By the late 1960s, Porsche was looking for a replacement for its 912, while Volkswagen needed a substitute for the outgoing Karmann Ghia. The companies agreed on a collaborative solution and the 914/4 and 914/6 were born in 1969.
A mid-engined chassis was penned and manufactured by Karmann Ghia. Versions to be sold by Volkswagen (914/4) were initially equipped with a 1.7-litre version of the company's air-cooled flat-four unit and other VW hardware, while examples destined for Porsche showrooms (914/6) were sent to Stuttgart and fitted with the same 2.0-litre flat six engine as used in the 911T, together with appropriate 911 suspension and brake items. Both cars utilised the 911's `901' gearbox suitably modified for the mid-engined configuration. It was felt double-branding the car would be risky in the American market, so both versions carried the Porsche badge over there.
Though the quicker and better handling of the two cars, the 914/6 suffered from slow sales and rising costs and was discontinued in 1972 after a production run of some 3,350 cars. The following year, the resulting gap in the line-up was filled by a second Volkswagen engined model powered by a 95bhp 2-litre version of the company's fuel-injected Type 4 unit. In 1974 the original 1.7-litre engine was replaced by a 76bhp one of 1.8-litre capacity. 914/4 production ceased in 1976 after in excess of 115,600 examples had been made, making it Porsche's best selling model of the time. It certainly found favour in the USA and was Motor Trend's `Import Car of the Year' in 1970.
Some examples also achieved success in competition - arguably the most poignant result being Ballot-Lena and Chasseuil's class win and sixth place overall in the 1970 Le Mans 24 Hour race with a 914/6.
The lefthand drive 1974 car offered was re-imported from California in 2007. Having spent most of its life in the sun, it is claimed to be suitably rust free. The 914/4 is finished in Sunflower yellow and trimmed in black leatherette. The engine has been upgraded to 2-litres and equipped with Weber carburettors (the original fuel injection equipment is available). We are told it has never had any structural repairs and is in "generally very good" order. It comes with original jack, spare wheel car cover, reprints of the owner's manual and factory sales brochure and a small quantity of spares.
Image and description kindly supplied by H&H Classic Auctions
Porsche 914 1974
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