The Porsche 914 is finally getting the love it deserves


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While the Porsche Boxster Spyder recently featured as our pick of the day presented a great mid-engine alternative to pricey 911s, some might prefer an air-cooled, mid-engine Porsche that’s more vintage (and perhaps cheaper). 

Today’s pick, a 1974 Porsche 914, fits that bill. These highly underrated sports cars remain relatively inexpensive.

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A complicated history

Years ago, if you showed up at a Porsche Club of America event in a 914, some zealots would tell you that your car was not a real Porsche and therefore did not belong there. They would go on about the Volkswagen-sourced parts and let you know that although Porsche designed the 914, it was originally planned to be a VW Karmann Ghia replacement.

These statements are true, but you are not likely to hear anyone dismissing your 914 as not being a Porsche anymore. These are wonderful sports cars that offer outstanding handling, great build quality and lots of fun driving. The collector car world has caught up to their qualities. 

One of the 914’s added benefits is that it is the least-expensive air-cooled Porsche to run and maintain.

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The works

Many 914 owners put dual carburetors onto their engines whenever their fuel injection systems need work. This is a mistake because a 914 that has functional fuel injection is less of a hassle and easier to drive than a carb-converted example.

Many 914s, such as the one pictured here, also benefit from vivid paint jobs. Restoring a 914 that has suffered some wear and tear is never cheap, but it’s also never a bad idea.

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Interior appointments

The 914’s interior is as eloquent as its exterior. Choice 914s feature the optional center console, which includes three auxiliary gauges. These factory center consoles do quite a bit to dress up the interiors of these cars and are an uncommon option. The original AM/FM radio is a nice final touch.

Since the 914 is no longer the red-headed stepchild of the Porsche world, they are becoming more difficult to find. Porsche “experts” will tell you that the 1.8-liter cars are under-powered and that you should only buy a 2-liter 914, but this is nonsense.

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A solid classic

In all honesty, no stock Porsche 914 is fast by modern standards. However, these cars are about not going fast, but rather enjoying the ride and handling of a classic sports car. Besides, a 914 feels plenty fast enough from behind the wheel. 

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