Sales Representative, Office Leasing & Investment Sales,
Cushman & Wakefield
1974 Porsche 914 2.0 Targa
2.0-litre flat four, 99 HP
MY ATTRACTION to this car began when I was a teenager. I used to walk by this guy’s house on my way to school and I remember coveting his car—an orange 914.
THE 914 WAS the result of a late-1960s collaboration between Porsche and Volkswagen to build an entry-level sports car that would replace the [Volkswagen] Karmann Ghia. I have one of those, too.
I GOT IT from a guy near Cobourg earlier this year. That’s all he does—he restores 914s. I went down to see him, agreed on a price for the car as it was, and then decided the scope of work he would do.
I DID SPEND about a year researching buying a [Porsche] 911 of around the same vintage. But a reasonably good driver has become so expensive that I gave up on the 911 discussion and starting looking at the 914. Let’s just say they are considerably less money.
THE HANDLING IS fantastic. It’s a mid-engine design, the centre of gravity is low and it’s really light—it only weighs 1,980 pounds. It takes turns like a slot car.
THERE’S BOTH A front and rear trunk, and the amount of space is unbelievable. You could go away for a week in this car.
ONE OF THE neatest things about this car is that it is a very affordable, rare sports car that you never see. It’s easy to maintain, and parts are readily available and not expensive.
ONE OF THE reasons you never see 914s is there simply weren’t very many made. The collaboration between Porsche and Volkswagen really didn’t work out that well. The other reason is people loved to race them, so a lot have been wrecked.
IT HAS AN upside down shift pattern: first gear is down, not up. It’s taking some time to get used to.
IT DELIVERS EVERYTHING a vintage sports car should—it’s air cooled, has this great throaty sound, smells of gas and is a blast to drive. It’s completely different from driving a modern, comfortable sedan.
THE DECISION TO drive the 914 or the Karmann Ghia? Well, one is 48 horsepower and one is 100. One was built as an entry-level sports car, one not. They’re both beautiful designs, but this one is a little more fun in the twisties.