The Incredible Reunion Of Two Porsche 911 S Soft Window Targa
What is better than a Porsche 911 S Soft Window Targa? Right, two of them. And if chance would have it, the two of them share a common story. This is what happened to two successive 67 units that are on display at Vehicle Experts.
In the 60s, open-top driving pleasure was not perceived as a terrific idea. The Cabriolet was not recommended due to safety reasons. A vehicle type without a protective roof or at least a roll bar was deemed unsafe. Especially in the USA with its stricter safety regulations, the popular convertibles were threatened with extinction.
THE TARGA BAR AS A SOLUTION FOR OPEN DRIVING PLEASURE
Creative minds at various manufacturers considered how to combine both worlds – open driving pleasure with high safety standards. In Zuffenhausen, after a long development period, the decision was made in favor of a version of the 911 with a fixed, removable roof, a roll bar lined with stainless steel and a folding rear window. In September 1965 Porsche presented the first Porsche 911 Targa at the IAA in Frankfurt am Main.
The first Targas left the factory with a folding window with a zipper. The “soft window” was not destined to live on for long. The zipper was too fiddly for some people, but if the Targa roof were to be removed as well, it would cost Porsche drivers too much time and patience. To make matters worse, the plastic contracted in cold weather, which prompted Porsche to recommend that it was better not to open the Soft Window below 15 degrees in order to avoid it not closing properly afterwards. From the fall of 1967 onwards, the Targa could be ordered with a removable fixed window, and by model year 1970 all Porsche 911 Targa were delivered with a fixed glass window only.
But given the circumstances, it does not play a role if oil flap or Soft Window Targa, both of which were not built in large numbers back then, are now perceived as rarer and more lusted after. Take the 911 S, for example, which was built from 1967 to 1969, at that time the most powerful 911 F model had 118 kW/160 hp. Only about 300 Targa were built for the European market. According to Porsche Classic, about 40 to 50 percent have survived and are still on the roads today.
As chance would have it, two of the early Porsche 911 S models came together at Porsche specialist Vehicle Experts in 2017. A closer look at the documents revealed an even greater coincidence: the two vehicles left the production line in Stuttgart in 1967, one directly after the other. Number 500 273 on the 29.3.1967 and number 500 274 on the 10.4.1967. Afterwards the two cars separated after final inspection and only crossed paths again 41 years later.
PORSCHE 911 S SOFT WINDOW TARGA NO. 500 273
Number 500 273 went from Stuttgart to Cologne to a dealership called Fleischhauer, who sold it to the first owner in Cologne. In the early 70s the second owner emigrated to the USA together with the Soft Window Targa in baliblue. The latter in turn later sold the Porsche to his best friend in Oklahoma, who at some point decided to store the car in his barn. It stayed there for several decades and looked that way as seen below in the pictures when Vehicle Experts tracked it down and purchased the car in 2015.
The formerly blue and now black 911 really made a rather poor impression. After the restoration, it not only shines again in its original bali-blue color but amazes with its carefully restored details. All strictly according to the 1967 specifications.
PORSCHE 911 S SOFT WINDOW TARGA NO. 500 274
Number 500 274 was delivered in 1967 by the Mahag company in Munich to its first owners, who curiously enough also took the 911 to the USA in the early 1970s. They drove it until 1991 in its original configuration, then specially ordered a “paint-to-sample” color medium gray metallic. After that they lost track of the car. When in 1999 a German doctor discovered the Porsche at a well-known dealership in Los Angeles, #274 presented itself in a new red paint scheme.
Marked by their past eventful lives, they were given a thorough clean-up at Vehicle Experts. The red paintwork of no. 274 was abandoned in favor of the original mid-gray metallic color and no stone was left unturned in the clean-up process.
With meticulous care and a stringent look at the documents relating to the original delivery specifications, the two siblings were put back into mint condition. After decades in the garage, just 273 needed restoration from the ground up.
Thus, the two 1967 Porsche 911 S Targa with the early Soft Window present themselves united and radiant again in their home country.
Photos Vehicle Experts
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