I don’t get to feature these 911s a lot. That is partly due to there not being a ton of them around these days, but also those few that I do see never seem quite right. They’re either not in great condition or simply priced much too high, and while high prices aren’t typically something to dissuade me from writing up an air-cooled Porsche I usually end up passing them by. They just sit in a funny place in the market.
This one doesn’t seem to possess those issues, though even here where the price is at least somewhat reasonable I think it makes for a pretty tough sell. Here we have a Grand Prix White 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa with Midnight leatherette interior and a reported 68,124 miles on it. These U.S market 2.7-liter Carreras must be distinguished from their much more expensive European counterparts, which shared their MFI engine with the 1973 Carrera RS. Those 911s were basically a Carrera RS Touring with impact bumpers. These 911s are not quite that. However, that lack of a shared pedigree means prices are far lower and while their collector potential also is a good bit lower, pricing is at least such that they can make for a worthwhile consideration for those who desire a ’70s 911.
In many of my features of newer Porsches the focus has been on the exterior color. Usually one of Porsche’s historic colors selected as a paint-to-sample option. This one isn’t really about the exterior color, even though Lava Orange is quite nice. This one is more about the interior color and the way it combines with that orange exterior. It also has a true manual transmission rather than PDK and that in itself is a rare thing on these new Targas. So I guess we could say that I find the total package here quite appealing even if the individual pieces aren’t incredibly special in their own right. This was a solidly put together Targa and one that remains unique enough to stand out even within the rarefied air of PTS builds.
So what do we have: a Lava Orange 2017 Porsche 911 Targa 4, located in Texas, with a Saddle Brown leather interior, 7-speed manual transmission, and 3,307 miles on it. The interior also features Lava Orange accents through deviated stitching along with painted console and trim pieces. It comes together quite well!
Let’s stick with the general theme of the last couple days and continue looking at variations of blue over red. Here we have another fairly interesting version of that combination and one that is quite unique to find on the 997. This is a Dark Blue Metallic 2012 Porsche 911 Targa 4S, located in California, with a full Carrera Red leather interior, PDK, and just 18,136 miles on it. Being a 997 this is the new Targa design (or is it now the old design? Perhaps old-new?) that debuted on the 993 Targa. It showcases a large sliding glass panel rather than the removable central top with integrated roll hoop of previous Targa models. I’ve stated before that it isn’t my preferred Targa design and as most are aware Porsche themselves seem to agree since the 991 has reverted to the original removable roof. I guess we’ll find out in the coming years whether Porsche reverts to the 993 design or sticks with the original. (Or removes the Targa from the lineup entirely.) New design or old, the Targa still provides the same increased openness, but without going to a full Cabriolet, and should have appeal to those that like a bit of sunshine and wind in their hair.
I wrote the other day about the approaching warmer weather and the joy of top down driving. That was as an introduction to a Cabriolet but I know not everyone is interested in the full top-down experience. Especially the associated weight gains or lack of rigidity that goes along with it. Or perhaps you’re more interested in an air-cooled 911 regardless of the model. In either case, this 911 may suit your needs a little better: a 1985 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa, located in California, with only 26,900 miles on it.
Of course, from a performance standpoint this Carrera Targa isn’t going to match a 996 Turbo Cabriolet. And the price may end up more or less the same so performance per dollar certainly is way down. But a classic like this isn’t just about the performance. It’s about feel and connectedness and the sense that you, the driver, ultimately are in command. For some that is enough to turn them away from any water-cooled 911 and toward these classics. For others the allure of 415 hp simply cannot be passed up. Options are good!
Among 911s that really pop off the page this Gold Metallic 1971 Porsche 911T Targa really stands out. It won’t grab you because of what model it is; this is the entry-level 911 of its day and the Targa itself doesn’t really draw the eyes as much as the longhood Coupe. But that Gold Metallic paint attracts your eyes and doesn’t let go. I’ve seen this color a few times not looking at its best and the difference in appeal is substantial. So it’ll probably require effort to keep it looking this good, but I’m guessing any new owner will have no problem putting in the elbow grease to keep this early 911 looking great.
I don’t normally prefer to post two cars from the same seller on consecutive days, but this seller has two very different 911s for sale and I like both of them quite a bit and for entirely different reasons. So, here we are. Yesterday’s 964 Turbo showed us a fairly pristine example of the 3.3 liter Turbo. It’s a model I probably don’t pay enough attention to focusing instead on the 930 that preceded it or the later 3.6 liter 964s. It came with a very high price tag.
Here we have something entirely of a different nature. This is a Petrol Blue 1978 Porsche 911SC Targa with Cork interior and 65,500 miles on it. It’s not pristine – though the mileage is fairly low – but the color combination is phenomenal and the added detail provided by the Targa roll hoop enhances the overall look. Compared with the 964, the price should be much more reasonable.
