When you’re ready to buy a classic Porsche 914 one of the first and most vital things to look for is a 914 that has as little rust as possible. Like any classic car rust is a major problem and, if the 914 you’re keen on buying is loaded with it, you’re in for major restoration expenses down the road. (Pun intended.)
George Hussey, owner of the world’s largest Porsche 914 collection (certified by Stuttgart no less), has seen plenty of 914’s that look pretty on the outside but are hiding rust on the inside, a problem that will inevitably need to be taken care of and usually at great expense. At Automobile Atlanta, where George has been selling Porsche 914s and Porsche parts for over 35 years, he has seen his fair share of 914 rust buckets and know the misery that it can cause. (he owns over 100 of them in what he calls his “914 grave yard“.
With that in mind, the person who wishes to buy a 914 should be very thorough in their inspection.. For example, taking the rocker covers off and inspecting the inner rocker is vital as well as checking both of the jacking points. Checking the back of the floor pan along with the right rear of the longitudinal where the right seat-belt bolts is imperative as well as of course the battery tray, the floor of both trunks (for previous collision damage) and the base of the inner and outer firewalls also. It is beneficial to put the car on a lift and check the entire under body, and beware of one that has been undercoated, especially if it is fresh!
Keep in mind that most battery trays have been replaced by now so do not let a new battery tray dissuade you from fully inspecting the area.
Indeed one of the biggest problems that the 914s had when new was that, ahem, they occasionally burst into flames. Why? Because rain would wash the hot battery acid (especially if a bad voltage regulator let the battery overcharge) out of the battery, onto the tray, and down the longitudinal, and onto the cloth covered fuel lines, springing a leak and catching the engine compartment on fire! The factory later came out with a kit to replace the fuel lines (the campaign was called “HO”) and future fires were kept to a minimum.
At Automobile Atlanta George Hussey has seen plenty of damaged battery trays, plenty of burned engine compartments, and over the years way too many Porsches that have been destroyed in accidents. In fact, he owns an entire graveyard full of them from which he harvests parts. Although these days, the big sellers are Porsche Cayenne parts, George’s first love will always be the 914.
Heck, they don’t call him Dr. 914 for nothing. With purportedly the world’s best 914 collection, the most 914s owned by any one organization, the largest 914 parts inventory, and over 275 custom manufactured parts for the 914, George virtually wrote the book on the car via his (914) “Tech Tips” 700. He is always available for detailed tech advice via the phone or an email and he’ll be glad to help you personally or connect you with one of his tech guys.
In fact, if you’re in the Atlanta area and want to bring by the 914 you’re considering, Dr. 914 and his staff of Porsche repair experts will give it a thorough exam and let you know just what you’re buying. Plus if you have any other classic Porsche model and have questions or need , for that matter, any part for any Porsche, do not hesitate to give them a call.
Ten hours a day six days a week, the Dr. is in at Automobile Atlanta!