The four-cylinder Porsche 356 had gained a loyal following, and company management feared they would alienate its faithful base with the introduction of its new six-cylinder 911 in 1964. So they offered a 912 companion model which shared its body and chassis with the 911 but powered by the smaller and proven 356 engine. The eventual successor to the 912 was the 914, a joint collaboration created with Volkswagen, who was seeking a replacement for the aging Karmann-Ghia. Porsche did not have the money to design a sports car from scratch, but Volkswagen did. The two companies' bosses formed a Gentleman's agreement to jointly develop and market a new sports car. The plan was four-cylinder cars to be badged as Volkswagen and sold by their dealers, while six-cylinder cars would be badged and sold by Porsche.
After the sudden passing of Volkswagen's chief, a new CEO named Kurt Lotz took his place, and he had no desire to continue the project or pay for any of Porsche's cars. In his view, the 914 was a Volkswagen product and Porsche had to pay if they wanted to be a part of the project. As a result, the price of the car escalated and it hit the market costing nearly as much as a base 911T. The uniqueness of the car, its design, and its brilliance saved it from obscurity. Offered in both four and six-cylinder form, the car was perfectly balanced and handled exceptionally well. The mid-engine chassis was lightweight and a true sports car down to its essence.
The Volkswagen-Porsche 914 was a Targa-top sports car assembled by Karmann of Osnabruck. First seen at the Frankfurt Auto Show, the 914 used the 1,679cc, four-cylinder, air-cooled motor of the Volkswagen 411. The 914/6 was powered by the Porsche 911T's 2.0-liter six. Both versions had an all-independent suspension created from a mixture of 911 and Volkswagen parts, four-wheel disc brakes, and a five-speed gearbox.
The Porsche 914/6 was badged as a Porsche in all markets and sold for over $2,500 more than the four-cylinder car, about $6,100 in the United States. Due to the price they were difficult to sell and were quietly dropped in late 1972 after 3,351 examples had been sold. The 914/6 was effectively replaced by the 1,971cc, 95 horsepower four-cylinder '914 2.0' from the company's fuel-injected Type 4 unit. These versions also came with forged alloy wheels, improved interior with additional instrumentation, and anti-roll bars in the front and back. Sales were strong and had it not shown signs of surpassing the flagship 911, production may have lasted longer than 1976.
Porsche's competitions department developed the 914/6 into a rally and GT-class winner, having homologated it for racing in March 1970. A small batch of GT cars were built in 1970 with the engines tuned to produce around 220 horsepower, and fiberglass panels and Plexiglass windows helped reduce the overall weight, and dramatically flared arches accommodated wider wheels. The factory also offered a GT kit that could be ordered with a regular 914/6 to be installed by designated Porsche dealers.
The racing cars were often individually tailored to a specific purpose, with nearly all 914/6 GTs having the ventilated 911 S brakes, front-mounted oil cooler, weight-saving components, and wide Fuchs alloy wheels with steel fender flares. Common competition upgrades included stiffened chassis, uprated suspension components, long-range fuel tanks, various gearing options, and race-prepared interiors. The various two-liter flat-six tuning options were offered, from a conservative 911 S spec to a full-blown Carrera 6 variant producing 210 hp at 8,000 RPM.
Among its accolades was a 6th place overall finish by Guy Chasseuil and Claude Ballot-Lena's Sonauto entry at the 1970 24 Hours of LeMans where it won the 2.0-liter Class, having started from 45th place on the grid and averaging 99.27 mph. In August 1970, the works 914/6 GTs captured a 1-2-3 finish in the 86-hour Marathon de la Route at the Nürburgring. In 1971, a factory-entered 914/6 GT scored a class win at the Monte Carlo Rally, while in America, Hurley Haywood and Peter Gregg dominated the inaugural IMSA GT championship with their 914/6 GT. by Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2020
Related Reading : Porsche 914 History
The Porsche 914 was introduced in September of 1969 as a collaborative effort between Porsche and Volkswagen to produce a sporty car. The car they came up with was a mid-engined vehicle with seating for two and featured a Targa top. A 4-cylinder boxer engine provided the power. Volkswagen needed a vehicle to replace the aging Karmann-Ghia while Porsche was looking for another option to add to their.... Continue Reading >>
Related Reading : Porsche 914 History
Just happening to be the cheapest modern Porsche one could buy, the Porsche 914 debuted with a low price point to attract buyers. When first introduced at the Frankfurt Automobile Show in September of 1969, the Porsche 914 was a return to Porsches roots. The 914 was a much more affordable Volkswagen-based sports vehicle that was conceived to bring the pride and pleasure of owning a Porsche.... Continue Reading >>
The Lufthansa-sponsored 914-6 GT ran at the 1970 Nurburgring where it set fastest lap in class and came in second in class. It continued to be campaigned in the early 1970s throughout Europe in ADAC races, including the 1971 3-hour LeMans race.....[continue reading]
This car, The Kremer Porsche serial #914-043-0653 is one of 38 factory-built documented 914/6/GT competition cars. In 1971, the Kremer team campaigned the car in FIA Group 4 with Willi Kauhsen and Friedhelm Theissen scoring several wins. over the n....[continue reading]
This is an original example of the 914-6, with very few remaining unaltered. There were 3,333 manufactured between 1969 and 1972, approximately 2,100 exported to the United States.....[continue reading]
This 60,000 mile original 914/6, from the first year of 914 production, features 14-inch Fuchs alloy wheels, a 2.0-liter flat six engine, and a 5-speed transmission. The 914/6 appeared at the same time as the four-cylinder version of the car but was....[continue reading]
A factory-ordered car, this 914/6 competition coupe was raced in the early 1970s. The 194/6 was created as a privateer race car that was homologated based on a combination of a high-output six-cylinder engine installed in the midship engine bays of ....[continue reading]
There should always be a place for a sense of humor, particularly when it comes to the serious business of motorsport. This car represents that sense. Originally built as one of five 'Sportmatic' 914/6s produced by the factory, it was acquired by fam....[continue reading]
This car is factory built GT Porsche #1017. It is famous for its First in Class win at the 1971 24 Hours of Daytona and coming in 7th overall. The car was sponsored by Sunoco of Canada and was driven by owner Jacques Duval along with George Nicholas ....[continue reading]
Had it been any other year, the Le Mans competition debut of the 914/6 GT would have been better noticed. Sixth overall and first in GT was a superb maiden effort on the Sarthe circuit, especially for a 2-liter car. Just 3,350 six-cylinder variations....[continue reading]
The Porsche 914 was a joint development project between Porsche and Volkswagen and intended as a replacement for both the 912 and Karmann Ghia. The Targa-topped roadster was introduced in 1969 and came with a five-speed gearbox and an all-independent....[continue reading]
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