1973 Porsche 914/4 2.0 Litre Targa
The Porsche story is a fascinating one and its roots go back to the 1930’s when Professor Ferdinand Porsche was instrumental in the design of the first Volkswagen and also Auto Union race cars. By 1939 he had built three Porsche cars to compete in the 800-mile race from Berlin to Rome. Unfortunately, the race was cancelled due to the war and Porsche was forced to focus on supporting the German war effort, however, he had always wanted to build his own cars. In 1944 Porsche was forced to leave Stuttgart and he set up a small operation in Gmünd, Austria. Soon after the Porsche family and many of their engineers were captured and sent to jail. Ferdinand Porsche’s son, Ferdinand junior or ‘Ferry’ as he was known, was released six months later and he returned to Gmünd to rebuild the family company. Things moved quickly and Porsche was involved with cars again and in mid-1948 the first Porsche 356 was built. It is understood Porsche built some 50 aluminium bodied cars by hand in their small factory at Gmünd before relocating back to Stuttgart, Germany. The rest they say is history as the 356 evolved into one of the most successful sports cars ever built. A hard act to follow indeed . . . but its replacement, the Porsche 911 went on to become a legend!
The evolution of the Porsche 911 is probably the greatest sports car story of all time. First introduced in 1963 at the Frankfurt Motor Show, and then designated as a 901, the successor to the 356 took the world by storm. To avoid conflict with Peugeot, who claimed exclusive rights to car names with three digits having a ‘zero’ in the middle, the car was renamed as 911. The first production 911 was built in 1964 and it was powered by an air cooled 1991cc 6-cylinder engine. The car evolved with increases in engine capacity to 2.2 litres, 2.4 litres, 2.7 litres, 3.0 litres and 3.3 litres. There were styling changes also, but one always recognised the car as a 911. Today the first series of 911’s is recognised as the cars built from 1963 to 1989 and include the very popular Porsche 911 and 930 Turbo models. Of these the ‘small bumper’ or ‘pre impact bumper’ cars built up to 1973 are today regarded as the real classic 911, however, that comes at a price. In the last few years astute collectors and enthusiasts have seen great value in 1970’s and 1980’s model 911’s.
In 1965 Porsche introduced the 912, considered by many to be an entry level variant of the 911. It was powered by a 1.6 litre flat four engine as used in the last of the 356’s. The Porsche 912 was offered as both a coupe and a targa. It was an instant success and initially the 912 outsold the 911! Production ceased in 1969, however, in 1976 the 912 enjoyed a one-year revival in the US where it was sold as a 912E, equipped with a 2.0 litre engine with Bosch fuel injection.
By the late 1960’s Porsche was looking for a replacement for the 912. They wanted another entry level car, but at the same time something different from the 911. Volkswagen was also looking for a new model, something vastly different from the Beetle and the Fastback to put at the top of their model range. A deal was struck between Porsche and Volkswagen and it was decided the new car would be sold with a six cylinder engine by Porsche and a four cylinder engine by Volkswagen. However, during development Porsche had second thoughts. They were concerned that having a similar car sold by Volkswagen would harm their brand, particularly in the very important American market. Ultimately, Porsche decided to sell both the four cylinder (914/4) and six cylinder (914/6) models under the Porsche brand.
The Porsche 914 made its debut at the 1969 Frankfurt Auto Show. The 914/4 quickly found its niche in the market and was a great success for Porsche. Between 1969 and 1976 115,596 examples were produced. The Porsche 914/4 was initially introduced with a 1,679cc engine developing 79 hp. The car was later available with a 1,795cc engine and 1,970cc engine. Interestingly, the 914/6 did not do so well. It was almost as expensive as a 911T and Porsche struggled to sell them. Only 3,349 examples were produced before production ceased 1972.
Oldtimer Australia is delighted to offer for sale a 1973 Porsche 914/4 2.0 Litre.
The Porsche Production Specification Certificate on file confirms this particular car was completed on 11th March 1973. It was delivered in black (colour code 10) with a black leatherette interior (trim code 11).
The warranty card confirms this particular example was delivered new to Mr Lester Reid from Mentor, Ohio, USA on the 7th of July 1973 by Porsche and Audi dealer Stoddard Imported Cars.
In 1977 the car was sold to Mr Steven A Forgerson from Cleveland, Ohio who was an employee of Stoddard Imported Cars. Forgerson kept the car until 2005 when he sold it to Phoenix Hanna from Melbourne, Victoria. Hanna subsequently imported the car into Australia. At that time the odometer read 44,410 miles. During Hanna’s ownership, the car was featured in Unique Cars magazine in March 2014.
There is then a gap in the car’s history through until 2018. An invoice on file from October 2018 appears to indicate the car had been in storage. It was then recommissioned by Customer Sports and Restorations in Bentleigh, Victoria.
The current owner acquired the car on 26th November 2018. Since then, a considerable amount of time and effort has gone into taking a very good car to the next level. In February 2019 the car was given to Mike Price Mechanical in Wynnum, QLD for a mechanical refresh. The engine and gearbox were removed, the cylinder head was given a hot chemical spray and the chambers were milled. The odometer read 00877 miles at that time. This was followed by some work inside the cabin. Some trim and fittings were replaced and seat repairs were completed by Annvid Auto Upholsterers in Capalaba, QLD.
Presented in the stunning original paint/trim combination of ‘black on black’, this Porsche 914 is a stunning example. Overall, the paintwork is in very good condition. Take a walk around the car and you’ll struggle to find any stone chips or imperfections. There are some light swirl marks in the paint but a good ‘cut & polish’ will take care of those. The rubber & chrome bumpers and the chrome side skirts are in good condition. The chrome work and polished aluminium wheels, which are also in good condition, create a perfect contrast with the black paint. All the glass on the car is in good condition as are the lights and lenses. The targa roof is in good condition with a few minor wear marks.
The interior is generally in very good condition. There is a small 1 cm tear at the top of the driver’s seat, just below the headrest. There are also a few hairline cracks on the top of the dashboard caused by the sun. The current owner installed a period correct Blaupunkt Munster radio which is in good working order.
So, to the really important question . . . “what is it like to drive?”
When you open the door and get into the car you feel like you’re getting into a go cart. Though, what is surprising is the amount of space available to you. These cars, whilst relatively short are actually quite wide. The Porsche 914 is known for its handling and this example does not disappoint. The engine is located right behind the cabin (it is a genuine mid engined car, unlike the big brother 911 that has its engine in the rear!) and it sits low in the chassis which contributes to the fabulous handling. The car starts easily from cold and very quickly settles into a smooth idle. Out on the open road it is a real pleasure to drive. It loves to be driven hard and feels right at home on twisty roads. The Porsche 914 is a real drivers’ car and this example drives superbly! You can rev the engine, work the gears and have a lot of fun whilst keeping within the speed limit. The five-speed gearbox is smooth and going through the gears is easy.
This Porsche 914 is reluctantly offered for sale from a significant private collection due to space constraints. It is a well sorted example that is now ready for its new owner to enjoy.
Today the odometer reads 01251 miles.
- A beautifully presented car finished in its original and striking colour scheme.
- Matching numbers.
- Excellent history file, includes books, warranty card and Porsche Production Specifications Certificate.
- Recent engine rebuild (less than 500 miles ago).
- A well sorted example that is ‘just fabulous’ to drive.
- Hard to find better.
- Porsche 914/4
- 01251 miles