Junkyard Find: 1972 Porsche 914

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

While 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.

I found this beat-to-hell crypto-Volkswagen yesterday, and it still has plenty of parts to offer.

Volkswagen? NEIN!

The engine is still there, and perhaps someone will rescue it.

Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

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  • HotPotato HotPotato on Oct 19, 2013

    I had one of these for years, a black '73 1.7. Basically a 4-wheeled motorcycle, that thing, more alive than anything mechanical has a right to be. Handling so instantly responsive the car may as well have been directly wired to your brain. Everything manual, operated by skinny metal cables that snapped on the regular. I spent an insane amount of money on mine. Replaced the bumpers with fiberglass 916 bumpers, sanded the pebble finish off the targa top, and gave the whole car a beautiful color-sanded mirror black paint job and a Bursch exhaust (and stainless steel heat exchangers) for a lovely deep exhaust note. People constantly asked me if it was a new car, 20 years after it was born. Upgraded the engine twice. First time just big bore pistons to 1.9 liters. Second time with 2-liter crank & rods, high-compression Euro pistons, blueprinted & balanced, ported & polished, 2-liter injection components, you name it. The thing would go. To make it stop, I gave it a 19mm 911 master cylinder and stainless brake lines. Eventually I turned to the interior: modern stereo, component speakers, amps, and a pair of 5" Bazooka tubes (yes, they used to make those) tucked on the floor in front of the seats. It is possible to do too much to a car. I added stuff like swaybars and a front-mount oil cooler that added more weight than function. Eventually I sold the thing for probably 10% of what I'd spent on it. Motorcycles are fun, whatever the wheel count, but it was time for a car.

  • Doc423 Doc423 on Jan 30, 2023

    Ten years later reading this column, 914s have skyrocketed in desire and value a car like this one in the article would not last a week, these days (2023).

  • ChristianWimmer The interior might be well-made, but the design is just hideous in my opinion. It’s to busy and there’s no simplistic harmony visible in it. In fact I feel that the nicest Lexus interior ever could be found in the original LS400 - because it was rather minimalistic, had pleasing lines and didn’t try to hard. It looked just right. All Lexus interiors which came after it just had bizarre styling cues and “tried to hard” if you know what I mean.
  • THX1136 As a couple of folks have mentioned wasn't this an issue with the DeLorean? I seem to recall that it was claimed you could do a 'minor' buff of the surface and it would be good as new. Guess I don't see why it's a big deal if it can be so easily rectified. Won't be any different than getting out and waxing the car every so often - part of ownership, eh.
  • ToolGuy This kind of thing might be interesting in a racing simulator.
  • FreedMike Hmmm, electric powered vibrations. Is Dodge finally taking female buyers seriously?
  • MrIcky /Checks date on his calendar- nope, not April 1st.I have a transducer in my home theater seat for sub-bass. Not sure if this is patent worthy.