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Lot 416: Porsche 914-6

Quail Lodge Sale, Bonhams (16 August 2012)

* Invigorating performance * Excellent stability and handling * Dry sump lubrication and a five speed gearbox * Porsche Certificate of Authenticity * A great example of the first mass produced mid-engine car * A thoroughbred sports car legend The 914-6 occupies a unique position in the history of Porsche. The car debuted with an air of uncertainty, a promising concept that came about at a time of contract disputes and the reorganization of Porsche AG. The story by now is well known; the agreements resulting in the car being priced just a few hundred dollars less than a base model 911T, the political issues concerning Volkswagen and the decisions on how best to market the new model. The sales group created in the midst of the structural changes struggled to define the differences between the base model VW-powered 914, entirely constructed by Karmann, against the much more expensive and refined six cylinder model that was completed on the same assembly line in Zuffenhausen as the 911. While the models appeared very similar, only the most basic of components were shared between the four and six. Considered a failure by accounting, the 914-6 found its footing with an enthusiastic group that understood what it was all about. Management was quick to get the 914-6 into competition with the emphasis on customer participation for 1970. However, a small run of twelve cars were built by the werks racing department for internal use, with appearances at the Targa Florio, the Monte Carlo Rally and the Marathon de la Route, an eighty six hour event that was a complete triumph for the new 914-6 with Porsche sweeping the top three positions. In addition, two further road examples were constructed for exclusive use by Dr. Porsche and Ferdinand Piech featuring the eight cylinder racing powerplant from the 908 prototype. Semi factory entries backed by private teams also filled the GT-class grids. Sonauto, the French importer for Porsche, was one of the most successful practitioners with one of the most impressive debuts in the history of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The 1970 classic will be best remembered for the first overall win for Porsche, but more surprising was the sixth place overall and first in the GT category for the new 914-6. In front of the 2.0 liter flat six were all pure prototypes, a pair of 917's, a 908 and two Ferrari 512's. With the scarcity of unmodified early production Porsches, finding a matching numbers example of anything these days is regarded as a true find. Precious few true un-restored 914-6s are left and these cars rarely come on the market. Chassis 914 043 2381 was constructed as a U.S. specification model and part of the last run of cars produced for the 1970 model year. The current owner searched for over two years, finally locating a solid and original example with its original matching numbered 2.0 six cylinder as delivered. The car was shipped to Racecraft in Woodinville, Washington for a complete service and tune up. A few performance changes were made for purposes of drivability, such as increasing the air flow with a GT style engine cover providing cooler operating temperatures. The rare front mounted Cibie driving lights are period correct as featured on the rally and endurance models. New Vredestein tires were fitted to deep six-inch Fuchs wheels and careful attention was paid to the suspension. Produced in limited numbers, exhibiting proven competition abilities and with few examples that survive in such relatively unmodified condition, this car is indeed worthy of serious consideration. An original owners manual, Certificate of Authenticity, tire jack and tool kit are included. Invoices for the recent work are also available.

Lot Details
Auction Quail Lodge Sale
Bonhams, Carmel, California, USA
TypeCar
Lot Number416
Estimate$40000-$50000
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price$39000
Hammer Price (inc premium)$44850
Year1970
Condition rating
Registration number
Mileage-
Chassis number9140432381
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors2