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> The IMSA 914
gms
post Aug 23 2015, 08:08 AM
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After the comment I was reading in the “914-6/904 project begins” thread I felt the need to inform some of the members of this board about the 914s in IMSA or the 914 GTU. I am currently involved in research to write a book about this very subject so I will share some of my findings.

Between 1971 and 1987 there were forty-two 914s built and entered in IMSA sanctioned events in North America. In 1971 and 1972 the cars sported the factory M491 option package or their equivalent built by the privateer. The extensive use of fiberglass in the hood, rear deck lid, bumpers and rocker panels lightened the car while the 911 engine upgrades gave the horsepower to make this car competitive against all racers.

Starting in 1973 the cars had started to evolve into homegrown and sometimes innovative thoroughbred built by Americans with that “can do” attitude. It was not that Porsche didn’t do a great job converting the 914 into a race car it was just that the development done in 1970 was becoming outdated.

Wheels and tires were getting wider and this would drastically affect its shape as the fenders became wider and body panels were constructed of fiberglass. The Porsche factory never constructed a tail or developed any aerodynamic aids for the rear of a 914.so this would become the area of most diversity.

The 914 competed in the IMSA GTU class which allowed a 911 engine starting at a two liter displacement and expanding all the way up to three liters by the end of its eligibility.
There were also some 914/4s that competed; they were allotted a chassis weigh savings for their lack of displacement and two cylinders.

As the handling, acceleration and speed of the 914 were enhanced by these advancements the chassis required more strength, this was accomplished by the extensive use of tube framing and suspension reinforcement. In some cases suspension components were borrowed from the 911 RSR and 935.

Once the cars became firm and fast they needed improvements in their braking capability. As has always been the case the 914 borrowed calipers and master cylinders from its Porsche siblings, a few examples even used aircraft brake calipers.
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gms
post Aug 23 2015, 08:09 AM
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There are three cars that reached the pinnacle of success in their time.
The Brumos GT was the most successful having won most of the races outright in 1971 and winning the first IMSA GTU class championship. This car owes its success to legendary pilots Hurley Haywood and Peter Gregg.

In 1977 the Garretson built racer driven by Walt Maas won the GTU championship. Development was credited to Porsche Icons Bob Garretson, Bruce Anderson and Jerry Wood.

In the 1980 24 hrs of Daytona race Bill Koll pulled off and amazing GTU class win, 5th place overall. This was not a fluke as Koll had place this car 3rd in class in 1978 and repeated the victory in1981 driving a 911.

Another standout in accomplishment and innovation was the four cylinder racer campaigned by Wayne Baker from 1979 to 1982. Although he never won a championship he had many class wins and podium finishes. If you get the chance to see this car at the track it is worth a look.

The craziest example has to be the twin turbo charged rocket built by Harald Von Keszycki who took a factory GT and built this monster with custom fiberglass bodywork. Although this car did not have much success it was at the cutting edge of technology.

One of the most recognizable has to be the black Altec-Lansing entry, although it only accomplished a handful of podium finishes the illustrious poster with a Playboy Playmate has made it unforgettable.
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gms
post Aug 23 2015, 08:12 AM
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Interesting Facts about the 914 GTU:

13 of these cars are currently being restored for vintage racing; some of the owners may surprise you.

14 of these cars are currently being raced or are more or less race ready.

1 of these cars was run at the Targa Florio as a trainer car for factory drivers.

1 of the three 914/6 GTs that ran at the 24 hrs of Le Mans became an IMSA racer.

1 2 of the cars had a complete tube frame developed for the Pontiac Fiero.

5 of these cars started life as factory built GTs.

2 of these cars started life as Ginther Roadsters.

3 of these cars ran 4 cylinder engines

3 of these cars have cages built by Chuck Gaa of Gaaco

Only 1 is confirmed to be scrapped…so far
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EdwardBlume
post Aug 23 2015, 08:40 AM
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Thanks Glenn

Bob Garretson also wrote the forward for the Caught By Camera book, where he talks about his racing experiences Glenn relates.

I believe his and others racing campaigns are what helped make our cars what they are today. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

The 914 has risen from true underdog past the 924, 928, 912, 944, and 968 into what it is today... a classic street race capable car.
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GeorgeRud
post Aug 23 2015, 12:05 PM
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Thanks for keeping track of all those cars, it really was a great time in the IMSA series back then. I had the pleasure of crewing with a Mazda RS Challenge car back in tose days (my hearing has never been the same since playing with those unmuffled rotary engines), and always loved seeing the GTU 914s at the races. Kicking around the paddocks and seeing those cars and the 911s fueled my lifelong passions.
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rgalla9146
post Aug 23 2015, 12:43 PM
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Great info Glenn
Doug Arnao of New Jersey was a SCCA National Champion in one of the cars mentioned.
He built the car and did all fabrication and development himself.
And, as I recall, was honored for his efforts by Porsche AG
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GeorgeRud
post Aug 23 2015, 12:53 PM
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Dave Finch also did a great job on the SCCA circuit in the 914s.
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wndsnd
post Aug 23 2015, 03:08 PM
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Thank you Glenn, this is good stuff. I look forward to reading your book.
I am understanding the passion behind the 904 arguments more.

