Concours Capable: 1972 Porsche 914 1.7L – $33,000

Oct 2020 | Classifinds, Sports Car Saturday

A wise person once said a high tide lifts all boats.  In the past few years, that old quote applies to all things air-cooled Porsche.  Once considered the entry-level Porsche and in some circles considered not really a true example because of its VW-derived Type IV engine, these mid-engined examples have started to see prices rise dramatically for non-rusted survivors.  This Saturn Yellow '72 1.7 model listed earlier this week here on Craigslist in Media, Pennsylvania (Philadelphia) with an asking price of $33,000 is a prime example. Comparing this asking price against the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms this private seller has his 914 priced $1,000 above the current #2 "Excellent" appraisal of $32,000.  As a second data point, looking up this car on the Collector Car Market Review website confirms the asking price is $4,800 above the #1 "Excellent" estimate of $28,200.  If you are serious about buying this Porsche 914, you can start the conversation by emailing the seller.  When you connect, please remember to mention you saw it featured here on GuysWithRides.

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:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4N_i7l0vhr4&ab_channel=IanKarr

If you're interested in buying a vintage air-cooled Porsche you can enter into Porsche Club of America ("PCA") Concours judging events, this 914 makes a great prospect that gains you admittance to any of that club's event.  The only things we notice that will need attention over the winter to get it ready for that are to clean up the tool kit to like-new condition, steam clean what appears to be the original frunk mat, and address the inoperative windshield washer.  There also appears to be a small dash crack on the center backside of the dash pad in the pictures provided, so that will need attention as well if our assumption is correct.  Good luck with the purchase!

Here's the seller's description:

"Unmolested, original example with one same color repaint in Saturn yellow. Zero rust and retains its complete fuel injection system. Original owners manual, original spare, and ultra-rare complete tool kit. Recent work includes all brake calipers rebuilt, shift linkages rebushed, tune-up, and seats recovered in correct material. Everything works as it should, including radio and ventilation. Windshield washer inoperative. 83k miles. Runs very strong, motor is tight with no leaks, gearbox shifts smoothly and all syncros are good."

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

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