Say Porsh-uh – 1971 Porsche 914 1.7

Since we just recently talked about mid-engine cars, let’s also touch on the Porsche 914. I’m sure if you’re reading this, there’s probably nothing much I can tell you about these that’s surprising. I do have memories of not being particularly fond of these as a kid, and of my parents referring to them as Volkswagen-Porsches (something that’s most noticeable when they have Beetle-style hubcaps or the later VW pressed-steel wheels). However, I’m finding that nostalgia or increasing rarity is making me appreciate the 914’s simple, clean design more than I used to. Much like the Fiat X1/9 is its power-to-weight ratio (80hp and slightly lighter at just over 2000 lbs.). Much like the X1/9, it also has many power upgrade options, including bigger 914 engines, 911 engines, and Subaru boxers to name just a few. Hmm… a 227-hp flat four from a WRX in a 2000-lb. car could be entertaining!

Anyway, let’s move on to the example for today – a 1971 914 1.7 in bright yellow with PORSCHE decals down the side in true 70s style. It’s listed on craigslist in Woodinville, WA at $2750.

1971 Porsche 914 side

I’ve always thought a seventies sports car in a bright primary color is pretty cool, and this is one of those. It’s got some Minilite-style wheels in silver to give it a sportier look. I bet this is fun on a country road. Seller says “runs good, just needs a little TLC”, without explaining how he came to that conclusion.

1971 Porsche 914 front

You can see this car has the desirable clean and lightweight chrome bumpers, as opposed to the rubber bumpers the later cars had. An early year like this will also get you into most of the budget road rallies like the Snowball. The earlier cars are also smog-exempt, where the later ones at least have extensive smog equipment, or even need to pass smog (1976 cars only for CA).

1971 Porsche 914 trunk

Ack! Where’s the engine? Well, whatever, I’m including this picture because of how well it illustrates the amount of space available for a weekend tour. You could also fit a 12″ sub in there… aww yeah. And as if that’s not enough, this car also has a rear trunk, although if you have the top off, I think a certain amount of space is lost to that.

1971 Porsche 914 rear

Being a 1970s Alfa owner, I’m also fascinated by the fact this car has fuel injection. On that note, make sure the engine does not have carburetors, especially if you’re interested in originality. However, once running well, it’s a reliable system, much like the SPICA system on Alfas. Also speaking as an old car owner, definitely check for rust – owner does not mention the condition of the battery box, which seems to be a weak point on these.

As you can see, these really are a great practical little sports car, much in the same way my spider is. For experienced 914 owners, is the cheaper side of things an okay way to go? You certainly see a lot of 914s at higher prices, including some above $10,000, but that wouldn’t fit in here – have you bought a budget 914?


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