VW-Porsche 914 Celebrates Anniversary
1969 Volkswagen-Porsche 914
The Volkswagen-Porsche 914-8|
being presented to Ferry Porsche
The Volkswagen-Porsche 914-8
16th April, 2009
Everything remained very quiet when today’s Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG
established VW-Porsche-Vertriebsgesellschaft mbh, the VW-Porsche Sales Company, together with Volkswagenwerk AG, as it
was called at the time, in April 1969.
Holding stock capital of DM 5 million, the new company launched the strategy of success for two sports cars still
carefully held back from the public pending their final presentation: the VW-Porsche 914 and 914/6.
The establishment of the VW-Porsche Sales Company marked the beginning of a true story of success – and the fortunate
end of a dramatic story. Back in the mid-60s Volkswagen was looking for a successor to its Type 34 sports coupe, better
known as the “Karmann Ghia”. At the same time Porsche was striving to expand its position in the market with a sports
car in the promising segment beneath the 911.
Facing this challenge Ferry Porsche and VW’s CEO Heinrich Nordhoff agreed in spring 1966 on a joint venture destined
to benefit both parties: Porsche was given the assignment by Volkswagen to develop a low-cost mid-engined sports car
intended to enter the market as a Volkswagen with four cylinders and as a Porsche with a six-cylinder boxer engine.
With the development process continuing at a good pace, the Board of Management of VW was suddenly confronted with a
tragic change: Heinrich Nordhoff died unexpectedly in 1968 and Kurt Lotz was appointed the new Chief Executive Officer.
Lotz rescinded the contract agreed verbally and insisted on Volkswagen receiving the sole and exclusive sales rights for
the car being developed by Porsche. After long and tough struggles bringing the 914 to the brink of failure more than
once, the two companies agreed in a compromise to call the new car the “VW-Porsche” and to market this new model through
a joint sales network.
The VW-Porsche 914 was presented at the Frankfurt Motor Show on 11th September 1969 as the first mid-engined sports
car built in Germany in series production. The combination of the two brand names Volkswagen and Porsche nevertheless
turned out to be an image problem for the new model series commonly referred to by the press as the “Volksporsche” or
“People’s Porsche”. This was a particular disadvantage for the 914/6 powered by the two-litre flat-six carried over
from the 911 T 2.0. For despite its outstanding performance, the 914/6 was hardly accepted by most of Porsche’s
The four-cylinder VW-Porsche 914, on the other hand, became a genuine success in the market, accounting for a
production volume of 115,631 units until the series ceased production in the northern spring of 1976, and thus becoming
the best-selling sports car of its time.
Most of the cars built were exported to the United States, where the 914 was marketed as a genuine, fully-fledged
Porsche without the VW prefix.
Today the VW-Porsche 914 is acknowledged as a popular classic supported by numerous 914 clubs the world over.
Particularly the 914/6 built only 3,338 times is one of the most sought-after collector cars from Porsche.
The Porsche Museum is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the 914 model series with a rare special exhibit on display
from 9th April to 10th May 2009: the Porsche 914/8 with its 300-bhp eight-cylinder racing engine once owned by Ferry
Porsche himself. With only two of these cars ever being built, one was presented to Ferry Porsche in 1969 as a special
gift for his 60th birthday.