This modern Porsche 914 hot rod sold for $33,000 at RM’s Phoenix, AZ, sale on January 23, 2004.
The big question for value-minded Porsche watchers is whether this is a fair price. The answer is yes, but making sense of it takes some explaining. The general rule is that anything done to modify a car from stock lowers its value. But there are exceptions to that rule-this car, and other 914s made into lavish hot rods, included.
The SCM Price Guide lists values for stock #2 914s ranging from $5,000 for the cheapest 1.7-liter models up to a high of $15,000 for 914/6s. But don’t think for a minute that buying a beater 914/4 and hot-rodding it is any way to make a buck; these cars will almost always lose money for the owner doing the work. Note the claimed $100k spent on this one-even if that number was grossly exaggerated, the seller is still losing his shirt.
There are, however, small numbers of dedicated 914 hot rod admirers and should you choose to tread down this path with a 914 project, they will step up to buy your creation-at about 30 cents on the dollar, just what was paid for the car pictured here.
This recipe is actually quite simple: Take a collection of the best bits from the last 40 years of 911 development and transplant them into a cheap 914 chassis to make a Franken-Porsche of the highest order.
First is the 3.0-liter aluminum alloy engine case from the 911SC series (1978-1983). Although very different from the 2.0-liter magnesium alloy castings used in any original 914/6, this big displacement case is the way to go. It is heavier, but has proven far more rugged when handling big horsepower engines.
Cams from the 964 C2 (1990-1994) are a wonderful setup for a good balance between low-end torque and high-revving power in a big bore engine. These cams make power pretty much everywhere, and are an important upgrade beyond the rather soft cams required by the CIS fuel injection in the stock 911SC.
Thus the Weber carbs (1966-1969) become an easy choice, as they have the wide adjustability required to make these unmatched motor bits happily co-exist.
And finally, steel flares allow the fat tires to fit under the bodywork and are the right way to go on a high-dollar car. Fiberglass, although it is lighter and more desirable in a race car, just isn’t as valuable in a streetable hot rod-the same holds true whether it’s a Porsche or a ’32 Ford.
All in all, this was a tidy package, sold at a big discount from what it cost to build. The seller who paid for this pricey conversion work may be disappointed that his 914 ownership experience cost him the price of a brand new 911 C2 Coupe. At least the new owner can be sure to do much better, even having paid a full retail price.
Though his Porsche 914 isn’t going to appreciate for decades, he should have had enough fun driving it by then to consider his money well spent. Provided he takes care of this beast and is patient when it comes time to sell, he may even be able to recoup a significant share of his money.-Jim Schrager
(Historical and descriptive information courtesy of the auction company.)