Project Porsche 914 | The Awakening
Words & Photography Luke Ray
For those keen followers who found a mention of this car back in Fuel Magazine issue 17 some three years ago, this is the part where you throw your hands in the air and exclaim “Finally!”. I wrote that after getting back from my previous trip to the UK to check on the car. I got all fired up, hoping that putting some intentions down on printed paper would cause me to get my act together and push on with getting it over here to Melbourne, but, it didn’t and there she kept sitting… until now.
Hurrah, hooray, tally-ho and all that, ‘Project 914’ is finally on the water and headed over. I’ve just shaken off the jet lag from the trip and so can sit and reminisce on the barmy in-and-out visit which pretty much centred around travelling to the UK to get the car out of storage and onto the back of a flatbed.
To give some brief backstory, my 1975 Porsche 914 2.0ltr was rolled into a single car garage in the quiet town of Kenilworth in December of 2005. I bought the car in 2001 at a VW event in the UK after the car had recently been imported from California. I enjoyed it immensely, in the UK and mainland Europe before tucking it away when I got a job over here (Melbourne) in January ‘06. The car sat there ever since, with no particular plans being formed to bring it over during those 11 years. This year plans started to fall into place, all of which will be revealed over the build, and so the time was right to make the booking.
I made a plan for a day and a half to tidy up the car and the garage. Australian customs regulations are strict, so we had to do our best to clean the car up as much as possible and, as it turns out, I had forgotten just how much junk was left in there as I was in such a rush to put it in storage.
I say “we” because this process could not have happened without an old friend taking the time to meet me at the lock-up and work on the car for a day. Scott Marsden is one of the reasons I got this car in the first place. Scott, myself and a handful of other uni friends used to frequent classic VW events back in the late ‘90s and through the noughties.
It was through meeting those guys that my initial interest in the old ‘Dubs started. They had beetles, Karmann Ghias and the like. My weapon of choice ended up being this car. So when I was looking for some help a few weeks ago, Scott was kind enough to raise a hand and take a five-hour round-trip drive away from work and family to come and help me.
I was obviously travelling light, but with Scott’s tool-filled MPV, we set to work. Impressively, after all that time locked away, things were looking really good. The main goals were to clean her up and to make sure she was rolling freely for the shipping guys to move her around. For this reason, the main job that Scott set about was taking the wheels off and freeing up the brakes.
I made sure the whole car was free from old junk, including taking the seats out and subsequently removing as much carpet as we could. I have full intentions of replacing it all anyway and it made for a cleaner process to expose as much of the car's floor to Australian customs as possible. Scott meticulously went through each brake assembly one by one, ensuring things were rolling freely.
After a full day of tidying up, Scott gave the car a full final wash-down and she was ready to go. The truck showed up the next day to pick the car up and it was all over. It’s strange but exciting to think that the car is now on its way over here to start a new life. I have full intentions for a ground-up rebuild to a particular specification. Keep an eye on what we're doing through here and the Instagram tag #projectfuel14.
I’d like to offer a final shout out to Scott… I know it was a big trip for you buddy, all in one day and I appreciate you making the journey. It was a quick catch-up, but your support means a lot to me. See you again soon.