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Rare 1970 Porsche 914 rolls through Jay Leno’s Garage

Racer Randy Pobst recently brought a 1970 Porsche 914/6 GT to Jay Leno’s Garage and the resulting video provides an in-depth look at a rare version of the 1970s entry-level sports car. Porsche.

While the 914 itself was quite popular, only 16 models of the 914/6 GT racing version were built. This particular example is still racing; Pobst recently drove it at Laguna Seca and claims to have passed a much newer 911 GT2 RS.

914 is the result of cooperation between Porsche and Volkswagen looking for a replacement for Karmann Ghia. At the time, Porsche was still a small company and projects like this have helped it continue to emerge. VW later withdrew from the partnership, but the 914 entered production under the Porsche umbrella in 1969 and is still sold with the VW-Porsche badge in Europe.

The base version also has a VW engine. While this is a smart cost-cutting move, the 1.7-liter four-stroke makes just 79 horsepower. But Porsche also offers the 914/6 with its in-house developed 2.0-liter six-cylinder making 108 hp.

Some Porsche fans scoffed at the VW connection and styling – a big difference from the 911 – which also made some acquaintances. But mid-mounted engines are much easier to reach than modern engines 718 CaymanPobst noted, and the 914 still sold in respectable numbers. Porsche built 115,631 four-cylinder models between 1969 and 1975 and 3,338 six-cylinder models between 1969 and 1972.

To be able to compete on the track, the 914/6 GT has been upgraded with a more powerful 2.0-liter 6-cylinder engine from the Porsche 906, producing about 220 horsepower and combined with a 5-speed manual transmission. The car also weighs only 1,940 lbs – even with the extra stiffeners in the rear trunk.

1970 Porsche 914/6 GT at Jay Leno's Garage

1970 Porsche 914/6 GT at Jay Leno’s Garage

The flat-6 gets fuel from a 26-gallon tank mounted under the front hood. It offers plenty of range and helps balance weight distribution when full, says Pobst, but that’s obviously going to change as the tank runs out and the front end gets lighter. But the mid-engine design still helps it balance better than the rear-engined 911, Pobst noted.

While other Porsche race cars usually get more attention from enthusiasts, the 914/6 GT has enjoyed some success in the competition, including finishing 6th overall at the Grand Prix. 24 Hours of Le Mans racing in 1970. And it was 914 that laid the foundation for Porsche Boxster and Cayman.

You are unlikely to see a car with the Le Mans lineage circling around on public roads, especially given that the car is only one of 16 built. So be sure to watch the video to see this 914/6 GT on the streets of Los Angeles.

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