A 914 Story - Part 1
The 914 I purchased last month finally arrived here in Scottsdale.
I had Intercity Lines pick it up at the seller's home in North Carolina
last Saturday & it was delivered today (Thursday).
It's a 1973 914 2.0. Vin # 4732905540. They say if you can't get
a '70/'71 914-6, this year (1973) & model (2.0) has to rank as the
next best model to have. And some think it's as good as a 914-6
due to the engine's lighter weight & similar performance!
But this car has one more characteristic that makes it very special to
me & the reason I bought it. Its exterior color is the very desirable,
and somewhat rare, 'Ravenna Green' - color code L65K! And most
of you Rennlisters know by now that I am into rare Porsche colors!
Since I am retired & have all the time in the world, and this 914
forum is not that active & in need of more content, I am going
to take my time & tell you via a circuitous route, how this day
came about & why I decided to buy this particular Porsche. So
bear with me, please!
My first Porsche was a 1968 912 Soft-Rear Targa that I bought
back in the summer of 1973 when the car was about 5 years old.
I didn't know it at the time but that Porsche would hook me into
a world that I have yet to leave! But I didn't know that then. I
was 22 years old, right out of Penn & into my first adult job after
graduation with GE. Until six months before I purchased my first
Porsche, I didn't even have a driver's license...although I had taken
Driver's Ed as a Senior in high school. I was a true 'City Slicker'
& far removed from the car culture that later has played such a
big role later in my life. I quickly crashed that 912, then went to
Paris & did other things related to my career. When I came back
to the US I got into international banking in NYC & didn't need
a car in that city. It was only after I was posted in Miami by
Bankers Trust in 1978 that I needed to think again about a car
...and bought a used 1970 911T coupe. The exterior was a little
ratty & I naively painted it 'Imron Red' because I thought that
was a cool thing to do! After all, planes were painted in Imron,
what could be better? I also tossed the original Porsche seats &
bought a set of colorful Recaros!
What was I thinking? In any case, I decided to move to California
in 1984 after my banking career back East. I sold the '70 911T &
became interested in a 1973 914 2.0 in 'Sunflower Yellow' that I
found in the classified ads of Panorama. It resided in Westchester
County & I remembered it as being quite expensive at around $8K.
The 914 seller needed the cash to buy a low mileage Concours'
1974 911 Carrera that I also knew well (it was a local NNJ PCA
car!), but considered to too expensive at the time!
The 914 2.0 was in pristine mostly original condition (it was also
only 11 years old at the time), so I bought it & then immediately
took it cross-country drive to the West Coast. Part of what captivated
me about the 914 was a desire to get back to an open roof car!
And the Porsche ads of the day highlighted that 'sunny' style, seen
here in a similar 'Sunflower Yellow' model in their advertisement:
All I remember about the cross-country trip in the 914 was how
hard the upgraded 'sport' suspension felt. Immediately upon
arriving in Los Angeles I found a local independent Porsche
shop to remove those hard springs & replaced them with the
stock 914 2.0 factory set up. The mechanic that did that work
for me was named Dave Bouzaglou. And the shop he had was
TRE Motorsports, which is still in business although at a new
location in the 'City of Angels'.
Today Dave is a fellow R Gruppe member who I frequently see at
our R Treffens. But he is also my oldest Porsche friend in the West
Coast dating back to that time! Perhaps he is now best known for
putting together the great 'Targa California' driving event each year:
And most of the time he is driving it in his heavily modified 914!
Soon after my arrival in Los Angeles, Dave told me about a Porsche
group that I had never heard before back East. It was called the
'Porsche Owners Club' & it had a history almost as long & distinguished
as the PCA! It was founded, similar to the Porsche Club of America,
in 1955. But it basically stayed local to the West Coast! This was
their original badge which is today a collectors' item:
In 1985 I spent quite a bit of time at POC events at Willow Springs &
Riverside International. Dave & some other POC drivers had an RV
which became the 'social center' of our racing weekend. I had great
times with these guys at these remote desert tracks all over Southern
California! And at one particular POC event at Riverside, I got a bit
over-confident & early apexed Turn 2 with my newly acquired 1973
914 2.0. That was 'not a good move', if any of you remember all
the turns at that historic raceway which is no longer in existence:
At first, I thought I brought it under control by getting back on the
track. But I couldn't hold it. And I went to the opposite side, finally
hitting the wall. It was a total loss! So less than a year into ownership
of this 914, I destroyed it. I then purchased a slightly used 1984 911SC
in 'Guards Red' which kept me comfortably in 'wheels' while I continued
living for a time at Marina del Rey on Tahiti Way before I moved up to
NorCal. Shortly after that I got into 944s...then into 356s. You can
follow the progression of cars that I have owned in my 'signature' below.
I honestly didn't start wanting to get back into a 914 until more recent
times. But this brief ownership in the 1980's, plus what I learned from
other talented 914 drivers I met along the way, made a great impact
on my thinking about Porsche cars...and continues to influence me to
this day! I'll come back to this theme in a future post.
Sadly this was the second Porsche I had totaled in 12 years, not the
most auspicious start to my long history of ownership in the marque.
I had lost the '68 912 just a month after I purchased it - a stupid
rookie mistake on a country road just outside Virginia Beach, VA.
And now another accident, this time on a track. But I wasn't
discouraged. I had enjoyed my brief ownership of the 914. The
thing I remembered the most was its great handling...and it's
ample & roomy cabin. Like the modern Porsche 718, it had two
luggage compartments. And it also made me a lifetime believer
in the mid-engine concept that Porsche later perfected with the
Boxster/Cayman platform, especially its Spyder versions in the
987 & 981 era & the gt4. I will return to the topic of handling
& what an impression the 914 made on me (and many other
Porsche enthusiasts) at the time! Hard to believe now, but
back in the late 1970's & early 1980's, the 914 nearly dominated
autocross & driving events in PCA/POC all across the United States!
The 'little' 914 left a potent memory on all of us that lived through
that period in Porsche history!
There is more to come. I will continue this personal '914 Story' in
a future post!