The Porsche 914 doesn’t get a lot of respect, but the model celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
The story begins in the mid-1960’s when Porsche was eyeing a new entry-level sports car to slot beneath the 911. However, the company was small and decided the project wouldn’t have been viable on their own.
As fate would have it, Volkswagen was also looking for a sporty car to replace the Type 34 Karmann Ghia. As a result, the two companies formed a partnership to create Germany’s first mid-engine sports car.
Volkswagen’s version of the 914 used a 1.7-liter four-cylinder engine that produced 79 hp (59 kW / 80 PS). Despite being relatively lightweight, performance wasn’t too impressive as the model accelerated from 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) in 13 seconds and had a top speed of 110 mph (177 km/h).
Porsche opted to use to the 2.0-liter six-cylinder boxer engine from the 911 T. Featuring overhead camshafts and triple carburetors, the mill developed 108 hp (81 kW / 110 PS). Thanks to the extra oomph, the car ran from 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) in as little as 8.7 seconds.
While the six-cylinder variant offered significantly better performance, it wasn’t popular with consumers as only 3,338 units were produced. The 914/4, on the other hand, was a massive hit as 115,631 models were built between 1969 and 1975. Most of them were exported to the United States where they were sold under the Porsche banner.
In order to pay tribute to the car, the Porsche Museum will host a special event on June 2nd called “50 Years of the 914 – Typically Porsche.” The event will be attended by over a hundred 914 owners and feature a panel hosted by experts. There will also be an assortment of special 914s on display including the model ever built.