Porsche 911 seem to invoke strong opinions wherever you are. None more so that asking your mates in the pub. Everyone knows ‘they go through hedges backwards’, ‘ a 911 must be red’, ‘it’s got to be manual’, ‘they must be coupe’. Yet you will find the majority of 911 have not left the road traveling the wrong direction, neither are they all painted red. And if these’experts’ were probed further, you will likely find that they haven’t actually driven or lived with a 911 for any length of time. Many will proffer their expertise yet have never even sat in a 911. So ignore them, use your own judgement and choose something that suits you. And a Targa suits me.
First up is this gorgeous 911 SC Targa. In fact I have two very similar recently. A 1979 SC Targa that I have been preparing for a lovely client in Ireland. That’s the car in the background of the picture. In the foreground is an other, this time a 1981 SC Targa which we gently removed from the last owner of nearly 30 years. To the SC.
What you have here are delightfully responsive, sporting, sweet cars to drive. These have the 915 gearbox which if in good condition is a pleasure to use. I like these cars, simple, light and very responsive and capable of getting you into serious trouble with the law, running to circa 140 mph. Now although the cars are of an age, it doesn’t stop you using one to the full. And I promise you, running along a flowing B road, in the sun with the roof off it it one of life’s great pleasures. Honestly, you wouldn’t believe how well you can cover ground and at a pace too. Like all good air cool 911 the values are not going to sink if the car is kept in great shape.
Both owners are planning to use their SC and why not. Power to them!
Next up is this absolutely superb Grand Prix white 911 Carrera 3.2 Sport Targa. an eighties Icon. This one is off to it’s new owner soon but I still had chance to enjoy it. I collected it from Portsmouth and had a fabulous drive along the coast road, the A35 twists, turns, rises and falls and is just a thrill in one of these. On the sunny day in february I drove the 200 miles home with the roof off. Limited only by my conscience and the speed restricter sat in the passenger seat. The speed limiter I found is less effective the faster you go as the rush of air drowns out the audible warnings, with a steady eye on the road you can also avoid seeing the visual signs too. Once again, I enjoyed a top class drive that day and have no qualms recommending the new owner to get the 911 out and travel as far and as fast as he chooses. They are not fragile……
On to this 993 Targa tiptronic. I had a completely different experience with this two owner example. I collected it from the owner one of the less pleasant days in February, raining like mad all the way from Manchester to Plymouth. Still this 993 was a great companion, eating up the miles in comfort in a way that is unique to a 911. No pressure to travel fast as in a 911 you can make up time anywhere you feel is safe. Its stress free motoring, sitting in high quality accommodation, with a good ride quality and that flat six ready and willing whenever you brush the pedal.
The 993 is of course a glass roof targa, enabling you to open or close the whole roof at the touch of a button, retract the sunblind as you wish. The blind is a great feature , giving the cabin a light, airy feel with the blind retracted or a snug couple feel with it in place.
This 993 is a tiptronic S. Although many might think a manual gearbox is a must have in a 911, until you have lived with the tiptronic system on a 911, you probably wont appreciate how it can be made to hustle when required or what a bonus it is when you want a relaxed stress free drive.
For me, I love the shape of a coupe, but enjoy the open air of a Targa. If you are thinking of a 911, don’t overlook the pleasures of an open top. Avoid listening too much to the armchair experts. Be safe in the knowledge that if you like it, someone else will like it too.