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August 18, 2009

Car Photo of the Day: What’s German for “go-kart?”

Filed under: Car Photo Of The Day — chuck goolsbee @ 4:01 pm

Not really a grand tourer, so seeing a 914 in a Vanishing Point like highway setting is a bit odd, but otherwise I’ve always had a like for these little mongrels from Stuttgart. Or was it Wolfsburg? (will that debate ever end… Porsche people need to lighten up!)

I can think of few better (vintage) weapons for carving up a wildly twisty roads or an autocross course…. beyond perhaps a Lotus 7, but at least you’ll stay relatively warm, dry, and comfy in the 914.

It is a shame that few cars like this are built anymore. Small (in size and displacement), affordable, sporty, fun, raceable and streetable. Yes, there is the Miata, but that is more akin to a modern MG B or other SBC Roadster than a 914. It would be neat if VW put the blue-sport concept thing into production, as that would certainly fit the bill. Diesel too!

In other news, I painlessly completed the WP upgrade of the blog software, so all you folks whining to me behind the scenes about security risks can stop whining and comment on fun stuff now! The deck work is nearing the end so hopefully I can write up the Monte Shelton tale soon. Stay tuned.


  1. *Deplorable* cars, even adjudged as what they REALLY were, that being a Volkswagen sports car; that being said, the lil buggers will corner!

    Comment by vrooomie — August 18, 2009 @ 5:55 pm

  2. Don’t know why somebody would call them deplorable, unless they are a Porsche purist. I had a 914, and it handled better than my 911SC. It was a lot of fun, and the look was so sci-fi exotic that imho they were actually cool. The best thing about them was that Porsche purists stayed away from them. 😉

    Comment by Dan O'Donnell — August 18, 2009 @ 9:51 pm

  3. “Don’t know why somebody would call them deplorable, unless they are a Porsche purist.”

    Easy answer, Dan: I had to work on the bleeping things! They are a biyatch to work on, they rust in expensive-to-fix ways that make E-Type owners glad they own an E-Type and they were *poseurs*.

    Although I’m am WAY far away from a Porker purist (I really don’t care all that much for Porsche, especially after having seen the crappy way the race cars were prepped from the factory), in fact they WERE VW sports cars in Yurrup(with the notable exception of the 914/6s, and the few 916s). It was a conscious decision by VW-Porsche to market tham as Porsches in the US, because they (rightly) figured idiots would pay MORE for a Porsche than a VW. It was a VW bus engine, it wasn’t terribly fast, the build quality was dreadful, and the shift linkage was only surpassed in its terrible operation by that on early SAABs.

    Other than that, they were GREAT handling cars, as I’ve previously stated!

    Comment by vrooomie — August 19, 2009 @ 6:33 am

  4. What Dan didn’t mention is that we had a discussion a day before I posted this about how appropriate a 914 would be for a 16 year old’s resto project. I said, “why not” and Dan was trying to dissuade the kid. Paul you’re just handing ammo over to Dan here. 😉

    Comment by chuck goolsbee — August 19, 2009 @ 8:38 am

  5. “…how appropriate a 914 would be for a 16 year old’s resto project.”

    No worries: Jus’ make sure the 16 year old has a LARGE credit limit and a direct line to the 914 place in Atlanta that sells all the replacement panels.

    A cuppla years, about 10-15 large, and it’ll be a runner, again! BTW, you think a Jag starter is a tuffie to replace? Try an alternator on a 914. It’s *fun.*


    Comment by vrooomie — August 19, 2009 @ 9:16 am

  6. You guys are NO FUN at all. =\

    Comment by chuck goolsbee — August 19, 2009 @ 12:25 pm

  7. Could be worse. The kid could have picked a Fiero 2M6 for a resto.

    Comment by flargh — August 19, 2009 @ 4:32 pm

  8. Ah, now I understand your use of deplorable, and I completely agree with you. I realize they were of low build quality but if it was running it was fun to drive and – as long as it was running – cheap. After a few months mine needed a lot of work (done by some guys who raced and specialized in 914s) so I got it running and got it sold. To a guy who bought it for his son…

    Chuck has a garage the size of a barn and fully equipped with a lift, but that doesn’t mean we all do. 🙂 And while this guy has a 2-car garage, he is a contractor so all that space is taken up by tools and material. Even his wife has to park her car on the street. And the garage door is about 6 feet from the highly traveled road with no shoulder so there’s no space there to work on a project car. Plus, we need this kid to get if not immediate then at least rapid and rewarding results. (And it helps to be able to see what one is working on.)

    Update: they just found a 944 with a blown head gasket. That could be a much better learning experience. And it might get him through college too.

    Comment by Dan O'Donnell — August 19, 2009 @ 6:51 pm

  9. Dan, a 944, though not cheap, are far more easily worked on. If you can find a decent one, a 924S might also be a choice. They too, have their quirks but talk about handling? OMG!!! 944s make the 914 look like a fright pig, in the handling department! Buy as good of one as you can, though…

    Comment by vrooomie — August 20, 2009 @ 7:54 am

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