Honestly, I don’t really like to feature modified Porsches all that often. Some are really attractive and well executed, but the reality is that from a distance it’s always hard to truly gauge them and there is so much subjectivity built into modified cars in general that the market can be extremely narrow. Then there are the asking prices, which in many cases tend to be…let’s just say they’re very optimistic.
That bit of preamble leads me to the modified Porsche we see here: originally a 1967 Porsche 912 Soft-window Targa, but now sporting a 3.2 liter flat-six. It is intended to mirror the ethos of the outlaw and R-Gruppe 911s popular in California and in that regard it serves as an interesting example. I also find it a very interesting use of a 912 Soft-window Targa platform, something which in itself possesses a good deal of quirkiness and which rarely serves this purpose. And that’s why I’m featuring it: among the many modified Porsche 911s and 912s I see this one stands apart quite a bit. It still won’t be for everyone, but there is something very cool about this car that I could see really attracting a lot of attention and conversation.
Model: 912 Targa
Engine: 3.2 liter flat-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: not listed
Price: Reserve Auction
This is a 911 hotrod (or “Outlaw” or “R Gruppe”) made from a 1967 912. It was built by TLG Porsche of N. Hollywood, CA. It was built to imagine what a Soft Window Targa (SWT) R Gruppe 911 would have been. It was an expensive build at the time and built to a high standard of quality. The car started as a stripped 1967 SWT tub.
I wouldn’t say it’s all that easy to tell from the pictures, but this appears to be a pretty nice looking and very interesting Porsche 912. Of particular interest is that it is one of the early Targas with the removable rear window, otherwise known as the Soft-window Targa. There aren’t a lot of these because Porsche only kept the design around for a few years before introducing the glass window with which we’re all quite familiar and which became the mainstay of the design until the 993. Of course, contrary to my claim of it being “interesting” the glass window replaced the soft window mostly because buyers preferred it. That does make them rare though and as a window into one of Porsche’s engineering ideas they do make for a nice piece of history.
This particular example is a Black 1967 Porsche 912 Soft-window Targa, located in New York, with Red interior and 70,400 miles on it. The owner claims this color combination is the only one of its kind on this model. I don’t know if that can be verified with certainty, but I feel pretty assured of its rarity regardless of whether it’s the only one.
Model: 912 Targa
Engine: 1.6 liter flat-4
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 70,400 mi
Price: $71,999 Buy It Now
Personal circumstances are forcing me to sell my beloved 1967 Porsche 912 soft window Targa, black on red. 100% matching numbers and color codes, confirmed by certificate of authenticity. Both cosmetically and mechanically, the car has been well-maintained during my ownership in order to keep the car in top running condition.
Excellent mechanical condition with original engine and original smooth shifting manual optional 5-speed gearbox. Solid undercarriage and a very straight body.
This might be the quirkiest 911 I could feature. And I don’t mean that in a derogatory way, but rather in the way it utilizes a number of early and short-lived technologies and combines them all in one package. Here we have a Tangerine 1968 Porsche 911 Soft-window Targa, located in California, with 59,589 miles on it. Rather than the standard 5-speed manual transmission it is equipped with Porsche’s 4-speed Sportomatic transmission, the first year the marque would offer their attempt at producing something like the clutchless manually-shiftable automatic transmissions so prevalent today. In that regard, while the Sportomatic eventually disappeared, and rarely was favored while it existed, it did serve as a prelude to what was to come. The Soft-window Targa is a different story: around for only a few years and quickly replaced with the hard window version with which we are all familiar. The ability to open the rear window while keeping the top in place provided extra versatility, but it became clear pretty quickly that most owners weren’t much interested in that versatility.
I have never come across a 911 that combined these two interesting pieces of Porsche engineering and I don’t suspect we will find many of them that do.
Model: 911 Targa
Engine: 2.0 liter flat-6
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 59,589 mi
Price: $129,000 Buy It Now
Up for sale, 1968 Porsche 911 Soft Window Targa sportomatic with matching numbers in its most desirable color tangerine.
The car has been restored and the restoration is documented.
New paint job, engine rebuilt, interior has been partially restored trying to keep the most original and unrestored parts like the 2 front seats.
Staright body, perfect new floor pans, The original 5-1/2” x 15” Fuchs have been polished and painted.
I’ve featured a 911 Soft-window Targa plenty of times before, but this is the first example I can recall seeing where someone converted an original hard window to a soft window. I’m not sure whether this was a popular idea at the time – I’ve definitely heard of owners doing the reverse (converting a soft window to a hard window) – but regardless we have one here. The Soft-window Targa only was produced for a couple of years in the late ’60s. These were an homage to Porsche’s participation in the Targa Florio and perhaps the original owner of this Targa hoped to recreate some of that open-roofed essence with this conversion. It certainly provides a unique appearance, especially with the addition of the Cibie rally lights, and stands out well with its Pastel Blue paint. While not original, this 1971 Porsche 911T Targa should still be quite desirable.
There are some colors that if you showed me the swatch for it I would never consider it on a car. Then when I actually see it on a car I’m blown away. This color, which I’m fairly sure is Lindgrün and they’ve called Golden Lime Green, fits that bill perfectly. This isn’t the first 911 I’ve seen in this color, but every one I’ve come across has blown me away even though the color itself I would never think I’d enjoy. It’s still probably not for everyone, but I really like it here. And there’s more to this 911E than just the color. It’s one of the rare Soft-window Targas built for the ’69 MY, making it one of the few to possess the longer wheelbase that Porsche introduced for the 911 in 1969. While Porsche had begun soft-window production in 1967 it quickly was replaced by the hard window with which we’re all very familiar. The design is pretty quirky and provides a number of variations of enjoying your open-top driving. By 1969 very few soft windows were being produced and it was now an option rather than a distinct model. This makes coming up with firm production numbers difficult. The seller states that this is 1 of 12 911E in this configuration, a number that appears in an article of Road & Track though I’m not exactly sure from where the number originally was sourced. I’ve seen other numbers quoted in auctions, but all are close to this so we can at least know it’s a rare machine.
