While the latest Targa is two cars in one, coupe and convertible, and the 911SC Targa made you get out to remove or replace its roof panel, which laterally folded up for stowage in the front compartment, the original soft rear window Targa laid claim to being four cars in one. The Targa roof could be used that many different ways: fully closed, top section out, rear section open, or top and rear both open together. Porsche even gave these options names-Targa Hardtop, Targa Bel Air, Targa Voyage, and Targa Spyder, respectively.
With the rear section closed there is remarkably little wind in the cockpit, even at high speed, a definite plus for ladies with expensive hairdos. But while the Targa was undoubtedly popular with its owners, its detachable roof was not without its problems.
Body flex meant that the roof panel leaked, while the plastic rear window was hard to open and close. In fact, Porsche advised owners not to try this in temperatures below 15°C because apart from the fact that the zip system is fiddly at the best of times, it is especially so in cold weather.
Even in summer it takes time to offer the window up to the top fasteners, locate the zip in its rail, and seal everything up properly. Just as with an old-style convertible with a fiddly canvas roof, you'll definitely get wet if caught by a sudden deluge.
In an attempt to solve the issue of the fiddly soft rear window, Porsche began to offer a glass rear window in 1968. While this didn't allow the same degree of "openness" as the soft rear window, it offered durability and security. It also looked better. The folding rear window remained an option, but was quietly dropped in time.
You know how once you notice a particular car, you suddenly start to see more of them? Soon after I drove the green Ruf Targa, I caught a re-run of Gerry Anderson's UFO sci-fi series on TV.
Episode 10 was originally aired in March 1973, and featured a car chase with an orange 911. I saw this for the second time a couple of years ago, and noted the 911, but it was only after I had driven the green car, and the same episode was aired yet again that I noticed it was a soft-rear window Targa. Just like buses, you don't see these cars for a while-then they all arrive together
1967 Porsche 911 Targa
Longitudinal rear engine, rear-wheel drive
2.0-liter flat six, ohc, 12-valve
MacPherson design struts with torsion bars
Four wheel disc assemblies
Peak Power: 130 hp @ 6100 rpm
Peak Torque: 128 lb-ft @ 4200 rpm