Times have changed since the days of “car for sale” ads in the newspaper classifieds. Nowadays, if you’re hunting for a particular car, you have to go online. I found www.craigslist.com and www.thesamba.com most helpful. Check beyond your immediate area to give you an idea of the going price range.
Another helpful resource is www.pelicanparts.com. Here’s a link to their official guide to buying a 914: http://www.pelicanparts.com/914/How_to_buy_a_914.htm. They also publish lots of technical guides for this vehicle.
One important decision to be made at this point is, “how much work and money do I want to put into the new car”? Remember, the last 914 was made in 1976, so they’re all at least 30 years old. Therefore, this is a two-pronged project, i.e., restoration and conversion. So, do you want to buy a rolling tub, a fully restored beauty, or a partially completed one? 914’s have a strong following, and many are racers. That means souped up engines, something that you have to pay for but don’t really need. At the other end of the spectrum are the project cars or junkyand rescues. They’re cheap, but do you have the time, money and technical/mechanical skills that something of this magnitude requires?
Caught within these parameters, I chose to search for a partially restored one. My patience (or impatience) was shortly rewarded, for I found a candidate about 80 miles away. Relatively rust free, except for evidence of prior repair in the usual “hell hole” underneath the battery tray, this car had a fuel injection challenge, something that I really didn’t care about. A cracked windshield also contributed to the discounted price, and I got a truck full of parts as well: new twin Weber carbs, springs with Koni shocks, the old bumpers, wheels, tires, rotors, wheel hubs, etc., etc., etc. eBay will be happy. As is typical in most restoration projects, the prior owner got back approximately 60% – 70% of the parts that he just put in, not counting his labor. More important things, like college, sometimes changes ones priority.
Here are pictures of the car: