Forty Year Friendship: 1974 Porsche 914 1.8L – Sold?

by | Aug 2021 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Sports Car Saturday

September 17, 2021 Update – We just confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found we’re assuming this ride “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

There’s an old expression that a high tide lifts all boats, and that rule applies especially to Porsche’s entry-level air-cooled 914.  Once the unloved stepchild of the Porsche hierarchy due to its Volkswagen Type IV engine, the rising popularity of air-cooled 911s spilled down into 914 pricing.  We’re willing to bet the seller of this 1974 Porsche 914 1.8L originally listed in August 2021 on Craigslist in Califon, New Jersey only paid several hundred dollars in 1980 for this car before setting out to restore it.   Fast forward forty-one years later, and they are now asking $19,000 for their weekend toy. Comparing that price against the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms the current caretaker has their 914 priced between this guide’s #3 “Good” estimate of $15,000 and its #2 “Excellent” appraisal of $38,000.  Similarly, the Collector Car Market Review indicates the seller’s ask falls between this guide’s #3 “Good estimate of $12,000 and its #2 “Very Good” appraisal of $19,400.

Porsche produced the 914 from 1969 through 1976 in a joint venture with sister company Volkswagen.  While the four-cylinder variants were marketed as VWs outside of the U.S., in America Porsche marketed the two-seat Targa as their entry-level sports car.  Originally intending to sell the flat-six powered version as a Porsche and the flat-four equipped variant as a VW, Porsche decided during development that having different brands 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.

The quickly growing YouTube Channel Big Car recently posted this nice overview of the Porsche/VW 914 story and all the background in-fighting between the two companies through this car’s production run:

Despite featuring a nearly forty-year-old restoration, the use of Imron paint back then likely means you will find few if any stone chips in this very durable finish.  Air-cooled 914s are not known for providing much heat when the stock exhaust exchangers are in place, so the lack of this equipment now hinders your ability to have a comfortable drive on a crisp fall day.  The bubbling paint the seller honestly reveals is also something to look very closely at to determine the root cause.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“We purchased this car in 1980 with about 100k miles on it, fixed it up as follows, and thereafter did about 44k miles weekend driving.
Rebuilt engine using OEM Mahle pistons/rings/cylinders, main bearings, and heads were also rebuilt.
Bursch exhaust (no heat)
Authentic Weber 40 IDF carbs
The front right quarter panel was replaced.
Repainted with Imron Pewter, the original color was Silver.
Other than that it’s all original.
Very little rust, battery area “hellhole” is good, but there are some small suspicious bubbles shown in the last picture.
The car has been sitting a lot over the past 5 years and the speedometer is now sticky.
Always garaged since 1980.
It’s a fact that this car “corners like it is on rails

Show or go: what would you do with this restored Porsche 914?  Comment below and let us know!


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