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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

A V8 Heart Beats Inside this ’70s Porsche 914

BOLD RIDE

Copyright © 2015 Bold Ride LLC.
 
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The Porsche 914 is certainly what you’d call a peculiar car. Developed jointly by Volkswagen and Porsche in the late ‘60s, the 914 was to be the affordable replacement for Porsche’s ever-more-expensive 912 sports car. And to that effect it was successful. It was light, it was nimble…it was very oddly styled. 

This one however, is a bit more particular than most. Instead of housing a spritely four-cylinder Volkswagen engine mid-ship, this 1975 Porsche 914 gulps down an entire V8. That makes for twice as many cylinders and surely much more than double the power. Like the sound of that? The rowdy 914 recently hot-rodded its way onto eBay. 911s beware.



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So which V8 engine uproots this car’s original four-cylinder? To be expected, a perennial favorite—a 350 cu. in. small block Chevrolet. While it won’t win over any hardline Porschephiles with its Detroit heart, the Porsche ought to be a winner on the track. According to the owner, the pumped up four-bolt V8 sports aluminum heads, a mild camshaft, and it shotguns that power to a modified 914 manual gearbox.
 
Interestingly, this 914 is said to borrow its front suspension from its 911 big brother, to which it fits Koni shocks. In the rear, an adjustable setup has been sourced in order to give the 914 the crisp handling it was famous for—not an easy task considering the big V8 hanging around in the middle. However, it certainly looks the part of a street fighter.


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The Porsche forfeits bumpers at both ends, dons a wide-mouth cooling duct in the front, and sprouts some aggressive fender flaring in the rear…necessary for covering up a set of 17-inch Fuchs wheels. In the cockpit, things look equally racy. A pair of bolstered bucket seats sport G-Force racing harnesses, and an array of Ultra-Lite gauges stare down both driver and passenger. It’s track-day spartan, but then again, you don’t swap a V8 into a 914 to go on Sunday drives to the market.
While unloved by some, the Porsche 914 has seen a strong resurgence in recent years, though nowhere near that of the out-of-this-world classic 911 market. That said, with a 350 Chevy small block under the lid and 911 suspension under foot—this is one 914 you wouldn’t want to line up next to at a red light.