Although many considered the 1969 Porsche 914, and subsequent model years to be utter failures, it is clear by the production figures that they were not. Over the 6 years it was in production, over 119,000 examples of the Porsche 914 were produced, with a great majority of them being exported to the United States. It was co-developed with partner Volkswagen, for vastly different reasons: Porsche needed to get a foot in the door of the mass-market (and highly lucrative) sports car segment, and Volkswagen was desperate for anything to draw customers in its showrooms, as the venerable VW Beetle was starting to show its age.
The problem with the early Porsche 914’s is that in terms of sports car, they were a pretty poor show. Equipped with a 1.7 liter, four cylinder engine, the VW411, that produced a paltry 85 horsepower. It was enough to push the Karmann-designed 914 to a top speed of 107 miles per hour, which everyone will agree is a little lousy when you’re talking about a sports car. Later models, specifically the 914/6, featured the flat-six engine from the 911, but had to be removed as it proved to expensive for the market segment Porsche was after.
On the positive side, the 914 was appreciated mostly for its handling and build quality, which were typically German and worthy of the name Porsche. The 914 was also surprisingly roomy. The 1969 Porsche 914 as a welcome addition to the Porsche line-up when they needed it, but few were really sad to see it go.