(IMG:style_emoticons/default/beerchug.gif)
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rick 918-S
post Aug 23 2015, 03:27 PM
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As interest in our cars increase and values rise this is a part of 914 history that is timely and important. Thanks for doing this Glenn. Looking forward reading the book.
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RoadGlue
post Aug 23 2015, 06:20 PM
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Can't wait for the book!
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carr914
post Aug 24 2015, 04:48 AM
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It better be a Picture Book for most of this Crowd! (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif)

My Ex - still in the World family

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maf914
post Aug 24 2015, 05:46 AM
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Thanks for the 914 history lesson, Glenn. Best of luck with the book. I will definitely want to add a copy to the 914 library.
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flyer86d
post Aug 24 2015, 05:49 AM
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QUOTE(rgalla9146 @ Aug 23 2015, 02:43 PM) *

Great info Glenn
Doug Arnao of New Jersey was a SCCA National Champion in one of the cars mentioned.
He built the car and did all fabrication and development himself.
And, as I recall, was honored for his efforts by Porsche AG

Doug started out with a 914-6 with a 2.7 and learned how to drive at PCA DEs. After a few mishaps, the car was morphing into a dedicated track car with a twin plug, 906 cammed 3.2. Over the next winter. He bought a set of tube frame Fiero plans, built a fabrication table in Jim and Kathy Foster's garage, and started welding. By spring he had a race ready 914-6 tube frame car. He took it to a couple of PCA events to sort it out (with a dis approving NNJR board of governors watching carefully). At Summit Point, one of the rear cast Fiero suspension uprights broke launching him through the trees damaging the car. He then converted his old 914-6 into a C production car and went SCCA racing. Over the following winter, he redesigned his tube frame car to use 914-6 suspension front and rear and developed it into a very fast C production car and IMSA car. Dr Frank Juhasz bought his old 914-6 based C production car and raced it for a few years. I remember driving it at Pocano and marveled at how well sorted it was.

Charlie
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stownsen914
post Aug 24 2015, 10:13 AM
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When I was a teenager I saw Doug's IMSA 914 at Summit Point when it broke an upright as Charlie mentions above. I was watching him drive when it happened, in fact. I'd turned my head for a second and next thing I knew it was upside down sliding across the grass. I'd looked at the car earlier that day with the bodwork off. It was the coolest 914 I've seen to this day. He used the Huffaker Fiero plans and chassis parts as mentioned. It had dual A arms at all 4 corners and inboard mounted shocks.

I thought he'd raced the car in IMSA in that configuration, but when I checked recently on racingsportscars.com or one of the other IMSA stats sites, it didn't show up.

After he converted it to run SCCA GT-2, he wons a lot of races with the car. I don't think we won a national championship but did place 3rd one of the years Finch won in his 944. I posted a video of that race few weeks ago over in the Paddock forum. Doug helped me build my own 914 (see sig at left) and I had the spoiler off the old IMSA car on my car at one point. He was definitely a go-to guy for building fast 914s.

I've seen pictures of another Fiero-based 914 that ran Sebring or Daytona I think, I thnk here on this forum actually. I don't know who owned or drove it though.
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gms
post Aug 24 2015, 10:30 AM
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QUOTE(stownsen914 @ Aug 24 2015, 11:13 AM) *

I've seen pictures of another Fiero-based 914 that ran Sebring or Daytona I think, I thnk here on this forum actually. I don't know who owned or drove it though.

It was the Altman Bros, not to be confused with the Allman bros
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gms
post Aug 24 2015, 11:00 AM
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here is a picture of the Altman car taken by Martin Arnaud at the 1987 - 12 hrs of Sebring. If anyone knows the whereabouts of this car please let me know.
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gms
post Aug 24 2015, 11:05 AM
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QUOTE(carr914 @ Aug 24 2015, 05:48 AM) *

It better be a Picture Book for most of this Crowd! (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif)

My Ex - still in the World family

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As T.C. pointed out this car is being restored by a board member, here is the link
Starting a 1971 IMSA 914 Restoration

The book will have lot of picture (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif)
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stownsen914
post Aug 24 2015, 11:22 AM
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QUOTE(gms @ Aug 24 2015, 01:00 PM) *

here is a picture of the Altman car taken by Martin Arnaud at the 1987 - 12 hrs of Sebring. If anyone knows the whereabouts of this car please let me know.



That's the one. Very enterprising, the Altman brothers. They had a cool 911 as well (I guess before the 914?) that had a much wider front end than standard and custom bodywork. I think Jay Kjoller raced that car for a few years after they sold it.
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rick 918-S
post Sep 3 2015, 04:27 PM
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QUOTE(stownsen914 @ Aug 24 2015, 12:22 PM) *

QUOTE(gms @ Aug 24 2015, 01:00 PM) *

here is a picture of the Altman car taken by Martin Arnaud at the 1987 - 12 hrs of Sebring. If anyone knows the whereabouts of this car please let me know.



That's the one. Very enterprising, the Altman brothers. They had a cool 911 as well (I guess before the 914?) that had a much wider front end than standard and custom bodywork. I think Jay Kjoller raced that car for a few years after they sold it.



http://www.racingsportscars.com/driver/Jay-Kjoller-USA.html
https://www.driverdb.com/drivers/jay-kjoller/
http://www.pbase.com/image/49903895

Wonder if the car could be located?
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JmuRiz
post Sep 3 2015, 07:06 PM
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QUOTE(gms @ Aug 24 2015, 09:00 AM) *

here is a picture of the Altman car taken by Martin Arnaud at the 1987 - 12 hrs of Sebring. If anyone knows the whereabouts of this car please let me know.
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Wow, just noticed the horizontal fan, goes with all the other trick bits on that chassis.
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