Here we have one of Porsche’s more interesting design ideas: the Soft-Window Targa. Most are quite familiar with its hard windowed cousin, which has been available on the 911 for most of its life. But far fewer may be familiar with the precursor to the 911 Targa. With the Soft-Window Targa Porsche sought an engineering solution that would allow for maximum openness in the cockpit while retaining a measure of structural integrity they thought would be necessary to meet impending safety regulations. Those safety regulations never became manifest, but their design did. It’s somewhat simple: use a fixed roll-hoop and make the top and window removable. The look is somewhat strange and the window section was quickly converted to a fixed window, but the soft window provided a great deal of versatility and choice for drivers depending on just how much of the external environment they wanted to experience. The Soft-Window Targa is quite rare on both the 911 and 912 and as such will command higher values, with the 911S being far and away the most expensive. The one we see here is from the earlier short-wheelbase model years as well: an Irish Green 1968 Porsche 912 Soft-Window Targa, located in California, with 113,000 miles on it. It should be noted, this 912 does not possess its original engine, but the rest of the car is said to be original.
Let’s check back in on my favorite quirky Porsche: the Soft-window Targa. As I’ve mentioned before, the Soft-window Targa was Porsche’s engineering solution to a problem they anticipated would occur, but never actually did. It’s sort of a window into the development process that even made it into production, if only for a short time. Because Porsche suspected that increasingly stringent safety regulations would render the cabriolet obsolete they sought to get out in front of these regulations and produce a model that would provide both the full open-cockpit feel of a convertible and also the safety of a fixed roll hoop. The Soft-window Targa was both an ingenious and somewhat ridiculous solution to that problem. I say ridiculous because to me these have never really looked right; they’ve always look like someone’s garage project, even if a well executed one. The idea did work, but Porsche quickly introduced the fixed hard-window version with which we are all familiar and the soft-window drifted off into the sunset. We do still see them from time to time and they are generally pretty popular with collectors due to their rarity and, I think, in part because of their interesting engineering. They certainly make for a fine talking piece. For whatever reason we’ve seen quite a few more examples of the 912 of late rather than the 911 and today is no different. Here we have a very pretty Irish Green 1969 Porsche 912 Soft-window Targa, located in California, with what appears to be 109,000 miles on it.
Porsche’s soft-window Targa is one of those engineering feats that is a mix of the sublime and the ridiculous. It is a brilliant solution to a problem that never really arose, but with its removable rear window and fixed roll hoop it looks…strange. I think Porsche’s engineers realized this as the design only existed for three model years, and during production of the Soft-window Targa a fixed hard window was an available option. Even so, with safety standards failing to render the convertible obsolete it would still take 15 years before Porsche actually produced a Cabriolet version of the 911 so in that regard the Soft-window Targa seems well ahead of its time. There is definitely a lot going on with these. Design aesthetics aside, its short production run for either the 911 or 912 makes the Soft-window Targa a rare and interesting commodity among vintage Porsches and one that surely attracts plenty of questions and gazes within any collection. They are a part of Porsche history and as such always warrant considerable attention. The example we have here is a Light Ivory 1968 Porsche 912 Soft-window Targa located in Ohio.
Here at GCFSB we pride ourselves on featuring many of the most interesting German vehicles available on the second-hand market. The particular car we see here, a 1968 Porsche 911L Soft-window Targa Police Car, surely is the most interesting car I will have featured to date. It won’t be the fastest, or even the prettiest, though it’s certainly the rarest (since we cannot get more rare than 1 of 1) and it’s definitely the most peculiar. This Targa Police car was given the full treatment: double rear-view mirrors, a red police light affixed to the Targa’s roll hoop, illuminated STOP signal in place of the rear license plate, along with the electronics to control those lights and the siren. The look was completed with Dutch-inspired Tangerine over White paint and German “Polizei” script along the doors, hood and rear deck lid. It is, quite frankly, one of the most curious 911s we’re likely to come across and that hardly even includes the fact that it is a ’68 911L Soft-window Targa, an already very rare and interesting 911 in itself. It’s fantastic!
I’ve chosen to feature this car almost purely out of curiosity. The Soft-window Targa is one of those cars where the design, from an aesthetic perspective, leaves me cold, but from a functional perspective I always find very intriguing. These cars are sort of an engineering peculiarity; only existent for a few years as Porsche’s answer to the need for an open-top vehicle that would also meet safety requirements the Soft-window Targa is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: a Targa where the window section behind the roll hoop could be lowered to create an airiness more akin to a cabriolet. These provided a variety of open-top motoring options between fully open and fully closed and with the integrated roll hoop they were sure to meet the increasingly stringent safety standards that Porsche worried would render the cabriolet obsolete. I just hate the look. With the rear window down these have always looked like something jerry-rigged in someone’s garage and no matter how interesting I think the design is I just can’t get past that. C’est la vie. Available for both the 911 and the 912, here we have a Burgundy 1968 Porsche 912 Soft-window Targa, located in California, with a stated 12,703 miles on it.