When you look at the perfectly sorted Porsche 911 here, you have to wonder how it could have started as somebody’s beater. Because while most of us idolize the rear-engined sports cars, some people buy an old Porsche simply to putt around in. That was Tom Rittenburg’s original plan for this example, but it didn’t quite turn out that way...
As the general manager of Rennline – a company specializing in accessories for Porsche, BMW and Audi – Tom was once a diehard Audi fan. But soon after joining the famed business, his love for P-cars took over. “After driving a few shop cars, I was sold on a Porsche,” he said. “I wanted a coupe but couldn’t afford one, so I picked up this ’74 Targa.”
The Targa is an enigma. Yes, it’s a 911, but its narrow body and awkward, perpetually leaking roof mean it’s not the first choice for most car enthusiasts. However, they’re cheap and plentiful, which is sufficient incentive for most.
“I bought it to beat around in,” Tom confessed. “I drove it during the summer and fall but there were a few guys around the shop that had done the Targa to coupe conversion. I’ll just say, it didn’t take many beers to convince me!”
Tom acquired the 911 in poor shape, unaware of what was beneath its rough shell. Starting the coupe conversion, he had the car stripped and soda-blasted; soon realizing its widebody panels were fitted in a hack-job fashion.
With every piece of hardware either replaced, zinc-coated, powdercoated or anodized, along with every rubber piece, Tom’s Targa was coming together. The widebody was rebuilt in steel, of course, along with a solid roof. The jack points, washer squirters and badges were then shaved before the exterior was finished with IROC bumpers and a Getty Design Ducktail, followed by a soak in Porsche Arrow Blue paint.
Let’s face it: while this 911 could stop anybody in their tracks, walking the walk is never enough. There’d be no excuse for anything other than a track-oriented chassis restoration, which Tom provided in the form of a ten-point cage and custom camber boxes for Bilstein struts all around.
Tom’s widebody coupe is now firm and rigid, but mostly nimble. Tipping the scales at 2250 lb, this 911 can dance, and comes to an effortless halt with big 993 calipers front and rear.
Tying it all together, Tom sent his 16" rear Fuchs out to be widened to a massive 9.5". They almost appear to have an inside-out barrel, accentuating the girth of the 911’s stout hips.
Rear wheels were widened to 16x9.5" to fill fenders
3.0L motor from ’78 Carrera upgraded with just headers and exhaust to liberate more power
993 brakes barely visible behind 16
As for horsepower, sparring in the lightweight division means a ’78 Carrera 3.0-liter with MSD ignition, large bore headers and free-flowing Magnaflow exhaust provides enough punch to slingshot Tom out of any corner.
With the car complete, it serves as a prime example of how to correctly execute the resto-mod thing. Not to mention, the interior is simply Spartan – raw and purposeful, sacrificing creature comforts for brutal ability and utility with a healthy serving of gorgeous Rennline accessories.
Squeeze inside and you’ll see Rennline floor boards, track mats, adjustable pedal set, shift linkage cover and firewall block-off plate. These parts are so much more than their names suggest because Rennline understands Porsche design – simplicity and subtlety with functionality and class. These aftermarket parts come from that school of thought, but with more attitude.
So now that you’re thoroughly convinced this should be your next vehicular endeavor, you’re probably wondering what it would take to complete a build of this caliber? We’ll keep it brief: 1700 hours of labor over 18 months, and at least $25000 in parts alone, not including the cost of the car. And you’d better hope you work in an insanely capable shop as well.