Race driver Randy Pobst recently brought a 1970 Porsche 914/6 GT to Jay Leno’s Garage. The resultant video reviews a unique version of Porsche’s entry-level sports car. Although the 914 was standard, only 16 911/6 GT Racing versions were made. This particular model is racing. A post recently ran this car in Laguna Seca and claimed to beat a more modern 911 GT2 RS.
The Porsche 914 is the outcome of a collaboration with Porsche and Volkswagen, who were looking for an alternative to the Karmann Ghia. Karmann Ghia. Porsche was a relatively small firm then, and initiatives like this allowed it to stay afloat. VW was later forced to leave the alliance, but the 914 began production under Porsche’s direction in 1969. The car was sold under the VW-Porsche badge in Europe.
The basic version also featured a VW engine. Although it was a smart way to save money, the 1.7-liter flat-4 only produced the 79-hp. However, Porsche also made available the 914/6, which had the 2.0-liter flat-6 developed in-house and putting out 108 horsepower.
A few Porsche fans were a bit snarky about the VW connection, and the style- a significant departure from the 911- took some time to get used to. However, the mid-mounted engine was more accessible than a 718 Cayman Pobst noted, and the 914 was sold in decent numbers. Porsche produced 115,631 4-cylinder models from 1969 to 1975 and 3,338 6-cylinder versions between 1969 and 1972.
To make it more race-ready, The 914/6 GT was upgraded to the more robust 2.0-liter flat-6 engine from Porsche 906. Porsche 906 is suitable for around 220 horsepower, paired with the manual 5-speed transmission. It also weighed only 1,940 pounds, even with stiffening bars on the trunk’s rear.
1970 Porsche 914/6 GT on Jay Leno’s Garage.
The flat-6 was powered by the 26-gallon fuel tank, which was mounted beneath a hood on the side of the vehicle. It offered plenty of power and helped balance weight distribution when it was full, Pobst said, but it would change when the tank depleted and the front of the car became lighter. The mid-engine design helped it be more balanced over the 911 rear engine, Pobst said.
Although the other Porsche race cars typically receive more attention from the public, the 914/6 GT was a bit of a success in the race and was 6th overall in the 1970 24 Hours of Le Mans. It also laid the basis for the future Porsche Boxster and Cayman.
It’s rare to come across a car with a Le Man’s pedigree cruising around on the public roads, particularly one that’s only one of the 16 cars built. Nevertheless, you should watch the video to check out this 914/6 GT inroads in Los Angeles.