1973 Porsche 911 Targa

From 1974 onwards, changes to US federal regulations resulted in a host of updates to the 911.

  • Price new/now: £41,795 (1986)/£40,000
  • Engine/power: 2.7-3.2 flat-six/150-231bhp
  • 0-62/Top speed: 8.5-6.1 secs/130-152mph
  • Number produced: 55,281

From 1974 onwards, changes to US federal regulations resulted in a host of updates to the 911. The tightening of exhaust emissions meant numerous engine tweaks, but the most obvious change was the introduction of energy-absorbing bumpers – the big-bumper 911 was born.

The Targa followed suit and, while Porsche considered giving the model a solid aluminium roof, it stuck to the same formula – although the roof bar was painted black. The 911 maintained its popularity throughout the seventies and into the eighties and, while Porsche initially saw the big, front-engined 928 as a successor, the 911 outsold it two to one, and remained the only Porsche for most people.

The 928 didn’t mark the end of the 911, but the arrival of a 911 Cabriolet could well have threatened the Targa. However, Porsche instead offered three bodystyles: Coupé, Cabriolet and Targa.

The stunning car in our pictures features the classic ‘eighties look’ of the wide, Turbo-inspired body and the famous ‘tea tray’ rear spoiler. Finished in Guards Red, the most popular Porsche colour of the eighties, this Carrera Targa was powered by the 3.2-litre 231bhp ‘930’ engine.

You didn’t only get the Turbo’s yuppie look, either, because these models featured the same suspension and brakes, plus the lower ride height and wider track. And while purists might miss the stainless steel Targa hoop, the black Targa bar works really nicely with the ‘black look’ wheels, spoiler, side sills and wing treatment.

Driven back-to-back with the 1973 car, you can certainly feel the 911’s gentle evolution over more than a decade. With wider tyres and tauter suspension, the eighties’ 911 is sharper, faster and has a lot more grip. There’s less play in all the controls, but the lovely sense of interaction with the road remains.

Arguably better looking than the Cabriolet roof up or down, the Targa maintained its unique appeal throughout this generation of 911 and, even when this incarnation came to an end with the launch of a limited-edition, raked-windscreen Speedster version, Targas still accounted for 30 per cent of sales.

Most Popular

New 2021 Volkswagen Taigo coupe-SUV breaks cover
Volkswagen Taigo R-Line - front
Volkswagen Taigo

New 2021 Volkswagen Taigo coupe-SUV breaks cover

The new VW Taigo is a sportier, more aggressive looking version of the brand’s T-Cross and is aimed at lifestyle buyers
29 Jul 2021
New Bowler Defender Challenge review
Bowler Defender Challenge - front
Land Rover Defender

New Bowler Defender Challenge review

The new Defender Challenge is the first Bowler under JLR ownership, and it’s a cracker
28 Jul 2021
New 2021 Kia EV6 boasts up to 328 miles of range
Kia EV6 - front
Kia EV6

New 2021 Kia EV6 boasts up to 328 miles of range

Kia reveals more specs for its bespoke electric car, with the EV6 offering long range and an 18-minute 80 per cent rapid recharge time
21 Jul 2021