Porsche’s all-out racing machines were always mid-engined, dating back to the 550 Spyder of the 1950s. After much racing success with this configuration, Porsche management decided in the late 1960s that its future high-performance road cars would also be mid-engined, due to the inherently better weight distribution.
With this theory in mind, Porsche began development of the 914 with partners Volkswagen and Karmann. The plan was that each firm would share in the production of the Porsche-designed car, with VW lending a power unit, and Karmann assembling the car. Volkswagen held the rights to release a version powered by its flat-four in Europe; Porsche would sell this version as well as a Porsche-powered version (the 914/6) in the U.S.
While the appearance of the 914 was completely new, the basic design elements were similar to its rear-engined cars. The MacPherson front struts were taken almost directly from the 911 and the rear suspension shared the 911 design theory as well. Disc brakes were used all around with dual master cylinders. The five-speed transmission was nearly identical to the 911. All 914 bodies had a lift-off “Targa” roof panel.
On paper it was easy to see why the 914 made sense to Porsche, but the execution was lackluster and the cars were prone to problems. Many spirited drivers and racers have since taken the 914 and modified it for their specific needs. They have realized what Porsche could have achieved, had they invested more development time and money.
The 914 presented here is just such a creation, having been built on a 1976 914/4 chassis. Finished in black as all such sinister creations should be, the car is fitted with a 3.0-liter six-cylinder Porsche 911 engine with Weber downdraft carbs, 964 cams, 964 brakes, Turbo-look wheels from a 3.6-liter, adjustable suspension dampening, Konig racing seats with five-point racing harnesses, Momo Corsa steering wheel, and a roll cage covered in red leather. The body is all steel including the flared fenders.
This Porsche is offered for a fraction of what it cost to build. With an estimated $100,000 spent, it is a truly impressive example.