It's every Porsche owner's worst nightmare. You grab your keys with thoughts of a spirited drive only to find your beloved Porsche is missing, stolen from your own garage or driveway. That's what happened to Michel Benson more than 8-years ago when her '76 914 was taken from the driveway of her Santa Cruz home.
The theft happened while Benson was in the middle of a house move. She had packed up her other car with boxes and bags to bring to her new home only to return a while later and find the Porsche missing. She reported the stolen 914 to both the DMV and the CHP, but pretty much never expected to see her Porsche again. Remember, in 2007 914s weren't exactly collector cars. It's only in recent years, with the sky high price appreciation of so many other air-cooled Porsches, that 914s have come back into mainstream favor.
Fast forward eight years to a 914 on the back of a tow-truck. A central valley dealership had acquired the 914 from a nearby farm where it had sat abandoned for years among a number of others, and one of three brought to the dealership. As the dealer did their research in preparation to restore or sell the 914 they quickly discovered it had been reported stolen. Doing they only thing they could do, the dealership reached out to Benson to let her know her beloved 914 had been recovered.
Benson didn't believe it when she got the call about her 914, “I got teary-eyed and said, ‘Oh my God they found my car.’ But my husband said he couldn’t believe it,’” Benson told the Santa Cruz Sentinel.
When the Porsche was stolen 8-years ago the odometer showed 90,000 miles or so. Fortunately, it has about the same on it now, meaning the thief or thieves never really got to play with it. Unfortunately, the Porsche is in a bit worse shape as the interior is torn up, the paint is rusting and the top is completely weathered.
Despite the 914s poor condition Benson says she plans to restore it back to original regardless of the cost.
“Any car that works that hard for that many years to get back to me, she has my complete devotion,” Benson said. “It’s a love affair that’s not going to stop here.”
The Porsche is currently at her husband's shop and she's actively looking for parts. Michele mentioned to us that if anyone knows of available parts, she would love to hear from you. Best way to reach her is through her website.