Andy's 914 and Andy's 914
by Bill Newton, Redwood Region Member,
photos by Andy Brian
No, it's not a typographical error. Andy Brian owns two beautiful and
interesting 914s. Evidently he thought that one 914, the red car
featured in the June, 2004 Excellence magazine, was not enough because
he proceeded next to build a 914/6 virtually from the ground up.
Andy and his wife Susan live in Santa Rosa and have two sons. Andy works in
medical sales and Susan is a public school teacher. Andy's skill and
ability to work on cars did not come casually. In high school he was in
advanced auto shop. While in college, he also worked at a company that
restored warbirds where he learned a lot about metal and restoration.
Working on cars further perfected his skills. The 914/6 is his
fourth car. First was his high school Karmann Ghia, then a
912E, and third the red 914. As Andy tells it, "I've done all the work
in my home garage. Most of the tools I have in the garage used for
fabrication are pretty common. Jig saw, welder, grinder, vise and
hammers. One unusual tool I used was my kids' sand box. To shape metal
some fabricators use bags of sand to hammer out the metal. I took it
down a notch in the backyard."
The Red Car
Andy bought his 1975 in March of 1990 in Southern California. It was a completely stock 2.0,
originally green, and was going to be his daily driver. Andy drove it
for a short time then took it off the road for a complete rebuild. Many
hours were invested in this car and Andy still autocrosses it from time
to time. Power source is a modified 4 cylinder, 2270 cc motor with a
mild cam, ported heads, increased compression ratio, and a larger
(Volvo) throttle body. Suspension upgrades completed Andy's work on the
red car. This car weighs 2100 lbs. and has an estimated 118 hp.
The Silver Car
This car started life as a 1972 1.7 that Andy paid $300 for in
Santa Rosa. Then he acquired a wrecked original
914/6 with a running, carburated 3.0. Andy had just finished a second
season of autocrossing in the red 1975 and this new 6 cylinder car
offered to take his driving experience to the next level. Andy carefully
selected the suspension components so the car would work well on a big
track as well as when autocrossing, He used Elephant poly-bronze
bushings, Tangerine Racing raised spindles and cage, and other chassis
stiffening components of his own design. Other creative features include
an RX-7 oil cooler with a shroud he built to vent up through the hood.
This car weighs in at 2050 lbs. and produces approximately 228 hp.
Andy literally knows every inch of the 914, so Club members with
questions might want to come out to an autocross and talk to him. His is
a great example of high quality do-it-yourself work. And, those of us
attending the March 22nd autocross also were treated to Andy's ooga horn
performance with his silver car.