Carl Sagan's Porsche 914 Phobos one of a kind collector car classic
Price: - Item location: Melbourne, Florida, United States
- Condition: Used
- Make: Porsche
- Model: 914
- Trim: 1.7
- Year: 1970
- Mileage: 27,000
- Engine size: gas
- Fuel: Gasoline
- Drive type: RWD
- Options: Leather Seats
- Vehicle Title: Clear Want to buy? Contact seller!
1970 Porsche 914It's fair to say that this is one of my most prized possessions. It's not every day that you get to pick up a legendary car.
I bought "Phobos" in Ithaca, NY when I was working at Cornell's Space Sciences Department in 2002. I was just looking for a convertible for the summer and someone happened to be selling this rare Porsche Targa. Turns out this car was Phobos, the car that is iconic because it was Carl Sagan's ride. Many at Cornell recall seeing Dr. Sagan in the orange Porsche dictating into his dictaphone. I think the car was given to a family friend after Carl Sagan's passing. Since it's such an old car, there is no title for it and therefore the transfer of ownership is a letter from Carl Sagan's wife Ann Druyan.
This car as so iconic infact that a similar car was featured in the new cosmos series showing Carl Sagan picking up a young Neil deGrasse Tyson from the Ithaca bus station.
Since buying the car my dad and I put in quite a bit of work to get her going again. Phobos was our bonding project. Alas, given Ithaca's weather, the car had significant rust on it which was repaired by a body shop there and we decided to paint it black (we assumed black would dry faster & protect the car from rusting further). Incidentally, the car who did the paint job didn't do such a great job as he painted over the original paint rather than sanding it down. So now the paint is chipping and you can see the original signal orange paint.
I brought the car down to Florida with me in 2004. Unfortunately my dad died in 2005 and I haven't really touched the car since. It's been in the garage, I started it a couple of times and it still starts up fine. I don't think I'll be able to bring myself to work on this car again, everytime I've tried, I end up depressed (even after 10 years). With new additions to my family, I recently got a minivan and am planning to move again. So, I think it's time for Phobos to go to a new home (maybe a museum).
I still have a copy of the letter from Ann Druyan and all the paperwork I submitted to get the car registered in New York.