ElectroClassic EV
Classic Cars Reborn into the Electric Future

Hindsight is Golden

The driver side-view mirror that came with the car was broken, and restoring it to original was beyond my budget. The original stock chrome mirrors have a classic appeal, but some investigation online turned up a new pair of black Vitaloni mirrors that recap the size and shape of the originals, update the look of the car, and lend coherence to the 914 factory black-on-color theme.  They were also reasonably priced, so I scooped them up on eBay from a place in Germany called fiat-parts.  Look for the Vitaloni Baby Tornados.


The driver side mirror mounted quickly and easily using 8mm stainless allen bolts threaded right into the mounting holes.  The stainless sheet metal screw on the left was used to fill a hole that must have been drilled by a previous owner.  As you can see, the footprint intrudes on the window rubber a bit, but not enough to impair the mounting of the mirror or create a visual distraction. Overall, it went on clean and looks fantastic.


The passenger side-view mirror is another story. The original 914 did not ship with a passenger mirror, even though the factory included a provision to install one.  Welded inside the passenger door panel are two mounting nuts.  The installer must drill out two holes to allow attachment points for the mirror bolts. The above shot of the door interior shows the bottom of the raised window, the two factory welded nuts, and an 8mm allen screw inserted to confirm the thread size. By the way, the reddish tinge you see is not surface rust, but residue of the original paint peeking through.


I used a punch to lightly tap the underside of the door panel through the centers of the two nuts to mark drilling spots.  The image above shows the two dimples on the window sill, just outside the passenger quarter window. For the record, it’s really hard getting a good close-up of dimples.


Next, I marked the dimples with a Sharpie, then used the same punch to pop the dimples down in the opposite direction from the outside.  This created a small well that prevented the drill bit from straying.  I started with a narrow bit and gradually worked up to a size that was a shade smaller than the diameter of the mounting bolts. By the way; it was scary drilling into new paint.


I wish I could report the exact size of the largest bit, but this gitter-done operation resulted in lots of pictures and few notes.  Once I confirmed the bolts were properly threading into the nuts, I deburred the access holes and applied some protective undercoating with a Q-tip.  If the mirror bracket is not mounted as far rearward as it can go, the passenger quarter-window vertical brace will block the driver’s view.


The shot above shows the passenger side view mirror installed.  As stated earlier, the mirror base overlaps the window rubber slightly, but not enough to detract from stability and coolness.  However, both mirrors tilted about a half inch high on the outside, and would not come level without a little help.  With an Exacto knife, I carved away a smidge of plastic from the inside rim of the socket that kept the ball joint from lowering further.  With a little finesse, both mirrors are now perfectly level.


The interior rear view mirror was missing altogether from the original parts box in the trunk.  Again, rather than splurge on an expensive factory replacement, I bought an aftermarket unit that includes a great design improvement.  The original 914 mirror was glued directly to the windshield glass, creating an eyesore when viewed from the outside.  Why not attach the mirror to the same mounting holes used for the sun visor pegs?  The seller mack914-6 on eBay Motors has fabricated the perfect solution from a BMW mirror, combining the center sun visor pivots with the mirror base, resulting in less obstructed windshield area. It brings such satisfaction when form and function mesh so perfectly!



One Response to “Hindsight is Golden”

  1. Regarding your issue getting the mirrors to mount level, you can remount them with base rotated 180 degrees. On the passenger side the base will now have the set screw facing to the rear. (Opposite of your picture of passenger side mirror showing base with set screw facing to the front.) On the driver side the base will now have set screw facing to the front.

    This will allow greater range of mirror adjustment to include below horizonal.

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