Last week we featured a 912 Soft-window Targa that sat on the value-end of the scale for these peculiar models, even if that particular example was priced a bit high. Now we are going to move almost entirely to the other end of the spectrum. The Soft-window Targa was not only made for the 912, but also was available on the 911, including the top-of-the-range and highly sought after 911S. In this case we’re just stacking rarity on rarity with a rare color of a rare variant of a rare model. It should come as no surprise then that this car is priced at nearly $200K, 5 times the high price for last week’s 912. But this post isn’t about finding an interesting value, but rather about coming across one of the most interesting 911s made in the late ’60s. Here we have a Gulf Blue 1967 Porsche 911S Soft-window Targa that comes in at just under 125K miles and also sports an interesting classic rally pedigree.
You’d be forgiven for looking at the stats of the mid-1960s designed NSU Ro80 and thinking it was a much newer car. At the very least, it seemed quite futuristic compared to what was coming not only out of Detroit, but out of the rest of the world at the time. Aerodynamics were key to its slippery shape, unlike the rest of the world that relied on “jet” styling accents and fins to look fast. A tall, airy greenhouse provided excellent visibility for its passengers and driver. Underneath, power steering, 4-wheel independent suspension, 4-wheel disc inboard brakes and a semi-automatic gearbox with vacuum assisted clutch were the highlights – items that in some cases wouldn’t be found on mainstream cars until very recently. Then there was the engine; at only 1 liter, it didn’t sound like much to write about – but it was a twin-rotor Wankel engine with over 100 horsepower. Indeed, the power output wasn’t much less than most inline-6s of the day with 2 1/2 times the displacement. Couple that into a reasonably lightweight sedan and the performance of the NSU was certainly above average.
Looking at the NSU today, it’s easy to see design elements that were incorporated into later designs, mostly from the 1970s and 1980s. NSU’s parent Audi developed the exterior design elements further a decade and a half later into the Audi 100, most notably. Squint, and you can see it. But when I look, I also see elements from BMWs, Mercedes-Benz, Alfa Romeo, Citroen, Lancia, Fiat, and even Toyota, Mazda and Nissan – this was truly an influential design. For the most part, it was also a fringe automobile though, so not many people knew them or about the advanced platform that had been developed. They were also a bit too far ahead of the curve, suffering rotor-tip seal problems that wouldn’t really be solved for another decade by Mazda. On top of that, they were quite expensive at the time – meaning that for well-heeled buyers, the unreliability was even more unacceptable than normal. More recently in the past decade, the avant-garde Ro80 has finally been recognized by the world as a truly special page in history and a turning point in automotive design. That’s why it’s so special to see them pop up for sale, especially in America where they’ve always been rare:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1969 NSU RO80 on eBay
The 911 Carrera 3.2 was considered by many to be the final link to the original 911 before newer safety and emissions regulations started to take hold in the 1990s which would eventually see the phasing out of the air-cooled motor. It certainly is one of my favorites, with the ultra-rare Club Sport lightweight special being my favorite. While a Club Sport is one of the most valuable of all 3.2 variants, there are plenty of other 3.2s to consider as an optimal starting point for your air-cooled obsession. We’ll take a look at a few different examples, including a 930 of the same era, starting off with this Grand Prix White Targa for sale in Miami.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa on eBay
The 1990 Porsche 944S2 Firehawk series car that I wrote up back in early August is back on eBay, having failed to sell its first time around. The price has been lowered $2,000 this time, but it remains pricey by 944S2 and track car standards at $23,100. That amount does buy you a solid race car platform with an interesting history with the look of a Turbo Cup car, but I’d guess it’s still a bit too expensive for most people’s blood. If it could be had in the mid to high teens I’d think there would be more interested parties.