Time reveals all. In the case of my personal transportation, time has helped me grow more fond of both my Porsche 914 2.0-litre and Fiat 500 Abarth. Time can also mean, however, that you may learn some unexpectedly disappointing things along the way.
Taken as something to be driven, loved, and enjoyed, I’m of the mind that few sports cars of any vintage can match the Porsche 914’s combination of practicality, simplicity, and outright handling capability. It’s fun at somewhere between 70 and 90 percent speeds, and most at home on flowing, exciting B-roads. A classic mid-engined Porsche should drive well, after all.
Own a 914 long-term, however, and you’ll learn about the “hell hole”: a largely inaccessible spot just below the battery tray that will rot out with battery acid, organic material, and water…or a combination of the three. It’s something Porsche couldn’t really have noticed during testing, but I wish it had: the inaccessible spot is actually above the passenger side frame rail.
Once a hole is eaten through the metal, the firewall, rear floorpan, suspension, and jack post get structurally compromised. It’s very much a fixable problem, but definitely one to be aware of.
What did the factory get right—or wrong—with your car?