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Cars that you won't forget (17): Piëch's Porsche 914

Cars that you won't forget (17)
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W e are at the end of the sixties Years. The inelegant creature, which, to the horror of its creators, is also known as the Volksporsche, derives its dynamism from the first 80, then 100 hp four-cylinder of the VW 411. There is also the throttled two-liter six-cylinder of the sports car icon 911 at a considerable surcharge. p>

110 HP - far too little for Ferdinand Piëch

This 914/6 has 110 HP - not bad in the performance environment at the time. But it is also a pathetic number from the point of view of Ferdinand Piëch, then head of Porsche development and responsible for the legendary 917 racing sports car, which reached 386 km /h with its twelve-cylinder titanium connecting rod at Le Mans. Piëch did not choose this infernal machine when he gave his very personal 914 can be built. But there is also something from the racing department below. It is the eight-cylinder boxer from the 908 with which Porsche won the brand world championship in 1968, 1969 and 1970.

In the racing car, the three-liter unit has 350 hp at 8,400 revolutions. Two overhead camshafts per cylinder bank and double ignition with a total of 16 spark plugs are partly responsible for the high liter output. Former Porsche driver Herbert Linge, formerly part of the Porsche racing team, remembers the strange assignment that apparently not everyone was allowed to know about. 'The 914 with the eight-cylinder was created in secret in a cubicle in the racing department.' Company boss Ferry Porsche in 1969 received one his 60th birthday. The two Monster 914s are not identical twins. The Porsche-Porsche has tamer camshafts and valve caps that are intended to combat the high oil consumption tolerated in the racing version. He has the chassis number 001, street legal, and allegedly the boss actually drove around 10,000 kilometers with him in the course of the following years.

Inconspicuous grenade with racing V8

Unlike the Piëch- Porsche (chassis number 111). It is the more toxic of the two, the racing engine of the 908 remains in its original condition. The only concession for operation on public roads is a more dampening exhaust system, but without a heat exchanger. You will definitely get warm without itshe.

Technically, it is not a big problem to accommodate the 178 kilogram, flat eight-cylinder boxer (standard four-cylinder: 145 kg) behind the driver's back. In order to create space for the vertical fan, the rear wall facing the passenger compartment must be modified and the engine mounting points must be readjusted. The trunk is spared from the changes. The 914/8 has standard dimensions here. So it remains a touring car with not too big changes in the chassis.

Titanium springs at the rear and Bilstein dampers with a harder set-up are enough for the Porsche technicians - extra-wide rims, wild fender flares and bright paintwork are deliberately avoided. Piëch would like to create astonishing effects with an inconspicuous grenade. The optics of the 914/8 are not completely normal. At the front of the car, double headlights and a large air inlet for the oil cooler show that something is wrong.

Driving performance on par with the Ferrari Daytona

The last doubts disappear at the latest after starting. The eight-cylinder dispenses with an air filter and covers its oxygen requirements via eight huge open plastic funnels. Even the suction noise is of a malicious volume and suggests that this 914 is at home in a completely different category in terms of performance than its serial brothers. The 908 unit with its strong valve overlap runs out of round at under 2,500 revolutions and acoustically shows the excitement and impatience of thoroughbred racing machines. But this is followed by perfect concentricity with the best balance of masses and a brutal pressure to accelerate. Jürgen Barth from the Porsche sports department and 908 driver on the race track comments on the unusual sophistication and elasticity of the 908 engine with the words: 'like a VW engine'.

The test department is not allowed to determine measured values, the Über-Porsche is too precious. But you are in the range of a Ferrari Daytona, with an acceleration time from zero to 100 km /h in less than six seconds and a Vmax of around 260 km /h. The eight-cylinder, which already provides 150 hp on 4,000 tours, is most impressive on the slopes of the motorway. They no longer exist. The aisle areas that result when fully turning are also exceptional. The first reaches up to 80 km /h, the second up to 130, the third up to 170, and in the fourth of five stages the 914/8 is already as fast as the 914/6 at the top speed - 210 km /h.

Unfortunately, the long-awaited encounter with a 911 on the autobahn does not happen. If you ever need the 911, it's not there. The many other overtaken people, who are allowed to sniff the blue oil clouds of the roaring speed machine, which are deposited like small mushrooms, think the obvious. The VW-Porsche yes not, butat least it runs reasonably.

The single piece survives. Museum director Klaus Bischoff has already reserved a place of honor for the restored racing car in the new museum in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen. For him, the Piëch-Porsche is the “Top 914”. True.


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