Has there ever been a car better suited to the British summer than a Porsche Targa? As many will know the Targa was the result of a happy accident caused by Porsche trying to pre-empt US road safety laws that never materialised. In the 1960s and 1970s the US Highways agency threatened to ban convertible cars due to the weak roll-over protection offered by convertibles of the day. Concerned by this, Porsche developed and trademarked the T-top roll-over bar for their new 911 and launched the car in 1965.
The design of the Porsche Targa was immensely popular thanks to the extra enclosure offered by the roll-over structure and glass rear screen protects the cabin from the worst of the buffeting while still allowing the sense of speed and excitement of having miles of headroom above with the unfiltered sound of a Porsche’s famous 6 Cylinder boxer engine steaming into your ears. For UK roads this is the perfect combination. British summers as we know all too well are immensely changeable with warm weather sometimes only lasting a couple of days. In a conventional convertible this means you can only enjoy your car as intended in the very best of weather. However, in the Targa the extra protection gives more flexibility so when the weather is changeable or not quite warm enough for a regular convertible you can still have the roof off on a Porsche Targa. For peace of mind the mechanical roof is neatly folded and stored in the bonnet and can be clipped in and secured in seconds should rain appear.
The car we have for sale here is a Porsche Targa 911 Carrera S 3.2. Built between 1984 and 1989, the 3.2 Carrera was Porsche’s 9th revision to the 911 platform. When launched Porsche boasted that the engine had been fully redesigned with displacement increasing to 3.2 litres and the compression increased through the use of domed pistons. As a result, this 3.2 Carrera puts out an impressive 234 horsepower. When coupled with the new Getrag 50 gearbox now featuring 5 gears with shorter ratios, the performance of the 3.2 Carrera feels impressive even today. This generation Porsche 911 earned a reputation for surprising the driver with an elegant 180 pirouette thanks to the pendulum effect of having the more powerful engine at the rear and a sporty suspension set up. However, for the Targa, a car designed for relaxed enjoyment, Porsche softened the springs and so tamed the snappy nature of the car.
On the road this Porsche Targa is remarkably compliant and incredibly comfortable, perfect for continental road trips. The feeling of the rear squatting down under acceleration with the nose lifting slightly is very addictive, the surge forward propels you toward the horizon like the car is about to take off. As with every Porsche the driving position has been thoroughly refined and feels just right with all the controls falling easily to hand while the sports seats softly brace you through the bends and are electronically adjustable to fit people of all sizes. The cabin in this car was re-trimmed a few years ago and so feels brand new, all that gives away the car’s age is the odometer reading 120,000 miles, nothing in terms of this engine’s life cycle and certainly not when it has been looked after as well as this car has.
This car, a genuine UK delivered, C16 right hand drive car is in immaculate condition. Subject to recent cosmetic restoration, the bodywork, paint and interior are perfect. The car comes with good service history, a stack of invoices come from Bob Watson Porsche showing the car has been looked after well throughout its life and more recently service work has been carried out by marque specialists.
The Porsche Targa has always been the quirky option in the Porsche line up but with summer approaching fast this is the ideal car for someone looking to scratch the Porsche itch and enjoy the excitement of open-top motoring.
Words by William Stoneham