I had the dubious pleasure of borrowing a friend's 914 (when it was still kind of a current model)
for a week while my Opel GT was in for bodywork from an off-course excursion during a gymkhana event...oops.
During the first 5 miles of driving it home, I experienced just how wacky an electrical system can be. Pulled the knob out for headlights and every light in the car went out - no running lamps, no dash panel lights, nothing. So, trusting to dumb luck, I pushed the headlight knob back in and had dash lights once again. Who needs headlights anyway while driving on a country road just after dark?
Oh, I dunno. I believe that there are plenty of Euro vehicles that work quite well and last as long as anything else. Japanese stuff too. And I'll bet that the members of this forum can cite MULTIPLE examples of U.S. made cars and trucks that were/are not much different than the author's 914. I could start with my wife's 1999 Saturn L200, for example...