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914 Ski / Bike Rack Installation

Pelican Technical Article:

914 Ski / Bike Rack Installation

Andy Schiffer


30 minutes30 mins






None needed for rack installation

Applicable Models:

Porsche 914 (1970-76)

Parts Required:

Rhodes Mondial ski & bike rack or Yakima 1A bike & ski rack, used 914 targa roof

Performance Gain:

A good way to carry your bike or skis with your 914

Complementary Modification:

Get rack attachments for hauling other sporting items with your 914
    If you're like me, you've often dreamed of taking your 914 skiing.  Driving up the winding mountain roads in an oversized SUV just really isn't the way to go.  The one problem has always been what to do with the skis.  Many people seem to ask if there is a ski or bike rack available for the 914.  Well, now there is.

     I discovered how well this rack fits the 914 after my other car had an unexpected run-in with a large 18-wheeler.  Needless to say, one of the few things left on the car was the roof rack, which I salvaged and placed on the roof of my 914, as shown in Figure 1.

     The rack is a two-bar rack that 'ratchets' on to the top of the 914 roof, as shown closer in Figure 2.   The two brackets that hold each side of the rack fit nicely under the lip of the roof without damaging the windows or the rubber seals on the targa top as shown in Figure 3.  The rack shown in the picture is a Mondial made by Rhodes.  I originally bought this rack at a bicycle store for about $120 about two years ago.  It has a lock that will let you secure the bars to the roof of the car without the fear of having it get stolen.  There are also 'accessories' available for making the rack more palatable to carrying bicycles.

       I installed the rack on a spare roof that I picked up a long time ago.  If you are interested in spare roofs for the purpose of placing a rack on it, then we at Pelican Parts have plenty of them.  The installed rack will not allow the roof to fit into the trunk of the car, and it is a pain to take on and off, so I highly recommend getting an extra roof.  They can often be found for about $75-$125 depending upon their condition.

     I don't have the exact part number on the rack (part number varies with the car make and model), however, the rack that fits perfectly on the 914 is the same one made for a 1990 Plymouth Acclaim.

   Well, that's about it. If you have any questions or comments about this helpful tip, please drop us a line. Andy Schiffer adds:

Howdy guys and gals!!!

I am a cycling enthusiast that works within the cycling industry. I also own and love my 1972 Porsche 914 currently undergoing a suspension console replacement.

I would like to add my 2 cents to the bike-rack needs of my fellow 914'ers. I have long-since used a particular rack on all of my old cars which have rain-gutters. Like my 1966 Dodge Charger, 1969 Volkswagen Beetle and my late model Audi. This rack works very simply by having a narrow "foot" which sits in the rain-gutter and has a plastic-coated metal "L"-shaped clip which drops below the gutter, and upon tightening the adjuster knob, they clamp the rack securely to the gutter.

Ah!! You say... The 914 does not have a "rain gutter" like the older cars.... How's this thing going to work?

Well, the rack is called a "1A" and it is made by a company called YAKIMA who has been in the rack business since I was born. This rack was the best thing since sliced bread for bicyclists in the seventies and early eighties when most cars HAD rain-gutters. Since then, cars have evolved out of the raingutters for smoothed over roofs and more aero-dynamic door shapes, and YAKIMA has also evolved new rack designs to fit new cars. The groovy thing about YAKIMA is that they still make the 1A rack for certain cars and custom applications.

The way this rack will work with the 914 is this... The rack comes with some nice little rubber "socks" (for lack of a better term) which will protect any surface that the rack is placed on. On the 914, you have a roof, but it's rain-gutters are slightly less than traditional, so we have to look at a different location, like the rear deck lid. This area is an untapped bit of real-estate which will easily accept a 1A rack by sitting the rack "foot" with it's "sock" installed onto the deck-lid, just about a centimeter or so from the edge. The plastic covered metal clip will drop over the edge between the lid and the quarter-panel or fender, and simply clamp right onto the lid at the edge. The rack comes as a tower kit, and you purchase the cross-bars separately depending on how wide you want them. The Towers are less than $100 and the bars are about $40. This simply gives you a foundation to put just about any kind of mount you can think of. Bikes, skis, or even a really cool luggage box. Everything is lockable, even the towers so you can secure just about anything to the car, and there are multiple lock sets which you can get so you only have to have one key to open the whole system.

I like this system much better than a roof mounted one, because if you take into account that the average bicycle weighs 25-30lbs ( for a high-end one) and the rack weighs about 20, you've got a 70 lb. sail on top of a fiberglass panel held onto the car by hooks not much more stronger than my belt buckle. Not to mention that bicycles are not very aerodynamic at 65-70 mph. When the rack is on the deck-lid, the cockpit of the car helps to shield the bikes or skis from road debris, and is much lower so you can go through the drive-through or even pull into the garage without having to worry about tagging the car-port or garage door. I can't tell you how many people I with smashed up expensive bikes on the McDonald's clearance-sign, or their garage. This also would do considerable damage to your roof, and would bring new meaning to the phrase "Removable Targa Top".

I can give you a lot more tips on this and other applications, as I worked at a really nice high-end bicycle shop where I did many custom installations like this...

Andy Schiffer

Cannondale Corp

Figure 1

914 With Rack Installed

Figure 2

Close-Up of 914 Ski Rack

Figure 3

Close-Up of Rack Mount

Comments and Suggestions:
Dick4mayor Comments: Thanks for all the rack info.

Continue to wonder if anyone has developed a rack to carry a kayak?

The roof mount as described above is questionable because of the targa roof anchors. The trunk mount sounds interesting like to see pics but the kayak length maybe a problem.

November 15, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I am not aware of one. I opened a post in our forums. A Pelican community member may be able to answer your question.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
Dick4mayor Comments: I have a 1972 914 trying to find some kind of kayak rack for it
Presently it has a trunk luggage rack

Andy do you have a pic of your installation ?

Please advise. thanks
September 12, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find a rack.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
stef Comments: i still have an original vw-porsche 914/2.0 ski rack.

have owned 2 vw-porsches 914/2.0 in the 70's
January 19, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Cool, thanks for the info. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Richard Comments: Actually, I found a solution. My older son, an engineer,told me that my old rack should work. Haven't used it for years, but it fits nicely over the engine compartment and works fine. So simple is best.
September 25, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the follow up. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
Richard Comments: Andy,

I am trying to figure out how I can carry my bike on my 1987 911 Targa. Sounds like you may have a solution. Any help would be appreciated.

September 5, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The only way I know how to do this is to get a hard fiberglass roof and then attach a generic bike rack to it. I've done this with my 914 (skis though - not a complete bike) and it worked pretty well. Just make sure your Targa latches are fastened and in good condition! - Wayne at Pelican Parts  

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Page last updated: Tue 2/20/2018 02:19:08 AM