914-6: Transformer

914-6: Transformer 1
914-6: Transformer 2
914-6: Transformer 3
914-6: Transformer 4
914-6: Transformer 5
914-6: Transformer 6
914-6: Transformer 7
914-6: Transformer 8

According to some, the 914-6 was also hobbled by the fact that Porsche had quoted its weight to the SCCA complete with steel wheels and a radio among the standard accoutrements. The five-percent mass reduction allowed by the regulations was quickly reached when these non-essentials were ditched. And as it was, the cars raced without their heavy windshields, as did all the roadsters in the class.

In order to meet minimum weight requirements, it’s believed the teams added gravel to the car’s heater tubes to provide ballast at the preferred level, and this is supported by an account of stones pouring out of the car that was later to become Franklin Wong’s when it was mounted in a rotisserie rig and inverted.

The teams had also tried to suggest to the SCCA regulators that the Targa hoop would serve as a roll-protection device, but the officials would have none of it, and they were all forced to fit rollover-protection cages.

Perhaps it was the relative lack of power, or the fact the 914-6 sold in very small volumes compared to its four-cylinder sibling (a situation that had much to do with its price being higher than that of a contemporary 911 T), or perhaps it was just corporate politics, but in any event the cars did not return to SCCA C-Production racing in 1971.

At that point one might have expected these retired race cars to simply disappear in the manner of so many obsolete workhorses. But not this time. The number-one driver, Alan Johnson, was general manager at Bozzani’s Porsche dealership at the time, and the management decided to buy both West Coast cars and store them in the back room. There they stayed until Johnson set up his own Porsche dealership in San Diego and moved down there, taking his former race car with him. By then the car had been converted into a 914-6 GT, with greater wheel and tire space for possible classification in the evolving IMSA series.

Enter race driver John Thomas, Jr. (“JT” to his friends), who was Bozzani Porsche’s parts manager at the time. He bought the 914-6 we understand to be the car that had been driven by Eliot Forbes-Robinson, intending to weld the windshield back on and drive it on the street.

Somehow he never got around to doing that. Instead, he decided to convert the car to an IMSA GTU-spec racer. Having occasionally shared IMSA 914-6 rides in 1974 (the same year he bought the ex-SCCA car), JT may have thought about racing his own 914-6. What followed turned into an epic reconstruction project.

Also from Issue 212

  • Would you believe 416 hp and 53 mpg?
  • The WEC contender begins its quest
  • Carbon fiber and 3.6 liters of power
  • A unique take on the Outlaw Porsche
  • A showcase of Porsche's dual personality
  • Updating done the right way
  • Not powerful, but well balanced
  • Built for the rough stuff by Tuthill
  • Courage, defined
  • The ears have it: Yes, it's worth it.
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