Things You Didn't Know About Porsche 914
- The 914 was manufactured following Volkswagen's need to boost its reputation by producing a vehicle sportier than the Beetle. However, the company did not have the know-how and the credibility to produce a sports car. Heinz Nordhoff, then head of VW, solved this by signing a deal with Ferry Porsche, which saw Porsche design and develop the sports car that used the VW Type 4 engine.
- The Porsche 914 parts for the 1969 debut model were mainly Volkswagen's. This was done as a symbol of relationship between the two companies.
- Heinz Nordhoff and Ferry Porsche agreed that the 914 can be marketed under both brands. The VW 914 would have a VW engine, while the Porsche 914 would have a Porsche engine. So the 914/4 model in the US only had the Porsche crest.
- Two prototype 914s, dubbed as the 914/8, were built in 1969-one orange and another in silver. The silver, road-registered car was prepared as a gift to Ferry Porsche for his 60th birthday. However, Ferry was not very fond of the car which can now be found in the Porsche Museum. Compared to the orange 914/8, the silver prototype was much closer to the standard 914's specs.
- Today, the number of surviving 914s is inconsistent across enthusiast organizations. These organizations are constantly gathering data, although one of them reported that there are still 42,000 Porsche 914s being used.
- Although the 914 was pulled out of production 35 years ago, repair parts for the model are still available today. This is thanks to the efforts of small companies and enterprising enthusiasts who want to keep the 914 community alive.
- The 914 gained recognition on the racetrack. It was considered to be a formidable vehicle in races and performed excellently in a lot of races (e.g. International GT, Virginia International Raceway, Monterey Historic Races). The success can probably be attributed to the fact that the 914 was engineered similar to the 911 but had a mid-engine configuration that removed tail-happy tendencies. This impressive racetrack record eventually forced the Sports Car Club of America to ban the 914/6 GT model from races.