The Ultra-Rare Porsche 916 Is a Hot 911 Engine in a Big, Beefy 914 Body
You’re looking at a vehicle that represents two absolute extremes of Porsche in the early 1970s. On the one hand, the Porsche 914 was a polarizing “junior” Porsche, ridiculed for its Volkswagen roots and unusual styling. On the other hand, the 916 is a vision of a different future, in which the small mid-engined sports car received a huge dose of adrenaline in the form of large, flat-six engines drawn directly from 911 plus hot – much more extreme than the upgraded 914/6 car with a 110 horsepower 2.0-liter flat-six.
Even racing a big six moving between 2.4 and 2.7 liters, the 914-based 916 was a small car. And the kind of performance that the engines bring in such a small package would have threatened the 911 considerably. That’s not why Project 916 was canceled, but it was surely a consideration. It’s a dynamic that played out much more recently, when the Cayman GT4 was slightly muzzled to avoid stepping on the toes of its big brothers.
Combine that gigantic performance potential wrapped up in a (highly modified) 914 shell and you get some of the over-the-top mystique of the 916. The other is that a few were made, in the realm of 10 or 11 depending on how. they are numbered. You’re looking at one here: one of the rarest and most desirable non-911 Porsches around.
According to RM Sotheby’s, where you can find chassis 914.233.0011 for sale, was built for the sister of Porsche executive Ferdinand Piëch – the architect of the Volkswagen Group’s massive expansion, and the force behind such wild cars. as the Bugatti Veyron and the Volkswagen Phaeton. She specified the car in this yellow tone, with an interior that combined chestnut leather with a “paisley” patterned seat. The aesthetic is, uh, a vintage curiosity, but it’s original.
This car has been completely rebuilt after spending decades with several different owners, and we are talking completely–the shell has been stripped down, the mechanics redone and the interior refreshed, with the exception of the interesting seat fabric. It is a Porsche of monumental importance, as rare as it is interesting, and which should make a lot of money.
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