetors. Targa top is in beautiful condition and stores perfectly in the trunk. The chrome bumpers are rust-free. The original color was orange; however no obvious evidence of the original color. The car runs, shifts, and drives excellent and all electrical is in working order. The tachometer and odometer do not work, so true mileage unknown. $14k / OBO

Do you have a Porsche 914 1.7 story you’d like to share?  Comment below and let us know!


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