By the late 1960s, both Volkswagen and Porsche were in need of new models; Porsche was looking for a replacement for their entry-level 912, and Volkswagen wanted a new range-topping sports coupé to replace the Karmann Ghia. At the time, the majority of Volkswagen's developmental work was handled by Porsche, part of a set up that dated back to Porsche's founding. Volkswagen needed to contract out one last project to Porsche to fulfil their end of the deal, and decided to make this that project so Ferdinand Piëch, who was in charge of research and development at Porsche, was put in charge of the 914 project. The Porsche 914 replaced the top of VW's line, the Type 34 Karmann Ghia. It was originally intended to sell the vehicle with a flat four-cylinder engine as a Volkswagen and with a flat six-cylinder engine as a Porsche, however Porsche decided during development that having both companies sharing the same body would be risky for business in the American market, and convinced Volkswagen to allow them to sell both versions as Porsches in North America. On March 1, 1968, the first 914 prototype was presented, however development became complicated after the death of Volkswagen's chairman, Heinz Nordhoff, on April 12, 1968. His successor, Kurt Lotz, was not connected with the Porsche dynasty and the verbal agreement between Volkswagen and Porsche fell apart. However, in the end it didn't really matter and over the seven years of the model's life, the 914 would outsell the 911 and eventually find over 118,000 homes. The 914 on offer here is a 1973, 2litre European model and was delivered in early January of that year to Michael Roche who lived near New Ross in Waterford County in Ireland. The car was sourced through AFN in Isleworth and ordered in the special colour of Saturngelb (L99A Metallic-Chrome Yellow) with Corduroy Fabric and pile carpets, and the original 1972 colour chart is in the history file. First registered on 12/01/1973 the car was to remain in the possession of the Roche family (father Michael and son Matthew) until its sale to Chris Knowles in May of 2015. Used initially as daily transport, after a couple of years Michael Roche chose to use it sporadically and during 2003/4/5 he decided to restore it, and there are bills in the history file for many thousands of pounds. The car was fully resprayed at some point and we understand that he was happy with the result at the time although it now appears that some panels have since reacted badly and will need further attention. During this period the engine was rebuilt by classic Porsche experts Roger Bray Restorations in Exeter and the suspension, brakes, shock absorbers and exhaust were restored or replaced as part of this 'rolling' restoration. Our vendor had planned to complete the restoration after his purchase last year but other projects have taken priority and the car is now for sale. Basically this little yellow 914 is almost there. The interior is in fine condition, the contemporary Fuchs wheels are good as is the Targa top. The engine has recently been run but needs setting up and tuning and the bodywork needs a sympathetic repaint.
The history file with the car makes interesting reading and contains the Eire Registration Book, the last Tax Disc, the transfer of ownership certificate in 2015, confirmation that no VAT is due, a large pile of invoices relating to work carried from 1973 up until last year and a number of photos. In addition there are half a dozen period brochures from 72/73 and a couple of contemporary road tests in 'Road and Track' and 'The Motor'. After import from Ireland into the UK last year a NOVA form was submitted, but since the car does not yet have an MoT, a UK licence number cannot be obtained.
These cars have a lovely seventies appeal and are rapidly becoming sought after, and, with a bit of paint and a little tlc, could soon be someone's pride and joy.