CP Workshop Diaries: The Porsche 914 - from childhood dream to restoration project


By Costas S.

Many many moons ago, when accountants could also be referred to as computers (by virtue of the fact they did computations, see?) and leaded petrol was, well… petrol, I heard from a friend that another friend had just come back from Germany in a gorgeous sports car. A Porsche 914! Before then I had seen the occasional sports car shoot down the road but I had never been close enough to touch and smell one, let alone sit and be driven in one. I’d heard the names Porsche and Ferrari and Lamborghini branded about and I had seen these cars in pictures but I’d never seen one in real life.


So for the next couple of days I was purposely wandering around the neighbourhood hoping to catch a glimpse of this car. And my perseverance paid off. One morning there it was, at the petrol station! A sexy thing in a groovy light green colour with the bonnet open and my friend bent over under it.

I rushed over at last and I can still remember my enthusiasm instantly changing to perplexity. There was no engine under there! Instead there was the fuel tank (he was actually filling up with petrol), a spare wheel and nothing else.

- Where is the engine? I exclaimed.

- It’s in the back, he said.

- Can I open to have a look?, I asked impatiently.

- Yes, sure.

So I ran around to the rear, opened the boot lid and… no engine here either!?!?

- Hey, where is the bloody engine?, I cried out.

- Wait, he said, I’ll open the lid for you.

So he pulled something from inside the car and this little lid between the rear windscreen and the boot lid popped open and there at last was the engine, tucked cosily under the rear half of the car. I knew nothing about engines but who cares. I was looking at a Porsche engine and I could touch and smell and hear it.

- Can I come along for a ride?

- Sure, hop in.


And that is how my life long love affair with this marque begun. And life was very kind indeed to this love affair. More than ten years later I got my first 911 and after that the second and so on. Six 911s later, I now regularly enjoy the thrill of driving my 964 Carrera 4. I’ve also had a water cooled 911 and, great as it was in performance, it didn’t hold the romantic pull on me that the air cooled models do.

Nonetheless, throughout my Porsche experience I have never stopped seeing the 914 as a thing of beauty. And the engineering was far ahead of its time. A proper mid-engined car for very little money compared to other mid-engined models of the period. Simplicity at its best. 


It is a very gratifying feeling to see that my love for this little car was not misplaced as values are on a rather rapid rise. Money that a decade ago would have bought a very clean example is now only good enough for restoration projects. And life has been kinder still. I’ve had the good fortune to get acquainted with every single nut and bolt of the humble 914 as I am restoring not one but two of them. And every time I work on them, heck, even every time I look at them I re-live my childhood dreams of driving in one down the High Street being oggled at by all the girls in the neighbourhood.

Stay tuned to find out more about our own 914’s restoration progress at the CP Workshop!

Costas S.