Along The Road: 1974 Porsche 914 Sports Car For Sale

TORRINGTON, CT – It’s not often that a classic car is spotted on the sales lot of new car dealer, much less a mid-engine, two-seat 1974 Porsche 914 sports car. Unexpectedly, Torrington Hyundai has had one out front for the past couple of weeks.

I spotted it Friday morning after picking up a friend who had dropped her SUV off for service at a nearby mechanic. Upon delivering her to pick up her vehicle late in the afternoon, curiosity made me swing by the Hyundai store to inquire about the model that was jointly developed by Porsche and Volkswagen.

The Porsche 914 – the model was sold in the United States under only the Porsche name – was designed as an entry-level model. Sporting a removable Targa top, it debuted as a 1970 model and lasted until 1976.

“I’d call it an unmolested 1974 – a rare barn find,” said Torrington Hyundai owner David Alfano when quizzed about the Porsche’s background. He reported getting tipped to it last year and pounced. The then-owner lived in Massachusetts and had acquired it in 1988.

Amazingly, the Porsche 914 has only 26,404 miles on the odometer. It has a 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine and a five-speed manual transmission. Alfano said it got been repainted “years ago. There’s no rot.” The dealership gave it a new fuel pump and fresh tires before presenting it for sale.

Torrington Hyundai is asking $19,900 for the Porsche 914. “I think the car could be worth $30,000. You’ve got to find the right buyer,” Alfano said. While it isn’t listed on the dealership’s website yet, it is listed in a Bring A Trailer auction that ends at 2:49 p.m. Saturday. The top bid out of five as of Friday night was $13,500.

The Porsche 914 had a reputation for being light and nimble roadster. A whopping 80 percent of the reported 120,000 that were built ended up in the U.S. “It runs pretty good. I drove it up the road,” Alfano said.

A check of J.D. Power’s website shows that the Porsche 914 with the 1.8-liter engine sold new for $5,400. Its average retail price is $26,100, with low retail being $16,300 and high retail being $42,100.

Whatever the price, the model and its one-of-a-kind styling certainly brings back memories from the 1970s. It is also an unusual find on a new car lot today.

About Bud Wilkinson

Bud Wilkinson writes the "RIDE-CT" motorcycle column and the "My Ride" classic car feature in the "Republican-American" newspaper in Waterbury, CT. A graduate of Vermont Academy prep school, he holds a B.A. degree journalism from Ohio Wesleyan University. He is the recipient of a Scripps Howard Foundation National Journalism Award in 1992 and a 1991-92 regional Emmy Award for commentary. He currently rides a 1987 BMW R 80 RT and a 2014 Triumph Bonneville and drives a 2010 Mazda MX-5 Miata.

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