For the space-uninitiated, Phobos is the name of the larger of Mars' two moon-like satellites. Phobos is relatively light as moons go, it orbits very close to Mars with a tighter turning radius, and it carries a lot of speed through that turning circle, as it orbits Mars about once every 8 hours. So it would make sense that Carl Sagan would name his 914 after a natural satellite such as that, right? To add more pieces to the puzzle, Phobos was also the Greek god of fear, son of Aphrodite and Ares. In its day, the 914 incited fear in the hearts of Datsun, BMW, and even Dino. It all makes sense!
The car was a favorite of Sagan throughout the 1970s, and many of his colleagues remember him driving Phobos around while speaking into his signature dictaphone. Neil Degrasse Tyson even remembers being picked up at the bus station by Sagan in his bright orange Porsche. This is a car with an interesting history, and if you're equal parts Porsche nerd and science nerd as I am, you'd love the opportunity to own such a piece. Well, now you can, as it is for sale on eBay!
The car has, through the ravages of time and New York winters, deteriorated quite a bit unfortunately. There is rust, and the original paint is all but ruined with a shoddy repaint. That said, I've seen nice restorations begin with a lot less car intact. Most of the pieces appear to be there, and with some hard work and a hefty chunk of money, this 'teener could be returned to its original glory. The current bidding has the car valued about right in the current market, but the reserve is not yet met. How high do you think this will go? Does the fact that Mr. Sagan owned the car make it more valuable in your opinion? Will you be the one to restore this needy 914? Are you brave enough to face Phobos, or do you fear it?
For more pictures, pricing and information, check out the full listing on eBay.
[Photos provided by the eBay listing]