My 914 – The Project Starts? 2011

By Otto Mittelstaedt

Earlier this year I had a major shock when the ’73 914 2.0 I bought on the internet turned out not to be the rust free car I was led to believe. Also, contrary to the web ad, it ran badly and leaked oil. I wasn’t sure whether to keep it or part it out, so I called up Mike Galloway of Mike’s 914’s. He picked it up, and took it to his shop in Colborne to evaluate it.  I also called up Bruce Farrow to have a look at it. Both agreed, that although I had been ripped off, the car was worth saving. There was some evidence that the car was not an original 2.0 car, so I called 1-800-Porsche Option 5 to find out. There they told me I had a matching numbers 2.0 car. Finally some good news. Last week, I  found a place to store my 911SC, so I had garage space. Time to bring the 914 back!

So last Saturday, Kye and I went to Colborne to pick it up (thanks, Kye!). Sunday I spent the day with the car. First, I cleaned it up, inside and out. I Zymoel’ed the top and bumper strips. You know, it didn’t look so bad!.  Even the bumper strips look salvagable. I decided to start the restoration right then and there. First, I glued the headliner back on. The Maaco (really, I have the receipts) paint job had a lot of overspray. This means essentially all new weatherstripping. I knew that the first thing I would see when opening the garage would be the painted over trunk lock, so I decided to strip this first.   I sprayed RustCheck into all of the vulnerable spots. I got the vacuum out and removed 38 years of soil from the engine compartment.  The car had been sitting outdoors so I knew that there would be a lot of water holdup. Water holdup is a major problem for cars that are not driven daily.  Water can be trapped under weather stripping, and in body cavities. Washing a car and then putting it in the garage is a very bad idea. Park the car in the sun to make sure that any water  has  dried out from under the rubber. Debris from leaves can also be a problem. The leaves turn into soil, which takes a long time to dry, and will also cause major rust ( including on this 914 )

I had never spent much time with a 914, so I was pleased at how refreshingly simple the car is. This car can be worked on by the owner! There really isn’t much to this car. ODB II? what’s that?

So what are my plans for the car? I’ll pull the motor, and fix the chassis and floor rust. I hope to salvage the paint. The car is now a 40 footer. With a bit of detailing, I can make it a 20 footer. I’ll replace all the rubber, and put on a set of Fuchs wheels to replace the hideous Riviera wheels.  I’ll put in a 2.7 or 3.0, and minimally, 911 front brakes. It’ll be a fast, good handling, solid DE car. I think I’m excited! Unfortunately, I can’t start just yet, till I finish the TA project. Perhaps this winter.

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