Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Porsche 914, part 2

There are different ways to tell which year a particular 914 model was made. The most distinguishable trait are the bumpers. Between 1970 and 1972, both front and rear bumpers were flat across and available in either chrome or painted metal. In 1973, bumper stops were added to the front of the car. And in 1974, bumper stops were added to the front and rear of the car. In 1975 and 1976, the big black bumper years, the bumpers were rubber covered and heavy. Some people like the smooth look of the later bumpers, but most prefer the lighter weight chrome ones. Many people have backdated their bumpers, so this is not always a tell all, but certainly a good starting point for identity.

Another way to distinguish 914's is by the plastic piece that goes around the headlight. White ones are from the first 914s to mid-production of 73. After that, it was a black plastic. Another feature to distinguish the 914 by year is if it has a movable passenger seat, it is 73 and later, while the 72 and earlier had a fixed passenger seat.

Estimates of the number of surviving 914s vary wildly. Because of the cost and availability of repair parts compared to the inexpensive cost of a new chassis, many cars with serious but repairable damage were salvaged over the years. In fact many cars were cut up over the years with the purpose of saving other cars. The increasing scarcity of clean cars is driving up the value of the model.

While the 914 has been out of production for over 30 years, many repair parts are still available. In large part this is due to small companies which specialize in 914 parts, as well as many active car clubs. While a few parts are considered scarce and expensive, (such as US-spec rear turn signal lenses and D-Jetronic Manifold Pressure Sensors), most are available from a variety of mail-order sources while still others are tooled and manufactured. Due to its nimble handling and the low cost of a basic 914, the "poor man's" Porsche of the 1970s has become the poor man's weekend racing car on amateur racing circuits.

Many enthusiasts see the 914 as a blank canvas upon which to create their own automotive dreams. Owners have modified the original four cylinder motors to upwards of 170 horsepower. Many owners instead choose to swap different engines into the 914's sizeable engine bay. These swaps range from Volkswagen turbodiesels, to 911 engines (following in the foosteps of the much sought after 914/6) or Corvair air-cooled sixes, to a small-block Chevy V8. Recently, swaps of Subaru engines have gained popularity among the non-Porsche purists. The 914 is also the base for an electric vehicle conversion kit.

Body modifications are another popular way to personalize a 914. Some of these are simple, such as bolting on fiberglass bumpers that aid the 914 into morphing into a look of the 916 prototype. Some are more extensive, such as installing steel or fiberglass fender flares a la the super-rare 914/6 GT. Some involve completely changing the appearance of the car, often to resemble some other mid-engine car, such as the Porsche 904 or the Ferrari Testarossa. A fiberglass kit was offered in the 1980s dubbed the "9014." The "9014" never found its following, the parts were impossible to find and as a result the car-kit died off, though sometimes an entire car can be spotted on Ebay.

technorati tags:porsche ,ferrari ,jaguar ,lamborghini ,lotus ,bugatti ,aston martin,maserati ,alfa romeo,cars,sports cars, exotic cars

1 comment:

9014Guy said...

If you are looking for 9014 parts and componets look no further. I purchased all the original molds for the 1st and 2nd generation 9014 from George Hussey at Automobile Atlanta many years ago. the sale included all the molds, many electrical componets, marker, headlight, tail light assemblies. And a variety of finished body panels. I am considering selling all these items to someone interested in making a fortune by tapping into a market of people begging for the resurrection of the 9014. Not to mention the replacement parts side of the business. Placed in dry cool storage and untouched for years. If you would like pics or make an offer please email me at johnsnyder@chartertn.net

Popular Posts