In the late 1960’s Porsche was in need of a fresh new entry-level sports car to attract young buyers to their showrooms. The four-cylinder 912 was expensive and had the stigma of being “just” a four cylinder 911. Concurrently, VW’s flagship Karmann-Ghia was proving very costly to build and due for replacement. Porsche’s Ferdinand Piech had the idea of a joint venture between the two companies; one sports car could be built and offered with the choice of flat-four or flat-six engines. The four cylinder cars would be sold as upmarket VW’s and six-cylinder cars would be sold as entry level Porsches. Porsche lacked the resources to develop the car from scratch so an informal agreement was made between Piech and VW’s chairman Heinz Nordhoff where VW financed the tooling and manufacturing, and Porsche would handle marketing. Well into the 914’s development, the chairman of VW died, and the new chairman who had no such loyalty to an old handshake agreement. The disagreement came at a great cost to Porsche, and the supposed entry-level 914 hit the market priced much higher than expected, nearly as much as a 911T.
While the 914 had a difficult gestation, it did prove to be a brilliant car: Light, fuel efficient and practical, with two generous trunks and a removable roof panel. The mid-engine design allowed for perfectly balanced handling. The 914-6 was a particularly outstanding sports car thanks to its 2.0 liter flat-six engine lifted from the 911T. Six-cylinder 914s enjoyed success in rallying and GT racing, and could have done more had they not come dangerously close to outperforming the flagship 911. In spite of high prices and the stigma of being considered a rebadged VW when new, the 914 sold very well between 1969 and 1976. Today’s enthusiasts have finally recognized the 914 as a true Porsche and an all-time great driver’s car, causing values to skyrocket in recent years.
This 1971 914-6 is a genuine, numbers matching factory six-cylinder car. A Porsche Certificate of Authenticity confirms the original engine (#6414092) as well as the correct original color combination of Bahia red over black leatherette interior. It still wears the original and highly desirable Mahle “gas burner” pressure-cast alloys wheels, as listed on the CoA. This is a gorgeous, sorted car that has been restored with a careful eye toward preserving the originality. The structure is totally solid with typical 914 trouble spots all in very good order. Good shutlines and panel fit are clear indicators that this car has never been rotted or improperly repaired. Lights, lenses, seals and bumpers are in very good condition all around. Inside the simple but comfortable interior, original seats with correct leatherette upholstery and carpets are in very good order. The rare original leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob are remarkably still in place. Even the original Blaupunkt Frankfurt radio still lives in the dash. Few 914-6s have survived in such pleasantly correct condition, as so many were turned into race cars or simply neglected and left to rot. This is a very rare opportunity to acquire a genuine, unmodified, numbers matching 914-6 in wonderful condition. With values of all air-cooled Porsches on the rise, this is a great way to enjoy the thrills of a Porsche flat-six at a more modest cost of entry.