By on October 15, 2013

13 - 1972 Porsche 914 Down on the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinWhile prices of Porsche 911s keep getting crazier, 914s may be found for reasonable sums. Really trashed examples, or even slightly bent ones aren’t worth restoring, and so they end up like this one: parked in a Denver self-service wrecking yard. (Read More…)

By on June 13, 2013

09 - 1974 Porsche 914 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThere was a time, maybe a decade ago, when you saw Porsche 914s and Fiat 124 Sport Spiders in about equal numbers in self-service wrecking yards. I still find the Fiats these days, but junked 914s have become quite rare. That makes today’s Junkyard Find something a bit special. (Read More…)

By on August 4, 2010

“As West Germany debated last week whether it should have an army, East Germany was unmasking one.

Five thousand jackbooted, blue-uniformed toughs swarmed into the border districts to put down disturbances by farmers trying to save their homes as the Reds bulldozed a three-mile-deep isolation corridor between East and West Germany. The blue-uniformed men, part of a 100,000-man force, are called the People’s Police (Volkspolizei, or Vopos, for short).”

Oh, just the tone of that article (from TIME) makes me nostalgic for the days when American journalists kind of, you know, liked baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and freedom. Nowadays, the Times would probably “embed” somebody with the Vopos and he would enthusiastically shoot farmers while talking about the need for social justice.

But I digress. The car in the photo above is also a “VoPo” — a Volkswagen-Porsche. Styled by the consumer-goods design firm Gugelot, who were the folks responsible for the Kodak “Carousel” slide projector, it was assembled by Karmann in Germany. In Europe, it was sold as a Volkswagen; in the United States, as a Porsche. Although I’m personally a bit of a 914 fan, the car has to be understood as an aesthetic, critical, and commercial failure for Porsche. Most importantly, it was yet another episode in the strange “Inside Baseball” relationship between Volkswagen and Porsche. From the day Ferdinand Porsche started thinking about the “People’s Car” to the very last who-bought-whom stock manipulation of 2009, Porsche and VW have been engaged in a bizarre, operatic, and occasionally fraudulent relationship — and Porsche always loses. Every. Single. Freaking. Time.

(Read More…)

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