Ed's 914 is clearly not your average Porsche. This 914, the result of an odd joint effort between Volkswagen and Porsche, was originally powered by a VW straight-4 making less than 100 horses at the crank when it came off the line in ‘73. Over the past five years, however, Ed and the previous owner took to transforming the squishy, stock poor man’s Porsche into a full-bore racer.
Having purchased the car with only a few months left of 2015 Ed managed to squeeze in 3 autocross events before the year was out. Spring of this year the car was sprayed in Continental Orange, after which Ed applied the stickers himself. The livery, while never in use in this exact form on a 914, really suits the car; certainly an excellent throwback to the Jägermeister RSR 934 Turbo.
While I’ve come across a couple attempts at similar builds around the internet, none look as nice nor are driven as hard as this one. It is an autocross dedicated build that, piloted by the previous owner in 2014, placed first in class and second overall at Porsche Nationals where Ed hopes to compete next season.
Ed explained that even at amateur autocross events there are really only two realistic options if you want to be competing for top times of the day: a heavily modified 914 or a track-ready GT3. With race-prepped GT3s very much over the six-figure mark, and as Ed already has a couple other street cars he takes to the track regularly, this 914 was the obvious choice. He still has a couple things to shake out and tweak but it seems to be suiting him well so far.
Diving into the modifications, a few things stand out immediately. A very obvious widebody kit and aggressive aero adorn the car from front to back – the B pillar seems to be the only area that’s relatively untouched. Even with a half-cage, the extra aero (including a huge diffuser originally for an Elise), and a much larger motor, the car weighs in at just 1,712 pounds.
Nearly every square inch of the bodywork has been replaced with either fiberglass or carbon fiber. Lacking a windshield, mirrors and other conveniences, the car is clearly not one that sees many road miles.
Despite this, Ed snuck it around some back roads and gave me a run-down on the car. The lack absolute lack of creature comforts is certainly worth every 100th of a second Ed saves at the track – after all, the car missed best overall time at Porsche Nationals by only .06s.
Plenty of modifications have been performed to help at Nationals including tiny wheels wrapped in A7 Hoosier slicks, a 4-gallon fuel cell, and an aggressive suspension setup that Ed didn’t seem to want to talk much about. The result is an angry looking, low and lightweight monster with a huge wing right over the driven wheels.
Wheels which are driven by a proper air-cooled swap, a hearty 2.7L flat-6 from a mid-70s 911. Built close to RS spec with 40mm triple-throat Weber carburetors and mated to a 901 side-shift 5-speed transmission with custom gearing and a limited slip differential, this thing is ready to hook up the power.
With all of the aggressive upgrades it’s easy to forget how tiny this car really is. Having less than 9 pounds to haul around per horsepower and at half the weight of Ed's 997 it could easily shut down many modern muscle cars from zero to sixty, not to mention around the curvy bits.
Along with the livery, the interior was also re-vamped by the new owner. Already completely stripped down, a new seat was a necessary first purchase for a more comfortable shifting and driving position. All that remains of the dash and electronics are a tach, small gauge cluster, a couple switches, and a starter button.
In case of a bad day, the carpet and sound deadening have been replaced by a fire extinguisher that’s firmly strapped in. Steel braided fuel lines run through the length of the interior where the passenger seat would go; certainly no ride-alongs in this 914.
Taking in details of the livery was something I very much enjoyed. Being a big fan of the Jagermeister Sponsored 934 from the 70s, I admired the exact sticker locations and attention to detail.
An excellent looking 914 that Ed promises to continue beat up on the track – he’s got 9 days under his belt this year with 10 more scheduled. I’m glad we got some photos while it’s still relatively fresh, before it acquires the inevitable knicks and scratches that Ed called race patina.
The rawness of this build really is refreshing; wind in your face, a great sound on throttle, sticky rubber and the smell of high-octane. What more could you ask for?