Porsche 914 2.0L

How could something so right have gone so wrong? That’s the question regarding the infamous Porsche 914. A brief review of the history of this Porsche model, and a couple of hours behind the wheel, however, will remove all doubts as to why the 914 has risen from ignominy to become a favorite among vintage motorsports enthusiasts.

The car as introduced was a good product, but it had a few real problems. Perhaps because of its mixed parentage, the automotive press lambasted it, greeting the debutante with mediocre marks and some really terrible reviews.

On the plus side, the 914 was a true engineering marvel. The tub, despite being of targa-top design, had the rigidity of a 911 coupe. The car handled incredibly well. Driver comfort, by sports car terms, was wonderful. The two-trunk setup offered a lot of room for luggage, and the targa panel stored neatly in one of the trunks.

Unfortunately, the 1.7-liter Volkswagen flat-four was just too anemic. The big news came for 1973, as a new 2.0-liter engine was introduced along with a new transmission. This finally solved the shifting problems, and reviewers were ecstatic, claiming that this was the 914 that Porsche should have started with. Zero-to-60 times were now in the 10-second range, comfort was improved, performance was improved and sales responded positively.The 2.0-liter was good for 100 horsepower in European trim.

So by 1973, the 914 was finally worth owning and in typical Porsche tradition, the 914 truly is more fun to drive than the sum of its Volkswagen parts would suggest. Our car is quick and starts, stops, steers and handles well in track and highway conditions. A great car !