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914 Conversions — Good, Bad and Otherwise

Porsche 914 V8 and EV conversions on Craigslist

By Dean Larson

Photos: Sellers, Craigslist

Redheaded stepchild or affordable classic? Those are two sides of the same coin in the case of the Porsche 914, as it doesn’t quite have the same glitz and glamour of other classic air-cooled Porsches, or the ultra inflated auction house values either. But the flip side there is that the 914 offers a taste of the air-cooled experience for a fraction of the cost, also making it an affordable mid-engine platform for some wild builds, like the cars we've assembled here today.

914-8s? The Most Unholy of Mid-Ship V8s

If more power is good, then too much should be just right. That statement seems fitting in the case of these V8-swapped 914s, where a good ole small-block Chevrolet replaces the peppy 1.7, 1.8 and 2.0-liter flat fours to create a whole new machine. Enough to make a Porsche purist vomit on sight, these cars are equal parts savvy and sacrilegious, and they seem to be increasing in numbers as well.

All jokes aside, re-powering your air-cooled 914 with a Chevrolet small-block can actually be a pretty simple process that nets you a fairly practical, V8 mid-engine exotic. The majority of the conversions out there are from Renegade Hybrids, a Vegas-based company offering V8 swap components for 914s, 911s, Boxters, Lotuses and more. They stock the flywheels, clutch components, mounts and fittings to get the job done in your European exotic with LS engines, small-block Chevrolets and more.

But not all conversions are done to the same level, and the final product is entirely dependent on who did the work. We prefer a racy but traditional Porsche image with only a subtle hint of the upgraded powerplant hiding under the rear deck.

Our Choice — 350 ci ’73 914

It may be a bit on the pricey side at $27,500, but we can’t top the tasteful work done on this ’73 914. It’s powered by a clean-looking 350 ci Chevrolet mounted to a modified 914 transmission. Fuchs wheels and nothing more than a California black plate alludes to the V8 conversion — this one’s a winner in our book. The only drag is the price, and that’s $27,500 firm.

Check out the ’73 914 conversion here on Los Angeles Craigslist.

Affordable Contender — Porschevy 350

There are a couple concerns right off the bat with this one, mainly that there’s no manufacturer listed for the conversion parts, but we’ll give this ’73 model the benefit of the doubt. It’s powered by a 350 ci Chevrolet as well, with a Porsche 915 transmission, and it rides on 911 suspension. Other main upgrades consist of Fuchs wheels and a wide-body kit.

With plenty of recent service work done and some nice upgrades, this car is worth a look at just $18,500.

See the Porschevy 350 here on Los Angeles Craigslist.

Wildcard — ’75 914-8

Love it or hate it, this one’s out there. It’s a ’75 model with a Renegade conversion to accommodate the 327 ci Chevrolet engine with some bolt-ons. Exterior mods are extensive, with vented fenders, fender flares, Corvette “salad shooter” wheels and decals. We love the “914-8” decal, but ditching the pop-up headlights is a fireable offense in our book.

Check it out here on Los Angeles Craigslist for $24,900.

914 EV Conversion

We’re going to keep it short with this one, but this 914 EV conversion needs a little help, and is more than ready to start the next chapter of its life. Its electric conversion consists mainly of batteries sourced from a 2012 Chevrolet Volt with an aftermarket Curtis controller and a D&D electric motor. The seller states that the motor needs work, but I’m thinking the whole system needs to be redesigned. I’m no wiz on the topic, but D&D seems to mainly produce golf kart motors, and the product number listed in the ad is similar to several of the company’s golf kart motors. Additionally, the seller lists that the current range is just 35 miles.

Does this car have a future at just $4,000? Find it here on Orange County Craigslist.

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Engine Swap Porsche