Until recently, with the Porsche craze driving up 911 and 356 prices well into the six figures, the 914 was kind of a backwater of Porsche enthusiasm. Air cooled it was, sure, and the engine was near the back, but the VW connection, divisive design, and VW-bus-derived engine made it the poor relation, with fans limited to diehards like autocross nuts who couldn’t live with an X1/9, and backroad burners who appreciated its mid-engine balance. For a while there, the 914 was pretty cheap, and people were not afraid to bastardize them with engines from various manufacturers, including Subaru, Maserati, Chevrolet, and Oldsmobile. To wit, check out this 1970 Porsche 914 with an Oldsmobile 215 V8 for sale with bidding at $3550 and 16 hours left to go in Eugene, OR.
First impressions – those fender flares look like someone who’s puffing up their cheeks to hold their breath. Or like a puffer fish, take your choice. They are hand made metal flares, so clearly some care and thought was put into them, but at the risk of thinking inside of a square container, the 914 GT flares would work so much better here and still allow room for wide tires. The car has had many upgrades, including a radiator and heater system, Revolution wheels, and of course the V8, which was upgraded with a 4-barrel carburetor.
The engine installation looks pretty clean, if tight, and doesn’t seem to intrude into the trunk. Which is good, since the frunk has been invaded by a radiator, requiring a big hole in the frunk floor for cooling. Underneath, it has a mixture of oil and grit that suggests it’s been in use for a good while, and in fact the current owner says the conversion was done before he purchased the car, which he uses as a daily driver.
The interior looks to be in pretty good shape, though the center console looks rather home made, and the installation of the Ford radio, aftermarket tach, and auxiliary oil pressure and water temperature gauges is a little questionable. But those things are all easily improved if the overall engineering quality is sound.
Again, the flares don’t somehow match the shape of the car all that well, but as a proven daily-driven conversion, it’s hard to beat the price and the performance you’ll get out of it – nobody will be talking about the looks when you’re toasting them on the track. Pick it up and find some X1/9s and MR2s that are looking for a fight.