Had it been any other year, the Le Mans competition debut of the 914/6 GT would have been better
noticed. Sixth overall and first in GT was a superb maiden effort on the Sarthe circuit, especially for a twoliter
car. Alas, it paled to insignificance in 1970 in light of the 917’s three-car sweep and Porsche’s first-ever
outright win. However, Porsche salesmen were clearly pleased with the 914/6 GT’s performance.
Competition success might spur sales of the “Fourteener,” the VW-collaborated model which had opened to
mixed reviews in the enthusiast press instead of the more usual raves that greeted new Porsches.
Just 3,350 six-cylinder variations of the 914 were built. The power train was all Porsche. The GTs
were further upgraded with 911S brakes (908 brakes for long-distance racing), extra chassis stiffening, steel
fender flares, front oil cooler, fiberglass bumpers and deck lids. Displacement remained two liters as
homologated, but a full Carrera 6 top end on the engine upped horsepower to as much as 210. Unfortunately
for the 914/6, the same money could buy a 2.5-liter racing 911 which would give its owner a much better
chance for high overall placings. As a result, few 914s were raced.
The display car was one of three Porsche 914/6 GTs entered in the Marathon de la Route at the
Nürburgring in August 1970. Sprint speed being unnecessary in this 86-hour car-punishing event, the
engines fitted were stock 911S units putting out 160 hp at 7200 rpm. Racing 908 front brake calipers with
their thicker brake pads were installed. This car ran as a Group 4 GT; the other two, with rear wheels one
inch wider at eight inches, were relegated to Group 6 Prototype.
Three-and-a-half days of racing later, of the 64 starters in the Marathon, only 23 remained on the
circuit. Ahead of the rest of the field by a wide margin were the three 914/6 GTs. They lined up to cross the
finish line in a blaze of orange glory. How “punished” were they? One taillight bulb was broken, a couple of
window cranks were loose, two fuses had blown, one tire had gone flat – in an aggregate 18,000+ racing
Photos – Peter Harholdt
Briggs Cunningham imported the first Ferrari to race in the US and you can see it in the museum. Learn more