I have expressed my love for the Targa numerous times throughout these pages and that naturally extends to the reintroduction of the proper version as part of the 991 lineup. Porsche seems to have pegged the new Targa as the least sporting of the 911 models. It’s only available with all-wheel drive and at its debut I believe it was the heaviest (read: slowest) of the various 911 models you could buy. Though a GTS model eventually was made available it still seems like relative to a comparable Coupe or Cabriolet you’re opting for the Porsche luxury and refinement side of the spectrum. At least so far as their flagship sportscar goes. But let’s be honest, the worst performing 911 still is more than capable of lighting a fire in your belly.
While I think it would be great if there were a rear-drive Targa S at some point we make the best of what’s available. I think this one does just that. Here is a Guards Red 2015 Porsche 911 Targa 4S, located in Houston, with only 5,100 miles on it. It’s equipped with PDK, adaptive sport seats, PCCB, sport exhaust, and a few other nice items.
This is starting to get a little bit silly. As I mentioned in my most recent feature of a Turbolook Carrera Cabriolet, we’ve seen a decent number of these 911s, also known by their M491 option code, come up for sale recently. I wasn’t really looking to post more of them. But then three all popped up for sale within a few days of one another and there are a lot of similarities among them. I still wasn’t entirely sure about posting them, but honestly two of them are so interesting and unique that I simply could not pass them by. Given how similar they all are it made the most sense to bring them all together into a single post.
One piece of good fortune: among these three cars we have a representative of each Carrera model so regardless of which model M491 you’re looking for we’ve got you covered! The similarities: All three of these Carreras are in exceptionally good condition and sit with very low mileage. All are from the earlier side of 3.2 Carrera production, meaning they have the 915 5-speed transmission. Two are for sale from the sale seller, presumably as part of the same collection, and come with a few questions, but have crazy unique interiors. All three have very high prices; high enough that when I first came across the Coupe we’ll see below I thought the seller had misidentified a 930. And I still thought the price was too high!
Anyway, on to the cars. I’ll show them all before any discussion and in ascending order by price:
If you find yourself desiring a classic 911 from the ’80s you’re immediately presented with a few decisions. The first of which, while seemingly the most straightforward, can actually present the biggest quandary: which model do you get, the 911SC or the 3.2 Carrera? Both are great and their similarities in design and performance are such that either model should fulfill your desires. But let’s say you’re set on the 3.2 Carrera. You want the improved performance and slightly more refined feel. You still have one more decision to make: would you rather find one of the earlier models (1984-1986) utilizing the long-standing 915 5-speed transmission or a later model (1987-1989) with the newer G50 5-speed transmission? It seems a minor detail, but the transmissions do make a difference. Most drivers find the G50 to be the nicer shifting of the two and it is a more stout transmission to begin with, a point that certainly could make a difference 30 years from new. However, the G50 also is heavier and typically the prices for the later Carreras, in part because of that transmission, tend to be higher. If you’re thinking strictly about adding one to a collection the G50 probably is the one to get. For a driver? It’s not so straightforward.
Generally speaking, unless you’re very patient most of these decisions will be made for you since you’re typically best off by buying the best available option from these years. A well sorted 911SC is likely to bring you more joy and fewer headaches than a 3.2 Carrera with some issues. Sometimes, however, the options are such that you really can have your choice and, in fact, in our case here your choice really is distilled down almost completely to the different transmissions.
Here we have two Grand Prix White 3.2 Carrera Targas with pretty similar mileage, pretty similar asking prices, and seemingly very similar condition. Both also are located in the same general region of the country. The only real differences are the interior color and the model year. Let’s proceed in chronological order and begin with this 1985 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa, located in Miami, with Burgundy interior and 103,000 miles on it.
Anyone who has been reading these pages for a while will know that I am a huge fan of the 911 Targa. My first experiences with a Porsche of any kind were in a Targa and I guess that first love has remained with me. I love the aesthetics and the versatility. I even love Porsche’s initial forays into the model’s development with the kind-of-crazy Soft-window Targa. I loved them right up until 1996 when the design was modified for the 993. The Targa basically had become a giant sunroof.
Thankfully that all changed in 2014 when Porsche returned the Targa to its true form. It wasn’t all roses. At its release the Targa was only available as either a 4 or 4S, i.e. no rear-drive Targa, but the Targa was back and it looked great! It fit the design of the 991 well. The new Targa allowed electronics to do all of the work so the top could be removed without too much fuss. You do have to come to a stop though. The horror.
Even with the Targa’s return I have seen very few of them on the road. So I guess the least loved of the 911s will remain that way. Maybe buyers aren’t sure what it is? I doubt anyone would fail to stop and look at this one: a Viper Green 2017 Porsche 911 Targa 4S, located in New York, with 7-speed manual transmission and 6,396 miles on it.